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Refrigerant Migration in a Split-Unit Air Conditioner



W. J. Mulroy, David Didion


The relationship between cyclic refrigerant migration and cyclic loss for a residential, split-system air conditioner has been investigated. The cyclic refrigerant migration was measured at different points in the operating cycle by simultaneously shutting five pneumatically operated valves that isolated the refrigerant in the major system components. The refrigerant was then removed, weighed, and returned to the system. The unit tested was found to have a high initial increasing capacity as trapped refrigerant was returned to the system fmm the accumulator. The unit performance was also compared to single and double time constant regressive approximations and to the time constant calculated from the evaporator mass and heat transfer coefficient. Although relationships between migrated refrigerant and cyclic capacity were observed, no practical refrigerant migration test method that would be less burdensome than the cyclic tests of ASHRAE Standard 116 appears possible at this time.
ASHRAE Transactions
No. 1A


refrigerants, air conditioning, valves, standards, tests, degradation, test facilities, valves, equations


Mulroy, W. and Didion, D. (1985), Refrigerant Migration in a Split-Unit Air Conditioner, ASHRAE Transactions, [online], (Accessed July 12, 2024)


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Created January 1, 1985, Updated February 19, 2017