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Technical Paper

Reduced Pressure Carbon Dioxide Cycle for Vehicle Climate Control

Environmental concerns have spawned renewed interest in naturally occurring refrigerants such as carbon dioxide. CO2 has attractive features such as high enthalpy of evaporation and low cost compared to halocarbons. However, the vapor pressure of CO2 is high at temperatures normally encountered in refrigeration and air conditioning systems when compared to traditional and alternative refrigerants such as CFC-12 and HFC-134a. Major research efforts are underway to investigate the transcritical CO2 cycle, in which a gas cooler instead of a condenser accomplishes heat rejection to ambient, since carbon dioxide under these conditions is above the critical point. The vapor pressure in the gas cooler may exceed 120 bar (1,740 lb/in2). In this paper a reduced pressure carbon dioxide system is reported (Ref 1). Two companion papers will address properties of working fluids (Ref 2) and thermodynamic and cycle models (Ref 3) for the low pressure carbon dioxide cycle.