R-Side® Solution - Wet Refrigerant

Source: Hudson Technologies Company
Hudson effectively and efficiently eliminates moisture and the resultant contaminants either online or offline.
Water freely absorbs into refrigerant as if soaked up by a dry sponge. Due to its' solubility characteristics, particularly with HCFC and HFC refrigerants, water will continue to absorb into refrigerant until saturation is achieved. Once saturation is exceeded, a flooded condition is created and the actual amount of water in the system cannot be determined by refrigerant analysis.

To illustrate the range of values among refrigerant types, at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, R-11, R-123 and R-134a will become fully saturated at the following levels:

  • CFC-11 - 44 ppm
  • HCFC-123 - 470 ppm
  • HFC 134a - 600 ppm
The impact of moisture in refrigerant cannot be overstated. Refrigerant moisture directly causes the formation of acids resulting in metal corrosion, copper plating and chemical damage to the insulation in hermetic compressors and other system materials. Metal corrosion may lead to rust and pitting of motor bearings and copper plating may form on bearings causing a reduction in tolerance. Wet refrigerant may also lead to ice formation in expansion valve, capillary tubes or evaporators.

Typical causes of water in the refrigerant-side of a system include (1) minor tube leaks and leaks in end sheets; (2) leaks in low-pressure systems (systems operating below atmospheric pressure on the suction side); (3) less than optimal service procedures (e.g., failure to pull full vacuum, charging with contaminated refrigerant); and (4) leaving a chiller or refrigeration system open to the atmosphere.

Hudson effectively and efficiently eliminates moisture and the resultant contaminants either online or offline. Where downtime is crucial, the Company's patented online decontamination process rapidly reduces moisture and contaminants while the chiller or refrigeration system continues to operate. When downtime is not a factor, the option of offline dehydration and decontamination is the preferred method. Depending upon the actual moisture level, job conditions and customer demands, available solutions range from recovery of the refrigerant, dehydration and recharging of the system to a system decontamination that includes oil removal, refrigerant recovery, dehydration, purification and reintroduction into the system in a continuous process until online instrumentation verifies that all contaminants have been removed or that it otherwise meets predetermined specifications.

In summary, online dehydration and system decontamination:

  • Eliminates costly downtime - no shutdown is necessary
  • Rapidly removes suspended moisture and other contaminants

Offline refrigerant dehydration and system decontamination:

  • Provides a cost effective approach where downtime is not a factor
  • Removes other impurities including particulate, excess oil and acids from refrigerant and the entire system depending on service provided

Hudson Technologies Company, 326 Main Street, Fremont, NH 03044. Tel: 800-277-3490; Fax: .