Polarized Refrigerant Oil Additive (PROA) is the title and acronym coined by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These terms describe the category of products that enhance the heat transfer capabilities of evaporator and condenser coils in air conditioning, heat pump, and refrigeration systems, by introduction of a highly polar particle into a system's compressor oil.
In a 1995 study, prompted by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the FEMP tested the polarized refrigerant oil additive technology and found that compressor systems treated with a PROA realized a minimum of 22% reduction in energy consumption. Their published Federal Technology Alert Bulletin recommends that all government buildings be treated with a PROA and predicts tremendous cost savings.
Air conditioning, heat pump, and refrigeration systems function by relying on the energy absorbed or released as a compressible fluid undergoes either pressure increase in a compressor, or pressure decrease across a valve or other orifice. Typically, these systems transport heat by the phase changes of the gas compressed to the liquid state, and the liquid state expansion to a gaseous state. There is an evaporator coil on one side of a compressor taking up heat (-Q), and a condenser coil on the other side of the compressor giving off heat (+Q).
Until July 1996, the only PROA's available were produced and marketed from the same formula and patent. These PROA's are sold under several trade names, and are produced by various companies, using a patent granted to three individuals jointly. This patent is not a product patent or a formula patent; it is an application patent, for the introduction of a commercially available Chlorinated a-Olefin or Chlorinated Paraffin lubricant into an air conditioning, heat pump, or refrigeration system. The Chlorinated a-Olefin lubricant, being used by all of the other PROA producers today, is normally used for high stress metal working, such as the roll-forming of steel, steel stamping, high speed machining, and as an additive in other lubrication applications.
After working with one of the producers of one of the trade name products produced under the patent, EnSaTEQ, Inc., determined that the Chlorinated a-Olefin is not manufactured by the chemical companies to be a PROA, and consequently, has some drawbacks. The main problems associated with using a Chlorinated a-Olefin as a PROA in an air conditioning, heat pump, or refrigeration system are viscosity, corrosive potential, and the possibility for release of free chlorine. Chlorine is, chemically, a member of the Halon family of basic elements. The Chlorinated a-Olefin PROA is sometimes referred to as a Halogenated product or a Halogenated Hydrocarbon product.
In 1996 EnSaTEQ, Inc., developed the only PROA on the market today that is not of this same formula and patent. EnSaTEQ, Inc's., PROA product, PROATEQ™, is a completely different formula, and contains no Chlorinated a-Olefin or Chlorinated Paraffin. PROATEQ™ is not an
off-the-shelf commercially availible lubricant, adapted for use in an air conditioning, heat pump, or refrigeration system. Therefore since PROATEQ™ contains no Chlorinated a-Olefin or Chlorinated Paraffin, it does not in any way infringe the patent of the application of the Chlorinated a-Olefin or Chlorinated Paraffin.
PROATEQ™ is the only product on the market originally formulated solely to be a PROA. PROATEQ™ is formulated to eliminate potential problems associated with the Chlorinated
a-Olefin PROA's. PROATEQ™ is precisely engineered specifically as a PROA, each element carefully selected to protect equipment and produce tremendously enhanced performance of air conditioning, heat pump, and refrigeration systems.
Treating air conditioning, heat pump and refrigeration systems with PROATEQ™ has been proven in field demonstrations to reduce power consumption by 20 to 30 %. PROATEQ™ improves the "Q" Factor, the physics term for heat transfer, in the condenser and evaporator coils in air conditioning, heat pump, and refrigeration systems, resulting in substantial savings.
The energy cost savings realized by the addition of PROATEQ™ will, in most applications, recover the investment in one year or less. Many applications are recovering the investment in less than six months. The savings and performance improvements continue for the life of the system.