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International Conference on Recent Advances in Mechanical Engineering and Interdisciplinary Developments [ICRAMID - 2014]

Exergy Performance Assessment of a


Residential air Conditioner Working with R22
and R32/R125/R600a Mixture as an Alternative
N. Suguna Ramu*

CCET,
Karur, India
sugs.neeru@gmail.com

P.Senthilkumar

K.S.R College of Engineering,


Tiruchengode, India
cryosenthil@yahoo.com

Abstract- The main aim of this article is to evaluate the


performance of an air conditioner working with R22 and the
new ternary mixture which comprises R32/R125/ R600a
(0.4:0.4:0.2, by mass). The energy performance assessment of
the air conditioner is made for four different condensing
temperatures such as 30, 35, 40 and 45 C with evaporator
temperatures 22 and 25 C respectively. The experimental tests
are performed with secondary fluids like water and air in the
condenser and in the evaporator respectively. The experimental
tests are performed and comparative exergy analysis has been
presented. REFPROP is utilized to find the thermodynamic
properties of the mixture. The overall exergetic performance of
R22 is comparatively better than that of the mixture. The
performances of the individual components are also examined.
The exergy destruction of compressor is larger for the mixture,
followed by condenser then evaporator and ended with
expansion valve. Thus to improve the performance of the system
the compressor design has to be reformed.
KeywordsR22,
Vapour
Compression
System,
R32/R125/R600a, Exergy Destruction, System Efficiency

I. INTRODUCTION
R22 has been extensively used in vapour compression
refrigeration and air conditioning systems due to its admitted
thermodynamic and thermo-physical properties. Owing to its
poor environmental properties, it is phased out in many
developed countries, whereas the developing countries are in
transient to phase out R22 [1]. During the last decade, many
R22 alternative refrigerant mixtures are developed and
experienced in order to fulfill the guidelines of the Montreal
protocol [2-4]. Among the alternatives, the hydrocarbons
(HCs) namely R290, R1270 and its mixtures R432A, R433A,
hydroflurocarbon mixtures (HFCs) namely R404A, R407C
and R410A and HFC/HC mixtures namely R417A and
R422A are recognized as the leading replacements for R22 in
refrigeration and air conditioning units.
The operational efficiency of an air conditioner working
with R407C is low and the stability is not assured [5]. Based
on the survey, new systems will be adopted by R410A and
the existing systems will be retained with R407C [6]. An
exergy analysis was carried out in a VCR system based on
experimental tests for evaluating the substitution of R22 with
R407C. The result revealed that the overall exergetic

M.Mohanraj

HCET,
Coimbatore, India
mohanrajrac@yahoo.co.in

performance was consistently better than R407C [7]. Exergy


analysis was carried out in refrigerating units functioning
with R22 and the influence of the exergy losses in
compressor were identified [8]. By adopting the method of
artificial neural network the first law and second law analysis
was performed with R134a, R407C and R410A in a VCR
system. The results concluded that the coefficient of
performance (COP) is mainly influenced by the condenser
and evaporator temperatures [9]. The exergetic analysis was
studied in a VCR system using R22, R407C, R417A and
R507. The results proved that the performance of R407C was
better than R22 [10].
The performances of vapour compression units using R22
and its substitute R417A were studied experimentally. The
results indicated that the coefficient of performance and the
overall exergetic efficiency were higher for R22 than R417A
[11]. The exergy analysis of a VCR system was performed
with R22, R407C and R410A and came to a conclusion that
R410A was an enhanced alternative when related with
R407C. In refrigeration applications the coefficient of
performance was high and exergy destruction ratio (EDR)
was low [12]. First law and second law analysis of R422
series refrigerants (R422A, R422B, R422C and R422D) with
R22 were conducted and the results indicated that COP, VCC
and overall exergetic efficiency for R22 was greater when
compared with R422 series refrigerants. In condenser the
efficiency defects were high followed by throttle valve,
compressor and evaporator [13].
A detailed exergy analysis of a VCR cycle was presented
which can determine exergy destruction, exergy efficiency
and exergy defects for different refrigerants such as R404A,
R502 and R507A. The results indicated that the performance
of R507A is superior to R502 and R404A. Based on many
survey it was concluded that R22 has no unanimous
replacement [14]. From the extensive literature review, it is
detected that many investigations have been analysed the
exergy performance of a VCR system using R22 as
refrigerant. No work has been testified with new ternary
mixture of R32/R125/ R600a (0.4:0.4:0.2, by mass).
Therefore the experimental performance of R22 and the
substitute mixture are calculated in terms of coefficient of
performance, exergy destruction and exergetic efficiency
which are presented in this article.

ISBN 978-93-80609-17-1
454

International Conference on Recent Advances in Mechanical Engineering and Interdisciplinary Developments [ICRAMID - 2014]

II. EXPERIMENTATION
The experimental test is carried out according to BIS
1391[15].The line diagram of an experimental setup is
depicted in Figure 1. The main elements of the system are
hermetically sealed reciprocating compressor, an air cooled
condenser, a liquid receiver, a sealed type refrigerant drier, a
sight glass, two refrigerant flow meters (for liquid line and
vapour line), a thermostatic expansion device and a plate
finned air cooled evaporator. To get the visual conformation
of the refrigerant state, a sight glass is installed at the
evaporator outlet.

be used for future comparison with the other refrigerant


mixtures.
After the completion of the measurements in the baseline
refrigerant R22, the refrigerant is drained from the system
and corresponding capacity of RM20 is filled. Based on the
specific volume ratio the capacity required is determined for
RM20 in compressor suction as 700 g. The similar
experimental method is followed also for RM20 mixture.
A. Exergy analysis

Most of the studies are evaluated based on the thermo


dynamical first law (energy analysis) and is not a complete
analytical tool because the energy losses occurring in the
Air flow path
Refrigerant flow path
whole system are not exposed completely. Energy cannot be
destroyed but exergy can be cracked when the quantity of
energy degrades. In addition to energy analysis, exergy
P T
P T
analysis is evaluated based on first law and second law of
thermodynamics in which the precise losses and the detailed
processes occurring in the system are evaluated. Exergy
T
analysis is commonly accepted as a useful module in
T
P
obtaining an improved understanding of the overall system
P T
and system components. The analysis is done for each
component in the plant and the irreversibility, individual
Figure 1 Experimental setup
component efficiency defect and the overall efficiency are
evaluated.
III. INSTRUMENTATION
The exergy output from the system and the input to the
system are used to calculate the overall system exergetic
Temperature and available pressure of the working fluid efficiency [7, 16, 17].
.
.
are recorded at various locations. To measure the
Ex out
Ex des
temperature, four different temperature sensors which are
(1)
=
=1
.
ex
calibrated and having an accuracy of 0.5 C are fixed to the
Ex
in
Ex in
refrigerant line at the inlet and outlet of the compressor,
In
exergy
analysis, the exergy destroyed in all individual
condenser outlet and also in expansion valve outlet. To
measure the air flow, another two temperature sensors of component of the plant are evaluated accurately. The exergy
same accuracy are placed in the air flow path at the inlet and destruction in compressor is calculated as
.
outlet of an air cooled condenser. By using precision
(2)
=
( in,comp out ,comp) + comp
thermometer ambient temperature is measured with the
des,comp
accuracy of 5 C. Four bourdon pressure gauges are The exergy destruction in the condenser is estimated as,
installed at the inlet and outlet of the compressor and
.
.
expansion for measuring the suction and discharge pressure,
(3)
=
(

des,cond
in,cond
out ,cond
cond cond
condenser outlet pressure and the refrigerant pressure after
using
expansion. To measure the flow rate of liquid and vapour In evaporator, the exergy destruction is computed
.
.
refrigerant, two flow meters with an accuracy of 1 % are
(4)
=
(

) Qevp evp
installed. Compressor input current is measured using a Ex des ,evp m ex in ,evp ex out , evp
digital wattmeter with an accuracy of 0.5 W. The total The exergy destruction in the expansion valve is assessed as,
.
energy consumption is recorded by using a digital energy
(5)
=
(

)
meter with an accuracy of 0.5 kWh. The charging
des ,exv
in , exv
out , exv
refrigerant mixture mass proportion is determined by using The exergetic temperature which is a dimensionless quantity
an electronic balance with 0.1 g accuracy.
is calculated as,
T Temperature
P Pressure

200W Resistance bulbs

RH Relative humudity
Air velocity

Wattmeter

Energymeter

RH

Compressor

RH

Condenser

Drier

Expansion valve

Orificemeter

Air heater

Ambient air

Manometer

Sight glass

Liquid receiver

IV. EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE

Ex

m ex

Ex

m ex

Ex

m ex

=1

T
T

ex

ex

ex

(6)

MT

The experimental system is initially flushed with nitrogen


gas to remove the impurities and moisture. This may
influence the accuracy of the system. After that, the system is
tested for leakage. Then the system is charged with 900 g of
R22. After reaching steady state condition, temperature and
pressure values at various points are continuously recorded at
1min intervals. All the observations are made under identical
operating conditions to set up the base reference which can

where, T0 is the dead state temperature representing the


environmental temperature. TMT is appropriately estimated
for the condenser and evaporator according to the second
fluid adopted. The efficiency defect is defined as the ratio
between the combined exergy destruction in all the
components to the compressor input power and calculated as,

ISBN 978-93-80609-17-1
455

International Conference on Recent Advances in Mechanical Engineering and Interdisciplinary Developments [ICRAMID - 2014]

possible to be used as an interim substitute to replace R22 in


existing air conditioners to extend its life.

Ex
=W

des, i

(7)

comp

The overall exergy efficiency occurring in the plant is


directly related to the summation of efficiency defect
occurring in the plant components and the following equation
is used to calculate the same.
(8)
=1

ex

V. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


By using the above mentioned equations (1-8) the
experimental results obtained from one ton residential air
conditioner experimental setup working with R22 and
RM20 are discussed in this section. The performance of the
air conditioner is evaluated with four different ambient
temperatures and two room temperatures.
A. Compressor discharge temperature
The compressor discharge temperature is one of the
major criteria for choosing an alternative refrigerant. When
the compressor discharge temperature is high, it will reduce
the compressor life due to thermal degradation of lubricants
causing excessive wear in compressors. The compressor
discharge temperature of RM20 against 30, 35, 40 and 45 C
ambient temperatures with two room temperature settings of
22 and 25 C are related in Figure 2. From the inference, it is
found that the compressor discharge temperature of RM20 is
lower than R22 by 7-9 C. Lower compressor discharge
temperature ensures better compressor life compared to
R22. The compressor discharge temperature gets increased
with increase in ambient temperature due to increase in
compressor pressure ratio.

Figure 3 Variation of COP with varying condenser


temperature
C. Exergy destruction and efficiency
Exergy efficiency of the plant is interrelated with the
actual coefficient of performance and related with the
reversible coefficient of performance of the plant. Observing
the experimental results, it is proven that the exergy
destroyed in the components are higher for RM20 when
related to R22. The exergy destroyed and the efficiency
defect in individual components for R22 and RM20 at 35 C
condenser temperature and 22 C evaporator temperature are
reported in Figures 4 and 5 respectively. Among the four,
the compressor is recorded with more exergy destruction
and the series is carried out by condenser, evaporator and
then expansion valve. It can be noted that the maximum
exergy flow destroyed is in the compressor by 0.461 kW
and 0.501 kW for R22 and RM20 respectively. This is
because of the elevated pressure ratio occurring in the
compressor. The results clearly indicate that the design
optimization is required in compressor for better exergetic
performance.

Figure 4 Exergy desturction with varying plant components

Figure 2 Variation of discharge temperature with varying


condenser temperature
B. Coefficient of performance
The COP variations of R22 and RM20 are compared in
Figure 3. The COP value of both the refrigerants gets
reduced with increase in ambient temperature. The COP of
RM20 is found to be lower than that of R22 by 12-15 % for
the considered range of ambient temperatures. The COP of
the plant can be enhanced by optimizing the size of the
liquid line receiver. The COP of the RM20 is found to be
similar to the COP of HFC/HC mixtures such as R417A and
R422 series of refrigerants [17, 18]. Hence RM20 is

ISBN 978-93-80609-17-1
456

Figure 5 Indiviual compont efficiency defect with varying


refrigerants

International Conference on Recent Advances in Mechanical Engineering and Interdisciplinary Developments [ICRAMID - 2014]

D. Overall exergy efficiency


The overall exergy efficiency of the system for R22 and
RM20 are compared in Figure 6. The system efficiency
fluctuates from 0.16 % to 0.40 % and 0.07 % to 0.34 % for
R22 and RM20 respectively. Exergy efficiency decreases
with increase in condenser temperature. This is due to the
increase in irreversibility of the components. It is observed
that the overall exergetic performance of R22 is
significantly better than RM20.

M
Q
W
Ex
T0
TMT

Mass flow rate (Kg/s)


Rate of heat transfer (kW)
Power input (kW)
Exergy flow (kW)
Ambient temperature (K)
Secondary fluid temperature (K)
Dimensionless exergetic temperature
Efficiency defect (non dimentional)
Efficiency (non dimentional)
Sum of
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[4]

Figure 6 System exergy efficiency varying with condenser


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[5]

[6]

VI. CONCLUSION
[7]

In this article the performance of a one ton residential air


conditioner is investigated. In the experimentation, R22 and
RM20 are used as working fluids and the conclusions are
summarized as
The COP of RM20 is greater than R22.
The compressor discharge temperature of RM20 is lesser
compared with R22. This will ensure the extended life time
of the compressor.
The presence of R600a in the R32/R125 mixture
overcomes the miscibility issue with mineral oil and
improves the thermodynamic and thermo-physical
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The exergy destroyed in individual components are more
for RM20 than R22.
The exergy destruction for RM20 in the compressor is
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the operating parameters of the compressor need to be
optimized.
From the above results, the exergetic efficiency of R22
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The evaluated results revealed that RM20 is a good and
extensively available substitute to replace R22 in the
existing air conditioner with alterations in the compressor
operating constraints.

[8]

[9]

[10]

[11]

[12]

[13]

[14]

[15]
[16]

[17]

NOMENCLATURE
VCC
VCR
Ex

Volumetric cooling capacity (KJ/m3)


Vapour compression refrigeration system
Exergy rate of fluid (kW)

[18]

ISBN 978-93-80609-17-1
457

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