The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI), the research arm of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for a $2.1 million funding award to conduct essential research on low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. AHRTI will lead a research program in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
"This research will provide U.S. manufacturers with accurate refrigerant data to help them design, manufacture, and commercialize efficient and reliable HVACR products using more environmentally friendly refrigerants," said AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek, adding that, "the research also will help make U.S. manufacturers more competitive in the global market."
Through this research program, AHRTI will be able to establish a database for the thermal and chemical stability of low-GWP refrigerants with lubricants and also their long-term compatibility with materials commonly used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Oak Ridge will develop heat transfer and pressure drop correlations for new refrigerants, which will be used for designing and optimizing heat exchangers. For it's part, NIST will measure property data of low-GWP refrigerant blends and incorporate them into the NIST database. This more accurate blend data will be used to improve confidence in the selection and optimization of blends for particular applications.
"The combined data from the three components of the program will help our industry overcome the hurdles of introducing new refrigerants and will build a foundation for our manufacturers to design and optimize more innovative, efficient products," said Yurek.