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Research Papers: Energy Conversion/Systems

Performance Study and Energy Saving Process Analysis of Hybrid Absorption-Compression Refrigeration Cycles

[+] Author and Article Information
Na Zhang

Institute of Engineering Thermophysics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China
e-mail: zhangna@iet.cn

Noam Lior

Department of Mechanical Engineering and
Applied Mechanics,
University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6315
e-mail: lior@seas.upenn.edu

Wei Han

Institute of Engineering Thermophysics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China
e-mail: hanwei@iet.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received October 31, 2015; final manuscript received August 9, 2016; published online September 14, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Vittorio Verda.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 138(6), 061603 (Sep 14, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: JERT-15-1418; doi: 10.1115/1.4034589 History: Received October 31, 2015; Revised August 09, 2016

In an attempt to improve the performance of hybrid absorption and mechanical vapor compression refrigeration systems and to determine the fundamental reasons for such improvements, two configurations of the hybrid refrigeration cycle with a booster compressor at different positions of the cycle (between the evaporation and the absorber, or between the generator and the condenser) are simulated and analyzed. The interrelation between the two subcycles and the hybridization principle have been explored and clarified. An NH3/H2O-based hybrid cycle is the basis of this simulation. It was found that (1) the hybrid cycle performance is mainly governed by the interaction between its two subcycles of mechanical compression and thermal compression and their respective energy efficiencies, and (2) the hybrid cycle primary energy-based coefficient of performance (COP) was higher by up to 15% (without internal heat recuperation) as compared with the nonhybrid absorption cycle, (3) in comparison with the nonhybrid absorption and vapor compression cycles working in the same temperature regions, the more efficient use of low-temperature heat by cascade utilization of the two energy inputs (heat rate and mechanical power) with different energy quality, and the enhanced refrigeration ability of low-temperature heat are the basic reasons for the hybrid cycle performance improvement and significant energy saving, (4) the hybrid cycle achieves an exergy efficiency of 36.5%, which is 27% higher than that of the absorption cycle, and 4.5% higher than the vapor compression cycle, achieving a thermal-driving exergy efficiency of 37.5% and mechanical work saving ratio up to 64%.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Hybrid cycle with low-pressure-side compressor

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Fig. 2

Hybrid cycle with high-pressure-side compressor

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Fig. 3

Variation of the generation temperature Tg with the pressure ratio π

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Fig. 4

Variation of R (refrigerant production)/(generator heat input) with the pressure ratio π

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Fig. 5

Variation of the primary energy-based coefficient of performance COPp with the pressure ratio π

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Log P–T diagram for the hybrid LC and the nonhybrid AC cycles

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Fig. 7

T–h diagram for the hybrid LC and the nonhybrid VC cycles

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