Dr. Björn Palm

Professor, Department of Energy Technology
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Friday, March 18, 2011, at 3:00 PM
Warnock Engineering Bldg. Rm. 2230
Reception to follow at 4:00 PM

Seminar Abstract

Refrigeration systems, AC systems, and heat pumps use about 15% of all electricity produced worldwide. Maintaining high efficiency in these systems is therefore of high importance for limiting total carbon emissions. Additionally, hydrofluorocarbons, which have been the dominating refrigerants for many years, are strong greenhouse gases. To reduce the total environmental impact of these systems, emissions of these gases should be kept at a low level. This can be done by assuring that systems are tight, and that charges are small. It is also possible to eliminate the influence of refrigerant releases by using refrigerants that have low Global Warming Potential. In Europe, many systems are installed using fluids that are present in the natural environment as refrigerants. These fluids are preferred by environmentalists as they will have no unexpected effects on the environment. Hundreds of millions of refrigerators are now using hydrocarbons as the refrigerant, and carbon dioxide is becoming increasingly popular in supermarket refrigeration. Ammonia is also a good refrigerant that is mainly used in industrial systems, but may in the future also be used in small systems. The presentation will address the technological issues associated with recent efforts to increase the sustainability of commercial refrigeration systems.

About Dr. Palm

Björn Palm heads the Division of Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration and is a professor at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm, Sweden. His research group is focusing much of its attention on how to reduce the environmental impact of refrigeration systems, AC systems, and heat pumps. This includes developing systems using natural fluids as refrigerants – primarily hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, and ammonia.