R-1234yf, Refrigerator, R-134a, GWP, Experimental
Concerns about anthropogenic climate change have generated an interest in low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and have spawned policies and regulations that encourage the transition to low GWP refrigerants. Recent research has largely focused on hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), including R-1234yf (GWP = 4) as a replacement for R-134a (GWP = 1430) in automotive air-conditioning applications. While R-1234yf and R-1234ze (GWP = 6) have been investigated theoretically as a replacements for R-134a in domestic refrigeration, there is a lack of experimental evidence. This paper gives experimental performance data for R-1234yf and R-1234ze as drop-in replacements for R134a in two household refrigerators – one baseline and one advanced technology. An experiment was conducted to evaluate and compare the performance of R-134a to R-1234yf and R-1234ze, using AHAM standard HRF-1 to evaluate energy consumption. These refrigerants were tested as drop-in replacements, with no performance enhancing modifications to the refrigerators. In Refrigerator 1 and 2, R-1234yf had 2.7% and 1.3% higher energy consumption than R-134a, respectively. This indicates that R-1234yf is a suitable drop-in replacement for R-134a in domestic refrigeration applications. In Refrigerator 1 and 2, R-1234ze had 16% and 5.4% lower energy consumption than R-134a, respectively. In order to replace R-134a with R-1234ze in domestic refrigerators the lower capacity would need to be addressed, thus R-1234ze might not be suitable for drop-in replacement.