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In this study, the performances of R152a, R161, and R1234yf with very low global warming potential were investigated theoretically as alternatives to R134a in vapor compression refrigeration systems. The results obtained showed that the saturation vapor pressures for R152a and R1234yf are very close to that of R134a, which indicates similar properties, while that of R161, between the temperature range of −30 to 40◦C, deviated significantly by 49.2%. R152a emerged as the most energy efficient of the investigated refrigerants with average power per ton of refrigeration (PPTR) of 30.5% less than that of R134a. R152a and R161 exhibited a higher volumetric refrigerating capacity (VRC) and coefficient of performance (COP) than R134a. The highest COP was obtained using R152a in the system with an average value of 43.5% higher than that of R134a, while the average COPs for R161 and R1234yf are 4.8% higher and 7.1% lower, respectively. Generally, R152a performed better than the other two alternatives as R134a substitute in that it has similar saturation pressure as R134a, exhibited lowest PPTR, very high VRC, and highest COP. Major system redesign will be required before R161 can be employed as R134a substitute. Also, low performance of R1234yf in terms of PPTR, VRC and COP will increase its indirect contributions to global warming.
Bolaji, B.O. & Z. Huan (2014) Performance Investigation of Some Hydro-Fluorocarbon Refrigerants with Low Global Warming as Substitutes to R134a in Refrigeration Systems, J. of Engineering Thermophysics 23(2).