Refridgerant Cleaning

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Operational Overview of Oil Separation & Refrigerant Cleaning

The OAM Purger (O-A-M is an abbreviation for Oil-Acid-Moisture) is designed to continually clean oil, acid and moisture from a chiller's refrigerant charge and return the oil to the chiller's compressor lubrication circuit, oil reservoir sump, where it belongs. OAM Purger's operation of oil separation and refrigerant cleaning is accomplished via a unique process utilizing the properties of gravity, heat and pressure exclusively to function. The OAM Purger does not utilize mechanical pumps of any type.

How the OAM Purger Works

The OAM Purger continually draws off a small quantity of refrigerant, typically 10 to 20 pounds at a time. The refrigerant is then distilled back to the chiller leaving the oil behind. The recovered oil is then automatically returned to the chiller's oil sump where it belongs. Acids and moisture are also removed from the refrigerant and oil during the process.

Because the Purger operates 24 hours a day around the clock, regardless of chiller operating status, the refrigerant is permanently maintained in a virtual oil free state. This is true even in those situations where significant oil crossover occurs due to excessive oil seal wear. 

The OAM Purger is a totally passive device that operates independently of the chiller and has no effect on chiller operation other than cleaning the refrigerant, saving energy and increasing capacity. Operation of the OAM Purger is accomplished, without an inductor pump, via a unique process utilizing gravity, heat and pressure exclusively to function.
The OAM Purger operates non-stop as long as power is applied, whether or not the chiller is operating, and cleans between 850 to 1250 pounds of contaminated refrigerant weekly.

Interesting Fact

It is common knowledge that oil build-up occurs in all centrifugal chillers. Oil invariably finds its way into the evaporator where it mixes with the refrigerant, degrading system efficiency and capacity. This occurs when the evaporator tubes become coated with oil, the heat transfer efficiency is retarded and drastically reduces the cooling effect. In fact, recent studies have identified excess oil on the refrigerant side of a chiller as a leading contributor to chiller inefficiency, and that the problem is widespread.

In one study, ASHRAE Research Project 601-TRP, refrigerant samples were taken from 10 operating chillers and analyzed for oil content. All of the chillers were found to contain excess oil in varying amounts from 3% (enough to significantly degrade performance) to as high as 23%. According to one OEM, as little as 1% (by weight) of oil in refrigerant could result in as much as a 3% loss in chiller efficiency.

Impurities in the Refrigerant = Inefficient Operation = Loss of Profit

It is a fact that 15 to 20% or more oil concentration in the chillers refrigerant charge is typical. Thus, this could mean a 30 to 40% loss of capacity with a corresponding increase in energy consumption.

Once oil gets into the chiller's refrigerant it's very difficult to get it back out. In the past, about the only way an oil-logged chiller could be fixed was to both remove and distill the refrigerant, or replace the charge with virgin refrigerant. In either case it was a very expensive process and it required a considerable amount of down time. As you are aware most centrifugal chiller applications simply cannot afford to have a chiller down…period! Also utilizing the past methods, of cleaning or replacing the refrigerant charge, the fix was only temporary. The minute the chiller was placed back into operation oil contamination began all over again.

Every chiller needs an OAM Purger

Advantages to the chiller owner...

  • The OAM Purger quickly cleans the chiller's refrigerant charge to only a trace level of oil.

  • Quickly restores chiller to peak operating efficiency.

  • Substantially reduces energy consumption saving the owner thousands of dollars in operating cost.

  • The OAM Purger can pay for itself in as little as 3 to 4 months. So, in effect, retrofitting an OAM Purger does not really cost the owner anything. In fact, retrofitting with an OAM Purger is a financial investment that keeps on paying dividends (in most cases thousands of dollars per month).

  • Reduces maintenance and helps prevent premature failure.

Contact Us today and find out how you can benefit from installing OAM Purgers on your chillers!!

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Global Energy Solutions is transforming the way our clients use energy. We help commercial, institutional and industrial organizations use energy more intelligently, pay less for it, and generate cash flow that benefits the bottom line.

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picture We have conservatively estimated that our facility has saved over $65,000 this after installing the distillation system. This system has paid for itself in a matter of months.”