Advanced Refrigerants – Hazard Analysis

Simulation of refrigerant leak in a walk-in cooler. This simulation was part of Primaira's hazard analysis.

When ozone layer depleting refrigerants were banned they were replaced with chemicals that contributed significantly to climate change. Unfortunately, advanced refrigerants that have a lower impact on the environment are significantly more flammable than conventional refrigerants, leading to potential safety concerns if the refrigerant leaks into an enclosed space.

In a series of assignments for industry groups, we identified potentially hazardous scenarios and then conducted time-dependent computational fluid dynamics analysis of a variety of leak scenarios.

We simulated roof-top units, chillers and heat pumps in a variety of use cases. Our results were used to design field experiments in which the generation of hazardous conditions from actual leaks was tested.