Vacuum Pump Use in Refrigeration Based Industries
With so much progress being made with environmentally (more) friendly refrigerants, questions are being asked whether a particular type of vacuum pump is suitable for the newer refrigerants ? The following are questions asked by clients in the last few years.
Note: The comments below relating to ATEX, EX, and explosion-proof category ratings use complex calculations to calculate the correct rating for a given application. If vacuum equipment is intended to be used in explosive applications or environment, we can calculate the correct rating and advise on the correct equipment.
The following also relates to the heat pump, auto air, and general refrigeration industries.
Question: I've been looking at one of your vac pumps (Coolvac Model VP250) and need to find out some more information on it. Can this pump run with R32 and what do you mean by your description that all pumps come with a 1/4" & 3/8" SAE suction fitting and we also have (Schrader Valve no loss refrigerant) adaptors costing $20 for those using R410A in the heat pump industry. The heat pump I'm about to install runs on R410a.
Answer: All explosion proof equipment has one of many ratings for both inside and outside equipment plus the environment the equipment is being used in. Most outside categories relate to the motor standard. Further down the EX ratings are more categories relating to whether the environment is enclosed, ventilated, inside and enclosed, outside exposed to the weather etc. etc.
R32 requires service equipment with exposed motors (outside) to be rated to the A2L explosion proof standard. This is more or less risky dependent on where the equipment is being used. There are some refrigeration service equipment available and we have refrigerant recovery equipment now available but vacuum pumps are just coming on stream and we do not stock any just yet.
To answer your other question, to cover the widest possible range, our Oerlikon Leybold, Javac and Coolvac refrigeration related vacuum pumps all come with either a ¼” SAE suction port fittings, some with ¼” and 3/8” SAE, some with just 3/8” SAE and a couple with an additional ¼” vehicle type R134A fittings plus in some cases, a standard NW16 or NW25 flange standard. in our case, R410A uses an in-between size so adaptors are needed, at least for the vacuum pump port. The remainder of your equipment can be any size dependent on the work you are engaged in.