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Evacuation Clinic This presentation is excerpted from ROBINAIR'S library of air conditioning educational material. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY.

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Presentation on theme: "Evacuation Clinic This presentation is excerpted from ROBINAIR'S library of air conditioning educational material. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evacuation Clinic This presentation is excerpted from ROBINAIR'S library of air conditioning educational material. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

2 Vacuum: How It Relates to Air Conditioning Service

3 Introduction This slide show is designed to inform HVAC service technicians about the physics of the evacuation process and vacuum pump selection so that they may excel at their profession & prosper. Produced by DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY with considerable help from ROBINAIR. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

4 Outline Fundamentals of Dehydrating a Refrigerant System
Moisture in a refrigerant system How acid affects metals Tools needed DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

5 The two most frequent questions service technicians ask about dehydration are:
What size vacuum pump should be used be used to perform a good refrigeration / air conditioning system dehydration job? How long should the pump be left on the system to assure a good removal of all moisture from the system? DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

6 Before we can answer: To give specific answers to these questions, you need to know: The cubic capacity of the system to be dehydrated. The amount of moisture both visible and invisible present in the system. The diameter and length of the line set as well as restrictions within the system itself (cap tubes, valves,etc.) which might cause back pressures. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

7 Let's do this: Rather than supplying fast, pat answers to these important questions and then trying to justify them, let's start by covering the basic fundamentals of dehydrating a refrigerant system. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

8 Moisture In A Refrigerant System
While it is important to realize that moisture in a refrigerant system is the underlying cause of many problems and complaints, it is equally important to learn why. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

9 Moisture In A Refrigerant System continued
Basically, moisture can be classified as visible and invisible. Invisible moisture or water vapor is the culprit which causes the greatest trouble in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

10 Moisture In A Refrigerant System continued
A single drop of water may look harmless, but to a refrigerant system, it is a monster, the number one enemy of service technicians. What makes it so formidable is the fact that moisture enters a system easily and is hard to remove. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

11 Here is what it does to a system:
First, it creates "freeze-ups." Moisture will be picked up by the refrigerant and be transported through the refrigerant lines in a fine mist which forms ice crystals at the point of expansion (piston, or TXV). DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

12 Here is what it does to a system: continued
Ice crystals retard or stop the flow of the refrigerant, causing loss of cooling. As the expansion valve warms, due to the lack of refrigerant, the ice melts and passes through the metering device. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

13 Here is what it does to a system: continued
The refrigerant will then start to flow again until the moisture returns, to the metering device and once more builds ice crystals. The result is intermittent cooling. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

14 "Freeze-ups" Whether a "freeze-up" actually occurs depends primarily upon the amount of water and the size of the ice particles formed. But a "freeze-up" is not the only problem caused by moisture! DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

15 Moisture and Corrosion
Moisture can also cause corrosion, which can present serious trouble! DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

16 Moisture and Corrosion continued
Moisture mixed with refrigerant creates much more trouble. Refrigerants such as R-12 containing chlorine will slowly hydrolyze with water and form hydrochloric acids. These acids greatly increase the corrosion of metals and could corrode copper plating. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

17 Moisture & Corrosion continued
Heat increases the rate of corrosion due to acids because higher temperatures accelerate the acid-forming process. This acid attacks all the materials it contacts. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

18 Moisture & Refrigerant Oil
Refrigerant oil presents another problem caused by moisture. Refrigerant oil is an exception to the rule that "water and oil don't mix." In fact, refrigerant oil attracts moisture and will absorb it rapidly if left open to the atmosphere. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

19 Moisture & Refrigerant Oil continued
Water-formed acid mixes with refrigerant oil, forming a closely bonded mixture of fine globules. The effect is called "sludging" and greatly reduces the oil's lubricating ability. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

20 Corrosion & "Sludge" Corrosion becomes troublesome from the operating standpoint when metallic surfaces are eaten away and a solid, detachable product is formed. This formation is also known as a "sludge." DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

21 The Effects of "Sludge" It will plug fine strainers, expansion valves and capillary tubes. Because it contains acids, sludge corrodes whatever it clings to, accelerating system damage. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

22 The most effective way to remove moisture from a system is with a vacuum pump.

23 Other tools needed: DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

24 Other tools needed: DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

25 The Effects of Pressure & Temperature On The Boiling Points Of Water
"A high vacuum pump is capable of removing all moisture from a hermetic system by reducing the internal system pressures to the boiling point of water at normal temperatures." DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

26 How It Works. A vacuum pump does not "suck out" the liquid moisture.
Rather, it causes the moisture to boil into a vapor state which can be harmlessly removed from the system and exhausted through the vacuum pump. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

27 The planet earth is surrounded by matter in a gaseous state.
78% Nitrogen 21% Oxygen 1% other gases Extends approximately 600 miles above the earth. Held by gravity. Has weight. Measured in pounds per square inch. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

28 Atmospheric Pressure If you were to take a square inch column of the air extending 600 miles above the earth, its weight and pressure exerted on the earth at sea level would be 14.7 pounds. This is called atmospheric pressure. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

29 Pressure vs. Vacuum Any pressure above atmospheric pressure is referred to as gauge pressure. Pressures below atmospheric are referred to as vacuum. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

30 Measuring Pressures This same square inch column of air exerting 14.7 psi can support a one inch square column of mercury (Hg) inches high. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

31 Atmospheric pressure & elevation
Atmospheric pressure decreases at higher elevations. Going above sea level, to the summit of Mount Whitney for example, eliminates some of the 600 miles of atmosphere and, consequently, some of the pressure. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

32 Pressure's effect on boiling point
Atmospheric pressure determines the boiling point of water. At sea level, water boils at 212o F. On the summit of Mt. Whitney, where atmospheric pressure is 8.32 psi, water boils at 184o F. The lower the atmospheric pressure is, the lower the boiling point of water. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

33 Pressure's effect on boiling point
Therefore, if we can significantly reduce the atmospheric pressure inside a sealed refrigerant system, we can vaporize (or boil) moisture at even –90o F. This principle is illustrated in the following chart: DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

34 Pressure's effect on boiling point

35 Three ways to eliminate moisture from a refrigerant system by the boiling process.
1. Transport the system to a higher elevation where the ambient temperature is sufficient to boil water at the existing psi. 2. Apply heat to the system causing the moisture to boil. 3. Employ a high vacuum pump to reduce the pressure and boiling point of water. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

36 There is only one choice!
The first two choices are impractical. Thus, a high vacuum pump is an essential aid to every service technician. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

37 High Vacuum / Deep Vacuum
The purpose of a vacuum pump is to reduce the internal system pressure of a refrigeration / air conditioning system so moisture and other contaminants can be removed. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

38 "High Vacuum" The term "high vacuum" describes a condition where the internal system pressure is extremely low, or close to a perfect vacuum. The higher the vacuum is in a system, the closer the micron reading is to zero microns. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

39 "Deep Vacuum" "Deep vacuum" can be thought of in the same way.
The deeper a vacuum is, the closer the micron reading is to zero microns. High Vacuum = Deep Vacuum DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

40 Selecting High Vacuum Pumps
While any pump pulling within one inch of atmospheric pressure can eliminate moisture, it must also be capable of holding that vacuum throughout the dehydration process. In addition, it must pull that vacuum on the entire system and not simply at the intake of the pump. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

41 What is "gas ballast"? The gas ballast or vented exhaust feature of some vacuum pumps permits relatively dry air from the atmosphere to enter the second stage of the pump. This air reduces the compression in the final stage which helps to prevent moisture from condensing into a liquid and mixing with the vacuum pump oil. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

42 How Gas Ballast Works The process of the gas ballast arrangement permits the moisture-laden air passing through the pump to mix with relatively dry air to such degree that compression does not cause condensation inside the pump DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

43 Limits of Gas Ballast Cannot handle large amounts of moisture.
Some pumps are designed to run with high internal temperatures. This reduces condensation in the oil. Supplements the gas ballast feature. Regular oil changes are still essential, sometimes daily ! Check the sight glass! DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

44 Factors Affecting Pump Speed
Cubic feet of the refrigerant system The amount of moisture in the system. The ambient temperature. Internal & external restrictions. The size of the pump. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

45 The only two factors the service technician can control are:
External restrictions. Pump size. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

46 Some pumps are faster than others!

47 How to make any pump faster:
The speed at which the evacuation occurs is controlled by the i.d. and length of the connecting line. Use large diameter, short length hoses. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

48 Is a bigger pump really better?
It is perfectly acceptable to use a 4 cfm pump on a small system. Using too small of a pump on a large system could cause the pump to operate in a "free air" condition for an extended period of time, thus risking premature pump wear. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

49 Choosing the right size vacuum pump:

50 How long should the pump run?
Use a thermistor vacuum gauge, also called a micron gauge. Prevents wasting time by running the pump too long or by risking inadequate dehydration. DESIGN AIR UNIVERSITY

51 Conclusion We thank you for joining our class today!

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