Analysis of the Efficiency and Technical Performance of R-290A (Propane) Refrigerant and R-290A/R-170 (Ethane) Mixture Refrigerant Blends in a Fabricated Refrigeration System

Author : Lapuz, Lawrence Yu
Major Adviser : Borines, Myra G. 
Major Co-Adviser : Elepaño, Arnold R.
Committee Members : Alcantara, Jerico Z.; Bambase Jr., Manolito E. 
Year : 2013
Month : October
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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In this study, the performance of hydrocarbon refrigerant R-290 (propane) and its mixture with R-170 (ethane) in a fabricated refrigeration unit was analyzed to see its effectiveness as a replacement to R-22. The thermodynamic properties of the 95/5 and 97.5/5 mixture of R-290 and R-170 were evaluated using the Peng-Robinson equation of state. The compressor was found to have an adiabatic efficiency of 86.28% while the efficiency of the evaporator to be dependent on the refrigerant. The pure R-290 refrigerant was found to be the most economical with a power use of 805 W compared to R-22, 97.5/2.5 and 95/5 mixtures which used 920 W, 862.5 W and 920 W respectively. R-290 was found to be the best replacement having an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 9.166 compared to R-22, 97.5/2.5 and 95/5 mixtures which have 8.125, 8.126 and 8.408. Overall, the mixtures are still suitable replacements for R-22 but R-290 still has better performance. With the disadvantage of being flammable, more safety considerations for hydrocarbon refrigerants have to be considered including less refrigerant used, strict ventilation, bigger clearance to ignition sources and use of a leak detector for hydrocarbons.

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