GEA has launched its latest version Purger for refrigeration plants that use the environmentally friendly natural refrigerant R290 (propane). The ‘plug and play’ device operates independently from the main refrigeration system and is simple to install indoors or outdoors. It requires minimum maintenance and benefits from maximum energy efficiency with minimum power consumption.
Air and other non-condensable gases can dissolve in the refrigerant and enter the cooling system circuit, where they can cause an increase in condensation pressure due to their different/higher partial pressures, even in small concentrations. Cooling systems must therefore be kept largely free of non-condensable gases. This is done most effectively with an automatic venting system, as this reacts immediately to the ingress of non-condensable gases into the system.
After a time loop, the purger operation starts as soon as the concentration of non-condensable gases in the liquid receiver is 2% or more. It automatically shuts off again when the concentration has dropped to 1%. The effective displacement of non-condensable gases helps ensure long-term efficient operation of the refrigeration system. Since the average concentration of non-condensable gases is much lower throughout the installation, this value represents an average concentration of less than 0.1% throughout the installation.
The extended use of the Purger is an important part of GEA’s natural refrigerant initiative and fully complies with the F-Gas Regulation (EU) of 1 January 2020 on fluorinated greenhouse gases. From 1 January 2022, the F-Gas Regulation will no longer permit commercial refrigerators and freezers to be placed on the market with the refrigerant R134a (tetrafluoroethane).
For existing refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump systems, processed or recycled F-Gases with a GWP >2500 are permitted for maintenance purposes only until 2030. As a result of all these measures, recycled R404A refrigerants will also be phased out and there will be a noticeable shortage of supply. As a result, many operators of R404A plants are switching to natural refrigerants such as ammonia or propane. Propane, also known as natural refrigerant R290, is claimed to have a very low GWP factor of ‘3’ and is therefore environmentally friendly and above all represents good thermodynamic performance.
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