Limited options for low-global-warming-potential refrigerants.

Author(s) : MCLINDEN M. O., BROWN J. S., BRIGNOLI R., et al.

Type of article: Article


Hydrofluorocarbons, currently used as refrigerants in air-conditioning systems, are potent greenhouse gases, and their contribution to climate change is projected to increase. Future use of the hydrofluorocarbons will be phased down and, thus replacement fluids must be found. Here we show that only a few pure fluids possess the combination of chemical, environmental, thermodynamic, and safety properties necessary for a refrigerant and that these fluids are at least slightly flammable.We search for replacements by applying screening criteria to a comprehensive chemical database. For the fluids passing the thermodynamic and environmental screens (critical temperature and global warming potential), we simulate performance in small air-conditioning systems, including optimization of the heat exchangers. We show that the efficiency-versus-capacity trade-off that exists in an ideal analysis disappears when a more realistic system is considered. The maximum efficiency occurs at a relatively high volumetric refrigeration capacity, but there are few fluids in this range.

Available documents

Format PDF

Pages: 9




  • Original title: Limited options for low-global-warming-potential refrigerants.
  • Record ID : 30020867
  • Languages: English
  • Subject: HFCs alternatives
  • Source: Nature Communications
  • Publication date: 2017/02/17
  • DOI:


See other articles in this issue (1)
See the source