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LPG as an Aircon gas

Anyone heard anything about using LPG as a airconditioning gas (R12) substitute ?

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NO GO - to dangerous, got yourself a time bomb there.

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Have you any qualifications that backs that, because when I was doing cert 3 in automotive, butane was okay back in those days , yes it is very dangerous but there is not enough in the system to cause a deadly explosion. ( i'm only asking cause i see life i'm learning every day and if i was taught wrong i would like to know , as i don't like to do dodgy jobs)

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The replacement FR12 (not the new 134A) does an excellent job, you only need around half the amount too, had my calais gassed for 70 bux and its ice cold.
cheers
:bounce:

john
Silence is Non Committal

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Cheers
John
:o)

Dislike me for who I am you may, like me for whom I'm not, you never will...
MY SHED

Using any flammable gas in an air con system is illegal, also due to the temperature extremes that the gas would be exposed to it would first freeze in the cold side and then more than likely explode on the hot side, in short don't do it, as arsewipe says it isn't expensive to have the right stuff done.

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The un qualified coments about flamable propane in a car system is very shortsighted.
Propane works very well and will not explode in the hot condensor, this comment is embarassing and shows a complete lack of knowlege.

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to say propane in a air con system isnt dangerous is like saying bin laden is mis-understood. propanr refrigerant has been banned for years as a number of people have blown themselves up. you wouldnt smoke or have a spark or flame around a lpg cyclinder ,then why would any clown put it in a car engine to save a few dollars, think about it.

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Exactly right

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Propane is a recognised refridgerant R290. It evaporates around minus 32 degrees at one atmosphere as will not freeze in a typical air conditioner unit. It will not explode in the high pressure side either as there is no air (oxygen)in the circuit.
Where do you get the Illegal term from? Hychill sell it under the name "MINUS 30" for vehcle airconditioning systems.

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Now i am going to get the piss pulled out of me here i know.
I do use lpg in my aircon systems & it works excellent. I first heard about it when i did my aircon coarse from my lecturer. The industry used to use it in car airconditioning as a replacement refrigerant when trying to find a replacement for the old r12 gas.
as for being a flammable gas it is no more flammable than you old r12 refrigerant.no one complained about it then .. you convert your car to lpg for an alternative fuel and dont worry about that exploding . 80litres of lpg compared to to 500gramms ????? lpg also has identicle characteristics as the old r12.
i have got my mrs car down to 1 - 2 degrees at the vent with lpg.
when i metioned it to a pannel beater next door to us at work he said taxi drivers have been using it for 20 years cause they are all tighter than a fishes ass to pay for r134a .
r134a doesn't work as well as r12 unless the system is designed for it.
but yes it does work well.
ok boys now hit me with your comments about it.
i am ready & waiting for the flack from every one ..
cheers Quent..

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Well, I take my hat off, I went through tech 20 odd years ago, worked at Leech motors (Holden dealer in Qld)as a pre d mechanic about 15 years ago where I was doin aircon fitting (we used to use the R12 to cool our tinnies down :S )and I gotta say that Ive never b4 heard of it being used but I've been outta the game a long time so there is always a lot that comes around that is new to me.
:bounce:

john
Silence is Non Committal

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Cheers
John
:o)

Dislike me for who I am you may, like me for whom I'm not, you never will...
MY SHED

That pretty much backs up what I had heard.

Cheers

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There is and australian company called OZ technology from memory that produce a R12 replacent. It is legal in Australia and in America but not in all states.

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I'm an Autoelec with over 20 years exp in A/C. I too use LPG and Yes it works well. There was a study done a few years ago and Greenpeace got onboard. LPG is actuually more efficient than other refridgerants and also helps keep pressures low. Being a larger molecule, LPG doesn't leak like R12 and R134a. I used to use NC12a from OZ tech and it worked brilliant. So, Now I even use LPG in My home A/c and it works well., READ this for any Doubters..
http://www.es-refrig...
Good luck and don't go blowing yourselves up. cheers.

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Interesting reading, I knew lpg was one of the early refrigerants but I did'nt know it was coming back in. I'm curious if you (holden fan) have only used the commercial blends or have you used bottled LPG also?

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i have used it myself,works great,yes there is a bit of danger if involved in a front end accident,but the danger is also there if the car runs on lpg.a few of the r12 replacement gasses contain a percentage of propane!

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Has any one got a PT chart of LPG?
Without viewing one, i would not do it.
It can/could work in a system designed for it.
On a side note, Kelvinator once made a model of bar fridge that was running on Butane. It was the 1st of the ozone friendly fridges, but jod dam, they had a big compressor and used a lot more power then a normal HFC/CFC unit.
>Trenton's Email

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It is called HC-290 when used as a refrigerant. Loosely similar PT characteristics to R22.

At 0 deg C it is about 54 psi (compared to 30 psi for R12 and 28 psi for R134A) and at 65 deg C it is 330 psi (compared to 234 psi for R12 and 263 psi for R134A).

The factory air-con systems fitted to HQ - WB's use a controlled pressure system to limit the minimum temperature. The STV is set at between 32 - 34 psi. This means if you put LPG in these systems then the evaporator temperature can get down to about minus 12 deg C, which will turn the evaporator into a big ice block. Will be very cold for a few seconds before the air stops coming out of the vents due to the evaporator fins being blocked with ice. It would work on a very hot day, or with zero humidity.

Temperature controlled systems (with a thermostat) would probably be OK.

Brett.

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HC-290 is actually pure propane. LPG is a mix of propane and butane. The butane lowers the pressure and if the mix is just right (45%P-55%B) then you end up with very similar pressures to R12.

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LPG is not necessarily a mixture of Propane and Butane. 100% Propane can be sold as LPG.

Therefore saying that HC-290 is LPG is correct.

Brett.

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i am working with my final year project as lpg as refrigerant & i want a perfect compreser for that purpose with their propertise.
email: anupkumar.rathod@gma...

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There are car fridges available that run on 12/24 240 & lpg. So can't b any different to an air con system

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A car/caravan fridge uses LPG as an energy source not as a refrigerant. Totally different use than what is being discussed on this thread.

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So in other words, you will end up needing to fit a condensor twice the size for LPG actually to work & a new TX valve orifice at the very minimum to see any real results.
Not to mention the extra stress your putting on your compressor valves.
Waste of time.
>Trenton's Email

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Hmmm, You obviously don't know much about A/C. Why a condensor twice the size? The gas has to evaporate in the evaporator for it to absorb heat. that's why it's called an Evaporator. the Condensor is then suppose to return the gas to a liquid state, hence the name condensor. HQ -WB Holdens will work ok with LPG providing you install a thermostat that turns the compressor off at -2 degrees. Pressures are a lot lower with LPG than R134a. I used to use the HC12a from OZ-Tech and it worked so well I never went back to R134a. HC12a is a gas that is hydrocarbon based and uses propane and butane. Anyhow, Compressors last much longer because of ther lower pressures, LPG does not react with Moisture and any oil can be used in the compressor. R12 is corrosive when mixed with moisture and Mineral Oil must be used. R134a also turns corrosive and must be used with Synthetic oil.

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The statement "Pressures are lot lower with LPG than R134a" is erroneous simply because you have used the term "LPG" and not being more specific.

LPG in Australia can be 100% Propane, or 50% Propane / 50% Butane, or anywhere in between.

This changes things significantly. Compared to R12, Propane will have almost twice as much evaporator pressure and one and a half times the condensor pressure.

Since the condenser discharge pressure will be higher with propane (HC-290), more heat will need to be removed in order to bring the pressure down to an acceptable value. This may require a larger condenser.

Butane/propane mixtures will have different PT characteristics. HC12a (which I suspect is a mixture of about 45% Propane and 55% Isobutane, has very similar PT characteristics to R12. The actual composition of HC12a is still kept secret by OZ Tech.

Note that Isobutane is not a component of LPG. It is still C4H10, but has a different molecular structure.

Brett.

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Gee, how did i miss an old post.
Your too dam good Brett.
Oh, & Holden Fan
Special blends designed to replace R12 or R134a i have no doubt will work.
I still stand by my original statement on LPG.
Next, im going to be told R410a works in a car AC system :-)
Incase everyone is wondering. Have i tried LPG as a refrigerant, the answer is NO, but i have seen it done,
it DID NOT WORK.
>Trenton's Email

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I know someone that has the A/C on a 2450 & 4050 John Deere tractor filled with LPG and even on a hot day icicles start to form on the air vents within 10 minutes if you turn it on to its coldest setting. I have stuck a thermometer down the vent and the air comes out at about -6 degrees, when the system still had refrigerant in it the temp only got down to about 16 degrees and on a 40 degree day that was useless.
So not only does LPG work, it works better.

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i know nothing about air con, but a bloke told me that you can use lpg in air con, i said how do i get it in there, he said it has to go in the low side, i said whats that, he said its the small nipple, i said how do i know how much to put in, he said just put a little at a time until its cold if you put to much to high pressure switch will cut it of,

so i made fitting from a compressor air fitting connected to an old lpg tank out of a car i had kickin around, put some in an got it down to 0 at the vents and its been going good for 12 months,

ive done a few cars, i put a bit to much in a few so i just let a bit out until they come back on and no probs all still going good.

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I enquired about this and was told the commercial gas with LPG only contains about 10% lpg.

johnperth

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Whats the rest of it? Nitrogen? I'm guessing you meant to say butane. From what I've read it actually varies from place to place or even season to season. Even still 10% is the lowest concentration I've ever heard of. Anyway the batch I have is working fine in my skyline, *touch wood*.

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http://www3.fire.org...

 

 

Regards

 

email HZCambridge@oldholde...

 

 

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And if your having a bbq and run short back up the HQ i like the way you think...

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LPG works in anything that runs R12,R134a,R22,r404a r502 with no changes to the system or oil.

You will get about 30% more grunt when dropping pure propane ( r290 ) into r12 and r134 systems but pertrol station grade propane is up to 30% butane with 70% propane which is a perfect match for car aircons.

There generally are no issues even if you drop pure propane into a system designed for r134 as the condensor pressure never get very high due to the gas's ability to release heat from itself more efficiently. Generally the ocupant in the car gets too cold and reduces the fan speed thus reducing the load further on the condenser.

Ah!! you might say there fore the whole system will turn to a block of ice, but this doesnt happen as the thermostat will cycle the compressor off or the low pressure switch will kick in.

LPG does not just explode into flames because the condensor is hot. This cannot happen as the flash point requires a much higher temp than can ever be achieved by the aircon system even if the HP switch is by passed.

Any how there is just typically 500grams of propane in the system. If yoy ride in a taxi are you woried there is a 50kg tank of propane behind yor back rest and its as hot as 60 deg c if the cab is parked in the sun in summer.

If you want to save cost or enjoy DIY LPG is a very good solution for your car or home AC.

Obvious leaks should need to be fixed first if you are sensible and a risk assesment needs to be done for your installation.

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i use lpg in my car ac's as well as the split system at home and it works great

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Hi How do you fill up the a/c system with lpg

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Hi How do you fill up the a/c system with lpg

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Forget it.
If you get a leak on the indoor side eg from the evaperator, the gas leaks out over night, you open the car door in the morning. Guess what car explodes due to spark fromm door switch. No more car maybe no more you. There have been many LPG explosions of plumbers vans due to leaking lpg bottles. It just takes the correct air gas ratio and a spark even static. Then Bang.
Retired Refrig Mech.

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thease guys coverd it all, i don't pretend all of it but the stuff about cars going bang is very straight forward.
www.hychill.com.au/p...

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correct air to gas ratio thats is probably about thirty times the charge you would need in your system mixed with the volume of air in your vehicles cabin..... a far cry from leaking bottles in a plumbers van. given that you only need around 350g of lpg

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Hello,

Ive gassed my car aircon with LPG (70% propane and 30%butane here in Holland).
Works great. But about a week afterwards the system is almost empty. I cannot locate the leak easely.
Can i add a dye to the system.

Greetz, Jules

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where do you get the fittings to do the lpg install,is there one already made or do you need to make your own
thanks steve

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Hi guys they actually use it in Queensland where it is legal to do so, its illegal in NSW however some people still do it, only time there is a problem is if there is a leak and you have the explosion factor, having said that it is quite safe and works in all auto aircon systems not sure about other aircon systems. I recently did an aircon course and they discussed the pro's and cons, with the use of r134a they can control who uses it otherwise every backyarder would be doing it then it would be dangerous....

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Hi,

I am a licenced refrigeration mechanic, we don't use bbq gas in ac systems, but only for the reason it is not pure refrigerant grade. we ether use Hychill or oz-chill. both manufacture pure refrigerant grade LPG, the blend for R12/R134a system runs at a lower Pressure than that of a R22 system so depending on blend BBQ gas would be more suited to R22 than R12/R134a. that is not to say it wont work, in fact it will, very well. you need to look at the pros and cons of using it.

Pros.
More efficient.
Non-toxic.
cost effective.
no ozone depleting properties
lower charge yields
lower head pressures.
No Conversion required

Cons.
higher risk of fire upon catastrophic release

Anyone who is saying it can catch fire where refrigerant such as r12 and r134a cannot is being deliberately deceptive. when an ac system releases it will vent gas and oil. regardless of the gas this if flammable. so they are equally dangerous. further to that they have been using lpg and propane as propellants in deodorisers for years and there have been no issues. you use gas in the kitchen and are deliberately setting it on fire without it exploding.

when it comes down to it the system is completely sealed and as long as the system is evacuated before use and the proper procedures are followed it is perfectly safe.

Regards

Barry

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All these gases are flammable in ac systems r134a is not in tank state but once you put it in your system with te oil it becomes flamable,
Minus30/hydrocarbon lol is flamable and is not illegal
And it's flamable and log contains but aim and another substance witch is a hyrdrocarbon lol

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just looking through the net on info for AC systems and charging gas to them , funny how people go on about the KA BOOM of things if it was going to explode from heat , it needs that vital thing called AIR
for even refining gas is heated , same for lpg , now if a system did leak it really needs that air as well as SPARK and or extreme HEAT (heat such as a turbo exhaust ) RED HOT GLOW , and even then due to air movement , lpg for cars is more refined than out of the BBQ tank , so is the butane and protane mix in fridge cooling , if you are using a old tx system that runs for r12 , seals are a good thing to replace , as old ones no matter how good they are will fail due to age and fresh wet ones is the idea ,now when you vacuum the system how long should you do ? bloody long time the longer the better , just like the light bulb (remember in school) the vacuum left for a hour or two will allow the air that is left on METAL surface to be able to be removed , and also , its not the fluid that goes but when it gas hits air just like the standard petrol in a car , ITS THE FUMES as for txv , not due to freezing , but the freeze causes RUST , this will make the valve stick and stop working replace it , easy fix , and check the high pressure its the one you need to worry about , the pos side of non r gas is LESS pressure , less weight , as for eroding lines , AIR causes this and WATER if you don't suc it out and replace the dryer , this will cause the trouble so go out in the middle of the desert and fill under shade , less chance of water in the air , .don't use bbq gas it has more particles in it than car lpg , the cleaner more refined it is the better , or just go buy hychill or oz stuff , at least then you know it is refined well.

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Put simply If you have an automotive refridgerant handling licence and you use hydrocarbons in a system designed for 134 a you can be fined by Artic who are the EPA,s agents in this field . If you don,t believe me ring them . I have been an Auto elec for 30 years and i have asked the question . p.s. Alternative hydrocarbons etc don,t sweep the original refridegrant oils around the system leading to oil starvation of the compressor etc.. goodbye compressor . I didn,t waste 30 years doing work to do the same quality work as that of a "Backyarder" without any technical training or public liability insurance .put that in your pipe and smoke it !
watch out you don,t blow up .

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been using lpg for donkeys years,on tractors,utes,trucks,etc.never had a problem,
kangooroo vadio.

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What is the typical Hi and Lo pressures expected with LPG?

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As a mobile automotive and machinery A/C technition I have been using lpg as a refrigerant on and of for 30+ years on hundreds of vehicles and it works well, normal blends work the best (propane/butane) but the pressures vary a little due to different lpg blending ratios, as with any vehicle air con the system has to be in good condition so normal procedures should be followed,....it performs very well and 0 degrees at the vents is common,.. it works extremely well with high ambient temperatures,.... the ban on hc refrigerants was lifted about 15 years ago and as far as i know its still is,... My reason for using it to begin with many years ago was that a farmer i did some repairs for had charged his own tractors with LPG and was maintaining far cooler cabin temps on 40 degree days than most, at the time many were having hi temp issues even with a correctly gassed and operating system, the amount of glass on these vehicles requires a system that operates exceptionally well and LPG does that,... as for the BANG theary keep this in mind,... A A/C system in good operating condition is far better sealed than any LPG fuel system installed on a any vehicle (remember how many gas powered vehicles you work on/walk past that stink of leaking gas)i also fit LPG for a living,... NOW BEAR THIS IN MIND, it is ILLEGAL for a person who is not suitably qualified to charge an air con system with any gas or decant from a LPG container for any reason, REMEMBER that if you need to re charge a A/C system thats lost gas it most likely has a leak that requires repairing, This is where AVERAGE JOE will come unstuck..... DO it right and it OK
CHEERS

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There was a university lecturer who was an advocate for hydrocarbons in car air conditioners. In order to prove it was safe, he shut himself in his car, released approximately twice as much gas as would be required in the ac to get a stoichametric mix, and lit it up.

He singed his hair, got second degree burns on the backs of his hands and top of his ears, and caused an oh&s [Naughty Pottyword]storm, but he didn't die.

This was with more gas than you would use in the system. And he lit it deliberately, and even that took a couple of goes.

https://www.youtube....

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just gassed old engel fridge with a trade flame blow torch ,a tyre tube inflater attached to blow torch .a brass valve stem of an old car tube drilled to fit filler on air-con motor solder it on with blow torch gas it and use naked flame to test for leaks!just keep adding gas from blow torch until happy with recycling. beauty of this is it is easy to re gas any time while camping just take blow torch and your tyre inflater. cost, price of blow torch brass valve stem $0 tyre inflater off broken 12v air compressor $0 gas a small ammount out of blow torch.
reason for doing this was i was given engel fridge because it would not cool and man said it was cheaper to buy a new one than fix it? and the motor ran.it is a current model .it now will have a new life.
.

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cant i know about a/c system running used flammable gas..cant used or not...please explain.

thank you..

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: (

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Life is too brief to build ya own time machine
With out old Aussie products cheers.

how does a Gas refrigerator work, is it the same principal as a car's A/C system

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If your talking about an old 3 way fridge they were an ammonia based system.
Not relevant to how the a/c works.

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go on yank run out on us

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Frustration with the standards of service from Licensed Air conditioning technicians and the prices they charge for work that does not last has driven me to solve my own problems. My Toyota Landcruiser's air conditioner lost cooling after many years service. I had it serviced and recharged by a mobile technician. It lasted a very short time so took it to another mechanic. They recharged it after suposedly checking for leaks but the system ran out of gas within a week. Annoyed I looked for problems myself and quickly found a hole in the LP return line caused by a hose bracket rubbing against the tube. i removed the line and repaired it. Then took it to another service agent who charged heaps to evacuate and pressure test the circuit before recharging it again with R134a. He said there seemed to be a very slow leak with the nitrogen but could not find the leak. Said that it will probably be fine with R134a as the molecule is larger! The system worked for less than 6 months. I found the leak coming from the HP Schrader valve. Enough is enough, the damage to the environment from negligent service seems to far exceed what damage I could do.
I am a trained and qualified marine engineer who was required to study and pass exams on Refrigeration systems yet due to Union/Government controls cannot obtain a handling license. After examining all the data on R134a and R290 (Propane)I decided to give it a go. The characteristics between the two are very close and review of all I could find suggested it was worth ago. So I obtained a set of gauges and made some fittings and topped up my system with common LPG which in Tasmania is mostly Propane. Instantly the system came alive and is working very well. About 390 grams of LPG replacing the 800 of HCR134a. Pressures are close with 290 PSI (56 degrees)on the high side and 39 PSI (-16 degrees)on the low side. Duct air temperature as low as 1 degree C. Feels so good to beat the controlling authorities and incompetent service agents.

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A few years back, I read a study done by University of NSW, where they charged a car air conditioning system with LPG and then tried to make it explode. They tried all kinds of things and got nowhere. They arranged for an explosive decompression inside the cabin and used any means they could think of to make it ignite. Not even a Bic lighter would do it. The conclusion was that it's virtually impossible to get an explosion this way.

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I have also been using LPG as a refrigerant for many years now in cars, household splits, and yes, it even works well in a capillary system fridge in the shed.
It works probably best in my r22 splits, but I can generally tweak it to work at least reasonably well in most other systems, while it's not as great in R410 systems, it does still work half reasonably as a straight drop in on pretty much most or all systems I have played with.
I used to work in the aircon game many years back and I asked my asshole boss if you make a fridge work off your car air con.
He said nah, you could never make it work. Three days later I pulled in to work in my [Naughty Pottyword]ty little Sigma station wagon with a 55Ltr esky In the rear that I had fitted a drop in copper coil evaporator & a 1 ton Tx valve with a quick release hose fittings installed, and all the fridge techs gathered around in amazement, in a 45 minute drive, my new homemade camp fridge was -21 degrees c working with the cars airconditioner. That was before you ever saw them in the console of your 4wd.
The naysayers just lack the experience and/or education to understand this, but in the real world, it works.

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I have a landcruiser troopy almost ready for its maiden voyage.

I currently run a 3 way fridge however have no air conditioning.

If anyone can provide a service or product or anything to me (if you're qualified) about how I can run a compact A/C unit run off LPG in my troopy, I'd be happy to pay some good $$!!

email me at orrsome90@gmail.com

or please text (only text) 0430861920

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I find some of the comments in this thread seriously scary.
LPG is well designed for use as a refrigerant. It vapourises at -42C so will do a good job. One small problem is that it is also very flammable.
Propane's peak flammability is at around 4% concentration. The 350 grams referred to in comments above will create about 0.18 of a cubic metre of vapour. Mix this with 4 cubic metres of air and you have a bomb, which if lit will produce about 100 psi of explosive force. More than enough to turn your car inside out.
The University of NSW experiments resulted in an explosion. Four people were injured and the lecturer prosecuted. It blew the windows out of the car and bent the doors back. I would suggest that it was lucky the windows blew out as it relieved the force of the explosion.
I've no problem with people who appreciate the risks using propane, everyone should be able to take their own risks, but I get worried when I read comments recommending it to others who obviously do not have a full understanding of what they are getting into.
Don't do it. One explosion can ruin your whole day. Burns hurt.

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