Global warming continues to be a persistent problem, especially when it comes to reliable air conditioning and refrigeration and the greenhouse gases they release into the atmosphere. Moreover, demands have risen in terms of affordable, accessible, and environmentally friendly refrigerants used in refrigeration and air conditioning.
The push towards using energy more environmentally friendly refrigerants have allowed LPG based air conditioning systems to strive. Here, the main goal is to retrieve some of the energy consumed to liquefy the petroleum gas in the first place.
Currently, LPG is directly combusted as a fuel. However, the use of LPG as a refrigerant shows great promise towards more efficient energy use, while achieving the needs of reliable cooling and refrigeration and allows us to retrieve some of the energy invested into liquifying the gas.
LPG – Used as a refrigerant
LPG or liquified petroleum gas is stored in a liquified state for later use as fuel through combustion. The process of liquifying gas and storing it requires a sizeable amount of energy and electricity. However, the energy invested does not pay off when the LPG is combusted as a fuel. Therefore, to make better use of the energy and get a return on the energy expended to liquefy the gas in the first place, it can act as the refrigerant in cooling systems.
The LPG can act as a refrigerant instead of the normal hydrocarbon-based refrigerants normally used in air conditioners. This allows us to get back some of the energy used to compress the gas. Instead of combusting the LPG as is, allowing it to return to a gaseous form through evaporation allows it so serve as a refrigerant. Here, the gas expands in an evaporator chamber and absorbs surrounding heat to provide cooling. By taking advantage of this, the LPG can serve as the primary refrigerant of a refrigeration system or air conditioning system.
The Working Principle of an LPG Refrigerant Used in An Air Conditioning System
To serve as the refrigerant of an air conditioning system, the LPG passes from the storage canister and into the evaporator at very high pressure. During this stage, the LPG is still in a liquid state. To control the pressure and amount of liquid entering the evaporator, a control valve serves as the mediator. As a result, a control valve introduces a continuous flow of LPG refrigerant into the system.
Once inside the evaporator, the gas passes over a network of pipes covered with thin fins placed very close together. Here, the liquid evaporates and changes into a gas, thereby cooling the pipes and fins rapidly. To preserve the cooling, a layer of insulating material covers the entire chamber. Through this design, the pipes and fins allow for fast and effective cooling.
Once the cooling process is complete, the gas passes through the rest of the valves and is ready for use as a combustible fuel source. This process allows us to regain some of the energy used to liquefy the gas, as cooling for our air conditioning system in Dallas, TX.
What Are the Main Advantages of Using LPG As a Refrigerant Over A Standard Refrigerant?
In a standard air conditioner, a compressor uses electricity to liquefy the gaseous refrigerant. On the other hand, with an LPG refrigerant, you simply feed the liquid into an expansion chamber and it automatically expands to cool down the pipes and fins. From there, the gas moves onto another chamber for combustion, rather than going back into the system for recompression.
The primary advantage here is the fact that the system uses less electricity than a standard air conditioning system. Additionally, LPG is environmentally-friendlier than other hydrocarbon-based refrigerants. Finally, the evaporated LPG fires ignition systems, fuels heating equipment or allows cooking, thereby increasing the usability of the gas.
In the case of automobiles which run on LPG, LPG based systems refrigeration systems serve as a cost-effective and energy-efficient way to handle the air conditioning. In this case, the evaporated LPG can be used to feed the automobile’s engines once it completes the cooling process.
Applications of LPG in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems
The cooling allowed by the controlled expansion of LPG can serve as a refrigerant for:
- Residential air conditioning
- Residential refrigeration
- Commercial refrigerating
- Industrial central cooling
- Commercial air conditioning
- Cooling and storage systems in remote areas
By using LPG for refrigeration and cooling, fewer greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, thereby reducing its environmental impact. Moreover, LPGs are particularly useful in areas where LPG is used as a fuel source. Here, the same LPG serves as the refrigerant for cooling, and to fulfill fuel requirements. And so, in addition to serving an important role as refrigerant, LPGs can power heat pumps, and work as the medium of energy transfer in evaporator systems.
Climate change and global warming demands better, accessible, affordable, and most importantly environmentally-safe cooling systems. In this regard, LPG allows you to fulfill refrigerant needs in both refrigeration systems and air conditioners. With a smaller impact on the environment and promises of lesser energy wastage, LPG offers a good alternative to standard refrigerants. Therefore, LPG refrigerants serve as a good starting point for environmentally-friendly refrigerantswhich release fewer greenhouse gases into the air.