Tetrafluoroethane is a refrigerant that has thermo-dynamic properties. It is also widely known as, R134a, Forane or Suva 134a and HFC-134a. It is commonly used to cool because it has similar properties to the popular dichlorodifluoromethane, although it carries less of an associated problem with ozone depletion. R134a is an inert gas which is used by industry to work as high temperature refrigerant mostly in domestic refrigeration applications as well as air conditioning units in vehicles.
Advatages of the R134a
One of the advantages of a R134a compressor, in a compressed air application, is that it removed moisture from the air. This is because its cooling quality causes the water vapour to condense at a convenient point in the system where it can be drained away. The cooling R134a gas, as well as other HFC mixtures, needs polyester oil to work properly inside the compressors. Contamination of systems and their components can occur if either mineral oil or alkylbenzols are used instead. Manufacturing practices that need a lubricant can be achieved by utilising an approved polyester oil for the compressor in question.
These days R134a compressor units are found more and more in computer applications. High quality air conditioning units that keep data centres running at their optimal level tend to have tetrafluoroethane at their heart. This is not just because the cooling air prevents the servers from overheating at busy times but because unwanted moisture is efficiently removed from the equation. So, R134a compressors are at the centre of a dry data server, making for improved system reliability and less unwanted down time. HFC refrigeration systems of all types are known to have a drier output than other cooling systems, such as molecular sieves.
In an environment which is only occupied by computers which serve remote human users, silent running is not much of an issue. Nevertheless, the latest R134a compressors are developed for extremely quiet operation so that they can be used in offices and other place where people work. Current compressors offer a high degree of reliability as well as compact designs, so that they are quite convenient in the workplace.
On an issue of personal safety, procedures for the mounting, removal and charging of R134a compressors must be always be conducted in such a way that cross-contamination with chlorine-based refrigerants is not allowed to occur. This is to prevent noxious gasses being created which could lead to health problems. Only qualified air conditioning engineers and personnel should, therefore, work with the servicing of such systems.