High Energy Efficiency Air Conditioning

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This project determined the performance of a new high efficiency refrigerant, Ikon B, in a residential air conditioner designed to use R-22. The refrigerant R-22, used in residential and small commercial air conditioners, is being phased out of production in developed countries beginning this year because of concerns regarding its ozone depletion potential. Although a replacement refrigerant, R-410A, is available, it operates at much higher pressure than R-22 and requires new equipment. R-22 air conditioners will continue to be in use for many years to come. Air conditioning is a large part of expensive summer peak power use in many ... continued below

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McCullough, Edward; Dhooge, Patrick & Nimitz, Jonathan December 31, 2003.

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Description

This project determined the performance of a new high efficiency refrigerant, Ikon B, in a residential air conditioner designed to use R-22. The refrigerant R-22, used in residential and small commercial air conditioners, is being phased out of production in developed countries beginning this year because of concerns regarding its ozone depletion potential. Although a replacement refrigerant, R-410A, is available, it operates at much higher pressure than R-22 and requires new equipment. R-22 air conditioners will continue to be in use for many years to come. Air conditioning is a large part of expensive summer peak power use in many parts of the U.S. Previous testing and computer simulations of Ikon B indicated that it would have 20 - 25% higher coefficient of performance (COP, the amount of cooling obtained per energy used) than R-22 in an air-cooled air conditioner. In this project, a typical new R-22 residential air conditioner was obtained, installed in a large environmental chamber, instrumented, and run both with its original charge of R-22 and then with Ikon B. In the environmental chamber, controlled temperature and humidity could be maintained to obtain repeatable and comparable energy use results. Tests with Ikon B included runs with and without a power controller, and an extended run for several months with subsequent analyses to check compatibility of Ikon B with the air conditioner materials and lubricant. Baseline energy use of the air conditioner with its original R-22 charge was measured at 90 deg F and 100 deg F. After changeover to Ikon B and a larger expansion orifice, energy use was measured at 90 deg F and 100 deg F. Ikon B proved to have about 19% higher COP at 90 deg F and about 26% higher COP at 100 deg F versus R-22. Ikon B had about 20% lower cooling capacity at 90 deg F and about 17% lower cooling capacity at 100 deg F versus R-22 in this system. All results over multiple runs were within 1% relative standard deviation (RSD). All of these values agree well with previous results and computer simulations of Ikon B performance versus R-22. The lower cooling capacity of Ikon B is not a concern unless a particular air conditioner is near its maximum cooling capacity in application. Typically, oversized A/C systems are installed by contractors to cover contingencies. In the extended run with Ikon B, which lasted about 4.5 months at 100 deg F ambient temperature and 68% compressor on time, the air conditioner performed well with no significant loss of energy efficiency. Post-run analysis of the refrigerant, compressor lubricant oil, compressor, compressor outlet tubing, and the filter/dryer showed minor effects but nothing that was considered significant. The project was very successful. All objectives were achieved, and the performance of Ikon B indicates that it can easily be retrofitted into R-22 air conditioners to give 15 - 20% energy savings and a 1 - 3 year payback of retrofit costs depending on location and use. Ikon B has the potential to be a successful commercial product.

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO12067-1
  • Grant Number: FG36-02GO12067
  • DOI: 10.2172/875416 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 875416
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc878051

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • December 31, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 6:21 p.m.

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McCullough, Edward; Dhooge, Patrick & Nimitz, Jonathan. High Energy Efficiency Air Conditioning, report, December 31, 2003; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc878051/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.