Carbon nanoparticles will make refrigerators cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Scientists at the University of Johannesburg have changed the composition of the refrigerant so that it reduced electricity consumption by 19%. About the prospects of cooling systems writes the journal Energy Reports.
To replace the refrigerant in the refrigerator, it was not even necessary to transport it to production. Scientists have literally replaced eco-friendly R134a at home with a mixture of the more energy-efficient R600a and mineral oil with metered multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). The power consumption of the refrigerator was reduced, and the new refrigerant was less harmful to nature. Such a discovery is especially important, the researchers note, for countries with many low-income families. Many of them cannot afford expensive and more environmentally friendly refrigerators.
Note that R134a today is one of the most widely used refrigerants in domestic and industrial refrigerators. It is safe because, above all, it is not flammable. However, R134a has high potential for global warming and contributes to climate change, as well as the fact that refrigerators, freezers and air conditioning equipment consume a lot of electricity. In turn, energy consumption leads to even greater climate change.
Meanwhile, a more energy-efficient refrigerant can make electricity bills substantially lower. And vulnerable households will also have higher energy security. Energy savings and demand management will help planners in energy companies, as cooling accounts for about 40% of energy demand.
Nano-ecological refrigerants contain water and ethylene glycol. Previous studies have shown a reduction in energy use in nano-cooling by dosing existing refrigerants with MWCNT nanoparticles. The process also resulted in reduced friction and wear on steam compressors. But previous studies have not tested the effect of MWCNT on hydrocarbon refrigerants such as R600a. Hence the innovative results of scientists from Johannesburg.
“The refrigerator cooled faster with the new refrigerant and had a much lower evaporation temperature – -11 ℃ after 150 minutes. It was lower than -8 ℃ for R134a. It also exceeded the ISO 8187 standard, which requires -3℃ at 180 minutes, ”said Dr. Daniel Madeira of the Department of Engineering at the University of Johannesburg.