ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 16

letters
October’s “Using CO2 to Reduce Refrigerant Charge” by S. Forbes Pearson, Ph.D., should have addressed one critical aspect of CO2: its high operating pressures. At room temperature it’s 895 psi, and units using this in either a single stage, or high stage, operate up to 1,450 psi. When the system is off you can easily reach very high pressures (1,500 psi) at ambient temperatures. So, from a safety standpoint, in comparison to ammonia you’re trading chemical toxicity versus a gas explosion. That should be a serious consideration for anyone using CO2, especially in an industrial environment. Further, CO 2 can freeze and blind off relief valves on discharge. Personally, I’m not too keen on working around equipment or a refrigeration plant that has the potential for a high pressure gas rupture (and all the energy stored in the gas). Regardless of the previous, Mr. Pearson did an excellent job, and I enjoyed the article. However, at this time industrial systems in the thousands of tons range are in the province of ammonia. Steve Walker, P.E., Member ASHRAE, Pocatello, Idaho

Using CO2 to Reduce Refrigerant Charge

The Author Responds
I would like to thank Mr. Walker for his kind words about my article and to confirm that he is correct to say that high pressure is an important consideration in the design of refrigerating systems using carbon dioxide. However, it is not correct to infer from that fact that carbon dioxide systems are inherently less safe than systems using other refrigerants. It is the job of the professional engineer to design refrigerating systems, taking account of refrigerant properties, to ensure that an acceptable level of risk is not exceeded. Correctly designed carbon dioxide refrigerating systems are no more at risk of explosion than are systems using other refrigerants. The main challenge presented by use of carbon dioxide is its low critical temperature. High operating pressures are an advantage because they result in very small components. In practice, correctly designed CO2 systems have not proved to be more dangerous than systems using other refrigerants. The strain energy associated with the high pressure side of an ammonia system will probably be greater than the strain energy associated with the high pressure side of a carbon dioxide system because the volume of the ammonia system could

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ASHRAE Journal - January 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - January 2013

ASHRAE Journal - January 2013
Contents
Commentary
Industry News
Letters
Meetings and Shows
Feature Articles
Long-Term Commercial GSHP Performance: Part 6: Maintenance and Controls
Thermally Active Floors, Part 1
Technology Award Case Studies:
Aquathermal Systems
Standing Columns
Data Centers
People
Emerging Technologies
IAQ Applications
Engineer's Notebook
Washington Report
Refrigeration Applications
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - ASHRAE Journal - January 2013
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 2
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Commentary
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Industry News
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 8
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 14
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Letters
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Meetings and Shows
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Long-Term Commercial GSHP Performance: Part 6: Maintenance and Controls
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 25
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 26
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Thermally Active Floors, Part 1
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 33
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 34
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 36
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 37
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 38
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 39
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 40
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 41
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 42
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 43
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 44
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 45
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 46
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 47
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Aquathermal Systems
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 49
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 50
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 51
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 52
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 53
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 54
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 55
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 56
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 57
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 58
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 59
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 60
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Data Centers
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 62
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 63
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - People
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Emerging Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 66
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 67
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - IAQ Applications
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 69
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 70
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 71
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Engineer's Notebook
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 73
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 74
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 75
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Washington Report
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Refrigeration Applications
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Classified Advertising
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 80
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Cover4
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