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Measured Effects of Retrofits - A Refrigerant Oil Additive and a Condenser Spray Device - On the Cooling Performance of a Heat Pump
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A 15-year old, 3-ton single package air-to-air heat pump was tested in laboratory environmental chambers simulating indoor and outdoor conditions. After documenting initial performance, the unit was retrofitted with a prototype condenser water-spray device and retested. Results at standard AM cooling rating conditions (95°F outdoor dry bulb and 80167 OF indoor dry bulb/wet bulb temperatures) showed the capacity increased by about 7%, and the electric power demand dropped by about 8%, resulting in a steady-state EER increase of 17%. Suction and discharge pressures were reduced by 7 and 37 psi, respectively. A refrigerant oil additive formulated to enhance refrigerant-side heat transfer was added at a dose of one ounce per ton of rated capacity. and the unit was tested for several days at the same 95°F outdoor conditions and showed essentially no increase in capacity, and a slight 3% increase in steady-state EER. Adding more additive lowered the EER slightly. Suction and discharge pressures were essentially unchanged. Our short-term testing showed that the condenser-spray device was effective in increasing the cooling capacity and lowering the electrical demand on an old and relatively inefficient heat pump, but the refrigerant additive had little effect on the cooling performance of our unit Sprayer issues to be resolved include the effect of a sprayer on a new, high-efficiency air conditioner/heat pump, reliable long-term operation, and economics.
Levins, W. P.; Sand, J. R.; Baxter, V. D.; Linkous, R. S. (1996). Measured Effects of Retrofits - A Refrigerant Oil Additive and a Condenser Spray Device - On the Cooling Performance of a Heat Pump. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from