Conference Year



Condensation, GWP, HFC, HFO


The substitution of HFC134a with low GWP refrigerants is one of the most important challenge for refrigeration and air conditioning. The possible substitutes include natural refrigerants, such as HC600 (Butane) and HC600a (Isobutane), and also synthetic refrigerants, such as HFO1234yf and HFO1234ze(E). The HC refrigerants exhibit very low GWP, 3 and 4 HC600a and HC600 respectively, good thermodynamic and transport properties, and pressure and volumetric performance very similar to HFC134a. The major drawback of HC refrigerants is their high flammability, being classified in class A3 according to ASHRAE classification. Also the HFO refrigerants present a mild flammability, being classified in class A2L. In fact it is very difficult to found low GWP substitutes for traditional HFC refrigerants with no flammability, as a weak chemical stability and / or a big chemical reactivity are presuppositions for low GWP. Both HFO1234yf and HFO1234ze(E) seem to be very promising as substitute for HFC134a, showing a GWP lower than 1 together with pressure and volumetric properties closely near to those of HFC134a. This paper presents the comparative analysis of HFC134a HFO1234yf and HFO1234ze(E)during saturated condensation inside a 4 mm horizontal smooth tube. The experimental tests were carried out at three different saturation temperatures (30, 35, and 40 °C) at decreasing vapour quality up to sub-cooled liquid condition, to evaluate the specific contribution of refrigerant mass flux, mean vapour quality, and saturation temperature. The refrigerant mass flux ranges from 100 to 600 kg m-2 s-1. The experimental measurements were reported in term of condensation heat transfer coefficients and frictional pressure drops and plotted in non-dimensional co-ordinates showing the heat transfer factor and the friction factor against the equivalent Reynolds number. A transition point from gravity dominated and forced convection condensation was found for an equivalent Reynolds number around 10000-20000. HFO1234yf and HFO1234ze(E) exhibit heat transfer coefficients and pressure drops similar to HFC134a and they seem to be valuable long term low GWP substitutes for HFC134a. The experimental heat transfer coefficients in the forced convection condensation regime were very well predicted by the Akers et al. (1959) model, whereas the Friedel (1979) correlation was able to reproduce the frictional pressure drop data both in gravity dominated and forced convection condensation regimes.