Retrofit assessment of automobile air conditioners using hydrocarbon refrigerants

Hsiang Kai Hsieh, Tun Ping Teng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, hydrocarbons (R600a and HR12) were selected as alternative refrigerants to evaluate their performance and feasibility as direct replacements for the R134a used in automobile air conditioners (MACs). The MAC performance tests were performed under fixed indoor conditions (27 °C, 50% RH) and outdoor ambient temperatures (Toa, 35 °C) to determine the optimum charging amount and availability of hydrocarbons. The results showed that the optimal charging amount of HR12 (247.5 g) was 45% of that for R134a, and its cooling capacity (Qc), dehumidification capacity (DH), and energy efficiency ratio (EER) were significantly better than those of R134a and R600a. Therefore, HR12 was more suitable for replacing R134a than R600a. In terms of the influence of Toa changes on MAC performance, the Qc, DH, and EER of HR12 used in MACs at a Toa of 30 °C were 5.96%, 6.62%, and 81.02% higher than those of R134a, respectively. The differences of the Qc, DH, and EER between the HR12 and R134a used in the MAC at a Toa of 40 °C were 1.02%, 7.59%, and −9.79%, respectively. The results showed that a Toa of 40 °C could cause a substantial decrease in the EER of HR12, mainly due to the increase in power consumption of MACs. However, in the Toa range (30–40 °C) of this study, the Qc and DH of HR12 were still higher than those of R134a, indicating that HR12 was suitable as a direct replacement for R134a in MACs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118781
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Volume214
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sep

Keywords

  • Automobile air conditioner (MAC)
  • Cooling capacity
  • Dehumidification capacity
  • energy efficiency ratio (EER)
  • Hydrocarbons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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