In a new three-part white paper, the Copper Development Association (CDA), based in McLean, Virginia (U.S.)., released research on next-generation heat exchangers that gives industry professionals “the most current insights on enhancing efficiency of HVAC&R systems using smaller-diameter copper tubes,” said CDA in a statement.

“New systems based on these designs may give owners and engineers the opportunity to reduce operational costs and energy consumption,” the statement said.

Researchers from Optimized Thermal Systems (OTS), Beltsville, Maryland (U.S.) used Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm (MOGA) simulations to identify optimal heat-exchanger designs in Packaged Terminal Air Conditioning (PTAC) systems and refrigeration systems made by Sub-Zero Group, Madison, Wisconsin (U.S.). 

The PTAC studies identified new condenser designs with smaller- diameter copper tubes that can reduce both energy consumption and operational cost for PTAC systems, which are widely used in hospitality and some commercial applications. The Sub-Zero refrigeration study found condenser designs that could reduce internal volume and total system charge while also maintaining or exceeding current performance levels.

“The exciting conclusions drawn will help minimize the volumes of energy exerted by HVAC&R systems,” said Andrew Kireta Jr., Vice President, Market Development at CDA. “They reflect copper’s inherent material advantages across a wide range of applications from plumbing, to energy and architecture.” 

Smaller-diameter copper tunes have been used in hydrocarbon systems requiring a small charge. In a paper presented at the 2018 Purdue Conferences, optimized domestic refrigerator condenser coils using hydrocarbon refrigerants were shown to deliver needed cooling capacity while using smaller-diameter (5 mm) MicroGroove copper tubes that contain a small charge of refrigerant.

“The exciting conclusions drawn will help minimize the volumes of energy exerted by HVAC&R systems.”

Andrew Kireta Jr., Copper Development Association

Want to find out more, or have something to say about this story? Join the ATMO Connect network to meet and engage with like-minded stakeholders in the clean cooling and natural refrigerant arena.