This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Holder, CM, MSME
Refrigeration is the process of moving heat from one location to another by the use of refrigerant in a closed cycle. The piping and tubing system must be designed, installed and maintained to provide proper flow of refrigerant in both liquid and gaseous states.
Piping & Tubing
Refrigeration is the process of moving heat from one location to another by the use of refrigerant in a closed cycle. The piping and tubing system must be designed, installed and maintained to provide proper flow of refrigerant in both liquid and gaseous states. A successful refrigeration system depends on a good piping design and an understanding of the required accessories. The first skill that any refrigeration apprentice mechanic learns is to make a soldered joint. Running pipe is so common a task that its critical importance in system performance is often overlooked.
Tubing Inspection & Leak Check
The object of a good visual inspection of system tubing design is to note obvious oil traps. Also look for long vertical suction lengths without p traps and inadequate OD tubing size If the system is known to be leaking or if oil is present around mechanical fittings, solder joints, gaskets or seals, recover the refrigerant and repair the leaks. Pressurize the system with a residual amount of refrigerant and dry nitrogen using the recommended test pressure on data plate. Maximum test pressures should be approximately 150 psi for high-pressure AC/R systems. In chiller applications, controlled hot water or heater blankets will raise pressure adequately for a leak check, which should never exceed 10 psi for low pressure chillers. After a thorough inspection with a good leak detector, apply a deep vacuum to 500 microns. A good triple evacuation, with dry nitrogen and then deep vacuum is the preferred method.
Piping Basic Principles
Refrigeration piping involves extremely complex relationships in the flow of refrigerant and oil. Fluid flow is the study of the flow of a gas or a liquid, and the inter-relationship of velocity, pressure, friction, density and the work required to cause the flow. The design of a refrigeration piping system is a continuous series of compromises. It is desirable to have
maximum capacity at minimum cost, as well as proper oil return. Since oil must pass through the compressor cylinders to provide lubrication, a small amount of oil is always circulating with the refrigerant. Oil and refrigerant vapor, however, do not mix readily, and the oil can be properly circulated through the system only if the mass velocity of the refrigerant vapor is great enough to sweep the oil along. To ensure oil circulation adequate velocities of refrigerant must be maintained in the suction and discharge lines, and in the evaporator.
The design of refrigerant piping systems should:
• Ensure proper refrigerant feed to evaporators. • Provide practical refrigerant line sizes without excessive pressure drop. • Prevent excessive amounts of lubricating oil from being trapped in any part of the system. • Protect the compressor at all times from loss of lubricating oil. • Prevent liquid refrigerant or oil slugs from entering the compressor during operating and idle time. • Maintaining a clean and dry system.
Refrigerant Line Velocities
Economics, pressure drop, noise, and oil entrapment require establishing feasible design velocities in refrigerant lines. • Suction line 700 to 4000 fpm • Discharge line 500 to 3500 fpm • Condenser drain line 100 fpm or less • Liquid line 125 to 450 fpm
Higher gas velocities are sometimes found in relatively short suction lines, on comfort air conditioning or other applications where the operating time is only 2000 to 4000 hours per year and where low initial cost of the system may be more significant than low operating cost. In the Industrial refrigeration applications where equipment runs continuously, should be designed with low refrigerant velocities for most efficient compressor performance and low equipment operating cost. Care must be taken that the velocities is not to low that oil is taped in the refrigeration lines.
Liquid line from condenser to receivers should be sized for 100 fpm or less to ensure positive
While the discharge line pressure drop is not as critical as that of the suction line. or both. • Prevent condensed refrigerant and oil from draining back to the head of the compressor. thus minimizing or preventing liquid hammer when solenoids or other electrically operated valves are used. is 4000 feet per minute. compressor vibration. considerations similar to those applied to the suction line are observed. The same minimum gas velocities of 500 feet per minute in horizontal runs and 1000 feet per minute in vertical runs with upward gas flow are observed. Refrigerant Line Sizing In sizing refrigerant lines. and liquid lines. suction. • Avoid developing excessive noise or vibration from hot-gas pulsation. the refrigeration system will be sized for pressure losses of 2ºF or less for each segment of the discharge. Excessive liquid line pressure drops can cause the liquid refrigerant to flash. Discharge lines should be designed to: • Avoid trapping oil at part-load operation. based on noise considerations. suction and discharge line pressure drops cause loss of compressor capacity and increased power use. Refrigeration systems are designed so that friction pressure losses do not exceed a pressure differential equivalent to a corresponding change in the saturation boiling temperature. the accepted maximum values are 4 psi for R-12 and 6 psi for R-22. An HFC refrigerant liquid line is sized for pressure losses of 1ºF or less. cost considerations favor keeping line size as small as possible. Correct sizing must be based on minimizing cost and maximizing efficiency.5 gravity flow without incurring backup of liquid flow. The maximum acceptable gas velocity. 5 . The primary measure for determining pressure drop is a change in saturation temperature. Pressure loss in discharge lines increases the required compressor power per unit of refrigeration and decreases the compressor capacity by increasing the compression ratio. Typically. Pressure drop in refrigerant lines causes a reduction in system efficiency. However. • Have carefully selected connections from a common line to multiple compressors. resulting in faulty expansion valve operation. Liquid lines from receivers to evaporator should be sized to maintain velocities below 300 fpm. Pressure drop calculations are determined as normal pressure loss associated with a change in saturation temperature of the refrigerant. When sizing discharge lines.
the power to drive the compressor rises. • The condenser must be located above the receiver. • Drain the condenser of liquid. • If the system is equipped with an air-cooled condenser and a liquid receiver. • Accommodate a fluctuating charge in the low side. • Handle the excess refrigerant charge that occurs with air-cooled condensers using the flooding type condensing pressure control. the capacity is reduced. or low-pressure float. An undersized line can restrict the flow of refrigerant to the extent that some of it is held in the condenser. While it is almost impossible to oversize such a line. Some means should be provided to isolate the receiver from the condenser during cold weather shutdown. • Maintain an adequate affective condensing surface on system where the operating charge in the evaporator and or condenser varies for different loading conditions. the evaporator requires a larger charge since the boiling is not as intense. When the load 6 . must be carefully sized. When an evaporator is fed with a thermal expansion valve. it is good practice to locate the receiver within the building. the condenser also serves as a receiver if the total refrigerant charge does not exceed its storage capacity. If some of the condenser surface is flooded. such as a combination check and relief valve. During low load. • The distance from the condenser to receiver should be as short as possible. Receiver Refrigerant receivers are vessels used to store excess refrigerant while still allowing circulation throughout the system. At the same time. In some water-cooled condenser systems. There are a few points that the piping designer should keep in mind. These causes the head pressure to rise and decrease the overall system capacity.6 Condenser Drain Line The line between a condenser (not providing liquid subcooling) and a liquid receiver. hand expansion valve. when such an arrangement is used. the operating charge in the evaporator varies considerably depending on the loading. under sizing is to be avoided. Receivers perform the following functions: • Provide pumpdown storage capacity when another part of the system must be serviced or the system must be shut down for an extended time. • Condenser drain line velocity should be 100 fpm or less.
due to friction. • Hold the full charge of the idle circuit on systems with multicircuit evaporators that shut off the liquid supply to one or more circuits during reduced load. • Always adhere to the minimum vertical dimension required to overcome friction. Systems are normally designed so that the pressure drop in the liquid line. Receiver Design Considerations • Receiver should be close to the condenser. Pressure drop (in psig) for a change of 1ºF saturation at 100ºF condensing pressure: (R-508B is at 10ºF): 7 . • Install a pressure relief device on top of each receiver and on condenser. the liquid must always flow from the condenser to the receiver. • Size the receiver to hold 40 to 125% of refrigerant charge depending on system load variance. Piping should slop at least 0. use the larger of the sizes. the operating charge in the evaporator decreases. If a vent is not used.25 in/ft and eliminate any natural liquid traps. The piping must provide free flow of liquid from the condenser to the receiver by equalizing the pressure between the two. Sizing the condensate drain line for 100 fpm liquid velocity is usually adequate to attain this flow. Liquid Lines Pressure drop should not be so large as to cause gas formation in the liquid line or insufficient liquid pressure at the liquid feed device. the piping between condenser and receiver is sized so that liquid flows in one direction and gas flows in the opposite direction. is not greater than that corresponding to about a 1º to 2ºF change in saturation temperature. • The surge receiver pressure relief device is piped together with condensers. Please consult the manufacturer’s literature for making receiver capacity comparisons when changing refrigerants. • If there is any doubt about the line size. and the receiver must store excess refrigerant. The condensate drain line should be sized so that the velocity does not exceed 100 fpm. When a through type receiver is used.7 increases.
556 psi per foot of liquid lift. as well as by the piping and fittings between the receiver outlet and the refrigerant feed device at the evaporator. • Prevent oil from draining from an active evaporator into an idle one. Friction pressure drops in the liquid line are caused by accessories such as solenoid valves. Liquid line risers are also a source of pressure loss. the overall efficiency is reduced and the system may malfunction. They should be designed to: • Provide a minimum pressure drop at full load. The total loss is the sum of all friction losses plus the pressure loss from liquid risers. If the subcooling is insufficient. in order to maintain a desired evaporating temperature in the coil. and the weight of the refrigerant pumped by the compressor decreases. The loss due to a riser is approximately 0. a typical low 8 .8 Liquid subcooling is the only method of overcoming the liquid line pressure losses in order to guarantee liquid at the expansion device in the evaporator. flashing will occur within the liquid line and degrade the efficiency of the system. As the suction pressure is decreased. A pressure drop in the suction line reduces a system’s capacity by forcing the compressor to operate at a lower suction pressure. and hand valves. • Return oil from the evaporator to the compressor under minimum load conditions. They can thus tolerate larger friction losses without flashing. filter driers. When flashing occurs. The only way to reduce the effect of pressure loses and friction is by subcooling the refrigerant. For example. Refrigeration systems that have no liquid risers and have the evaporator below the condenser and/or receiver benefit from a gain in pressure due to liquid weight. each pound of refrigerant returning to the compressor occupies a greater volume. Suction Lines Suction lines are more critical than liquid and discharge line from a design and construction standpoint.
This condition occurs in the suction line after the refrigerant vapor has left the 9 .9 temperature R-502 compressor at -40ºF evaporating temperature will lose almost 6% of its rated capacity for each 1 psi suction line pressure drop. Normally accepted design practice is to use a suction line pressure drop equivalent to a 2ºF change in saturation temperature. Of equal importance in sizing the suction line is the necessity of maintaining adequate velocities to properly return oil to the compressor. Studies have shown that oil is most viscous in a system after the suction vapor has warmed up a few degrees from the evaporating temperature. so that the oil is no longer saturated with the refrigerant.
and the larger the tubing. An HFC refrigerant. however. Movement of the oil through suction lines is dependent on both the mass and velocity of the suction vapor. The exact velocity required in the vertical line is dependent on both the evaporating temperature and the line size. “P” traps for uphill oil return should be used after the first 6. However. As the mass or density decreases. Always pitch vapor lines in the direction of flow. A line properly sized for light load conditions may have too high a pressure drop at maximum load. and under varying conditions. Use of the one nominal velocity provided a simple and convenient means of checking velocities. It is good practice to use an inverted trap just before entering the compressor. the greater velocity required in the center of the tubing to maintain tube surface velocities that will carry the oil. then velocities may not be adequate conditions to move oil through the tubing at light load. is designed for 1500 fpm or greater.10 evaporator. and if the line is sized based on full load condition.foot and every 12-foot thereafter. the specific velocity required might be either greater or less than 1500 fpm. it is usually preferable to accept the additional pressure drop imposed by a single vertical riser. However. On air conditioning applications where somewhat higher pressure drops at maximum load conditions can be tolerated without any major penalty in overall system performance. tests have shown that in vertical risers the oil tends to crawl up the inner surface of the tubing. or where tandem or multiple compressors are used with one or more compressor cycled off for capacity control. Nominal minimum velocities of 700 fpm in horizontal suction lines and 1500 fpm in vertical suction lines have been recommended and used successfully for many years as suction line sizing design standards. on medium or low temperature applications where pressure 10 . Double Risers On systems equipped with capacity control compressors. a single suction line riser may result in either unacceptably high or low gas velocities. higher velocities are required to force the oil along. 1/2 inch per ten-foot of suction line.
Another method of suction oil return is the use of a double riser. as shown in Figure 1.11 drop is more critical and where separate risers from individual evaporators are not possible. The larger is trapped and the smaller line must be sized to provide adequate velocities and acceptable pressure drop when the entire minimum load is carried in the smaller riser. Riser “B” which. In addition. may be larger. 11 . The two should be sized so that the total cross-sectional area is equivalent to the cross-section area of a single riser that would have both satisfactory gas velocity and acceptable pressure drop at maximum load conditions. excessive pressure drop at full load is avoided. A typical double riser has a small and large riser. Oil return is accomplished with this method at minimum loads. The small riser “A” is sized to return oil under minimum capacity conditions. is sized so pressure drop through both risers during full load conditions is adequate. Traps with minimum oil holding capacity are recommended. a double riser may be necessary to avoid an excessive loss of capacity.
26 1 1/8 and 7/8 = 1. The parameters associated with sizing the defrost gas lines are related to allowable pressure drop and refrigerant flow rate during defrost.83 7/8 and 3/4 = . Refrigerant Line Capacity Tables & Equivalent Lengths Of Valves & Fittings Refrigerant line capacity tables are based on unit pressure drop per 100 ft length of straight pipe or per combination of straight pipe. 12 . Design professionals typically use approximately two times the evaporator load for effective refrigerant flow rate to determine line-sizing requirements. and valves with friction drop equivalent to a 100 ft length of straight pipe.81 2 5/8 and 1 5/8 = 6. The pressure drop is not as critical during the defrost cycle.04 2 5/8 = 4.77 2 1/8 and 1 5/8 = 4. Generally.10 1 5/8 and 1 3/8 = 3. fitting. It is recommended that initial sizing be based on twice the evaporator flow rate and that velocities from 1000 to 2000 fpm be used for determining the defrost gas supply line size. 1/3 1 1/8 = . The velocity determined at saturated conditions will give a conservative line size.12 Suction Line Double Risers Sizing Single Riser Size Double Riser Sizes 2/3. The effective condensing temperature and average temperature of the gas must be determined. and many engineers have used velocity as criterion for determining line size.88 3 1/8 = 6.78 1 3/8 and 7/8 = 1.83 1 3/8 = 1.74 2 1/8 = 3.55 Defrost Gas Supply Lines Sizing refrigeration lines to supply defrost gas to one or more evaporator is an estimate at best.31 1 5/8 = 1. one rule of thumb is to add 50% to the calculated pipe length to account for pressure drops from fittings and valves. Alternately. pressure drop through valves and fittings is determined by establishing the equivalent straight length of pipe of the same size with the same friction drop.
a copper compressor discharge line of 75 feet long at 225ºF could have a temperature change of 150ºF in a 70ºF room. copper’s coefficient of expansion is 0. On average. Thus.13 Expansion & Contraction Temperature change will expand and contract all refrigeration piping material. expansion of copper is 1. bend or rupture the refrigerant piping. using as few elbows and other fitting as possible.0000104 inch per inch per degree Fahrenheit. Plan piping for a minimum number of joints. Location & Arrangement of Piping Refrigerant lines should be as short and direct as possible to minimize tubing and refrigerant requirements and pressure drops. but provide sufficient flexibility to absorb compressor vibration and stresses due to thermal expansion and contraction. care must be taken that the line maintains a perfect alignment. The 75 foot long line would now be approximately 75 feet.453 inches of expansion. 1. For example.25 X 1.25 inch per 100 feet per 100ºF change. Therefore. During the installation of the line.55 (temperature change per 100ºF) X . he two common methods of taking care of expansion and contraction in copper piping are the “expansion loops” or “pipe offsets”. Techniques must allow for expansion and contraction changes to prevent stresses that may buckle. 13 . 1-1/2 inches long.75 (length per 100 feet) will equal 1.
they should be insulated if the heat dissipated is objectionable or if necessary to prevent injury from high temperature surfaces. Use sleeves that are sized to permit installation of both pipe and insulation through floor. Refer to ASHRAE Standard 15. walls. and other governing local codes for restrictions that may apply. wall. Do not obstruct the view of the oil level sight glass. Suction line piping to the compressor should be arranged so that it will not interfere with removal of the compressor for servicing. or any internal parts. Set the sleeves prior to pouring of concrete or erection of brickwork. Although the liquid line ordinarily does not require insulation. however. particularly for small lines. and hangers. You must provide adequate clearance for insulation installation between the piping. Piping must not interfere with passages or obstruct headroom. or condensation in the insulation. provide protection against impact from pedestrian and motorized traffic. The liquid line should be insulated to minimize heat gain if it passes through an area of higher temperature. Piping Insulation All piping joints and fittings should be thoroughly leak tested before insulation is sealed. or run piping so that it interferes with the removal of compressor cylinder head. the suction and liquid lines can be insulated together. Suction lines should be insulated to prevent sweating and heat gain. or doors. Where traffic is heavy. which have a false appearance of strength. Protection Against Damage To Piping Protection against damage is necessary. windows.14 Arrange refrigerant piping so that normal inspection and servicing of the compressor and other equipment is not hindered. Hot gas discharge lines usually are not insulated. Insulation covering lines on which moisture can condense or lines subjected to outside conditions must be vapor sealed to prevent any moisture travel through the insulation. Safety Code for Mechanical Refrigeration. end bells. access plates. 14 . or ceilings.
then velocity. used to size the liquid line. You start the sizing procedure by drawing a straight line from your system’s designated capacity through the diagonal lines on the right side of the chart. • The “discharge line” temperature. The diagonal lines represent: • The “evaporator temperature”. Using Manufacturer’s Pressure Drop & Velocity Charts Always size for pressure drop first. used to size the suction line. and in tons of cooling from 1 ton to 100 tons. you will find tons of refrigeration or cooling capacity calibrated in Btu per hour up to 1 ton. Both can be eliminated or minimized by proper piping design and installation. and 2) transmission of noise through the piping itself and through building construction with which the piping may come into direct physical contact.15 Vibration & Noise in Piping Two undesirable effects of vibration of refrigerant piping are: 1) physical damage to the piping. On the top right of the pressure drop chart in Figure 8-3. • The “liquid lines” diagonal line. used to size the hot gas discharge. which may result in the breaking of brazed joints and consequent loss of charge. 15 .
The curved diagonal lines are pressure drop in psi per 100 ft. When you have determined necessary condenser coil temperature follow the horizontal line to the required pressure drop.16 The diagonal lines on the left of the chart represent the actual tubing sizes that will be derived by your calculation. For example. let’s size for a 6-ton R-134a medium temperature walkin refrigerator using the chart in your book: 16 . horizontally across through the tubing sizes. On the bottom left of the chart you will find the “pressure drop graph. Starting at the bottom line.” The three horizontal lines represent condenser coil temperature applications. If it falls in between two sizes then your size is the tubing size up and to the left. Draw a horizontal line from each intersection of tonnage and each of the three diagonal lines. representing 3/8" OD Type L copper tubing and increasing in size up through 6-1/8. Draw a line straight up until it intersects with the horizontal line used to determine tubing size.
17 .” • And again from the diagonal line labeled “Liquid Line.17 • First. • Do the same from the diagonal line labeled “Discharge Line. The velocity chart is very similar to the pressure drop chart and is used in the same way. If you plot the same temperature variables on the velocity chart. The idea is to confirm the sizes you found on the pressure chart by cross checking with the applicable velocities on the velocity chart.” The suction line pressure drop maximum for medium temperature is 1-1/2 psi so the suction line size will be 1-5/8". so 1-1/8" will work adequately. We require a 3psi pressure drop for our liquid line so the line size is 5/8". Medium temperature requires a 20°F evaporator so draw a line from the diagonal line designated 20°F horizontally all the way across the chart. It is these exceptions that may need careful consideration before retrofit. 10 psi or less. find 6 tons on the top right of your chart and draw a vertical line straight down through all of the diagonal lines. The hot gas discharge line is a bit more forgiving. you’ll find the sizes chosen will fall between minimum and maximum velocities recommended for each refrigeration line. There are exceptions and sometimes economical compromises on many close-coupled and field fabricated systems.
18 18 .
19 19 .
20 20 .
21 21 .
22 22 .
23 23 .
24 24 .
25 25 .
26 404A 26 .
27 27 .
28 402A 28 .
29 29 .
30 30 .
31 31 .
32 32 .
A fixed orifice is charged to the superheat of the suction line leaving the evaporator. 33 The refrigerant temperature must be . The act of compression is performed by any one of the following six types of compressors: a reciprocating piston. rotary. To under stand why this is. and sonic compressors. A Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV) is charged to the subcooling of the liquid line leaving the condenser. the compressor can be damaged. The mass flow rate produced by a compressor is equal to the mass of the suction gas pulled in by the compressor. through mass flow. The four main components of the refrigeration cycle include: • Compressor • Condenser • Metering Devices • Evaporator These four components are divided into sections and explained in depth as follows. raises the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant. The compressor pulls the refrigerant out of the evaporator and pushes it though a condenser. scroll. The compressor’s out put is equally only to its intake because the mass flow must be equal. If the suction gas is not superheated. the reciprocating and scroll compressors are the two most frequently found in a residential air conditioning system. Of the six. centrifugal. The result of the temperature increase is superheat. Pressure and temperature of the refrigerant must be higher than the condensing temperature. it requires an understanding of the physical properties of the refrigeration cycle. The process of compression. Compressor The Compressor compresses a low-pressure superheated gas into a high-pressure superheated gas.33 Charging Residential Air Conditioning R-22 Different types of metering devices have different ways of charging. screw.
that is the temperature is reduced to saturated pressure-temperature. The compressor has a maximum inlet temperature of about 70° degrees and outlet of about 225° degrees. This is defined as equilibrium contact. the greater the sensible (visible) heat loss. it is desuperheated. 34 . Condenser The condenser removes heat and changes a high-pressure vapor into a high-pressure liquid. Desuperheating (heat leaving the refrigerant gas) of refrigerant begins as it is discharged. The only variable that can change the temperature is a pressure change. At the change of state the refrigerant liquid and vapor are at the same temperature. From a compressor and pushed into a condenser. This is called subcooling. The temperatures of the liquid and vapors will stay the same until the temperature of the refrigerant starts to drop. This process explains the necessary relationship between the increased pressure and the rise in temperature. (See table 1) Subcooling is a measurement of how much liquid is in the condenser. When the temperature does not rise or fall it is at saturation and the change of state process begins. (See table 1) At saturation pressure-temperature point. If the pressure and temperature is not increased through compression. Latent heat is a lack of rise or fall of temperature during a change of state (saturation).34 higher so heat can flow into the condensing medium. the change of state becomes latent heat (invisible or hidden heat). In air conditioning. As the superheated (high-pressure) gas is pushed into the condenser. Temperature of the refrigerant start to drop once 98% to 99% of the refrigerant becomes a liquid. The only variable that can change a temperature is a pressure change. Subcooling is a temperature below saturated pressure- temperature. If a temperature change occurs a pressure change occurs. The refrigerant does not start to change state until the temperature reaches saturated pressure-temperature. there is no heat transferred from the refrigerant to the condensing medium. Inlet refrigerant gas cools the compressor motor. it is important to measure subcooling because the longer the liquid stays in the condenser. If a pressure change occurs a temperature change occurs. Refrigerant continues to change state at one pressure-temperature.
which has two jobs: 1. When high-pressure liquid enters a metering device. Flash gas is what cools the refrigerant liquid in the metering device. the refrigerant will start to re-vaporize (change state from a liquid to a vapor) before reaching the metering devise. High subcooling means that a condenser is full. Feeds refrigerant into the evaporator. it must be pushed down the liquid line to a metering device. and 2. (See table 2) Low-pressure liquid that is leaving the metering device is boiling at saturated pressure-temperature. Over filling a system increases. Refrigerant –22 Liquid line Saturated temperate . A system with no subcooling 35 . The process of a refrigerant changing its state (from a liquid to a vapor) in the metering device is called flash gas. At this time both the pressure and temperature continues to drop to evaporator pressuretemperature. If a pressure drop occurs in the liquid line and the refrigerant has no subcooling.35 Low subcooling means that a condenser is empty.Temperature = subcooling 200 psig = 101 degrees 210 psig = 105 degrees 240 psig = 114 degrees (Table 1) 96 degrees 90 degrees 98 degrees = 5 degrees = 15 degrees = 16 degrees Metering Devices A metering device is a pressure drop point. as the temperature remains the same until it reaches saturation pressure-temperature. pressure starts to drop. pressure due to the liquid filling of a condenser that shows up as high subcooling. To move the refrigerant from condenser to the liquid line. Holds refrigerant back in a condense.
It continues to boil at one temperature as long as the pressure remains the same. which is a change of state heat. there will not be a temperature change in the refrigerant changing state. If a temperature change occurs a pressure change occurs. temperature. The refrigerant changes state at one temperature (for any one pressure) from the beginning of the evaporator until the entire liquid refrigerant has become a vapor. past saturation pressure- equilibrium contact. Evaporators The refrigerant enters the evaporator as a boiling low-pressure liquid at saturated pressure-temperature. Refrigerant –22 suction line Saturated temperate . (See Table 2) Superheat is an indication of how full the evaporator is of liquid refrigerant. refrigerant absorbs latent heat. Superheat should never be observed below 4° degrees or a compressor failure may occur. High superheat means the evaporator is empty. the liquid and vapor are at the same temperature due to When heat is added to the gas. There have been reports that liquid refrigerant can still be boiling with 2° degrees of superheat. At saturation. If there is not a pressure change in the evaporator.Temperature = superheat 58 psig = 32 degrees 64 psig = 37 degrees 70 psig = 41 degrees (Table 2) 44 degrees 47 degrees 50 degrees = 12 degrees = 10 degrees = 9 degrees 36 . Low superheat means the evaporator is full. In latent heat. The superheat gas is pulled into the compressor were it starts the cycle again.36 has more gas that is flashed and less capacity. it is called superheat. The only variable that can change a temperature is a pressure change.
capacity will increase . Take a temperature reading at the leaving liquid line of the condenser. Increasing subcooling with an increase of discharge pressure and compression ratio. The superheat is fixed at 8 to 12 degrees in most residential air conditioning systems. (See table 1) This four-step procedure is known as subcooling. both liquid and vapor are at the same temperature. 2. 4. depending on relative humidity of the air. decrease capacity. Thermostatic Expansion Valve R-22 A/C with a Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV) is charged to the subcooling of the liquid line leaving the condenser because the superheat is fixed. This allows the liquid to give up more heat. Add 5 degrees of subcooling for every 30 feet of liquid line lift. the saturated temperature and leaving liquid line temperature. For every one degree of subcooling at the same condensing pressure. Air may have many different wet bulb temperatures for one dry bulb temperature. Different types of metering devices have different ways of charging. 3. Obtain refrigerant saturation pressure-temperature. two temperatures must be recorded: 1. Take a pressure reading of the liquid line leaving the condenser. Subtracting one from the other. Refrigerant saturation temperature is the pressuretemperature when the refrigerant is turning from a high-pressure vapor into a highpressure liquid (giving up heat). Convert pressure to temperature with a pressure temperature chart. Subcooling is the amount of liquid held back in the condenser. 2. Condensing air inlet dry bulb temperature. the difference is the amount the refrigerant has cooled past saturated temperature.5 percent. Wet bulb temperature is a measurement of the heat contained within air. below saturated pressure. To measure subcooling: 1. At saturation pressure-temperature. Evaporator air inlet wet bulb temperature.37 Charging Methods Before charging of a residential air conditioning system. Manufacturers should be able to 37 . Compare both.temperature. This is subcooling.
The zeotropes refrigerant group is known for their fractionation. Subcooling for A/C with TXV R-22 Evaporator Inlet Air Temperature Fahrenheit Wet Bulb 57 Outside Air Temperature DB 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 17 15 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 16 14 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 15 13 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 13 12 21 20 19 18 17 15 14 12 10 20 19 18 16 15 13 12 10 8 19 18 17 15 13 12 10 8 6 18 17 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 17 15 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 (Table 3) + --2 degrees Fixed Orifice R-22 A/C with a fixed orifice is charged to the superheat of the suction line leaving the evaporator. Superheat of the evaporators. Superheat is the gas temperature above the saturated temperature. It is possible to never have a clear sight glass. Total superheat is figured at the compressor inlet.38 identify the amounts of subcooling they have designed into a system. Take a pressure reading of the suction line-leaving evaporator to get refrigerant saturation pressure-temperature. Total superheat entering the compressor. Superheat can be split into two types of heat: 1. Do not worry about a few bubbles in the sight glass. The evaporators superheat must be figured at the evaporator outlet not at the compressor inlet. A low charge will give a low subcooling. and 2. To measure evaporator superheat: 1. An overcharge will give a high subcooling along with a high compression ratio. To determine what the subcooling should be in a system (see table 3). Refrigerant saturation temperature is the pressure38 . Sight glasses will not always be clear with a full charge.
A low charge will give a high superheat. Convert pressure to temperature with a pressure temperature chart. This is superheat. At saturation pressure-temperature. 3. you may have to add a few pounds of pressure due to pressure drop in the suction line. both liquid and vapor are at the same temperature. (See table 2) This four-step procedure is known as superheat. To determine what superheat in a system should be. If reading is obtained at the compressor. 2. the difference is the amount the refrigerant gas has heated past saturated temperature. 4.39 temperature when the refrigerant is turning from a low-pressure liquid to a lowpressure vapor (absorbing heat). Manufacturers should be able to identify the amounts of superheat they have designed into a system. Take a temperature reading at the leaving suction line of the evaporator. Superheat for A/C with fixed Orifice R-22 Evaporator Inlet Air Temperature Fahrenheit Wet Bulb 54 Outside Air Temperature DB 60 13 65 11 70 8 75 5 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 (Table 4) +-. An overcharge will give a low superheat along with a higher compression ratio. see (table 4). Subtracting one from the other. not at the evaporator leaving line. the saturated temperature and the leaving suction line temperature. Compare both.2 degrees 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 17 13 11 7 4 18 15 12 10 6 4 20 17 14 12 8 6 4 24 18 16 14 12 8 6 4 26 22 18 16 14 12 9 7 5 4 28 25 22 18 16 14 12 11 8 6 5 30 28 25 23 18 17 15 13 11 8 7 5 33 30 28 26 23 20 18 16 14 12 11 8 36 33 30 28 27 25 22 20 18 15 14 13 39 36 33 30 28 27 25 23 20 19 18 16 39 .
4.40 Total Superheat Method Some residential air-conditioning system with fixed orifice may be charged by the total superheat method. the reading at the intersection of vapor pressure and outdoor ambient temperature should coincide with the actual vapor line temperature. Various equipment manufacturers furnish charts with their units that explain the proper procedures to the installing or servicing technician. If the vapor line temperature is not the same. Caution: If adding R-22 increases both suction pressure and temperature. Removing R-22 will lower suction pressure and raise suction line temperature. similar to evaporator superheat method. To measure total superheat: 1. This method is very useful when performing preventive maintenance or corrective 40 . is effective only when the indoor conditions are within 2F° of desired indoor comfort conditions and the suction pressure and temperature is stabilized. 2. Read and record the outdoor ambient air-dry bulb temperature entering the condenser. This method. Read and record suction line pressure and temperature at the suction service valve or service port at compressor. adjust the refrigerant charge. From Table 5. Adding R-22 will raise suction pressure and lower suction line temperature. 3. the unit is overcharged.
If the sight glass is close to the exit of the condenser or if there is very little subcooling at the sight glass. bubbles may be present even when the system is properly charged. 41 . super heat. Vapor pressure at service valve 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 Outdoor T°⏐Vapor line T° at compressor F° 100+ 100 95 90 85 80 75 70 65 ⏐ 43 45 46 47 49 50 51 53 54 55 44 45 47 48 49 51 52 53 55 56 57 45 47 48 50 51 52 54 55 56 58 59 60 49 51 52 54 55 56 58 59 60 62 52 53 55 56 58 59 61 62 63 53 55 56 58 59 61 62 63 65 55 56 58 59 61 62 64 65 66 55 57 58 60 61 63 64 66 67 57 58 60 61 63 64 66 67 69 Refrigeration The use of sight glass for charging is common in refrigeration. It is better to charge a system first by measuring the operating condition (discharge and suction pressures. subcooling and coils temperature deferential) before using the liquid line sight glass. If a system is charged to full sight glass. suction line temperature. Remember to always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations whenever possible. decreasing efficiency.41 service on residential air conditioning. compressor amps. Note: Follow the manufacturer recommendation for superheat and subcooling. overcharging may be the result.
The process of charging to superheat and subcooling improves an air conditioning system’s efficiency. and flood the compressor with liquid refrigerant. Roger D. lower pressure. Always refer to the manufacturer recommendations on charging fixed orifices. money. O. 661665-8893. He also is a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning specialist at National Technical Transfer Inc. and decreases system efficiency. Box 4558 Englewood. P. An Automatic Expansion Valve (AXV) is a constant evaporator pressure valve and not normally used in A/C. decrease efficiency. BSME. decrease system capacity. Remember when changing refrigerants all superheat and subcooling adjustments have to be checked and recorded. increases superheat. lower capacity. capacity and lessens equipment failures. A fixed orifices is the simplest metering devise made and the most critical to charge. increases pressures. Over charging fixed orifices will lower superheat. Under charge. and aggravation but it is a sign of a professional. Baselining. increases system pressures. Always let system stabilize (10 to 20 minutes) after adjusting the charge. and lower refrigerant velocity leaving oil in the evaporator. CO 80155 (800) 922-2820 42 .42 A Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV) is designed to maintain a constant superheat. and lower refrigerant velocity leaving oil in the evaporator. Over charging a TXV will rise subcooling. The procedure of recording adjustments is called This procedure not only saves time. CM.. Holder. Under charging a TXV will decrease subcooling. the fixed orifices will raise superheat. this takes time but improves efficiency and capacity. Is the owner of R D Holder Eng in Bakersfield CA.
43 43 .
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.