Lead Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Oak Ridge, TN
Partners: Navigant Consulting Inc. – Burlington, MA
DOE Funding: $530,000
Project Term: March 2015 – March 2016

Project Objective

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) High-Ambient-Temperature Evaluation Program for Low-GWP Refrigerants aims to develop an understanding of the performance of lower global warming potential (low-GWP) alternative refrigerants to hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in mini-split air conditioners under high-ambient-temperature conditions. ORNL worked with an original equipment manufacturer who provided equipment designed for the high ambient environments and all the major refrigerant manufacturers to evaluate their candidate alternative in the baseline systems.

This work was primarily focused on high-ambient temperature environments similar to environments encountered in developing countries (Article 5 Countries according to the Montreal Protocol). ORNL effort is part of a global initiative to avoid going through two consecutive transitions: from HCFC to HFC and then from HFC to low-GWP refrigerants.

Project Impact

Performance evaluation of alternative low-GWP refrigerants at ORNL showed promising environmentally friendly solutions for R-22 and R-410A replacement. The results indicated that several of the available refrigerants could be used with soft optimization to match the performance of existing units.


DOE Technology Manager: Patrick Phelan
Lead Performer: Omar Abdelaziz, Oak Ridge National Laboratory