Graphic of thermodynamic evaluation of refrigerants.

Credit: National Institute of Standards.

Lead Performer: National Institute of Standards and Technology - Gaithersburg, MD
-- Catholic University of America - Washington, DC
-- George Mason University - Fairfax, VA
DOE Funding: $1,750,000
Cost Share: N/A
Project Term: February 1, 2011 - March 31, 2015

Project Objective

This project evaluates alternative refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP) to identify the best candidate fluids and the tradeoffs among them. In the context of this project, "best" is determined primarily by a fluid's performance (energy efficiency and capacity) in the vapor compression cycle. The resulting performance metrics, along with fluid characteristics such as GWP, ozone depletion potential (ODP), flammability, etc. will inevitably pose tradeoffs that must be balanced. The specific final goal for FY2014 is to evaluate, identify, and publish a final list of low-GWP working fluids along with thermophysical properties that yield high energy efficiency in refrigeration equipment. NIST cannot make the determination of the optimal fluid for any given application, but will lay out the tradeoffs for consideration by the refrigeration industry. Even if such a refrigerant is not identified, the industries’ options will be defined conclusively. 

Project Impact

This will provide the heating, venting, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industries and policymakers with definitive information regarding the available refrigerant options and tradeoffs. These options will impact the goal of achieving high energy efficiency in buildings.


DOE Technology Manager: Tony Bouza
Performer: Piotr Domonski, National Institute of Standards and Technology

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