Home refrigeration made available for low-income households with the help of nanoparticles

Power Consumption has always been an issue for households with low income. Researchers have estimated that 40% of the power consumption is used for cooling purposes, whether they are for refrigeration or air conditioners etc. Improving the cooling conditions of the refrigeration can lead to 29% less consumption of electrical energy. Based on the idea to make refrigeration less costly for poor households, researchers have carried some experiments and tried replacing the popularly used R134a refrigerant with a new refrigerant R600a included with MWCNT (multi-walled carbon nanotube) nanoparticles. R134a refrigerant which is said to be high power consuming and environmentally disastrous, as it is a very big source of Global Warming, is mainly being used in domestic and industrial refrigeration systems. The main reason for this is of safety that it is incombustible. Researchers have come out with a new refrigerant, R600a with MWCNT, economical in terms of energy consumption and cost.

Research findings show that nanoparticles showed less friction, as well as reduced wear and tear on the machine vapour compressors. This leads to a prolonged life of the appliance being used. According to an observation, the powers consumed by a fridge for cooling purposes were reduced by more than a quarter for R600a with MWCNT of what was being used previously with R134a. Here, boosted performance and cooling were observed, while the results showed 29% less power consumption for the appliance.

Along with other advantages of energy efficiency and fewer environmental impacts, a drawback was also found, which was that the new refrigerant was flammable. Dr Madyira from the University of Johannesburg says that there shouldn’t be more than 150g of the new refrigerant in household fridges as it lays in the safety circle. It also has a slightly difficult replacement method than how the appropriate concentrated mixture should be made.

The R600a-MWCNT mixture will save people a good amount of money. Poor people living in countries with hot weather can benefit from it a lot. They rely on refrigeration appliances to store their food and medicines. Owing to the excessive power consumption and the costs that accompany it, the less fortunate households are unable to have access to such expensive refrigeration appliances. Due to this, most food gets spoilt, which then causes people to buy food in fewer quantities. This adds up to the food costs since food bought in lesser quantities has a huge cost difference than that bought in bulk. If they have energy-efficient appliances, they can save on food and travel costs. Additionally, they can store medicaments with convenience. On top of this, AC (alternating current) powered cooling appliances may also make them very cheap and economical. If the less fortunate households and small businesses, which make a noticeable proportion, start using grid powered cooling appliances along with R600a-MWCNT, there could be an immense decrease in electricity dissipation and an enormous increase in power and cost efficiencies.

Reference (Original Article Was Published in sciencedirect

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S235248471931039X

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