A wrong refrigerant selection can freeze your refrigeration systems as well as make your products unfit for use.
Refrigeration systems such as industrial chillers, air conditioners and home refrigerators require refrigeration chemicals/refrigerants, which have the required heat transfer capabilities at the system’s operating temperature and pressure. Some refrigerants, for example R134a, R22 and R502, can primarily work at high pressure, while others, for example R113, R114 and R123, require low pressure to function properly. The properties of each refrigerant depend on its molecular structure indicated by its R number. R22 (also known as HCFC 22, Freon 22 and Genetron 22) is the most widely used refrigerant for residential and light commercial air conditioning and in refrigerators and freezers.
Before buying a refrigerant from refrigerant suppliers, you need to ensure the following:
- Refrigerants should have optimum thermodynamic properties such as boiling point below the operating temperature, high heat of vaporization, required density in both liquid and gaseous form and a high critical temperature.
- Refrigerants should be non-corrosive and compatible with the material used in the compressor, piping, evaporator and condenser.
- Refrigeration chemicals should be non-toxic and non-flammable at the operating temperature and pressure of your refrigeration system.
Understand properties of various refrigeration chemicalsTo make an informed choice of refrigerants you need to understand different refrigerants and their properties at a range of temperatures and pressures. Once you understand refrigerant's properties, you have to analyze your refrigeration systems' requirements such as mass flow rate, heat transfer, vapor pressure and other properties to choose the right refrigerant.
Select the right refrigerant manufacturers and refrigerant distributorsOnce you understand the properties of various refrigeration chemicals and analyze your refrigeration systems' requirements, you need to choose the right suppliers of refrigerants, which can provide you a suitable refrigerant.
Keep track of changing environmental regulations when choosing your refrigeration chemicalsRefrigeration chemicals, if not chosen properly, can lead to significant expenses in the form of environmental taxes. Moreover, regulations are becoming increasingly stringent and therefore you need to know the changing regulations so that you can choose refrigerants which comply with the regulatory norms in your state or country.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a phase-out schedule for some of the refrigerants as per the Montreal Protocol. The Environmental and Regulatory Update section on DuPont’s website is another resource, which provides regulatory information regarding refrigerants in major countries.
- Refer to experts in the case of complex applications, which require a mixture of different refrigeration chemicals.
- Select manufacturers who can provide you with certified technical support in case of any problems.