Optimization, Design and Fabrication of a Prototype 5-Ton ECU Using Hydrocarbon Refrigerants

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-05-M-5812
Agency Tracking Number: F051-121-2470
Amount: $99,880.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-121
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
200 Yellow Place, Pines Industrial Center, Rockledge, FL, 32955
DUNS: 175302579
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert P Scaringe
 PI/Sr. Research Engineer
 (321) 631-3550
Business Contact
 Michael Rizzo
Title: Controller
Phone: (321) 631-3550
Email: mar@mainstream-engr.com
Research Institution
Mainstream has a long history of investigating the use of hydrocarbon refrigerants in heat pumps and air conditioners. Experimental data has demonstrated the performance of some hydrocarbon refrigerants to be about 7% better than R-410A and 10% better than HCFC-22. Experiments have also demonstrated that hydrocarbon blends can be formulated to match the saturation temperature/pressure behavior of HCFC-22. Compressor tests have shown that the hydrocarbons are compatible with conventional mineral-oil refrigeration oils. This Phase I effort proposes to: A) evaluate the performance of various hydrocarbon refrigerants and mixtures using our in-house heat pump models, B) select the optimum hydrocarbon working fluid for this Lightweight ECU application, C) experimentally determine the flammability characteristics of the potential hydrocarbon refrigerant, D) Design and Build a full-scale prototype 5-Ton Lightweight ECU, E) measure the performance of this improved ECU, and F) compare the performance, size and weight benefits to Mainstream's existing ECU which uses R-410A. Phase I also includes the delivery of the prototype 5-ton Lightweight hydrocarbon-refrigerant ECU. Our accelerated schedule not only reduces the risk to the government and provides more value, it also allows the follow-on Phase II to focus on Military Field Tests, Life Tests, and more extensive performance testing.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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