台湾佬中文娱乐网22

台湾佬中文娱乐网22

Friday, September 13, 2019

Leaking Money


Done regularly, system inspections, leak checks, and systemrepairs save money. Yes, they cost money up front, but you save money in thelong run. Finding and repairing leaks as soon as possible avoids wastingrefrigerant and energy. A system operating undercharged loses capacity andefficiency – which ultimately costs the building owner in the form of higherutility bills. Neglecting system repairs can also shorten the equipment life. Theproblem is that these avoided costs feel a bit hypothetical: this is what couldhappen if.... 

So, the EPA has come up with a more tangible cost as an extraincentive: fines. If saving on the cost of refrigerant, energy, and systemrepairs is not enough incentive, consider the recent case of SoutheasternGrocers. They recently agreed to a $300,000 civil penalty and to spend to $4.2million over the next three years to reduce refrigerant leaks and improvecompany-wide compliance of EPA regulations. But Southeastern Grocers is certainlynot alone. Safeway agreed to a $600,000 civil penalty and $4.1 million in systemremediation costs, COSTCO agreed to $335,000 civil penalty and $2 million insystem remediation costs, and Trader Joe’s agreed to $500,000 civil penalty and$2 million in system remediation costs. So I thought now might be a good timeto review some of the basics in terms of what is expected.

As of January, 2019
Leaks in industrial process refrigeration (IPR), commercialrefrigeration, and comfort cooling appliances containing 50 pounds or more ofrefrigerant must be repaired within 30 days if they exceed the EPA establishedleak rate. The trigger rates are 30% for IPR, 20% for commercial refrigeration,and 10% for comfort cooling. Note that this is a leak rate – you don’t get towait until 30% of your refrigerant has leaked out. The leak rate must be calculatedevery time refrigerant is added to a system.

Verification Tests
After repairing the leak, you are required to perform aninitial and follow up test to verify that the leaks have in fact been fixed andthe system is operating below the established leak rate. The initialverification is done before adding refrigerant and the follow-up is done afterthe system has been in service.  Theverification tests must demonstrate that leaks were successfully repaired. You mayconduct as many additional repairs and verification tests as needed within the30 day repair period. Note- you don’t get another 30 days every time you figureout it still leaks. The process must be completed within 30 days.

Leak Inspections
You are required to perform regular leak inspections onsystems that have exceeded the applicable leak rate until the calculated leakrates found during the inspection indicate the leak rate is below the EPAtrigger rate. Commercial Refrigeration and Industrial Process Refrigerationequipment that holds more than 500 lbs of refrigerant must be checked everythree months.  Commercial Refrigeration andIndustrial Process Refrigeration equipment holding between 50 and 500 pounds ofrefrigerant must be checked annually. Comfort cooling equipment must also bechecked annually.

For more details, check out the EPA fact sheet here

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

What is Vacuum Hose Conductance?


You may have heard or read the term “conductance” inreference to vacuum hoses and fittings. According to VAC AERO, conductance is volumetricflow rate divided by pressure drop, expressed as liters per second. Simplified,the conductance of a vacuum hose means its ability to allow gas to flowthrough it. The really important point is that no matter how big your vacuumpump is, it cannot move gas through a hose any faster than that hose’sconductance. Vac Aero

Hose conductance is not fixed, but varies with the type ofgas, pressure, temperature, geometry of the passageway, hose diameter, and hoselength. Duniway Stockroom Corp offers this formula: Conductance = 75 x Diameter3/Length.Note this formula calculates the conductance through a smooth tube in litersper second for dry air at 75°F and very low vacuums (under 50 microns). It won’treally calculate the conductance of a hose removing water vapor or refrigerantat atmospheric pressure. However, we can use it to get some general idea of theeffect of diameter and length on hose conductance. Duniway

For example, the conductance of a ¼” diameter, 60” hosewould be 75 x 0.253 /60 = 75 x .015625/60 = 0.0195 liters persecond. Turning that into cubic feet per minute (CFM) we get 0.0414 CFM. Supposewe shorten the hose to 36 inches. Now the conductance is 75 x 0.15625/36 =0.03255 liters per second. That translates to 0.069 CFM. More than a 50%increase just by switching from a 60” hose to a 36” hose. What about changingthe diameter? Using a 3/8” hose that is 60 inches long, the conductance becomes75 x 0.3753/60 = 75 x 0.0527/60 = 0.066 liters per second.Translated into CFM, that is 0.14 CFM. We get over three times the conductanceby increasing the diameter to 3/8”. Using similar calculations for ½” and ¾” weget 0.33 CFM and 1.12 CFM respectfully. So comparing different diameter hoses usingthis formula we see that a 3/8” hose has over three times the conductance of a ¼”hose, a ½” hose has more than twice the conductance of a 3/8” hose, and a ¾”hose has more than three times the conductance of a ½” hose. All together, a ¾”hose has 27 times the conductance of a ¼” hose. Large diameter hoses really domake a difference in the time it takes t pull a vacuum. However, there are other restrictions that must be addressed before the hose size matters: the Schrader valve cores. We’ll talk about them next time.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Wiring Communicating Controls


In some ways, communicating controls are easier to wire thanconventional 24 volt control systems. There are fewer wires, and generallyspeaking, everything connects letter to letter. Still, it seems technicianskeep figuring out ways to incorrectly wire four wires.

Wire Type
Early communicating systems used shielded cables that lookedlike computer cables – because that is what they were. You did not connect barewires to anything, you plugged in the connector to the socket on the controlboard. Besides being somewhat expensive, these proved to be less robust thanwas needed for equipment installed outside. Most communicating control systems fortraditional split systems and packaged units work fine with traditional thermostatwire: 18 gauge. In fact, the connections are designed expecting that type ofwire.  Do not use anything smaller than18 gauge. The control wire is generally not shielded. The control wire shouldnot be run parallel to power wire to avoid interference. If you have to cross apower wire, it is best to do it at right angles. As with any installation, thecontrol wire and power wire should not be run in the same conduit. It is fineto tape the wire to the line-set.

Mini-Splits
Nearly all mini-splits and multi-splits use communicatingcontrols. Their wiring breaks all the rules discussed above. Typically, theyuse 14-4 cables. These cables contain four #14 gauge, stranded wires. Two wiresin the cable are for powering the indoor unit and two provide communication.Sometimes this cable is shielded. If you do use shielded cable it is importantto only ground one end, not both. I prefer grounding the end at the outdoorunit because you are closest to the power supply and the equipment ground. Theconnectors on mini-split and multi-split units are made to use stranded wire. Althoughthere are only four connections, it is important that the same wire used toconnect to each outdoor terminal connects to a similarly labeled indoorterminal. Sounds simple, but it is amazingly easy to cross up even just fourwires. After connecting the outdoor wires, take a picture with your phone so youcan verify that you are connecting them to the correct terminals inside.

Multi-Splits
Most multi-split units have terminal connections for eachhead at the outdoor unit. A 14-4 wire runs from the outdoor unit to each head.A crucial detail is to insure that the wires for each head correspond to thecorrect set of refrigerant lines. Although this seems simple, it is very easyto screw up. One way to avoid getting wires and lines crossed is to tape the14-4 cable for each head to the line-set for each head.

Read and Follow Instructions
When it comes right down to it, most installation issues couldbe avoided by actually reading and following the instructions. Mostmanufacturers provide specific instructions for wiring their equipment, even ifit is as simple as connecting four labeled terminals to four other similarly labeledterminals. There is not really an industry standard for the terminal labels.However, that is not important if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.Most of the time, whatever label is used outside it also used inside.  

Friday, July 19, 2019

Low Global Warming Potential Refrigerants

You probably have heard that the most popular HFCrefrigerants being widely used today are global warming gasses. In fact, some popularHFC refrigerants have higher GWPs than the CFCs and HCFCs they replaced. Arefrigerant’s Global warming potential (GWP) compares it to CO2, theglobal warming gas produced by burning hydrocarbons. A GWP of 1 indicates thata gas has the same effect on global warming as CO2. The retiredpopular air conditioning refrigerant, HCFC 22, has a GWP of  1760. HFC 410A that is now widely used in airconditioning applications has a GWP of 1924. It is actually worse! MeanwhileHFC 404A, popular in refrigeration applications, has a GWP of 3943. HFC 134a ispopular in domestic refrigerators, commercial refrigeration, and car airconditioning has a GWP of 1300. These high GWP numbers have made HFCrefrigerants the target of regulatory efforts to limit their use and replacethem with more environmentally friendly refrigerants. Europe has movedaggressively, passing their F-Gas regulations. The ultimate objective of theF-Gas Regulations is to cut the availability of HFCs by 79% between 2015 and2030. There will also be a servicing ban on HFCs with a GWP >2500 forcertain sectors. Here is a link to a quick overview of the F-Gas regulations byMitsubishi.

While the US has not moved nearly as aggressively, therehave been attempts by the EPA to regulate refrigerants based on their GWP. Worldwideregulatory restrictions on current HFC refrigerants has spurred development oflower GWP refrigerants. Manufacturers in the HVACR industry have been activelydeveloping lower GWP alternative refrigerants.

HYDROCARBONS
Propane (R290), Isobutane (R600a), and R441A all have verylow GWPs of (3, 3,0). They are all non-ozone depleting and non-toxic. Theirlimitation is their flammability – they are all highly flammable. In the USthey are approved only for systems with a charge of 150 grams (5 ounces) orless. In Europe hydrocarbon refrigerants have been used in refrigerators andfreezers for years. These refrigerants are now common in residential refrigeratorand small commercial refrigeration units in the US. While highly flammablerefrigerants are likely to remain a factor in small commercial refrigerationsystems, it is unlikely that these refrigerants will be used in larger systemsin the US due to our aversion for being sued and the large number of lawyers inthe US.

CO2 R744
It is interesting that the main global warming culprit, CO2,is also a refrigerant with a very low GWP of 1. It does not deplete the ozone,it is non-toxic, non-flammable, and cheap. What’s not to like? Unfortunately,CO2 has a critical temperature of 88°F. It cannot condense above88°F. This means that CO2 systems are not “normal” systems. CO2systems must either be transcritical or cascade systems. Transcritical systems operateat very high pressures of 1200 – 1500 psig on the high side. Cascade systemsuse the evaporator of one system to cool the condenser of another system.Either way, CO2 systems are more complicated and expensive than traditionalsystem. One place that CO2 has taken root is in large scalecommercial refrigeration rack systems. Complexity in large rack refrigeration systemsis normal and the extra cost of the transcritcial components is offset by thesavings in refrigerant cost. However, in smaller scale systems the cost of a CO2system is prohibitive. For a quick explanation of a transcritical system checkout https://www.achrnews.com/articles/94092-co2-as-refrigerant-the-transcritical-cycle

AMMONIA R717
Ammonia refrigeration has been around since the earliestdays of refrigeration. Ammonia has always been used in large scale foodcommercial refrigeration and freezing for food processing because of itsefficiency and low cost. Unfortunately, ammonia (R-717) has many applicationchallenges. It is toxic, somewhat flammable, and cannot be used with somemetals, such as brass or copper. It will continue to be a mainstay ofcommercial food processing, but I doubt you will see it expand into othermarket segments.

LOWER GWP HFCs
There are some HFC refrigerants that have a GWP in thehundreds instead of the thousands. While these refrigerants are probably notlong-term solutions, they can provide a way to drastically reduce the GWPfootprint of a system without a drastic change in technology or design.

R 32
HFC R-32 has been adopted by many manufacturers in airconditioning systems sold outside of the United States. R-32 is an HFC with alower GWP of 667. That is still not really low compared to CO2 (GWP 1) orammonia (GWP 0), but it is considerably lower than R404A, R410A, or R134a. HFC32has the advantage of being a relatively “normal” refrigerant, making designingsystems to use it less challenging than say, CO2. However, R-32 isflammable. While not as flammable as propane, it does burn. That precludes itsuse in most applications in the US, at least right now. The building and safetycodes in the US do not allow a flammable refrigerant in systems where the airin the building flows directly over the evaporator. These codes make nodistinction between A2L and A3 refrigerants. To them, flammable is flammable.  Manufacturers and code officials in the US areworking to determine what new requirements an A2L refrigerant system shouldhave to make it safe for use. The one place you will find R32 in the US is inwindow air conditioners. The EPA allows use of R32 in limited quantities inwindow units. Here is a link for more information on R32. 

R466A (Solstice N41)
Honeywell has developed an A1 rated, non-flammable HFC basedrefrigerant with a GWP of 733. Like R-32, R-466A provides a refrigerant with amuch lower GWP than HFC refrigerants currently in use, but not really low. Itsbig advantage over R32 is that it is non-flammable. R466A achieves this byusing a mix of 49% R32, 11.5% R125, and 39.5% R1311. R32 and R125 are the twocomponents found in R410A. R1311 has been previously used as a fire suppressant.This blend performs similarly to R410A, making adoption relatively easy.  Here is a link to more information on R466A. 

HFOs
Hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) are a special type of HFC. Theyhave at least one carbon double bond, making them less chemically stable than a“normal” HFC which has all single bonds. Because they are less chemicallystable, they do not persist in the atmosphere for long, and this reduces theirglobal warming potential. For example, HFO1233zd has a GWP of 0. HFO1233zd is alow pressure refrigerant for chiller applications. It has an A1 safety ratingand does not deplete the ozone. HFO1234yf has a GWP less than 1. It has an A2Lsafety rating – meaning that it is somewhat flammable. HFO1234yf is used inauto air conditioning systems. It has been what most auto manufacturers now useinstead of HFC134a. Here is a link to more information on HFOs.

Lower GWP refrigerants are the future of HVACR. Some old andsome new. Understanding how to safely work with these lower GWP refrigerantswill be an important part of all technician’s knowledge set going forward.




Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Refrigerant Flammability Safety Rating

This is a re-post of an article I posted earlier. Flammable refrigerants are now really a fact of life, and so it is important that technicians understand the different classifications regarding refrigerant flammability. In particular, it is helpful to understand the difference between class 3 highly flammable refrigerants and class 2L, lower flammability refrigerants. 

I confess that I have always thought of flammability as aneither or question: it either burns or it doesn’t. So the concept of differentlevels of flammability was a hard one for me to grasp. I wondered: what is thedifference between 3,2, and 2L refrigerant designations? What follows is asomewhat lengthy discussion of what I learned.

First off, found thatit is not all that simple. There are several flammability characteristics thatcan be compared: lower flammability limit, upper flammability limit, autoignition temperature, minimum ignition energy, heat of combustion, and flamevelocity. The table at the bottom of the article shows these differentspecifications for a small selection of flammable refrigerants. Note thatpressure and temperature also play a part. For the ASHRAE safety tests, atemperature of 140°F at atmospheric pressure is specified. You get differentresults when applying higher pressures and temperatures.

The original three classifications (1,2,3) were determinedby the lower flammability limit and the heat of combustion. Later, ASHRAE addeda 2L category for refrigerants with burning velocities less than 10 centimetersper second. The table below summarizes the different flammabilityclassifications.
Classification
Lower Flammability Limit % by volume
Heat of Combustion
Burning Velocity
1
Does not support combustion at atmospheric pressure
2L
Greater than 3.5%
Less than 19 kj/g
10 cm/s or less
2
Greater than 3.5%
Less than 19 kj/g
Greater than 10 cm/s
3
3.5% or less
19 kj/g or more
NA

Lower flammability limit (LFL) is the minimum percentagerequired in air to be combustible. For example propane (R290) has an LFL of2.1% by volume while ammonia (R717) has an LFL of 15%. Notice that propane onlyrequires 2.1% while ammonia requires 15%. So that is one difference – theamount that must build up before it can burn.

The upper flammability limit (UFL) describes the maximumconcentration which will still burn. If the concentration of flammable vaporsexceeds the UFL, it will not ignite. It is more difficult to draw a straightline comparison using the UFL. However, you can say that refrigerants whose LFLand UFL are closer together are generally a bit safer simply because theconditions for a flammable mixture are less likely to occur.

The auto ignition temperature is the temperature which theflammable mixture will ignite. With the exception of 1234yf, the lowerflammability refrigerants have higher auto ignition temperatures than the moreflammable refrigerants.

The minimum ignition energy is a bit different than the autoignition temperature. It is the amount of energy that must be used to ignite aflammable mixture, measured in megajoules. Note that in this case R1234yfstands out because the minimum ignition energy is so high compared to the otherrefrigerants. Also note that the class 2L refrigerants all have minimumignition energy ratings in the hundreds of megajoules or higher while propane’sminimum ignition energy is a very small 0.25 megajoules. Basically, this meansit takes a lot more energy to ignite the 2L refrigerants than a highlyflammable refrigerant such as propane. Again, this means that the chance ofhaving the right condition for combustion is much lower for class 2Lrefrigerants.

The heat of combustion is a measure of the amount of heatcreated when the refrigerant burns. Note that the class 2L and class 2refrigerants have a heat of combustion in the single digits per gram whilepropane jumps to 46 kilojoules per gram. This means that the heat produced bycombustion of a class 2L or class 2 refrigerant is far less than a class 3refrigerant. Indeed, it would be possible for a class 2L refrigerant to burnand not ignite other nearby flammable materials.

Burning velocity is the characteristic which distinguishes 2and 2L refrigerants. It is the speed with which the flame advances. Note thatthe 2L class refrigerants have a burning velocity in the single digits while152a, a class 2 refrigerant, has a burning velocity of 23 cm/sec. Propane’sburning velocity is twice that of 152a. The take home point here is that theflames from higher flammability refrigerants spread faster.

So wrapping it up, my general impression is that lowerflammability refrigerants are less likely to burn in the first place and whenthey do burn, the flames are not as hot and do not spread as quickly as a highflammability refrigerant such as propane.


R1234yf
R32
717 Ammonia
152a
290 Propane
Safety Group
A2L
A2L
B2L
A2
A3
Lower Flammability LImit
6.5%
14.4%
15%
3.9%
2.1%
Upper Flammability Limit
12.3%
33.3%
28%
16.9%
10%
Auto Ignition Temperature
405°C
648°C
651°C
440°C
455°C
Minimum Ignition Energy
5,000 – 10,000 mJ
30 – 100 mJ
100 – 300 mJ
0.38 mJ
0.25 mJ
Heat of Combustion
9.5 kJ/g
9 kJ/g
22.5 kJ/g
6.3 kJ/g
46.3 kj/g
Burning Velocity
1.5 cm/sec
6.7 cm/sec
7.2 cm/sec
23 cm/sec
46 cm/sec

Friday, June 28, 2019

Appliances with Flammable Refrigerant Are In Stores Now


The EPA has approved limited use of flammable refrigerantsin appliances. Specifically, R32, R290, R600a, and R441a. They are only approvedfor appliances with a limited charge, and the appliances must have warning labelsto tell anyone working on the equipment that the refrigerant is flammable.However, the manufacturers have not gone out of their way to make sure the endconsumer is aware that the refrigerant inside the appliance is flammable. R32is an HFC with an ASHRAE Safety rating of A2L, which means it is low in toxicitybut moderately flammable. You already use it without knowing it. 

R32 is used inmany newer HFC zeotropic blends, including R-410A. These blends are generallyrated A1 (low toxicity and non-flammable) because the mixture will not burn withthe concentrations of R32 in them. R32 can be found at your local big-box storein window units and portable air conditioners. You have to look pretty hard tofind it, but somewhere in the information they will tell you what refrigerantis in the unit. 

The other flammables are all hydrocarbons. They are all ratedA3 – low toxicity but highly flammable. R290 is propane, R600a is isobutane,and R441a is a hydrocarbon blend. I have seen freezers andrefrigerator-freezers at big box stores with R600a (isobutane) for refrigerant. 

Appliances using these highly flammable refrigerants have the required flammable refrigerant warning labels, but they are usuallyon the back of the appliance where the service access is. If you want to knowif that shiny new refrigerator has explosive refrigerant in it you need to lookat the back. I noticed that one refrigerator with R600a refrigerant also had a paperstating that using the appliance meant you agreed to binding arbitration asyour sole legal remedy for any problems with the appliance. I don’t know ifthat manufacturer now makes this same disclaimer on all of their appliances,but it is worth asking about before purchasing. 

R290 (propane) is used on manysmall and medium sized commercial refrigeration refrigerators and freezers. R441ais used in some vending machines and smaller commercial refrigeration machines.I will talk some more in subsequent posts about flammable refrigerants, safeuse, and safe service practices.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Tripped Rollout Switch

Anytime you have to reset a rollout switch on a furnace, warning alarms should go off in your head. The switch is not the problem, it is a symptom of a very serious problem. Just resetting the switch and going on is like turning off a fire alarm and leaving the fire burning. You need to find out why the rollout tripped. Rollout switches trip because flames are burning back where they are not supposed to be. Possible causes include a stopped up vent, a stopped up heat exchanger, low gas pressure, or a cracked heat exchanger. All of these conditions are very serious and have the potential to do great harm. Figure 1 shows a common rollout switch.
Figure 1 Rollout Switch
In the case of the plugged vent or heat exchanger. The flue gas cannot exit quickly enough, builds up and pushes the flames out of the heat exchanger into the area where normally there is only secondary combustion air. Although 80% gas furnace heat exchangers seldom become restricted, the condensing, secondary heat exchangers on 90% furnaces often become restricted. Either way, you must have a clear heat exchanger and vent to operate the furnace safely.

A cracked heat exchanger  can also lead to tripped rollout switches. A cracked heat exchanger can allow positive pressure air from the blower into the heat exchanger and reduce the draft. If the hole is big enough, the pressure in that cell of the heat exchanger can become positive, and push the flames out of the heat exchanger into the area where normally there is only secondary combustion air. Figure 2 shows an example of this. Look carefully at the burner on the left. See that there is no bright inner cone. That is because the flames are coming back out of the tube. The burner to the right of it looks normal.
Figure 2 Flames rolling out (left burner)
Low gas pressure can cause the flame to retreat from the burner port, back into the burner body, often all the way to the orifice. Figure 3 shows an example of flames burning back at the orifice due to low gas pressure.
Figure 3 Flames burning back at orifice

Whenever you find a furnace with a tripped rollout switch, you need to determine why the rollout switch has tripped. I know no professional would ever jump out a safety device, such as a rollout switch. But just to make certain – NEVER “fix” a furnace by jumping out a rollout switch. The switch is not the problem – it may be the reason nobody died.