Hydrocarbon System

The hydrocarbon system makes benefit of the variety in medium properties of hydrocarbons, which may be used in standard cycles, cascade arrangements, or as mixtures. The hydrocarbons are expected to yield high efficiencies for applications with moderate temperature glides.

Hydrocarbons as refrigerants

Hydrocarbons are organic compounds which consist only of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Hydrocarbons are nontoxic, they have no ozone depletion potential and a very low global warming potential. However, hydrocarbons are typically flammable which require the implementation of certain safety measures. The group of hydrocarbons covers a broad range of physical properties, and it is, thereby, suitable for a wide range of operating regions. Besides the utilization as pure refrigerants, hydrocarbons show a good miscibility with each other and may, therefore, be used as mixtures as well.

Technology developments

The hydrocarbon system will be a cascade arrangement operating with R600 or R600a (butane or isobutane) in the bottom cycle and R601 or R601a (pentane or isopentane) in the top cycle. In addition, it will be tested in connection with operation using zeotropic mixtures in case of promising pre-studies. The compressors will be modified piston compressors from Bock, while Fuchs focuses on the development of a suitable lubricant.