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Knowledge Base:  
What air purge systems are available today?
Last Updated: 09/28/2007
  • Recovery/Recycling Machines
  • Temperature/Pressure Measurements
  • Neutronics Air-Radicator™
 
Recovery/Recycling Machines can be used to purge air from A/C systems or cylinders. This process involves pulling a vacuum on the system, and allowing the machine to purge the air automatically. This process, however, can take upwards of an hour to complete and may not be able to remove all air.
 
Temperature/Pressure measurements allow a user to make some assumptions about air content based on the readings of two variables, temperature and pressure. This method is in no way 'automatic', and requires hours of 'babysitting'. Essentially a refrigerant storage cylinder must first temperature stabilize ("room" temperature is ideal) to the ambient air conditions. Next, the refrigerant will "read" a pressure for that specific (ambient) temperature. If the pressure is higher than it should be for the ambient temperature, an "assumption" is made that there is air in the cylinder. By opening the cylinder valve slowly the air is vented. However, when air is vented from the cylinder, the refrigerant will automatically begin to cool itself, so the technician will need to close the valve and allow the cylinder to temperature stabilize again. Allowing a cylinder to temperature stabilize can in some cases take over 12 hours depending on ambient conditions. This process is repeated until the cylinder has stabilized and reads the correct pressure for the temperature, (tired yet?).
 
The Air-Radicator™ (manufactured by Neutronics) is an automatic air purge system. Purging of air is achieved through a direct measurement of gases via the use of a patented infrared technology. This technology is not dependent upon pressure or temperature measurements or an oxygen sensor. A technician will attach the Air-Radicator™ to the vapor port of a cylinder or vehicle's A/C system and follow the instrument's easy instructions. The Air-Radicator™ accurately measures the air in R12 or R134a and automatically shuts off when the air is successfully purged. A typical 32 ounce A/C system with 8% air will only take about 3 - 5 minutes to purge.


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