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The Montreal Protocol, enacted in 1987, requires that by mid-1998, the production of R12 be reduced by 50% relative to 1986 levels (Federal Register 1987). As a result, a replacement refrigerant must be decided upon as soon as possible to allow time for design changes, product life tests, and retooling. In an effort to select a refrigerant that has minimal impact on energy consumption and the environment, a screening analysis of potential refrigerants was performed that resulted in the selected of six candidates. The screening results show that R134a, R134, R152a, R134a/R152a, R22/R152a/R124, and R134a/R152a/R124 are the most promising refrigerants for future use based on the following criteria - ozone depletion potential (ODP), greenhouse warming potential (GWP), coefficient of performance (COP), and safety. Following the screening study, energy consumption tests were performed for the three pure refrigerants in an 18 ft3 (0.51 m3) automatic-defrost top-mount refrigerator-freezer in accordance with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) standard for household refrigerators and household freezers (AHAM). The results indicate an increased energy consumption of 6.8%, 7.3%, respectively, for R134, R152a, and R134a in the most efficient oil. However, when the effects of compressor efficiency are taken into account, the normalised energy consumption results in an increase of only 2.7% for R152a and 5.5% for both R134a and R134.

KEYWORDS: refrigerants, refrigerators, freezers, R134a, R134, R12, R152a, R22, R124, mixtures, energy consumption, air pollution, outdoor, ozone, greenhouse effect, coefficient of performance, safety, testing, domestic, compressors, efficiency

Citation: Symposium, ASHRAE Trans. 1991, vol.97, part 2