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Evaluation of Flammable Refrigerants for Use in a Water-to-Water Residential Heat Pump



D K. Choi, Piotr A. Domanski, David Didion


This paper evaluates the performance of R-22, R-290, R-290/600a (70/30), and R-32/152a (50/50) for application in a water-to-water residential heat pump for space cooling and heating. The tests were performed in a laboratory apparatus at different compressor speeds to allow the comparison of refirgerants for the constant-compressor-speed and the constant-capacity criteria. Comparison of results for the same system capacity showed R-32/152a to be the best performer due to good glide matching in the heat exchangers and its excellent thermodynamic and transport properties. The hydrocarbon mixture, R-290/600a, had the highest Coefficient of Performance (COP) at a given compressor speed, but its COP at the constant-capacity criterion was the lowest. This low COP was in disagreement with an earlier simulation study where R-290/600a and R-32/152a had a similar COP. The test data showed that the low-volumetric-capacity R-290/600a had an excessive pressure drop at the constant-capacity comparison. This was related to the high compressor RPM needed for R-290/600a to reach the target capacity. With an optimized compressor and heat exchangers using larger diameter tubes, R-290/600a should have a COP comparable to that of R-32/152a. The study demonstrates the need for both simulations and laboratory methods in evaluating alternative refrigerants.
Proceedings Title
International Institute of Refrigeration
Conference Dates
September 13-6, 1996
Conference Location
Aarhus, DK
Conference Title
Applications for Natural Refrigerants


refrigerants, heat pumps, water, evaluation, cooling, heating, test facilities


Choi, D. , Domanski, P. and Didion, D. (1996), Evaluation of Flammable Refrigerants for Use in a Water-to-Water Residential Heat Pump, International Institute of Refrigeration, Aarhus, DK, [online], (Accessed March 2, 2024)
Created September 2, 1996, Updated October 12, 2021