ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 75

REFRIGERATION APPLICATIONS

Direct Talking
By Andy Pearson, Ph.D., C.Eng.,
Member ASHRAE
This article is the fifteenth in a series
exploring refrigeration and heat pump
concepts without using jargon.
The skill of fridge guys in confusing
others (and often themselves) has been
mentioned in these columns before.
This month, we tackle a word that is
frequently used, but seldom understood,
although most people seem to be oblivious to this. The word is “direct.”
When we talk about direct and indirect systems, the meaning is usually
clear. A direct system uses refrigerant
to cool the target stuff: air, product or
whatever; whereas an indirect system
has one or more intermediate steps of

heat transfer, usually using water, brine
or glycol to move heat from the stuff
to be cooled to the suction side of the
compressor. So far so good, but now it
gets complicated.
Safety standards such as ASHRAE
Standard 15-2010, Safety Standard
for Refrigeration Systems, refer to the
risk of refrigerant leaking from the
system into the place where people
are located. Such systems are also
sometimes loosely referred to as direct
systems, but there is a subtle difference.
If the evaporator is in the same place
as the people being cooled, then the
system is described as direct: a leak
from the refrigeration circuit would
expose occupants to refrigerant gas.
The term “direct” applies in this sense

even if the evaporator is cooling a
secondary fluid (for example, a water
chiller in a production area). It should
be understood in the sense of “directly
releasable,” a phrase that was tried in
the standards a few years ago but never
really caught on.
The amount of refrigerant allowed in
the system is determined by the hazardous effect that it would have if it leaked
into the occupied space. To mitigate this
risk a secondary coolant, such as water,
is used to provide the cooling effect to
the people, and the evaporator is placed
outside the area where the people are
located.
If refrigerant leaks into the water, it
does not affect the people being cooled.
However, if the water circuit was sealed,
with no means to relieve excessive pressure, then the refrigerant leak could, in
theory, pressurize the water circuit and
damage it.

www.info.hotims.com/44632-22

May 2013

ASHRAE Journal

75



ASHRAE Journal - May 2013

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

ASHRAE Journal - May 2013
Contents
Commentary
Industry News
Letters
Meetings and Shows
Feature Articles
VAV Reheat Versus Active Chilled Beams & DOAS
A Stable Whole Building Performance Method for Standard 90.1
Technology Award Case Studies:
PSU Design Build Project
Passive Cooling for School
Standing Columns
Building Sciences
InfoCenter
Refrigeration Applications
IAQ Applications
Engineer's Notebook
Products
Data Centers
Emerging Technologies
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - ASHRAE Journal - May 2013
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 2
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Commentary
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Industry News
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 8
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Letters
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Meetings and Shows
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - VAV Reheat Versus Active Chilled Beams & DOAS
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 24
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 25
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 26
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 32
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - A Stable Whole Building Performance Method for Standard 90.1
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 34
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 36
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 37
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 38
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 39
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 40
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 41
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 42
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 43
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 44
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 45
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - PSU Design Build Project
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 47
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 48
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 49
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 50
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 51
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 52
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 53
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Passive Cooling for School
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 55
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 56
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 57
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 58
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 59
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 60
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 61
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Building Sciences
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 63
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 65
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 66
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 67
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 68
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 69
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - InfoCenter
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 71
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 72
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 73
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 74
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Refrigeration Applications
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 76
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 77
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - IAQ Applications
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 79
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 80
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 81
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 82
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 83
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Engineer's Notebook
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 85
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Products
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 87
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Data Centers
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 89
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 90
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 91
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Emerging Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 93
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 94
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Classified Advertising
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Advertisers Index
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Cover4
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