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8

Servicing of HC
Based
Air-conditioners
Training Material Reference

Servicing of HC Based Air-conditioners- 2012.ppt

Target Group

Trainers and Technicians

Duration of the Session

30 minutes

Purpose of the Session

To train the participants for systematic servicing of hydrocarbon based air-conditioning

appliances.

Terminal Performance Objectives

At the end of session the participants should know the following:

1. Steps for servicing of HC based appliances

2. Procedure for safe venting of HC refrigerant

3. Charging procedure and quantity of HC charge

4. Sealing procedure for process tube and label

Key Message being delivered through this Session


Hydrocarbons are emerging as eco-friendly alternatives to HCFC-22 refrigerants for domestic

and commercial air-conditioning appliances. It is observed that HC based appliances are

entering in the market. These appliances over the time will require servicing and this will be

taken care by the servicing technicians. Hydrocarbon technology being a new introduction in

the industry, the technicians must understand the systematic servicing procedure to service

HC based appliances while assuring safety and good service practices.

Tools & Equipments

None
8 Servicing of HC based air-conditioners
Servicing of HC Based Air-conditioners

This is the title slide and can be linked to the earlier learnt good practices. Hydrocarbons
are emerging as eco-friendly alternatives to HCFC-22 refrigerants. These are being
used as refrigerant for domestic and commercial air-conditioning appliances. This
session will deal with the servicing of HC based appliances.

MUST to follow

This slide is a reminder to all the trainers and technicians that DO NOT SMOKE while
on job and in working area/store area.. Keep the fire extinguisher well within reach
during work, no ignitions’ during HC charge, keep HC leak detector during HC charge,
wear PPE during service, keep two meters distance cordoned while working with HCs.
One must take safety precautions for self as well as for machinery and environment.
Servicing Procedure

A systematic procedure is required to be followed while servicing HC based appliances. This


will involve the following steps which are also described in detail and followed during the
practical:

HC Servicing steps

1 Analyse the electrical components and release HC in to open air.

2 Remove residual HC from the system.

3 Debraze filter and add T before filter. Braze new process tube with valve. Flush and
clean refrigeration system with nitrogen.

4 Use filter, braze with capillary and condenser liquid line adding “T”.

5 Flush the system and carry out choke testing.

6 Carry out leak testing with first filling nitrogen and then testing with soap solution.

7 Evacuate to lowest pressure Check if the vacuum holds.

8 Charge HC blend.

9 Pinch and seal both process tubes.

10 Run the unit and check for proper functioning of the appliance and label the same.

Each of the important steps is described in the following slides and guidelines and no need
to go in depth for each bullet.
8 Safe Venting of HCs
Servicing of HC Based Air-conditioners

Hydrocarbon refrigerants are eco-friendly as they do not deplete ozone layer, and also
do not contribute significantly towards global warming. The quantity refrigerant in the
appliance is also very small. It is therefore not necessary to recover these refrigerants.
However, these should be vented out safely.

This slide shows how to vent out HC refrigerants safely, using a piercing plier and a long
hose pipe of adequate length which can be taken out to an open space. Make sure that
there is no electrical spark or open flame in the area where HC refrigerants are let out.

Removal of Left-over Refrigerant

Some of the refrigerant may remains mixed with the lubricating oil. This refrigerant
either does not easily come out, or it takes long time to come out from the system. Use
a vacuum pump to remove the left-over refrigerant which may be mixed with oil in some
parts of the system.

Make sure that the system does not go in vacuum; otherwise, on opening the system,
atmospheric air along with moisture and dust particles, get into the system. If by mistake
or unknowingly it goes into vacuum, then add small quantity of dry nitrogen upto positive
pressure.
Cleaning and Flushing

This step is necessary after de-brazing of the old filter during the repair.

Following are the advises which technicians should keep in mind while cleaning and flushing
the system.

• Always use dry nitrogen at about 5 bar (75 psig). The nitrogen cylinder must be fitted with
two stage regulator. It is a must to have a proper regulator.
• Use hexane or MDC where chemical cleaning is required. R141b is also an Ozone
depleting substance, and is to be phased out soon. There should be no traces of liquid
Hexane / MDC, after the cleaning is done.
• Atmospheric air contains moisture and dust, which detrimental the system. Never use air,
especially when working with HCs & HFCs.
• Petrol contains impurities that can destroy the compressor; therefore, never use petrol
when working with HCs & HFCs.
8 Precautions while Repairing
Servicing of HC Based Air-conditioners

Repair of appliance can be undertaken in the same manner as is carried out in our
earlier appliances. It is, however, essential to use similar components but different
locations or solid state.

Other precautions to be observed are:


• Make sure that refrigerant is removed from the system
• Make use of a tube cutter to avoid any metal chips goes into the system
• Make sure there is no HC refrigerant in / around the system while brazing
• All brazing should be done in a well-ventilated area
• Always use clean components / tubes to avoid contamination
• Wear gloves and goggles for safety, which is essential while servicing any appliance
including HCFC-22
• Do not smoke during servicing of the appliances

As described in the practical procedures, also braze a process tube with a hand shut-off
valve to the “T” joint in case of window air conditioners
Choke Testing

After due repairs, it is necessary to ensure that no choking has taken place due to improper
brazing of filter, particularly at the capillary end.

For this, introduce nitrogen at 5 bar through the hand shut-off valve on the filter process tube
and see if nitrogen flows freely out from the suction process tube. This will ensure that there
are no chokes due to brazing at the capillary-filter joint.

After this, introduce nitrogen at 5 bar through suction process tube and see if nitrogen flows
freely through the filter process tube. This ensures that the filter/ condenser joint is not choked.

Always use double stage nitrogen regulator.


8 Pressure Testing and Leak detection
Servicing of HC Based Air-conditioners

Pressure testing should be done after repairs using dry nitrogen. The test pressure
should be 1.5 times the working pressure. In case of air conditioners it may be about
15-20 bar. Procedure for leak testing is similar to HCFCs & HFCs. Use soap solution
for leak testing. Apply soap solution on each joint with the help of a brush and look for
leakage.

Evacuation

Evacuation is very important to remove non-condensable gases and moisture. HC


systems need deep vacuum (500 microns or lower). Therefore, a two-stage vacuum
pump, capable of pulling vacuum between 20-50 microns at blank off is required.
A micron gauge capable of reading between 5 to 5000 microns is required to make
accurate measurement of vacuum.
Evacuation Procedure

This slide describes how to do evacuation. First make proper connections to the vacuum
pump (or the manifold) using adequate hose connected to the process tube. Then switch on
the vacuum pump and open the valves. Run the pump and evacuate till the gauge shows
the lowest vacuum at which it holds steady. This level should be around 500 microns or
preferably lower.

After that, close the valve to isolate the vacuum pump from the manifold and observe the
rise and vacuum holding. Repeat this twice or thrice. The pressure should not rise beyond
1500 microns (the lower the better) in 5 to 10 minutes. This is an indication that most of the
moisture has been expelled. Of course lower readings like stabilization at 500 microns or so
are even better are welcome. In case the pressure rises more than 1500microns, the system
should be evacuated once again and the vacuum holding repeated.

In the absence of a micron vacuum gauge, the vacuum pump should be run at least half an
hour after the Bourdon type vacuum gauge reading shows -30”/ -760mm/ 0 millibar. (This
value is for locations at sea level; please correct for altitude at other locations above sea
level)
8 Charging Procedure
Servicing of HC Based Air-conditioners

As said earlier, for accurate charging make use of weighing balance. In the case of HC
based appliances, better accuracy in charging is required. Charging of system should
be taken up after proper evacuation. For charging, use charging equipment, which
consists of weighing balance and a manifold. To charge the system, connect hoses
and cylinder and then as per the availability of charging equipment purge the line or
evacuate the charging line. Open the valve and charge the correct pre-decided amount
of charge. Close the cylinder valve, and then start the system to circulate the refrigerant
in all parts of the system and also to withdraw the remaining refrigerant in charging lines
etc.

In the end, close the remaining valves of charging equipment and disconnect the
charging equipment from the system.
Brazing of Process Tube

Brazing of process tube can be done in the same manner as is carried out in HCFC-22
appliances. It is recommended to crimp the process tube twice, and leave the crimping
(pinching) tool on the process tube until it is sealed. After some time, check for leaks. Once
again, make sure there is no HC refrigerant around the system.

In case of split air-conditioners there is a service valve, the crimping may not require. Check
the leakage after closing the service valve.

Checking Proper Operation

BAs a final step, the air-conditioner should be switched on and the following parameters
must be monitered for ensuring proper operation:
• time needed for reaching the recommended temperature
• the compressor current
• check vibrations. If there is any unwanted vibrations remove the cause.
• check the label if it is intact. If torn off than fix new one.
These checks will reflect proper operation of the appliance.
8 Special care
Servicing of HC Based Air-conditioners

As a final step, the following steps must be taken care of specially during the service
of HC based air-conditioners:

Electronic leak detector (HC) must be used in workshop. If recovery is required, use the
special recovery machines designed for HCs. Do not use normal recovery machine. The
scale must be used digital otherwise you will not be able to charge the exact amount of
refrigerant.
Evaluation Questions
1. What are the steps to be followed in the servicing of HC based air-conditioner?

2. Why can the HC refrigerants be allowed to be vented out into the atmosphere?

3. What are the safety precautions required in venting out the refrigerant?

4. What are the precautions to be observed while servicing HC based air-conditioner?