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Methodology to Estimate Vapor Quality of Refrigerant Leaks

by William A Miller, Viral K Patel, Ahmed G Abuheiba, Van D Baxter
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
Proceedings of 25th International Congress of Refrigeration
Book Title
Proceedings of the 25th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1408 to 1416
Publisher Location
Paris, France

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technology Office (BTO) and the Air-conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI) are sponsoring an experimental study of refrigerant leak characteristics. The objectives are to conduct refrigerant leak tests on several heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems under operating conditions representative of actual applications to document the pressure decay rate and the mass flow rate of leaked refrigerant as a function of time. Another aspect of the study was to formulate and document a procedure for estimating the quality (vapor versus liquid) of the leaking refrigerant and oil escaping from the high- and low-pressure sides with the unit energized and with the unit turned off. Refrigerant quality was estimated by tracking total system weight of a packaged air-conditioning (A/C) unit and the total weight of a large container used to capture the refrigerant leakage escaping the packaged unit.