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Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering, Science & Technology,
Nawabshah - Pakistanm

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

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 is a substance used in a heat cycle usually including, for enhanced efficiency, a
reversible phase change from a gas to a liquid. Traditionally, fluorocarbons, specially
chlorofluorocarbons were used as refrigerants, but they are being phased out because of their
ozone effects. Other common refrigerants used in various applications are ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and
non-halogenated hydrocarbons such as methane.

The ideal refrigerant has good thermodynamic properties, is unreactive chemically, and safe. The
desired thermodynamic properties are a boiling point somewhat below the target temperature, a
high heat of vaporization, a moderate density in liquid form, a relatively high density in gaseous form,
and a high critical temperature. Since boiling point and gas density are affected by pressure, refrigerants
may be made more suitable for a particular application by choice of operating pressure. These
properties are ideally met by the chlorofluorocarbons.
Corrosion properties are a matter of materials compatibility with the mechanical
components: compressor, piping, evaporator, and condenser. Safety considerations
include toxicity and flammability.

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cefrigerants are the life blood of the vapor compression system. The refrigerant flows continuously
through the vapor compression cycle, absorbing the heat in the evaporator and releasing it in the
condenser. It undergoes various phase changes while flowing though the cycle.

cefrigerant is the life blood of the vapor compression cycle. It is the fluid that flows continuously
through the refrigeration cycle or vapor compression cycle absorbing heat from the low temperature
reservoir and throwing it to the atmosphere or any other high temperature reservoir. For different
temperature conditions and applications different refrigerants are found to be suitable. There is no ideal
refrigerant that can be used in all the conditions.

Here are certain properties that all refrigerants should possess so that they can be considered for use
in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems:

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The refrigerants that are used in refrigerating and air-conditioning systems should be harmless to the
environment and not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer, or to the increase in earth͛s
warming potential also called the greenhouse effect. Since many years a number of chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs) have been used as the refrigerants that cause excessive damage to the ozone layer when they are
leaked to the atmosphere. What makes CFCs even more damaging is that they have a very long
atmospheric life, which in certain cases can be 100 years. This means that once this refrigerant is leaked
in the atmosphere it will keep on damaging it for 100 years.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (


cefrigerants are used extensively in household and commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning
systems. These units lie in close proximity to human beings, and technicians frequently come in contact
with the refrigerants. Hence it is vital that the refrigerants used in refrigeration and air-conditioning
systems should be non-toxic in nature, so that even if they are leaked in the atmosphere they won͛t
have any damaging effects to human life. Presently, ammonia is the only toxic refrigerant being used to
a large extent though its applications are limited to packing plants, ice plants and large cold storage


Most of the refrigerants being used today are non-explosive and nonflammable. This is again very
important to ensure the safety of humans that are using the refrigerating and air-conditioning systems.
Ammonia is slightly flammable and explosive, but its effects can be nullified by taking some
precautionary measures.


The refrigerant used in the vapor compression cycle of the refrigeration or air-conditioning system
should produce maximum refrigerating effect. That͛s means it should have high coefficient of
performance and consume less power for producing certain refrigerating effect. The cost of the
refrigerant itself should be low enough.

Earlier refrigerants had very damaging effects for the atmosphere, but now a number of new and safe
refrigerants have been discovered and are fast replacing the older ones. In some developing countries
the damaging refrigerants are still being used extensively though their use has been restricted.

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In order to correctly analyze system malfunctions, and to determine if a system is properly
protected, a clear understanding of the basic refrigeration-oil relationship is essential.

In refrigeration compressors, oil and refrigerant mix continuously. cefrigeration oils are soluble
in liquid refrigerant and at normal room temperatures they will mix completely. Since oil must
pass through the compressor cylinders to provide lubrication, a small amount of oil is always in
circulation with the refrigerant. Oil and refrigerant vapor do not mix readily and the oil can be
properly circulated through the system only if gas velocities are high enough to sweep the oil

If refrigerant velocities are not sufficiently high, oil will tend to lie in the bottom of the evaporator
tubing, decreasing heat transfer and possibly causing a shortage of oil in the compressor. As
evaporative temperatures are lowered, this problem becomes more critical since the viscosity of
the oil increases with a decrease in temperature. For these reasons, proper design of tubing is
essential for satisfactory oil return in a refrigeration system.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (


One of the basic characteristics of a refrigerant and oil mixture in a sealed system is the fact that
refrigerant is attracted by the oil and will vaporize and migrate through the system to the
compressor even though no measurable pressure difference exists to cause the movement. On
reaching the compressor, the refrigerant will condense into a liquid and this migration will
continue until the oil is saturated with liquid refrigerant. The amount of refrigerant the oil will
attract is primarily dependent on temperature, increasing rapidly as the temperature increases and
approaches a maximum at normal room temperature.
When the pressure on a saturated mixture of refrigerant and oil is suddenly reduced, as happens in
a compressor on start-up, the amount of liquid refrigerant required to saturate the oil is drastically
reduced, and the remainder of the liquid refrigerant flashes into vapor, causing violent boiling of
the refrigerant and oil mixture. This causes the typical foaming often observed in the compressor
on start-up, which can move all of the oil out of the compressor in less than a minute. (Not all
foaming is the result of refrigerant in the compressor -- agitation of the oil will also cause this
One condition that is somewhat surprising when first encountered by service personnel is the fact
that the introduction of excessive liquid refrigerant into the compressor can cause a loss of oil
pressure or oil delivery to the bearings even though the level of the refrigerant and oil mixture may
be observed in a sight glass. The high percentage of liquid refrigerant entering the compressor not
only reduces the lubricating quality of the oil but on entering the oil pump intake may flash into
vapor, restricting the entrance of adequate oil to maintain proper lubrication of the compressor
bearings, and should this oil dilution effect continue, compressor failure occurs.

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The refrigerant to be dissolved into fluid into the oil is known as ͞oil miscibility͟. cefrigerants may be
divided into three groups:

1.m Those that are miscible with oil under condition found in the refrigerating system
2.m Those that are miscible under condition normally found in the condensing section.
3.m Those that are not miscible with oil at all.

One of the principle effects of an oil miscible refrigerant is to dilute the oil in the crankcase of
compressor, thereby lowering the viscosity of the oil and reducing its lubricating qualities. In order to
avoid oil miscibility, the oil separators are recommended for all system, although all separator are very
effective for moving oil from the refrigerator.

Factors in determining oil selection are its lubricity, miscibility and solubility with a particular refrigerant.
The lubricity has to do with preventing wear of moving components within the refrigeration system.
Hydrodynamic lubrication is defined as the separation of moving parts by a film

Miscibility is a small subset of the overall solubility characteristics. By far, this would be one of the
greatest determining factors in oil compatibility for a particular refrigerant. Miscibility is the capability of
the two products, oil and refrigerant, to mix in their liquid state.

Oil and refrigerant are miscible when both are in liquid states but are not when the refrigerant is in a
vapor state. cather, the oil rides the walls of the piping and is aided by the refrigerant velocity of oil.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

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, sometimes referred to as  Êm Ê Ê
, are organ fluorine
that contain only carbon and fluorine bonded together in strong carbonʹfluorine
bonds. Fluoroalkanes that contain only single bonds are more chemically and
thermally stable thanalkanes. However, fluorocarbons with double bonds
(fluoroalkenes) and especially triple bonds (fluoroalkynes) are more reactive
than their corresponding hydrocarbons. Fluoroalkanes can serve as oil-
repellant/water-repellant fluoropolymers, solvents, liquid breathing
research agents, and powerful greenhouse gases. Unsaturated fluorocarbons
tend to be used as reactants.

Many chemical compounds are labeled as fluorocarbons,  Ê Ê

 , or with
the prefix Ê Ê  despite containing atoms other than carbon or fluorine,
such as chlorofluorocarbons andperfluorinated compounds; however, these
molecules are fluorocarbon derivatives, and not true fluorocarbons.
Fluorocarbon derivatives share many of the properties of fluorocarbons, while
also possessing new properties due to the inclusion of new atoms. For example,
fluorocarbon derivatives can function
asfluoropolymers, refrigerants, solvents, anesthetics, fluorosurfactants,
and ozone depletors.

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Prior to World War II, the only known route to fluorocarbons was by direct
reaction of fluorine with the hydrocarbon. This highly exothermicprocess was
capable only of synthesising tetrafluoromethane, hexafluoroethane and
octafluoropropane; larger hydrocarbons decomposed in the extreme conditions.
The Manhattan project saw the need for some very robust chemicals, including a
wider range of fluorocarbons, requiring new manufacturing methods. The so-
called "catalytic" method involved reacting fluorine and hydrocarbon on a bed of
gold-plated copper turnings, the metal removing the heat of the reaction (so not
really acting as a catalyst at all), allowing larger hydrocarbons to survive the
process. However, it was the Fowler process that allowed the large scale
manufacture of fluorocarbons required for the Manhattan project.
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The Fowler process uses cobalt fluoride to moderate the reaction. In the
laboratory, this is typically done in two stages, the first stage being fluorination
of cobalt difluoride to cobalt trifluoride.
2 CoF2 + F2 ї 2 CoF3

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

During the second stage, in this instance to make perfluorohexane,
the hydrocarbon feed is introduced and is fluorinated by the cobalt
trifluoride, which is converted back to cobalt difluoride. Both stages
are performed at high temperature.
C6H14 + 28 CoF3 ї C6F14 + 14 HF + 28 CoF2
Industrially, both steps are combined, for example in the
manufacture of the Flutec range of fluorocarbons, using a vertical
stirred bed reactor, with hydrocarbon introduced at the bottom, and fluorine introduced half way up the
reactor. The fluorocarbon vapor is recovered from the top.
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An alternative technique, electrochemical fluorination (ECF) (also known as the Simons' process)
involves electrolysis of a substrate dissolved in hydrogen fluoride. As fluorine is itself manufactured by
the electrolysis of hydrogen fluoride, this is a rather more direct route to fluorocarbons. The process is
run at low voltage (5 - 6 V) so that free fluorine is not liberated. The choice of substrate is restricted as
ideally it should be soluble in hydrogen fluoride. Ethers and tertiary amines are typically employed. To
make perfluorohexane, trihexylamine is used, for example:
2 N(C6H13)3 + 90 HF ї 6 C6F14 + 2 NF3 + 45 H2
The perfluorinated amine will also be produced:
N(C6H13)3 + 42 HF ї 2 N(C6F13)3 + 21H2
Both of these products, and others, are manufactured by 3M as part of
the Fluorinert range.

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Today, there are three specific types of refrigerants used in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems:

1.m Chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs, such as c-11, c-12, and c-114

2.m Hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFCs, such as c-22 or c-123
3.m Hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs, such as c-134a. All these refrigerants are "halogenated," which
means they contain chlorine, fluorine, bromine, astatine, or iodine.

cefrigerants, such as Dichlorodifluoromethane (c-12), Monochlorodifluoromethane (c-22), and

cefrigerant 502 (c-502), are called PcIMAc cEFcIGEcANTS because each one changes its state upon
the application or absorption of heat, and, in this act of change, absorbs and extracts heat from the area
or substance.

The primary refrigerant is so termed because it acts directly upon the area or substance, although it may
be enclosed within a system. For a primary refrigerant to cool, it must be placed in a closed system in
which it can be controlled by the pressure imposed upon it. The refrigerant can then absorb at the

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

temperature ranges desired. If a primary refrigerant were used without being controlled, it would
absorb heat from most perishables and freeze them solid.

SECONDAc cEFcIGEcANTS are substances, such as air, water, or brine. Though hot refrigerants in
themselves, they have been cooled by the primary refrigeration system; they pass over and around the
areas and substances to be cooled; and they are returned with their heat load to the primary
refrigeration system. Secondary refrigerants pay off where the cooling effect must be moved over a long
distance and gastight lines cost too much.

cefrigerants are classified into groups. The National cefrigeration Safety Code catalogs all refrigerants
into three groups:

ym Group I ʹ safest of the refrigerants, such as c-12, c-22, and c-502

ym Group II ʹ toxic and somewhat flammable, such as c-40 (Methyl chloride) and c-764 (Sulfur
ym Group III ʹ flammable refrigerants, such as c-170 (Ethane) and c-290 (Propane).

c"#m$%&'()c)$%(*)c)'+m &&"#m#mmDichlorodifluoromethane, commonly referred to as c-

12, is colorless and odorless in concentrations of less than 20 percent by volume in air. In higher
concentrations, its odor resembles that of carbon tetrachloride. It is nontoxic, noncorrosive,
nonflammable, and has a boiling point of -21.7°F (-29°C) at atmospheric pressure.

Because of its low-boiling point at atmospheric pressure, it prevents liquid c12 from contacting the eyes
because of the possibility of freezing.

One hazard of c-12 as a refrigerant is the health risk should leakage of the vapor come into contact with
an open flame of high temperature (about 1022°F) and be decomposed into phosgene gas, which is
highly toxic. c-12 has a relatively low latent heat value, and, in smaller refrigerating machines, this is an

c-12 is a stable compound capable of undergoing the physical changes without decomposition to which
it is 6-20.commonly subjected in service.

The cylinder code color for c-12 is white.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

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 is a procedure, performed periodically
on refrigerators and freezers to maintain their
operating efficiency. Over time, as the door is
opened and closed, letting in new air, water
vapour from the air condenses on the cooling
elements within the cabinet. It also refers to leaving
frozen food at a higher temperature prior to

The resulting ice inhibits heat transfer out of the

cabinet increasing running costs. Furthermore as
the ice builds up it takes increasing space from
within the cabinet - reducing the space available for food storage. Defrosting the unit is achieved by:-

ºm Temporarily removing all food from the cabinet.

ºm Turning off power to the unit.
ºm Õeaving the doors to the unit open
ºm Waiting for the ice to melt and draining it appropriately. Using a towel is advisable when completing
this step.
The process may be sped up by mechanical removal of ice, or the introduction of gentle heat into the
cabinet. Placing a pan of hot water in the cabinet and closing it is an effective method. Using a fan to
blow in room temperature air will also greatly speed up the melting process as well as help to evaporate
the damp surfaces. Note that the fastest manual way is to use a vacuum cleaner: simply insert the hose
into the exhaust port (nearly all are designed for this), and use the wand to blow on the coils; this
method is much faster than any other.
Any mechanical removal of ice should be done gently so that the equipment is not damaged.
It is generally recommended that defrosting should be done annually.
Many newer units employ automatic defrosting (often called "frost-free" or "no frost") and do not
require manual defrosting in normal use. Although, in some cases, users of Frost Free fridge/freezers
have noted ice blocking the vent that allows air into the refrigerator compartment. All refrigerators
and/or freezers whether or not frost free, should be defrosted at least every 6 months (or more if you
live in humid conditions or if the door is opened excessively). Frost Free units should be defrosted every
year, as frost can form on the evaporator covers, which can look unsightly and degrades freezing
performance, sometimes to the point of the freezer thawing out due to degradation of defrosting. This
can happen when the defrost timer is not set up correctly/malfunctioning or if the heater units or
temperature sensors are malfunctioning.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

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Natural defrosting is some times called ͞shutdown͟ or off cycle͟ defrosting, as it utilize the heat of air in
the refrigerant space to melt frost from evaporator.


The simplest method of defrosting is to shut down the system manually until the evaporation warms up
enough to melt of f the frost, after which the system is started up again manually.

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In automatic defrosting the system in shutdown for a fixed period of time at regular interval both the no
and length of the defrost periods can be adjusted to suit the individia installation. The length of defrost
period should be carefully adjusted so that the system is placed back in service as soon as possible.


In this method, the defrost period is automatically adjusted to the required length, since the evaporator
temperature or pressure will rise to the cut in setting od the control as soon as defrosting is completed.

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Supplementary defrosting methods are as follows.

1.m Water defrosting

2.m Electric Defrosting
3.m Hot Gas Defrosting
4.m ceverse Cycle Defrosting
5.m Heat Bank Defrosting
6.m Vapour Defrosting

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Frost collecting on the evaporator reduces coil capacity by acting as a layer of insulation and reducing
the airflow between the fins. In hot gas defrost, refrigerant vapor from either the compressor discharge
or the high pressure receiver1 is used to warm the evaporator coil and melt the frost that has collected
there. The vapor condenses to a liquid during this process, and is then routed back to a protected
suction line or to an accumulator. The basic concept is straightforward. However variations in system
piping arrangements, and the management of pressures, temperatures and liquid refrigerant make
implementation of hot gas defrost very complex. This manual will review a number of different system
components and arrangements in order to provide a detailed understanding of hot gas defrost.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

Before addressing the details, it is instructive to review the basic hot gas defrost process. Figure shows
schematically a typical evaporator piping arrangement. The sequences of events that occur during hot
gas defrost are as follows:

1.m cc%,c%)+m'¦- Saturated liquid refrigerant flows through a liquid feed valve, into the
evaporator. Heat is absorbed and some (or all) of the refrigerant vaporizes. The refrigerant exits
through the open suction stop valve and flows to an accumulator.
2.m *m)*m'¦- The liquid feed valve is closed. The fans continue to run, and liquid inside
the coil vaporizes and exits through the suction stop valve. cemoving liquid from the coil during
this phase allows heat from the hot gas to be applied directly to the frost instead of being
wasted on warming liquid refrigerant. In addition, removal of the cold liquid prevents damaging
pressure shocks. At the end of pump out, the fans are shut down and the suction stop valve is
3.m ¦)m,¦m'¦- Especially on low temperature liquid recirculation systems, a small solenoid
valve should be installed in parallel with the larger hot gas valve. This smaller valve gradually
introduces hot gas to the coil. Opening this valve first further reduces the likelihood of damaging
pressure shocks. At the conclusion of this phase, the soft gas valve is closed.
4.m ')m,¦m'¦- The hot gas solenoid is opened and hot gas now flows more quickly through
the drain pan, warming it, and then into the coil. The gas begins condensing as it gives up heat
to melt the frost, and pressure inside the coil rises sufficiently for control by the defrost
regulator. The condensed refrigerant flows through the regulator and is routed to an
accumulator or protected suction line. Hot gas continues to flow into the evaporator until either
a pre-set time limit is reached, or until a temperature sensor terminates this phase and closes
the hot gas valve.
5.m .*(%/%)+m'¦- Especially on low temperature liquid recirculating units, pressure inside
the coil is permitted to decrease slowly by opening a small equalizing valve that is installed in
parallel with the larger main suction stop valve. The equalization phase reduces or eliminates
system disruptions, which would occur if warm refrigerant were released quickly into the
suction piping. This also reduces the possibility of vapor propelled liquid. In addition to the
pressure-related forces, the high-pressure liquid could quickly generate a great deal of vapor in
the low side of the system, resulting in sudden compressor loading.
6.m +m$(0m'¦- At the conclusion of the equalization phase, the equalizing valve is closed.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

The suction stop and liquid feed valves are opened. The fan is not yet energized.Instead, the coil
temperature is allowed to drop, freezing any water droplets that might remain on the coil
surface after the hot gas phase, thereby preventing the possibility of blowing water droplets off
the coil into the refrigerated space.
7.m c¦*mcc%,c%)+- After the fan delay has elapsed, the fan is energized. The
refrigeration phase continues until the next defrost cycle is initiated.

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The total amount of heat energy that must be removed from a system by a cooling mechanism in a unit
time, equal to the rate at which heat is generated by people, machinery, and processes, plus the net
flow of heat into the system not associated with the cooling machinery.

The amount of heat that must be removed from a building to maintain a comfortable temperature for
its occupants.

The design cooling load (or heat gain) is the amount of heat energy to be removed from a house by the
HVAC equipment to maintain the house at indoor design temperature when worst case outdoor design
temperature is being experienced. There are two types of cooling loads:

ym sensible cooling load

ym latent cooling load

The sensible cooling load refers to the dry bulb temperature of the building and the latent cooling load
refers to the wet bulb temperature of the building. In the summer, humidity influence in the selection of
the HVAC equipment and the latent load as well as the sensible load must be calculated.

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ym Glass windows or doors

ym Sunlight striking windows, skylights, or glass doors and heating the room
ym Exterior walls
ym Partitions (that separate spaces of different temperatures)
ym Ceilings under an attic
ym coofs
ym Floors over an open crawl space
ym Air infiltration through cracks in the building, doors, and windows

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

ym People in the building
ym Equipment and appliances operated in the summer
ym Õights

Notice that below grade walls, below grade floors, and floors on concrete slabs do not increase the
cooling load on the structure and are therefore ignored.

Other sensible heat gains are taken care of by the HVAC equipment before the air reaches the rooms
(system gains). Two items that require additional sensible cooling capacity from the HVAC equipment

ym Ductwork located in an unconditioned space

ym Ventilation air (air that is mechanically introduced into the building)

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Cooling load is divided into four separate loads.

Wall Gain Õoad

Air Change Õoad
Product Õoad
Miscellaneous Õoad

 . /

In determining the wall gain load, the heat gain through all the walls, including the floor and the ceiling,
should be taken into account. When several walls or parts of walls are of different construction and have
different U factors, the heat leakage through the different parts is computed separately.

Walls having identical U factors may be considered together, provided that the temperature differential
across the walls is the same.

Where the difference in the value of U is slight and or the wall area involved is small, the difference in
the U factor can be ignored and the walls or parts of walls can be grouped together for computation.

Wall gain load = A x U x TD

Where, A = outside surface area

U = wall gain factor
TD = temperature difference between the surroundings and the conditioned space.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (


Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (


Department of Mechanical Engineering, QUEST, Nawabshah (