Used Building Equipment

November 5, 2015

tips pass your LEED v4 Green connect ExamThis article is intended an overview for architects, technicians and home owners dedicated to refrigerants found in HVAC equipment. It's not designed to replace manufacturer guidelines or government advice which will be purely honored.

What is a Refrigerant?

A refrigerant is a material, usually a fluid, utilized in a refrigeration pattern to cool off a space. Refrigerants capture temperature after which launch it to a different space by using the thermodynamic phenomena of phase modifications, for which a fluid modifications to a gas or vice-versa.

Refrigerants are used in various building equipment including ac units, fridges, freezers, walk-in coolers, etc.

Refrigerant Impacts on the Environment

Many refrigerants are known to have a negative effect on environmental surroundings because they subscribe to global warming as well as deplete the ozone layer.

International Warming Potential (GWP)

Carbon dioxide particularly co2 plus the emissions from some refrigerants play a role in global warming by absorbing infrared radiation and holding it into the atmosphere, that will be often referred to as the greenhouse effect.

The GWP of a refrigerant is a measure of the total amount of temperature a gasoline will trap into the atmosphere over time as compared to co2, which has set up a baseline GWP of 1. Thus, a gas with a GWP higher than 1 traps more heat than CO2.

Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP)

Some chemical substances, including refrigerants can donate to the depletion of ozone layer, which shields the planet earth and its occupants from dangerous results of the sun’s rays.

The ODP of a chemical could be the measure of just how much it triggers degradation of the ozone level as compared to trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), with set up a baseline ODP of 1.0. Therefore, a chemical with an ODP over 1.0 will break down the ozone layer above CFC-11.

Kinds of Refrigerants

Refrigerants end up in one of after four main categories:

Chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs)

CFCs are a great unreactive refrigerant with the lowest boiling-point. Obtained low poisoning, no fire risk, tend to be cheap, and easy to keep. However, CFCs tend to be ozone-depleting greenhouse gases containing fluorine so they tend to be highly detrimental towards environment.

Most nations ended creating CFCs in 1994. Developing nations need eradicated all CFC stock by 2020 and establishing countries will eradicate all stock of CFCs by 2030.

Freon, a DuPont brand name, is a CFC popular for refrigeration.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

HCFCs are currently getting used as a replacement for CFCs, nevertheless they is likewise eliminated with time. HCFCs tend to be more ozone-friendly than CFCs, however they nevertheless deplete the ozone, albeit at a slower rate.

Unfortuitously, HCFCs are a potent greenhouse fuel, many times stronger than co2. Furthermore, HCFCs have actually added to a build-up of chlorine within the environment.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

HFCs tend to be a well known option by refrigeration manufacturers as they are an appropriate replacement substance for CFCs nor diminish the ozone whenever CFCs or HCFCs. But HFCs tend to be powerful greenhouse gas resources so that they have a top worldwide heating potential.

A UNEP report provides a variety of recommendations, including usage of HFCs with an extremely short atmospheric lifespan (times or weeks, rather than the dozens of many years for a couple HFCs today being used). Other people, eg Greenpeace, tend to be calling with regards to their phase out besides because of the contribution to worldwide warming.

Natural Refrigerants

Natural refrigerants take place normally – they are not man-made just like the various other refrigerants we have talked about. They may be utilized as cooling representatives in fridges and ac units. Desirable choices for normal refrigerants are hydrocarbons (isobutane – R-600A), ammonia, carbon dioxide, and water.

Hydrocarbons (HC) do contain skin tightening and but it has an international Warming Potential of just one and the HCFCs and HFCs at this time prevalent in the marketplace have actually a GWP into the thousands. This makes hydrocarbon use as a refrigerant the most environmentally-friendly option on the market.

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Comparison of Refrigerants – international Warming Potential and Ozone Depletion Potential

The table below compares the various refrigerants additionally the impact they have on environment.

Refrigerant Type Course Ozone Depletion Potential International Warming Potential
CFC Synthetic High Quite High
HCFC Very Low
HFC Zero
HC Natural Minimal

Battling Climate Change As A Result Of Refrigerants

There have been numerous international acts with a concentrate on eliminating the employment of refrigerants which are detrimental to our environment.

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone level

The 1987 Montreal Protocol established needs that generated the global stage out-of ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Amendments then generated the phasing off CFC production in most created countries.

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