Experimental investigation of R290/R600a mixture as an alternative to R134a in a domestic refrigerator

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology, Pollachi 642003, India; Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut, Calicut 673601, India
International Journal of Thermal Sciences 01/2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.ijthermalsci.2008.08.001

ABSTRACT R134a is the most widely used refrigerant in domestic refrigerators. It must be phased out soon according to Kyoto protocol due to its high global warming potential (GWP) of 1300. In the present work, an experimental investigation has been made with hydrocarbon refrigerant mixture (composed of R290 and R600a in the ratio of 45.2:54.8 by weight) as an alternative to R134a in a 200 l single evaporator domestic refrigerator. Continuous running tests were performed under different ambient temperatures (24, 28, 32, 38 and 43 °C), while cycling running (ON/OFF) tests were carried out only at 32 °C ambient temperature. The results showed that the hydrocarbon mixture has lower values of energy consumption; pull down time and ON time ratio by about 11.1%, 11.6% and 13.2%, respectively, with 3.25–3.6% higher coefficient of performance (COP). The discharge temperature of hydrocarbon mixture was found to be 8.5 to 13.4 K lower than that of R134a. The overall performance has proved that the above hydrocarbon refrigerant mixture could be the best long term alternative to phase out R134a.

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