Lubricant Technology for Lower GWP Refrigerants

CPI is Your Low GWP Navigation Partner™

Managing Complexity in the Refrigeration Industry

The refrigeration industry is transitioning towards a more sustainable future, and lower GWP refrigerants are enabling this shift to occur. However, this transition does not come without challenges. Key industry stakeholders are faced with navigating a complex landscape, as regulatory bodies around the world grapple with how to best address global warming.

Refrigerant gas manufacturers are responding to regulatory pressure by developing a vast array of new lower GWP refrigerant choices. OEMs are making refrigerant selections that balance technical requirements with regulatory and safety compliance. CPI Fluid Engineering is committed to partnering with industry stakeholders to navigate these challenges.

Lower GWP Refrigerant & Lubricant Selection

Lower GWP refrigerants have their own unique set of considerations for implementation in today’s compressor systems.  The balance between efficiency, environmental impact and safety are crucial in determining how well these newer refrigerant options will work in different compressor systems under various conditions.  Higher GWP refrigerants, such as HCFCs and HFCs, are being phased out on varying schedules by region.  The strategy of moving towards lower GWP options & speed of implementation differs from company to company, and the complexity of change for a global organization can prove difficult. 

Each lower GWP refrigerant option has its own challenges when replacing higher GWP refrigerants in compressor systems.  Likewise, matching a lubricant and its properties to these refrigerants also becomes challenging.  Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) require lubricant property testing data such as solubility, miscibility, ASHRAE 97 & more.  CPI utilizes these testing methods and combines them with our PVT apparatus to provide meaningful data.  A PVT test describes the pressure, viscosity, and density properties of a lubricant-refrigerant mixture over a range of temperatures and compositions.  PVT tests are run across a wide range of temperatures and pressures so that a model can be constructed that describes fluid properties at all conditions that might occur at compressor bearings.

It is important for lubricant manufacturers to stay connected to industry organizations, such as ASHRAE, AHRI, RETA, and IIAR.  These organizations provide valuable information to remain knowledgeable on current lower GWP options and stay ahead of future trends. CPI Fluid Engineering is leading the way with technical research & development while partnering with compressor OEMs, refrigerant gas manufacturers, and industry organizations to be the leader in the area of lubricant technology for lower GWP refrigerants.

Refrigerants in Play

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