ASHRAE invites research proposals to test CO2 lubricants

By team, Mar 18, 2009, 10:18 2 minute reading

Shortly after the publication of its first position paper on natural refrigerants, the leading U.S. association for the HVAC&R industry is taking concrete steps to drive the agenda for R744. A new project proposal invites applications to explore lubricants for CO2 refrigeration.

As part of its strategic research plan 2005-2010 centering on sustainability, on 15 March ASHRAE launched 13 new project proposals dealing with energy efficiency, climate comfort or indoor air quality in domestic and commercial environments. Among the projects expected to start 1 September this year there will also be a $60,000 budget allocated to research into the “Stability of Candidate Lubricants for CO2 Refrigeration”.

Acknowledging that R744 is one of the most ecologically benign alternative to be used in future refrigeration systems, the project financed by ASHRAE will focus on lubricants’ stability – an area for which there are currently no data available in the ASHRAE Handbook or in the open literature. In addition, the standard test procedure used up until now to define the stability of lubricants, ASHRAE 97 Sealed Tube stability method, does not accurately reflect system conditions for R744. Therefore, the project will generate stability/compatibility data with CO2/lubricant systems at reasonable R744 concentrations and at temperatures high enough to accelerate kinetically slow reactions. Its main objective is to conduct verified laboratory tests using high-pressure vessels, typical materials of construction in CO2 refrigeration (iron, copper, aluminium), and the testing of aging conditions for 14 days at elevated temperatures of 175°C and 225°C. Lubricants tested include naphthenic mineral oil, paraffinic mineral oil, polyalkylene glycols (uncapped, capped), Polyolesters (branched, linear, mixed), synthetic alkylate. The leading manufacturer of lubricants Shrieve will serve as a contact for all technical matters.

Objective: Informed lubricant choices for reliable R744 systems

The data generated in this work will enable compressor designers and manufacturers to use sound, experimental evidence to make informed lubricant choices while developing compressors and systems to operate with R744. This will help ensure optimised long term stability and hence the reliability of these systems.

The request for project proposals is open until 18 May to all interested organisations willing to carry out the research. Adding a research project on CO2 is in line with ASHRAE’s general policy to stronger support the use of natural refrigerants in the coming years. Already in the Strategic Research Plan 2005-2010, ASHRAE mentions the use of natural working fluids as a priority research area. This month, the organisation published its first Position Paper exclusively dedicated to natural refrigerants, including CO2, ammonia, and hydrocarbons.


By team (@r744)

Mar 18, 2009, 10:18

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