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How to save energy and money Guide Book 4

REFRIGERATION

STRATEGY

ENERGY
EFFICIENCY
EARNINGS

3E STRATEGY

TSI
MI

Y
RG
N

RA
E
E

Netherlands Ministery of Economic Affairs LS EN Technical Services International


AND
EUROPEAN COMMISSION
HOW TO SAVE
ENERGY AND MONEY
IN REFRIGERATION

This booklet is part of the 3E strategy series. It provides advice on practical


ways of improving energy efficiency in industrial refrigeration applications.

Prepared for the European Commission DGXVII by:

The Energy Research Institute


Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Cape Town
Private Bag
Rondebosch 7701
Cape Town
South Africa
www.eri.uct.ac.za

This project is funded by the European Commission and co-funded by the


Dutch Ministry of Economics, the South African Department of Minerals
and Energy and Technical Services International (ESKOM), with the Chief
contractor being ETSU.

Neither the European Commission, nor any person acting on behalf of the
commission, nor NOVEM, ETSU, ERI, nor any of the information
sources is responsible for the use of the information contained in this
publication.

The views and judgements given in this publication do not necessarily


represent the views of the European Commission.
HOW TO SAVE
ENERGY AND MONEY
IN REFRIGERATION

3E STRATEGY
HOW TO SAVE
ENERGY AND MONEY
IN REFRIGERATION

Other titles in the 3E strategy series:

HOWTO SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY:THE 3E STRATEGY


HOWTO SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY IN ELECTRICITY USE
HOWTO SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY IN BOILERSAND FURNACES
HOWTO SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY IN COMPRESSEDAIR SYSTEMS
HOWTO SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY IN STEAM SYSTEMS
HOWTO SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY INSULATION SYSTEMS

Copies of these guides may be obtained from:

The Energy Research Institute


Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Cape Town
Private Bag
Rondebosch 7701
Cape Town
South Africa
Tel No: +27 (0) 21 650 3892
Fax No: +27 (0) 21 686 4838
E-mail: 3E@eng.uct.ac.za
Website: http://www.3e.uct.ac.za

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Energy Research Institute would like to acknowledge the following for their contribution
in the production of the guide:
Ÿ Energy Technology Support Unite (ETSU), UK, for permission to use information
from the ‘’Energy Efficiency Best Parctice’’ series of handbooks.
Ÿ Energy Conservation Branch, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Canada,
for permission to use information from the ‘’Energy Management’’ series of manuals.
Ÿ TLV Co, Ltd, for permission to use figures from their set of handbooks on steam.
Ÿ Wilma Walden for graphic design work (walden@grm.co.za).
Ÿ Doug Geddes of South African Breweries for the cover colour photography.
Guide Book Essentials
QUICK 'CHECK-LIST' FOR SAVING ENERGY AND
MONEY IN REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS

This list is a selected summary of energy and cost savings opportunities outline in the text. Many more
are detailed in the body of the booklet. These are intended to be a quick 'checklist'.

EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE (Chapter 3):


Ÿ Ensure that there is good and regular maintenance of all equipment.
Ÿ Avoid blockage of air flow through and around heat exchanges (e.g. evaporators and
condensers).
Ÿ Make sure that fouling of primary and secondary refrigeration circuits is kept to a minimum.
Ÿ Maintain isolation standards where appropriate.

EFFICIENT USE OF THE REFRIGERATION SYSTEM (Chapter 5):


Ÿ Keep operating hours to a minimum.
Ÿ Ensure that the cooling load is kept to a minimum.
Ÿ Avoid operating refrigeration plant under part-load conditions.
Ÿ Investigate the possibility of improving control functions.
Ÿ Reschedule production cycles to reduce peak electrical demand.

ALTERATIONS TO THE EXISTING PLANT (Chapters 3 and 5):


Ÿ Utilise waste heat where possible.
Ÿ Where appropriate, retrofit plant with more energy efficient components.
Ÿ Increase evaporator temperature to increase system COP.
Ÿ Reduce condensing temperature to increase system COP
Ÿ Upgrade automatic controls in refrigeration plants to provide accurate and flexible operation.
Ÿ Replace high-maintenance, centrifugal compressors with compressors selected for high
efficiency when operating at part load conditions.
Ÿ Upgrade insulation on primary and secondary refrigerant piping circuits.

REFRIGERANTS (Chapter 4):


Ÿ Review energy efficiency when replacing CFC with ozone benign refrigerants. (This might not
have an energy saving effect).
AUDITING (Chapter 5)
Refrigeration efficiency is usually expressed as the coefficient of performance (COP), defined as:

Cooling effect (kW)


COP =
Power input to compressor (kW)

Once the system performance has been established it is useful to identify the contribution of each plant
component to the total system power input. Suitable electricity submeters can be installed for this purpose. The
main contributors are normally:

Ÿ compressors (typically 65%);


Ÿ condenser pumps (typically 5%);
Ÿ condenser fans (typically 10%);
Ÿ evaporator pumps (typically 15%);
Ÿ lights (typically 5%).

The next stage is to divide the total cooling load amongst the various process requirements. This should allow
the loads that significantly affect costs to be highlighted.

3E STRATEGY
Table of contents
1. INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................................................................................1
1.1 Purpose.....................................................................................................................................................................................1

2.THE REFRIGERATION PROCESS...................................................................................................................................2


2.1 The vapour compression cycle ...................................................................................................................................2
2.2. Reverse Carnot Cycle.....................................................................................................................................................4
2.2.1 Coefficient of Performance...............................................................................................................................4
2.3 Theoretical Vapour Compression Cycle...............................................................................................................5
2.3.1 Model Coefficient of Performance................................................................................................................6
2.3.2 Practical Considerations .....................................................................................................................................7
2.4 Absorption Cycle............................................................................................................................................................11
2.5 Special Refrigeration Systems ...................................................................................................................................13
2.6 Variations on the simple Carnot circuit................................................................................................................13
2.6.1 Suction/liquid heat exchanger.......................................................................................................................13
2.7 Multiple evaporator circuits .......................................................................................................................................14
2.7.1 Multiple compressor Systems .......................................................................................................................15
2.7.2 Cascade Systems .................................................................................................................................................17
2.7.3 Heat Pump Systems ...........................................................................................................................................18

3. EQUIPMENT ............................................................................................................................................................................20
3.1 Compressors.....................................................................................................................................................................20
3.1.1 Types of compressor housing .......................................................................................................................20
3.1.2 Hermetic and semi-hermetic compressors ...........................................................................................20
3.1.3 Open compressors ............................................................................................................................................20
3.1.4 Reciprocating compressors............................................................................................................................21
3.1.5 Screw compressors............................................................................................................................................21
3.1.6 Scroll compressors .............................................................................................................................................22
3.1.7 Compressor performance data ...................................................................................................................22
3.1.8 Capacity control...................................................................................................................................................22
3.2 Evaporators........................................................................................................................................................................23
3.2.1 Direct expansion .................................................................................................................................................23
3.2.2 Flooded.....................................................................................................................................................................24
3.2.3 Oil control in evaporators...............................................................................................................................25
3.2.4 Energy efficient operation of evaporators ..............................................................................................27
3.2.5 Defrosting................................................................................................................................................................27
3.3 Expansion devices...........................................................................................................................................................28
3.3.1 Thermostatic expansion valves ....................................................................................................................28
3.3.2 Float valve systems..............................................................................................................................................30
3.4 Condensers........................................................................................................................................................................32
3.4.1 Air-cooled condensers.....................................................................................................................................32
3.4.2 Water-cooled condensers .............................................................................................................................32
3.4.3 Evaporative condensers...................................................................................................................................33
3.4.4 Loss of condenser efficiency due to air in system ................................................................................38

4. REFRIGERANTS.....................................................................................................................................................................35
4.1 Desirable Characteristics ............................................................................................................................................35
4.2 Common Refrigerants - Vapour Compression Cycles................................................................................38
4.3 Common Refrigerants - Absorption Cycle........................................................................................................38
4.4 Brines and Secondary Coolants...............................................................................................................................38

5. ENERGY MANAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES ....................................................................................................39


5.1 Housekeeping Opportunities...................................................................................................................................39
5.1.1 General maintenance........................................................................................................................................39
5.1.2 Plant operation .....................................................................................................................................................40
5.1.3 Instrumentation....................................................................................................................................................40
5.1.4 Trouble shooting .................................................................................................................................................42
5.1.5 Housekeeping Worked Examples..............................................................................................................42
5.2 Low Cost Opportunities.............................................................................................................................................45
5.2.1 Low Cost Worked Examples........................................................................................................................46
5.3 Retrofit Opportunities..................................................................................................................................................47

APPENDIX 1: GLOSSARY OF TERMS............................................................................................................................49


APPENDIX 2: ENERGY,VOLUMEAND MASS CONVERSION FACTORS ............................................57
APPENDIX 3: EXAMPLE OF MEASURING COP DIRECTLY..........................................................................58

3E STRATEGY
1. INTRODUCTION

Throughout history, humans have used various 1.1 PURPOSE


forms of refrigeration. Simple cooling
arrangements, such as those provided by iceboxes
The following summarizes the purpose of this
and root cellars, allowed long term storage of
guide.
perishable foods. These, and other simple
techniques, though largely supplanted by
Ÿ Introduce the subject of Refrigeration and
mechanical refrigeration equipment, are still used
Heat Pumps as used in the Industrial,
by campers, cottagers and people in remote or less
Commercial and Institutional Sectors.
developed areas.
Ÿ Make building owners and operators
aware of the potential energy and cost
Mechanical refrigeration systems were first built in
savings available through the implemen-
the late nineteenth century, but did not become
tation of Energy Management Oppor-
commonplace until the 1940s. Although
tunities.
mechanical refrigeration provides benefits such as
refrigerated storage independent of season or
· Provide methods of calculating the potential
climate, and better living and working
energy and cost savings, using simple worked
environments, the energy costs related to
examples.
operation of these systems are significant. This
guide examines refrigeration and heat pump
systems and identifies where energy consumption
and costs may be reduced.

1
2. THE REFRIGERATION
PROCESS

The majority of refrigeration systems are driven by Ÿ The temperature at which refrigerant boils
a machi ne, which compr esses and pumps varies with its pressure; the higher the
refrigerant vapour around a sealed circuit. Heat is pressure, the higher the boiling point;
absorbed and rejected through heat exchangers. Ÿ When refrigerant liquid boils, changing its
These systems work on what is called a vapour state to a gas, it absorbs heat from its
compression cycle. surroundings;
Ÿ Refrigerant can be changed back from a gas
There are other types of plant which can be used to to a liquid by cooling it, usually by using air
obtain a cooling effect, such as absorption cycle or water.
systems, but these are not in common use and are
only economically viable where there are large Note: In the refrigeration industry the term
supplies of waste heat. evaporation is used instead of boiling. Also, if a gas is
heated above its boiling point it is said to be
superheated and if liquid is cooled below its
condensing temperature it is sub-cooled.
2.1 THE VAPOUR
COMPRESSION To enable the refrigerant to be condensed it has to
CYCLE be compressed to a higher pressure, and it is at this
point that energy has to be used to drive the
Heat can only flow naturally from a hot to a colder machine that performs this task. The machine is
body. In refrigeration system the opposite must called a compressor and it is usually driven by an
occur. This is achieved by using a substance called a electric motor.
refrigerant, which absorbs heat and hence boils or
evaporates at a low pressure to form a gas. This gas The operation of a simple refrigeration system is
is then compressed to a higher pressure, such that it shown in Figure 1. The diagram shows the
transfers the heat it has gained to ambient air or refrigerant pressure (bars) and its heat content
water and turns back into a liquid (condenses). In (kJ/kg).
this way heat is absorbed, or removed, from a low
temperature source and transferred to one at a The refrigeration cycle can be broken down into
higher temperature. the following stages:

There are a number of factors, which make the 1-2 Low pressure liquid refrigerant in the
operation of the vapour compression cycle evaporator absorbs heat from its
possible: surroundings, usually air, water or some

2
other process liquid. During this process it cooling for this process is usually achieved
changes its state from a liquid to a gas, and by using air or water. A further reduction in
at the evaporator exit is slightly temperature happens in the pipe work and
superheated. liquid receiver (3b - 4), so that the
refrigerant liquid is sub-cooled as it enters
2-3 The superheated vapour enters the the expansion device.
compressor where its pressure is raised.
There will also be a big increase in 4-1 The high pressure sub-cooled liquid passes
temperature, because a proportion of the through the expansion device, which both
energy put into the compression process is reduces its pressure and controls the flow
transferred to the refrigerant. into the evaporator.

3-4 The high pressure superheated gas passes It can be seen that the condenser has to be capable
from the compressor into the condenser. of rejecting the combined heat inputs of the
The initial part of the cooling process (3 - evaporator and the compressor; i.e. (1 - 2) + (2 - 3)
3a) desuperheats the gas before it is then has to be the same as (3 - 4). There is no heat loss or
turned back into liquid (3a - 3b). The gain through the expansion device.

Figure 1: Single stage vapour compression circuit and pressure enthalpy diagram (source: ETSU)

3
2.2. REVERSE CARNOT Ÿ 3 to 4 is constant entropy (ideal)
expansion from a higher to a lower
CYCLE pressure through the throttling device.

The Carnot Cycle is a theoretical model From the diagram, the concept of Coefficient of
representing the basic processes of a heat engine. A Performance (COP) is derived. The COP is the
heat engine is a devide which produces work from ratio of the cooling or Refrigeration Effect (RE), to
heat. The Reverse Carnot cycle produces a transfer the work required to produce the effect.
of heat from work. From the model, the maximum
theoretical performance can be calculated,
establishing criteria to which real refrigeration
2.2.1 COEFFICIENT OF
cycles can be compared.
PERFORMANCE
The following processes occur in the Reverse
Carnot Cycle (Figure 2). The refrigeration effect is represented as the area
under the process line 4 - 1.
Ÿ 4 to 1 is the absorption of heat at the
evaporator, a constant temperature RE = TL × (s1 - s4)
boiling process at TL.
Ÿ 1 to 2 is constant entropy (ideal) Where, RE = Refrigeration effect (kJ)
compression. Work input is required and TL = Temperature (K)
the temperature of the refrigerant s1, s4 = Entropy [kJ/kg·K)J
increases.
Ÿ 2 to 3 is heat rejection at the condenser, a The theoretical work input (WS) (i.e. energy
constant temperature process at TH. requirement) for the cycle is represented by the

Figure 2: Reverse Carnot Cycle (source: CEMET)

4
area "within" the cycle line 1-2-3-4-1. Example: two refrigeration machines of similar
capacity are compared. One has a COP of 4.0 while
WS = (TH - TL) × (s4 s1) kJ/kg the second a COP of 3.0 at the same operating
conditions. The first machine with the higher COP
The equation for coefficient of performance (COP) is the most efficient, producing 1.33 times the
is obtained by dividing the refrigeration effect (RE) refrigeration effect for the same work input of the
by the theoretical work input (WS). second machine. The figures above show the effect
RE TL x (s1 - s4 ) of evaporator and condenser temperatures on the
COP = =
WS (TH - TL ) x (s1 - s4 ) COP for various types of chillers.

The coefficient of performance for this theoretical


The theoretical COP can also be expressed in
system is temperature dependent and can be
terms of enthalpy, where the difference in energy
reduced to:
content of the refrigerant at various points of the
TL cycle define the cooling effect and the work input.
COP (Ideal) =
(TH - TL )
(h1 - h4 )
Actual systems are not as efficient as the ideal or COP = (h - h )
2 1
theoretical model (i.e. lower COP), but the
following general conclusion applies: The smaller
the temperature difference between the heat sink
2.3 THEORETICAL VAPOUR
and the heat source, (TH - TL) the greater the
efficiency of the refrigeration (or heat pump) COMPRESSION CYCLE
system. The COP, a measure of the energy
required to produce a given refrigeration effect, is The Carnot cycle, although a useful model to assist
an excellent means of comparing the efficiencies of in the understanding of the refrigeration process,
similar equipment. has certain limitations. One limitation is the lack of

Figure 3: Effects of evaporator and condensing temperature on chiller COP. (source: CEMET)

5
accounting for changes of state. The figure below condenser. Step 2 2' is the initial de-superheating
shows a vapour compression cycle approximating of the hot gas at the condenser or intermediate
the effect of the cycle on the refrigerant, assuming equipment, and 2' - 3 is the condensation process.
ideal equipment, where:

Ÿ 1 - 2 Compression. 2.3.1 MODEL COEFFICIENT


Ÿ 2 - 2' Desuperheating. OF PERFORMANCE
Ÿ 2' - 3 Constant Temperature
Condensation.
As in the Reverse Carnot cycle, the coefficient or
Ÿ 2 - 4' Throttling.
performance is:
Ÿ 4' - 1 Constant Temperature
Evaporation. COP(refrig) = refrigeration effect
Work input
Assuming that the compression process starts at
TL h -h
point 1 as a saturated vapour, energy added in the COP(refrig) = = 1 4
(TH - TL ) h2 - h1
form of shaft work will raise the temperature and
pressure. Ideally, this is a constant entropy process Where h4' = h3
represented by a vertical line on the T-s diagram.
The net result is superheating of the vapour to Departures from the ideal Carnot cycle are
point 2. Process 2 2' 3 is heat rejection at the apparent.

Figure 4: Basic Refrigeration Cycle. (source: CEMET)

6
Ÿ [h2 - h1](theoretical) is larger than [h2 - limitations such as equipment size, system pressure,
h1](Carnot). and design temperatures at the evaporator and
Ÿ [h1 - h4](theoretical) is smaller than [h1 - condenser, reduce the effectiveness of actual
1
h4](Carnot). systems. Actual COPs are 20 to 30 per cent of the
theoretical COP based on the Carnot cycle
The net effect is a COP reduction. operating at the same conditions. Individual
components, such as the compressor, may have an
effectiveness of 40 to 60 per cent of the theoretical
The throttling process reduces the refrigerant
COP (Figure below). These limitations, and
pressure from the condensing (high) pressure side
techniques used to reduce their input on cycle
to the evaporator (low) pressure side. By definition,
efficiency, are now discussed.
throttling is a constant enthalpy process. The
enthalpy at point 3 is equal to that at point 4', thus h3
= h4'. Energy is degraded in this process, therefore
2.3.2.1 Heat Transfer
the entropy must increase from point 3' to 4.
Operating temperatures in actual cycles are
established to suit the temperatures required at the
2.3.2 PRACTICAL cold medium and the temperature acceptable for
CONSIDERATIONS the heat sink. The practical temperature gradient
required to transfer heat from one fluid to another
Refrigeration and heat pump cycles are more through a heat exchanger is in the range of 5 to 8ºC.
complex than the theoretical vapour compression This means that the refrigerant entering the
cycle discussed in the previous sector. Practical evaporator should be 5 to 8ºC colder than the

Figure 5: Effectiveness of Reciprocating compressors. (source: CEMET)

1
An example of measuring COP directly is given in Appendix 3

7
Figure: 6: Heat exchanger limitations and the effects of superheating. (source: CEMET)

desired medium temperature. The saturation When the superheating occurs at the evaporator,
0
temperature at the condenser should be 5 to 8 C the enthalpy of the refrigerant is raised, extracting
above the temperature of the heat rejection additional heat and increasing the refrigeration
medium (Figure below). effect of the evaporator. When superheating
occurs in the compressor suction piping, no useful
The area enclosed by line l - 2 - 3 - 4' - l, which cooling occurs.
describes the cycle, has increased because of the
temperature difference required to drive the The increase in refrigeration effect, caused by
transfer process. There has been an increase in the superheating in the evaporator, is usually offset by a
work required to produce the refrigeration effect decrease in refrigeration effect at the compressor.
because the temperature difference has increased, Because the volumetric flow rate of a compressor is
(TH - TL). constant, the mass flow rate and refrigerating effect
are reduced by decreases in refrigerant density
caused by the superheating. The relative effects of
2.3.2.2 Superheat increases in enthalpy and decreases in density must
be calculated in detail. A study of the system design
In the refrigerant cycle, refrigerant gas becomes may be practical only for systems over 500 kW in
superheated at the evaporator and at the capacity. There is a loss in refrigerating capacity of
compressor (Figure 6). During the evaporation about one per cent for every 2.5ºC of superheat in
process the refrigerant is completely vaporized the suction line of a reciprocating compressor.
part-way through the evaporator. As the cool Insulation on suction lines will minimize the
refrigerant vapour continues through the undesirable heat gain.
evaporator, additional heat is absorbed which
superheats the vapour. Pressure losses, caused by Refrigerant superheating also occurs at the
friction, further increase the amount of superheat. compressor. The refrigerant enters the compressor

8
as a saturated vapour. Increasing the pressure will gas) leaving the compressor will reduce the
increase the temperature and cause superheat. required condenser capacity, and provide a high-
Friction, system inefficiency and the work added, grade heat source for other process use. A typical
raise the entropy and superheat above that application would be the preheating of boiler make-
occurring in the theoretical cycle. Superheat, up or process water. The total amount of heat
caused by the compression process, does not available as superheat can be difficult to predict, as
improve cycle efficiency, but results in larger the superheat fluctuates with changes in load
condensing equipment and large compressor conditions. If a use can be found for low-grade heat,
discharge piping. the total condensing load can be reclaimed. This
can result in substantial energy savings.
Desuperheating is the process of removing excess
heat from superheated refrigerant vapour, and
when accomplished by means external to the cycle,
2.3.2.3 FLASH GAS AND
can be beneficial to system performance.
Desuperheating the suction gas is often impractical SUBCOOLING
because of the low temperatures (less than 10 ºC)
and the small amount of available energy. Some Liquid subcooling occurs when a liquid refrigerant is
superheat is required to prevent slugs of liquid cooled at constant pressure to below the
refrigerant from reaching the compressor and condensation temperature (Figure 7). When
causing serious damage. At design conditions, subcooling occurs by a heat transfer method
superheat can account for 20 per cent of the heat external to the refrigeration cycle, the refrigerating
rejected at the condensers, and often raises effect of the system is increased because the
condensing temperatures above 45ºC. enthalpy of the subcooled liquid is less than the
enthalpy of the saturated liquid. Subcooling of the
Desuperheating the high-pressure refrigerant (hot liquid upstream of the throttling device also reduces

Figure 7: Effect of Subcooling (source: CEMET)

9
flashing in the liquid piping. The work input is cent for an 8 cylinder unit. For centrifugal
reduced, and the refrigeration effect is increased equipment, the bypass varies with the load and
because (h1 h4) is less than (h1 h4'). impeller characteristics.

Subcooling refrigerant R-22 by 13ºC increases the


refrigeration effect by about 11 per cent. If 2.3.2.5 EVAPORATOR FROSTING
subcooling is obtained from outside the cycle, each
degree increase in subcooling will improve system When a refrigeration system operates with the
capacity by approximately one per cent. Subcooling evaporator temperature close to 0ºC, or less,
from within the cycle may not be as effective frosting of the evaporator coil is inevitable.
because of offsetting effects in other parts of the Examples of this would be the frosting of heat
cycle. pump evaporator coils during winter operation, or
freezer evaporators. Ice buildup on the coils lowers
Subcooling capacity can be increased by providing the heat transfer rate, effectively reducing the
additional cooling circuits in the condenser or by refrigeration effect. The suction temperature will
immersing the liquid receiver in a cooling tower fall as the heat transfer rate falls, further increasing
sump. Most systems provide 5 to 7ºC subcooling at the rate of ice buildup. For systems operating under
the condenser to improve system efficiency. these conditions defrosting accessories are
available from the equipment manufacturer.

2.3.2.4 HOT GAS BYPASS Defrost is performed by reversing the refrigerant


flow, so that the system operates in an air-
Hot gas bypass is a method of placing an artificial conditioning mode, using the evaporator as the
heat load on the refrigeration system to produce condenser to reject heat through the frosted coils.
stable suction pressures and temperatures, when In a heat pump system used for heating, a back-up
the refrigeration load is very low. The heat load is heating system is required to prevent chilling the
produced by bypassing hot gas from the space during the defrost mode. Defrosting is a
compressor discharge to the evaporator inlet or major consumer of energy. It is important that the
the compressor suction. While permitting stable controls optimise the defrost cycle to avoid
compressor operation at low load, hot gas bypass unnecessary defrosting while preventing unwanted
wastes energy. Bypass is required to maintain ice build-up.
evaporator temperature above freezing, and
prevent frosting of the coil, freezing of the chilled
water, and compressor cycling.
2.3.2.6 HEAT PUMP CYCLE
The total refrigeration load on a compressor with
hot gas bypass will be equal to the actual (low) load The heat pump is a separate class of compression
plus the amount of hot gas bypass. Typically, the hot refrigeration equipment whose main purpose is to
gas bypass on a reciprocating machine is 25 per cent transfer heat from a low temperature heat source
of the nominal refrigeration capacity for a 4 cylinder to a higher temperature heat sink for heating, rather
unit, 33 per cent for a 6 cylinder unit and 37.5 per than for cooling. The coefficient of performance in

10
the heating configuration is: The steps in an absorption refrigeration cycle are:

Refrigeration effect plus work input2


COP(Heat Pump) = 1. Liquid refrigerant is vaporized in the
Net work input
evaporator absorbing heat from the
= TH medium to be cooled
(T H - TL) 2. The suction effect necessary to draw the
vapour through the system is ac-
In a heat pump system where both heating and
complished by bringing the refrigerant into
cooling are required, a special four-way valve is
contact with a solvent. The solvent's affinity
used to reverse the functions of the evaporator and
for the refrigerant causes the refrigerant to
condenser. In this manner, the coil or exchanger is
be absorbed by the solution, reducing the
used to supply heating or cooling as required.
pressure of the refrigerant vapour. The
Alternatively, the piping or ductwork system
absorption process releases heat which
external to the heat pump can be provided with
must be removed from this portion of the
valves or dampers to reverse the primary air or fluid
cycle. The solution of refrigerant and
flows, without the reversing valve. The heat pump
solvent (weak liquor) is pu mp ed fr om
cycle is identical to a standard refrigeration cycle on
the absorber at low pressure, to the
a T-s diagram (Figure 2).
generator at a high pressure.
3. Heat is added to the weak liquor to drive
the refrigerant out of solution. A heat
exchanger is located between the
2.4 ABSORPTION CYCLE absorber and generator. Heat is removed from
the strong liquor (solution with high solvent
The absorption refrigeration cycle is similar to the and low refrigerant concentrations) leaving
vapour compression cycle, however instead of the generator, and is added to the weak
using a compressor, high pressures are obtained by liquor entering the generator, reducing the cycle
applying heat to a refrigerant solution. heat input.
The system operates on the principle that variations 4. Further heat added to the weak liquor in
in refrigerant solubility can be obtained by changing the generator drives the refrigerant out of
solution temperatures and pressures. Absorption solution providing a high pressure
systems in industry often use ammonia as the refrigerant vapour. The hot solvent, still
refrigerant in a water solvent, whereas in containing some refrigerant (strong liquor),
commercial and institutional applications water is returns to the absorber through the heat
used as the refrigerant in a lithium bromide solvent. exchanger where the solvent cycle
repeats.
The basic components of an absorption system are 5. Vapour at high-pressure and temperature
the vapour absorber, solution transfer pumps, and a flows to the condenser where heat is
vapour regenerator (solvent concentrator) in rejected through a coil or heat exchanger
addition to the evaporator and condenser. during the condensation process.

2
i.e. 'Heat 'pumped' to the hot surface.

11
Figure 8: Absorption Refrigeration Cycle. (source: CEMET)

6. The pressure of the liquid refrigerant is


reduced by passing through a throttling
device before returning to the evaporator
section. The complete cycle is shown in
Figure 8.

The generator may be equipped with a rectifier for


selective distillation of refrigerant from the solution.
This feature is common in large ammonia systems.

Performance of an absorption chiller is measured


by the COP, the ratio of actual cooling or heating
effect, to the energy used to obtain that effect. The
best ratios are less than one for cooling and 1.2 to
1.4 for a heat pump application. Compared to
compression cycles this is low, but if high-
temperature waste heat can be utilized to Figure 9: Diagram of a Two-Shell Lithium
regenerate the refrigerant, refrigeration can be Bromide Cycle Water Chiller.
obtained at reasonable costs. (source: CEMET)

System performance is affected by:


The flow diagram of a two-shell lithium bromide
Ÿ Heat source temperature. chiller is shown in Figure 9. Figure 10 shows an
Ÿ Temperature of medium being cooled. alternative configuration of an absorption machine
Ÿ Temperature of the heat sink. using only a single shell. Actual installations vary

12
considerably in layout, number of components and Well water, or any other clean water below l5ºC,
accessories, application and refrigerant type. can be used for cooling or precooling ventilation air,
or a process.

2.5 SPECIAL
REFRIGERATION 2.6 VARIATIONS ON THE
SYSTEMS SIMPLE CARNOT
CIRCUIT
Steam jet refrigeration systems use steam ejectors to
reduce the pressure in a tank containing the return
2.6.1 SUCTION/LIQUID HEAT
water from a chilled water system. Flashing a
portion of the water in the tank reduces the liquid EXCHANGER
temperature. The chilled water is then used directly
or passed through an exchanger to cool another The cooling effect of an evaporator is proportional
heat transfer fluid. to the length of the line between points 1 and 2 in

Figure 10: Single shell configuration. (source: CEMET)

13
Figure 1. Additional cooling can be obtained by tem per atu res . In gen era l, the eva por ati ng
increasing the amount of subcooling at the inlet to temperature below which a suction/liquid heat
the expansion device. exchanger no longer becomes viable is about 15º
C. Care must also be taken when using these heat
The temperature of the refrigerant leaving the exchangers on systems with R22 and R717
evaporator will be lower than that of the liquid (ammonia) refrigerants, where the increased
entering the expansion device. Therefore, it is suction temperature at the compressor could result
possible to reduce the liquid temperature by using a in an excessive discharge temperature.
heat exchanger between these two pipes. A
schematic layout showing how a suction/liquid heat
exchanger can be incorporated into a refrigeration 2.7 MULTIPLE
circuit is given in Figure 2.
EVAPORATOR
CIRCUITS

It is often desirable to operate more than one


evaporator on the same system. This is not a
problem if all if the evaporators are working it the
same temperature, as they can simply be connected
in parallel.

If, however, one evaporator is required to work it a


lower temperature than the others, it will be
necessary to operate the compressor(s) at the
pressure required by the lower temperature. The
other evaporators will then have to be controlled at
a higher pressure by installing evaporator pressure
regulators between the exit of the evaporator and
the suction into the compressor(s). The
disadvantage of this is that operating the system at
Figure 11:The suction line heat exchanger. the lower suction pressure will reduce the
(source: ETSU) compressor's efficiency and capacity. If the main
load has the lower temperature, then the cost of
It must be remembered that there will be a installing an additional system for the small higher
corresponding increase in the suction gas temperature load would probably not be
temperature entering the compressor, which will economic, despite the increase in efficiency which
reduce its capacity as the gas will be less dense and, would result. If the opposite case exists, it will
therefore, a lower mass of refrigerant will be almost certainly be better to put the small low
pumped by the compressor. Experience has shown temperature load on its own individual system and
that an overall improvement in the system's run the main load at a higher, and hence more
efficiency will be gained at high evaporating energy efficient, evaporating pressure.

14
2.7.1 MULTIPLE COMPRESSOR taken to ensure the liquid does not get significantly
SYSTEMS warmer, so that it begins to evaporate, before it
enters the expansion device.

In many systems the load is too great to be handled


practically with one compressor. In these cases
compressors are connected in parallel, which has 2.7.1.2 INTERNALLY COMPOUNDED
the added advantage that their use can be cycled in COMPRESSORS
order to adjust the capacity to suit the load.
Two stage compression can be achieved within
one, specially designed, compressor. The gas is
2.7.1.1 TWO STAGE SYSTEMS compressed to the intermediate pressure in the
first, low stage cylinder(s) and then compressed to
the condensing pressure in the high stage
Two stage, or compound, systems are used when
cylinder(s). The intermediate condition is called the
there is a large difference between the evaporating
interstage pressure, and some form of cooling is
and condensing temperatures. This usually occurs
usually used to reduce the temperature of the
when process or product storage conditions
refrigerant before it enters the second stage of
require a low evaporating temperature, such as in
compression.
freeze drying or ice cream storage.

The selection and application of such a compressor


At these compression ratios two stage systems
is relatively simple; however, there are a limited
have to be used because a single stage system
number of compressor variations available.
would result in an unacceptably high discharge
Selecting a design that matches a specific system
temperature in the compressor. In addition, in
requirement usually results in a compromise which
some cases two stage compression can give more
is made at the expense of energy efficiency. The
efficient compressor operation.
fixed volume ratio of the two compression stages
also means that efficiencies are lower than they
There is no easy rule to determine where two stage
could be where demand varies.
compression, with its additional design and
installation complexity, becomes preferable to
single stage compression. Generally, with
refrigerants like R22, two stage compression may 2.7.1.3 EXTERNALLY COMPOUNDING
be used on systems using suction cooled COMPRESSORS
compressors evaporating below about - 30ºC.
In this case two stage compression is achieved by
There are two ways that two stage compression using two separate compressors - one for the low
can be achieved and the method selected will affect stage and another for the high. This more flexible
efficiency. In both cases, additional system capacity approach enables the system designer to match a
can be obtained by first passing the refrigerant used compressor combination to the load more
for interstage cooling through a liquid line accurately and select the most economical
subcooler. If this method is used, care must be interstage pressure.

15
The design and selection process is far more system where the compression work is done by
complicated than with the internally compounded either two positive displacement compressors or
variation, but the use of computer selection by two stages of a multistage centrifugal unit. The
programs make it easier and quicker. To limit the flash intercooler subcools the refrigerant liquid to
final discharge temperature interstage cooling is the evaporator by vaporizing a portion of the
used, usually by injecting a small quantity of refrigerant after the first throttling stage. The flash
refrigerant into the gas flow although other suitable gas returns at an intermediate point in the
sources of cooling could be used. compression process to improve the compression
efficiency by cooling the superheated gas (Figure
A multistage system is used when large 13).
temperature and pressure differences exist
between the evaporator and the condenser. Figure In large systems with a number of evaporators and
12 illustrates the basic arrangement for a two-stage large compression (temperature) ratios, the

Figure 12: Schematic of 2-Stage Refrigeration System. (source: CEMET)

Figure 13: Diagram of a 2-Stage Vapour Compression Cycle. (source: CEMET)

16
number of flash intercoolers and compression below the process or product storage temperature.
stages is increased to maximize system efficiency. The condenser for this system is also the
evaporator of the high pressure system. The high
stage system transfers the heat from this condenser
2.7.2 CASCADE SYSTEMS evaporator to the external condenser. The low
pressure system can therefore use a refrigerant
Cascade systems are another method of which has a suitably low boiling point for the
overcoming the problems in applications requiring application, and its condensing pressure can be kept
low evaporating temperatures. Two separate at a safe level by the high stage of the cascade.
refrigeration circuits are used, usually with different
refrigerants in each circuit. A cascade system cannot be as efficient as a well
designed externally compounded system, because
The evaporator of the low pressure system is there is a loss in efficiency due to the heat transfer

Figure 14:Three stage Cascade System. (source: CEMET)

Figure 15:Two stage cascade system with booster circuit. (source: CEMET)

17
between the two systems. It does, however, offer In each case the first term refers to the heat source
more flexibility, as a small low temperature load for heating applications, or the heat sink for cooling.
could be interfaced with an existing high The second term refers to the secondary
temperature system. In many cases cascading is the refrigerant used for process or space heating and
only alternative if very low temperatures are cooling. For example:
required.
Ÿ An air-to-air heat pump (Figure 16)
Refrigerants used in each stage may be different and provides heating or cooling. In the cooling
are selected for optimum performance at the given mode, heat is removed from the air in the
evaporator and condenser temperatures. An space and discharged to the outside air. In
alternative arrangement uses a common condenser the heating mode, heat is removed from
with a booster circuit to obtain two separate the outside air and discharged to air in the
evaporator temperatures (Figure 15). space.

Ÿ An air-to-water system extracts heat from


2.7.3 HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS ambient or exhaust air to heat or preheat
water used for space or process heating.
A heat pump is a device used to transfer heat from a
lower temperature to a higher temperature, for Ÿ A water-to-air system (Figure 17) provides
heating the warmer area or process. In many heating and cooling of air with water as the
installations, reversible heat pumps are used, which heat sink or source.
heat or cool the process, or space.
Ÿ A water-to-water system extracts heat from
A four-way reversing valve is used to reverse the a water source while simultaneously
refrigerant flow, to permit the use of the coils or rejecting heat to a water heat sink, to either
exchangers in either the condenser or evaporator heat or cool a space or process.
mode. With a fixed refrigerant circuit and no
reversing valve, the secondary refrigerant flows can Ÿ Earth-to-air and earth to water systems have
be reversed through appropriate external valve or limited use. Practical application is limited
damper arrangements. to space heating where the total heating or
cooling effect is small, and the ground coil
Various heat source and heat sink arrangements are size is equally small.
possible, depending on heating and cooling
requirements. The COP for heat pump systems varies from 2 to 3
for small air-to-air space heating systems, to 5 or 6
Ÿ Air-to-air. for large systems that operate across small
Ÿ Air-to-water. temperature differences.
Ÿ Water-to-air.
Ÿ Water-to-water. Most heat pump systems are provided with a
Ÿ Earth-to-air. backup heat source to offset reductions in heat
Ÿ Earth-to-water. output as the evaporator (heat source: outdoor

18
Figure 16:Typical schematic of an air-to-air heat pump system. (source: CEMET)

coil) temperature falls. This is particularly true in air- result from lack of proper cleaning. Absorption
to-air, space-heating systems where heat output chillers face reductions in refrigerating capacity of
decreases as the outdoor temperature lowers. up to 24 per cent, with power increases of 7.5 per
cent, from poor maintenance.

2.7.3.1 EFFECTS OF MAINTENANCE


ON SYSTEM EFFICIENCY

Owners of refrigeration and heat pump equipment


should follow the manufacturer's service and
maintenance recommendations to maintain
maximum system efficiency over the life of the
equipment, leaking seals, poor lubrication and faulty
controls will reduce system life and performance.

A simple procedure, such as regular cleaning of the


evaporator and condenser, has a marked effect on
performance. Table 7 shows the effect of dirty heat
transfer elements on an air-cooled reciprocating
compressor system. Reductions in refrigerating
capacity up to 25 per cent, with simultaneous Figure 17:Typical schematic of water-to-air
increases in power input of up to 40 per cent, can heat pump system. (source: CEMET)

19
3. EQUIPMENT

The following major components are required in is contained in a common gas-tight housing.
vapour compression refrigeration systems. Hermetic compressors are built into a welded shell,
and there is no access to the internal parts for
Ÿ Refrigerant compressors. servicing or repair. Semi-hermetic compressors are
Ÿ Evaporators. assembled with removable covers, usually sealed by
Ÿ Throttling devices. gaskets, enabling a limited amount of access for on-
Ÿ Condensers. site maintenance.
Ÿ Heat rejection equipment.
Both types of compressor are designed and built
with specially selected motors. The motor's size
3.1 COMPRESSORS and type is matched to the motion work of the
compressor for specific applications and
The purpose of the compressor in a refrigeration refrigerants. To obtain the maximum efficiency the
system is to draw the low pressure refrigerant gas compressor must be closely matched to the system
from the evaporator and compress it to a higher duty.
pressure. This enables the gas to be condensed
back into liquid by some convenient low cost Hermetic compressors and larger semi-hermetic
source of cooling, such as air or water. compressors are usually suction-cooled, the
refrigerant passing over the motor windings before
entering the compressor cylinders. This helps to
3.1.1 TYPES OF COMPRESSOR cool the motor windings, but reduces the capacity
HOUSING of the compressor. Externally cooled types, where
the gas passes directly into the cylinders, are usually
Most compressors are driven by an electric motor, about 8% more efficient than the equivalent
sometimes built into a common casing. Other suction-cooled models but are only available up to
compressors have an external drive, the shaft a motor size of about 5 kW.
passing through a rotating gas seal where it exits
from the pressurised casing.
3.1.3 OPEN COMPRESSORS

3.1.2 HERMETIC AND SEMI- This type of compressor has an external drive shaft
HERMETIC COMPRESSORS allowing a suitably sized motor to be selected and
connected to it, either with a direct coupling or via
These compressors have the motor directly belts. It is important to size the motor accurately in
attached to the main shaft, and the whole assembly relation to the compressor's duty. Running motors

20
at below their design duty reduces their power Ÿ improved flow through valves:
factor and their efficiency. o less restricted gas flow path,
o reduced pressure drop;
When comparing the input power requirements of
open and semi-hermetic compressors, the motor's Ÿ minimised heat transfer from discharge to
efficiency and losses due to the drive have to be suction gas.
taken into account for open drive machines.
Such modifications can improve efficiency by up to
Where extended operation of the plant is 20%, although in many cases the capital cost of the
envisaged it could prove viable to invest in an compressor will be higher because of the increased
energy efficient (high efficiency) motor. At present complexity of manufacturing.
the cost will be higher than a standard motor but
this could change as the price differential between It is critical to the reliability of reciprocating
standard and high efficiency motors is decreasing. compressors that liquid refrigerant or large
The payback time, derived by a simple cost analysis, quantities of oil are not injected into the cylinders,
will usually be less than two years given the long as this will cause mechanical failure in the
running hours and may show a better return on compressor.
investment.

3.1.5 SCREW COMPRESSORS


3.1.4 RECIPROCATING
COMPRESSORS
Screw compressors are available for duties from
about 50 kW up to thousands of kilowatts and are
Reciprocating compressors are the most common
generally used on medium to high temperature
types of compressor and are available for a wide
applications. The geometry of the compressor
range of applications.
determines its optimum pressure ratio. Operation
away from this ratio will significantly reduce its
The design of a compressor is optimised for
efficiency. For this reason manufacturers usually
operation within a designated application envelope
produce a range of machines with different
with specified refrigerants. Operating a compressor
operating characteristics.
at high temperature conditions with valves
designed for low temperature operation could
result in losses of up to 10% in the extraction rate. A large quantity of oil is injected into screw
With many compressors it could also result in the compressors to seal the running clearances
motor being overloaded and tripping its protection between the rotors and the casing. The oil has to be
device. removed from the refrigerant in a suitable sized
separator. A significant amount of the heat of
Compressors have been developed with improved compression is absorbed by the oil, which must be
efficiencies. The main areas of improvement are: removed by an oil cooler. It is preferable to cool the
oil by using a supply of air or water. Using a supply of
Ÿ clearance volume reduction; refrigerant for cooling can reduce the system

21
capacity by up to 10%, with a corresponding loss of compressors that the correct running speed of the
efficiency. compressor has been used. With semi-hermetic
compressors this speed is fixed by the design of the
built-in motor.
3.1.6 SCROLL COMPRESSORS

The scroll type of rotary compressor has been the 3.1.8 CAPACITY CONTROL
subject of extensive development in recent years,
as improved machining techniques have made its To maintain the maximum system efficiency in
production viable. systems with widely varying loads, it is important to
be able to vary the duty of the compressor. In a
Scroll compressors are being increasingly applied to multi-compressor system this can either be
medium and small air-conditioning applications achieved by switching a number of compressors off
because of their quiet, low vibration operation and or by reducing their individual pumping capacities.
good efficiency. Their efficiency advantage over The best way to save energy is always to switch off
reciprocating compressors at lower compression any unnecessary machines.
ratios makes them ideal for high temperature
refrigeration applications, such as beer cellar and
milk tank cooling. 3.1.8.1 RECIPROCATING COMPRESSORS

Scroll compressors are also being developed for There are a number of methods used to reduce the
lower temperature applications. capacity of compressors:

Ÿ blocked suction gas,


3.1.7 COMPRESSOR PERFORMANCE Ÿ suction valve lifting;
DATA Ÿ discharge gas recirculation

The extraction rate and power input of a


compressor depend principally on the evaporating
and condensing temperatures. Compressor
performance is usually presented in graphical (Fig)
or in tabular format.

These data are presented at specific rating


conditions, and corrections have to be made to
take into account actual site operating conditions
for:

Ÿ suction gas temperature;


Ÿ liquid subcooling.
Figure 18:Typical compressor performance
Care must be taken with data for open data. (source: ETSU)

22
When selecting a compressor, it is important to about 50% capacity, but below this it falls off very
check the manufacturer's data to ensure that the quickly.
model chosen is of an energy efficient design. The
reduction in input power should match, as closely as
possible, the reduction in refrigeration duty.
3.2 EVAPORATORS
It is also worthwhile checking whether
There are two principal types of evaporator:
supplementary compressor cooling is required
Ÿ direct expansion (sometimes called "dry
while capacity control is in operation, as this will
expansion" or DX);
need additional energy.
Ÿ flooded.

The number of stages of capacity reduction that can


be obtained will depend on the design of the
3.2.1 DIRECT EXPANSION
compressor, and is usually a function of the number
of cylinders. On suction cooled compressors the These are commonly used to cool either air or a
minimum capacity is often limited by the loss of liquid. The expansion device used with this type of
cooling of the motor. evaporator is an expansion valve.

A direct expansion evaporator used for cooling air


3.1.8.2 SCREW COMPRESSORS is shown in Figure 19. There are many different
designs available using plain or finned tube, both
The capacity of a large screw compressor can be with and without forced circulation of air or some
varied from 100% down to 10% by using a slide process fluid. Certain tube designs incorporate
vane. The part load efficiency is acceptable down to internal devices to maximise heat exchange and

Figure 19: Liquid distribution on a direct expansion circuit. (source: ETSU)

23
thus efficiency, by causing turbulence to keep the evaporated before reaching the outlet.
liquid in full contact with the tube wall. By monitoring the flow of refrigerant, the expansion
device maintains a superheat of about 5ºC at the
outlet of the evaporator. This ensures that the duty
3.2.1.1 DESIGN FEATURES is as high as is practically possible while still
protecting the compressor from liquid refrigerant
A typical evaporator will have a number of parallel returning down the suction line. This feature is
circuits designed to: important for the reliability of reciprocating
machines, but less so for rotary compressors.
Ÿ maximise heat transfer;
Ÿ ensure good oil return;
Ÿ minimise pressure drop. 3.2.1.3 OPERATIONAL
PROBLEMS
A distributor is used to ensure refrigerant flows
evenly between the different parallel circuits.
The efficiency of an evaporator can be affected by
an uneven distribution of refrigerant, and hence
To enhance the heat transfer in air-cooled designs,
cooling, between the different circuits.
the surface of the refrigerant-carrying tubes is
usually extended by using external fins. To
This can occur if the distributor is incorrectly
maximise their surface the fins are spaced as closely
positioned - it should always be vertical so that
together as possible without restricting the air flow.
there is an even feed through each outlet - or if one
On low temperature systems, where ice can form
distributor line becomes damaged.
on the fin surfaces, a wider spacing has to be used to
ensure adequate air flow when ice build-up occurs.
It is impossible for each circuit to be totally filled
In the past few years compact plate heat with saturated refrigerant, as there must be
exchangers have become increasingly popular for sufficient superheat to enable the expansion device
direct expansion cooling of liquids. Due to their to control the flow of refrigerant. This means that
design they have a very good heat transfer capability the heat transfer efficiency will be reduced at the
and hence high efficiency. Some larger designs can end of each circuit where superheated gas is
be disassembled for cleaning, whereas the smaller present. Oil logging can also reduce the efficiency
type are brazed together as a sealed assembly. They of an evaporator - more information on this subject
can be used with all halocarbon refrigerants, but is given in Section 4.3.
because of the materials used for construction they
arc not suitable for ammonia.
3.2.2 FLOODED

3.2.1.2 OPERATING FEATURES There are two types of flooded evaporator:

Saturated refrigerant is fed through a distributor Ÿ shell and tube;


into the expansion tubes where it is totally Ÿ plate type.

24
3.2.2.1 SHELL AND TUBE 4.3 for more information. Fouling on the
external surfaces of the tubes, i.e. the
These are commonly used in larger applications for process fluid side, can be difficult to rectify.
cooling liquids. There are a number of different This will also reduce heat transfer.
designs but they all have the same basic
characteristics. Ÿ Due to the internal volume of the shell,
large quantities of refrigerant are required
Design and operating features with the corresponding cost and
environmental or safety issues if a leak
Ÿ In a shell and tube evaporator, the fluid to should occur.
be cooled is passed through the tubes with
the evaporating refrigerant boiling off into
gas within the body of the shell. 3.2.2.2 PLATE TYPE

Ÿ The refrigerant level in the shell is Recently, the use of plate heat exchangers as
maintained so that the top tube is always flooded evaporators in recirculation systems has
covered with liquid. In this way the most become more common. They offer the following
efficient heat exchange, liquid to liquid, is advantages over the shell and tube type:
achieved over the whole of the cooling
interface. To ensure optimum efficiency, Ÿ higher heat transfer coefficients;
the liquid level is usually maintained by Ÿ a smaller temperature difference between
using a low pressure float valve. The the refrigerant and the cooled liquid,
operation of this type of device is resulting in higher evaporating
explained in Section 7. Alternatively, an temperatures and therefore improved
expansion device and level sensor can be system efficiency;
used. Ÿ more compact units requiring less plant
room space;
Ÿ The space in the upper part of the shell Ÿ smaller refrigerant charges;
allows any droplets of liquid to be Ÿ the ability to clean non-brazed assemblies,
separated from the gas returning to the thus maintaining a good heat transfer
compressor. This separation is sometimes capability.
achieved in a different vessel called a surge
drum.

3.2.3 OIL CONTROL IN


Operational problems
EVAPORATORS
Ÿ Flooded shell and tube evaporators are
usually large and relatively expensive. In order to maintain the optimum system efficiency
it is important that oil is not allowed to collect in the
Ÿ Accumulation of oil can reduce the heat evaporator, coating the tubes and thereby reducing
transfer and hence efficiency - see Section their capability to transfer heat. Different actions

25
are required to control oil, depending on the type system duty between a number of smaller
of evaporator and refrigerant. evaporators, isolating some as the load diminishes.

3.2.3.1 DIRECT EXPANSION 3.2.3.2 FLOODED EVAPORATORS


EVAPORATORS
Ammonia systems
The main rule with this type of evaporator, whether
it is being used with halocarbons or ammonia, is to Ÿ Oil is almost totally insoluble in ammonia
maintain an adequate refrigerant velocity to carry and will separate out, collecting in the
the oil through the tube assembly. bottom of the evaporator and must be
periodically drained, either manually or
Problems can occur if the evaporator has to automatically. This is not a hazardous
operate over a wide range of loads, as the flow operation providing proper safety
might not be sufficient at the lowest duty to achieve precautions are taken. A careful log must
the minimum required velocity. Under these be kept recording any oil added to or
conditions it may be necessary to split the total removed from the system.

Figure 20:Typical oil rectification system diagram. (source: CEMET)

26
Ÿ Any control connections made to the the evaporator.
lower part of the evaporator's shell must
be above the highest possible oil level. Oil The size of evaporator should be decided at the
is very viscous at low temperatures and can design stage by evaluating the additional evaporator
cause a restriction in small bore pipes. capital cost and the resulting lower running costs,
and comparing the simple paybacks obtained by
Halocarbon systems each option.

Ÿ Some refrigerants, for example R11 and


The heat transfer will be influenced by factors such
Rl2, are completely miscible with oil under
as:
all operating conditions and no special
Ÿ oil logging;
action is required to prevent oil logging.
Ÿ fouling and corrosion of heat transfer
surfaces;
Ÿ Other refrigerants, for example R22 and
Ÿ incorrect control of the refrigerant flow or
R502, are miscible at high temperatures
level in the evaporator;
but, at low temperatures, an oil rich layer
· frost build up.
will form on the top of the liquid
refrigerant. By carefully positioning tapping
points ill the evaporator's shell, this oil rich
mixture can be removed from the 3.2.5 DEFROSTING
evaporator and transferred into a rectifier.
The rectifier is then heated to boil the As noted before, allowance must be made in the fin
majority of the refrigerant out of the oil spacing to allow for ice build-up on evaporators
before it is returned to the compressor. operating with refrigerant temperatures below
The most energy efficient method of 0ºC. To maintain an adequate air flow through the
supplying this heat is to use the warm fin block it has to be defrosted periodically,
refrigerant in the liquid line which incurs no requiring the use of heat.
additional energy costs, and has the further
advantage of increasing the liquid Energy efficient defrosting depends on the
subcooling. A typical oil rectification following factors:
arrangement is shown in Figure 20.
Ÿ initiating a defrost operation only when it
becomes necessary through loss of
3.2.4 ENERGY EFFICIENT performance;
OPERATION OF Ÿ using the most efficient method of applying
EVAPORATORS the necessary heat;
Ÿ ensuring that the defrost heat is evenly
The efficiency of a refrigeration system is increased distributed over the whole of the fin block;
when the evaporating temperature increases. This Ÿ ·stopping the defrost cycle as soon as the
can be achieved by: fin block is totally clear of ice;
Ÿ ·maximising the size of the evaporator; Ÿ ·minimising the amount of defrost heat
Ÿ maintaining the peak heat transfer rate of absorbed by the process fluid or product.

27
Table1:Types of Liquid Coolers

Type of cooler Usual Refrigerant Feed Usual Range of Commonly Used with
Device Capacity (kW) Refrigerant Numbers

Flooded shell-and-bare-tube Low pressure float 175-1750 717 (Ammonia)

Flooded shell-and-finned-tube Low pressure float


High pressure float, fixed orifice(s), weir(s) 175-35 000 11, 12, 22, 113
114, 134a, 500, 502

Spray-type-shell-and-tube Low pressure float


High pressure float 350-1750 11, 12, 13B1, 22,
113, 114, 134a

Direct-expansion shell-and-tube Thermal expansion valve 17.5-1250 12, 22, 134a, 500, 502, 717

Flooded Baudelot cooler Low pressure float 35-350 717

Direct-expansion Baudelot cooler Thermal expansion valve 17.5-85 12, 22, 134a, 717

Flooded double-pipe cooler Low pressure float 35-85 717

Direct-expansion double-pipe cooler Thermal expansion valve 17.5-85 12, 22, 134a, 717

Shell-and-coil cooler Thermal expansion valve 7-35 12, 22, 134a, 717

Flooded tank-and-agitator Low pressure float 175-700 717

3.3 EXPANSION DEVICES Ÿ thermostatic expansion valve;


Ÿ high pressure float valve;
Ÿ low pressure float valve.
The purpose of an expansion valve is to:

Ÿ reduce the pressure of the liquid Capillary tubes (which just drop the refrigerant
refrigerant from the condensing pressure pressure but cannot regulate flow) are used in
to the evaporating pressure; domestic type systems. These are factory
Ÿ modulate the flow of liquid refrigerant into assembled and cannot be adjusted.
the evaporator

Correct selection and installation of expansion 3.3.1 THERMOSTATIC


valves is very important, because their incorrect
EXPANSION VALVES
operation will reduce the efficiency and reliability of
a system.
Thermostatic expansion valves are used on most
There are three types of expansion valve widely commercial installations. A typical example shown
used in commercial and industrial refrigeration: in Figure 21. The refrigerant pressure is dropped

28
through an orifice, and the flow of refrigerant is across them varies widely, for example if the
regulated by a needle valve and diaphragm condensing pressure 'floats' with ambient. To cope
arrangement. The diaphragm is moved by the with such conditions other valves are now available.
pressure inside the controlling phial, which senses
the temperature of the refrigerant leaving the
evaporator which should be approximately 5º 3.3.1.1 BALANCED PORT VALVES
C higher than the evaporating temperature, to
ensure there is no liquid refrigerant present which Balanced port valves are very similar in design and
could damage the compressor. This temperature operation to the conventional thermostatic valve
difference is the superheat setting of the valve and apart from a special internal balanced port design.
can he set by adjusting the valve. Correct setting is This allows the valve to control inlet pressure
vital to the efficient and reliable operation of the accurately over a much wider range. These valves
refrigeration system. cost approximately 20% more than a conventional
valve, but are currently available only in a limited
If the load on the evaporator changes, then the range of sizes.
temperature of the refrigerant leaving the
evaporator will also change. The controlling phial
will sense this and automatically adjust the 3.3.1.2 ELECTRONIC EXPANSION
refrigerant flow to accommodate the load change. VALVE

A major disadvantage of thermostatic valves is that Electronic expansion valves work in a similar way to
they cannot work well if the pressure difference thermostatic valves, except that the temperature is

Figure 21:Thermostatic Expansion Valve. (source: CEMET)

29
Figure 22: Electronic expansion valve on direct expansion air cooler. (source: ETSU)

sensed electronically and this signal opens and the high (receiver) pressure or the low
closes the orifice via a small electrical motor. The (evaporator) pressure of the system.
valve can therefore operate with a wider difference
in pressure across it. A further advantage is that they
can be easily integrated into an electronic or 3.3.2.1 HIGH PRESSURE (HP)
microprocessor control system. Figure 22 shows an FLOAT VALVE
electronic expansion valve with a direct expansion
air cooler.
A typical HP float valve is shown in Figure 23. This
type of valve is used to maintain a liquid level in the
Electronic valves are much more expensive than
receiver and operates at receiver pressure.
conventional thermostatic valves, and will give a
payback of less than a year only on systems with a
The receiver pressure controls the pilot line
capacity greater than 100kw.
pressure, and as this pressure varies the expansion
valve opens and closes to supply liquid refrigerant
from the receiver to the evaporator.
3.3.2 FLOAT VALVE SYSTEMS
An HP float valve is used in large industrial systems
A float valve system uses a float chamber with a with single evaporators. As it provides no control of
separate modulating expansion valve, connected by the level of refrigerant in the evaporator, the
a pilot line. The float chamber can either operate at amount of refrigerant in the system must be

30
Figure 23: High pressure float valve. (source: ETSU)

Figure 24: Low pressure float expansion system. (source: ETSU)

correct, i.e. the system is said to be critically evaporator and operates at evaporator pressure.
charged. To ensure correct operation, the This liquid level affects the pressure in the pilot line,
evaporator must be fitted with a level gauge which and as the pressure varies the expansion valve
is checked regularly. modulates the supply of liquid from the receiver to
the evaporator.

3.3.2.2 LOW PRESSURE (LP) LP float valves are used on systems which have
FLOAT VALVE more than one evaporator connected to one
compressor or to several compressors in parallel.
A typical LP float system is shown in Figure 24. An
LP float valve is used to maintain a liquid level in the It is important that the expansion valve is fitted at a

31
level below the liquid surface in the receiver, in are used, such as electronic expansion valves.
order to prevent refrigerant gas going through the
valve and hence reducing efficiency. A level gauge 3.4.1 AIR-COOLED CONDENSERS
must be fitted to the receiver so that the liquid level
can be checked to ensure adequate performance is In an air-cooled condenser the refrigerant
maintained. condenses inside tubes over which air is forced by
fans. To improve the heat transfer, the tube surface
is usually extended using corrugated metal fins.

3.4 CONDENSERS
A well designed plant should operate with a
condensing temperature no higher than l4ºC above
There are three types of condenser in widespread
the ambient temperature. With larger condensers
use:
it is common practice to control the head pressure
by switching off or slowing down fans, although this
Ÿ air-cooled (using ambient air);
is inefficient.
Ÿ water-cooled (using mains, river or cooling
tower water);
If air-cooled condensers are being used in a
Ÿ evaporative cooled (using ambient air and
corrosive atmosphere (for example, near the sea or
recirculated water).
in polluted air) then a suitable tube/fin material
combination or a coating should be used.
The two latter types take advantage of the lower
wet bulb ambient temperature and the greater heat
Air-cooled condensers are susceptible to blockage
transfer affect of water, and therefore operate with
by air borne debris such as dust, feathers, packaging,
lower condensing temperatures. When comparing
and so on. They must be regularly cleaned (but not
different condenser types the power requirements
with refrigerant) to prevent a build up of
of associated fans, pumps and heaters should be
contamination, as this will reduce the air flow and
taken into account. In general, systems under 100
hence increase the condensing pressure.
kW capacity use air-cooled condensers unless
there is a space or noise restriction.

For a given capacity, a larger condenser will result in 3.4.2 WATER-COOLED


a lower condensing temperature and hence better CONDENSERS
efficiency. Problems can be caused on installations
which use thermostatic expansion valves if the Water-cooled condensers are of the shell and tube
condensing (head) pressure varies widely. Such type. The cooling water flows in tubes inside the
valves are unable to control refrigerant flow reliably shell, and refrigerant inside the shell condenses on
under such conditions, and reduced efficiency and the outside of the cold tubes. Heat transfer is
reliability will result. Some form of head pressure improved as the water velocity is increased. An
control may be used to raise the head pressure efficient system will work with a temperature rise of
artificially, although this is inefficient and is not 5ºC for the water passing through the condenser,
necessary if more sophisticated expansion devices and a difference of 5ºC between the condensing

32
temperature and that of the water leaving the likely to cause a problem, cleanable condensers
condenser. On very small commercial installations should be used.
mains water is often used directly, although this is
becoming less common on new installations due to
water metering. 3.4.3 EVAPORATIVE
CONDENSERS
On larger installations the water will be cooled in a
cooling tower, where the cooling effect is achieved
In an evaporative condenser, refrigerant is
by evaporating some of the cooling water into the
condensed in tubes which are wetted and over
air. Blockages in the air or water side will significantly
which air is forced. The water used to wet the
reduce the efficiency of the cooling tower. Such
outside of the tubes is recirculated, although a
blockages are common and are normally caused by
certain amount of make up water will be needed.
hard water deposits or algae growth. Water should
Evaporative condensers should operate with similar
be treated to prevent these and also to prevent
temperatures to the water-cooled conden-
bacteria growth. The cooling tower should cool the
ser/cooling tower combination above. The water
water to within 13 - l8ºC of the wet bulb ambient
used will require treatment, as described for water-
temperature (which can be up to 10ºC lower than
cooled condensers above.
the dry bulb temperature).

The water side of the condenser is also liable to


3.4.4 LOSS OF CONDENSER
blockage caused by hard water deposits. If this is
EFFICIENCY DUE
TO AIR IN SYSTEM

Air and other non-condensable gases in a


refrigeration system will increase the condensing
temperature and hence reduce efficiency. For
example, in a medium temperature ammonia
system working with a condenser which contains
15% air, the running costs will increase by 12%.

Air can remain in a system after installation or


service, if the system has been inadequately
evacuated prior to charging with refrigerant. While
running, air can be drawn into a system operating at
a suction condition lower than atmospheric
pressure, if there is a leak on the low side of the
system.

It is possible to check for air and other non-


Figure 25: Draw-through-type of evaporative
condensable gases when the system is not working
condenser (source: CEMET)

33
and the temperatures have had a chance to Any air should be safely purged from the system by
stabilise. If there is no air present, then the a skilled refrigeration technician, with minimum
temperature in the condenser should be equivalent refrigerant emission to the atmosphere.
to the temperature of the ambient air or of the
water flowing through a water-cooled condenser.

If air is in the system the temperature will be higher.

34
4. REFRIGERANTS

4.1 DESIRABLE Ÿ Large heat of vaporization to minimize


equipment size and refrigerant quantity.
CHARACTERISTICS Ÿ Low specific volume in the vapour phase
to minimize compressor size. This aspect is
Refrigerants for Industrial, Commercial and critical for reciprocating and screw type
Institutional refrigeration and heat pump systems compressors.
are selected to provide the best refrigeration effect Ÿ Low liquid phase specific heat to minimize
at a reasonable cost. The following characteristics the heat transfer required when
are desirable. subcooling the liquid below the
condensing temperature.
Ÿ Non-flammable to reduce the fire hazard. Ÿ Low saturation pressure required at
Ÿ Non-toxic to reduce potential health desired condensing temperatures to
hazards. eliminate requirement for heavy duty or

Table2: Physical Properties of some Refrigerants

Refrigerant Chem. Molec. Boiling Freez. Critical Critical Critical


Formula Mass Point Point Temp Pressure Volume
(NBP), ºC ºC kPa L/kg
°C

Helium He 4.0026 -268.9 None -267.9 228.8 14.43


Hydrogen H2 2.0159 -252.8 -259.2 -239.9 1315 33.21
Air 28.97 -194.3 --- -140.7 3772 3.048
Oxygen O2 31.9988 -182.9 -218.8 -118.4 5077 2.341
Methane CH 4 16.04 -161.5 -182.2 -82.5 4638 6.181
Tetrafluoro-methane CF 4 88.01 -127.9 -184.9 -45.7 3741 1.598
Ethylene C 2H 4 28.05 -103.7 -169 9.3 5114 4.37
Trifluoromethane CHF 3 70.02 -82.1 -155 25.6 4833 1.942
Chlorotrifluoro-methane CClF 3 104.47 -81.4 -181 28.8 3865 1.729
a
Carbon Dioxide CO 2 44.01 -78.4 -56.6 31.1 7372 2.135
Propylene C 3H 6 42.09 -47.7 -185 91.8 4618 4.495
Propane C 3H 8 44.10 -42.07 -187.7 96.8 4254 4.545
Chlorodifluoro-methane CHClF 2 86.48 -40.76 -160 96.0 4974 1.904
Chloropenta-fluoroethane CClF 2CF 3 154.48 -39.1 -106 79.9 3153 1.629

35
Ammonia NH 3 17.03 -33.3 -77.7 133.0 11417 4.245
Dichlorodi-fluoromethane CCl 2F 2 120.93 -29.79 -158 112.0 4113 1.792
Difluoroethane CH 3CHF 2 66.05 -25.0 -117 113.5 4492 2.741
Sulphur Dioxide SO 2 64.07 -10.0 -75.5 157.5 7875 1.910
Chlorodifluoro-ethane CH 3CClF 2 100.5 -9.8 -131 137.1 4120 2.297
Methyl Amine CH 3NH 2 31.06 -6.7 -92.5 156.9 7455
Octafluorocyclo-butane C 4F 8 200.04 -5.8 -41.4 115.3 2781 1.611
Butane C 4H 10 58.13 -0.5 -138.5 152.0 3794 4.383
Dichlorofluoro-methane CHCl 2F 102.92 8.8 -135 178.5 5168 1.917
Ethyl AmineC 2H 5NH 2 45.08 16.6 -80.6 183.0 5619
Trichlorofluoro-methane CCI 3F 137.38 23.82 -111 198.0 4406 1.804
Ethyl Ether C 4H 10O 74.12 34.6 -116.3 194.0 3603 3.790
Dichlorohexa-fluoropropane C 3Cl 2F 6 220.93 35.69 -125.4 180.0 2753 1.742
Trichloroethylene CHCl=CCl 2 131.39 87.2 -73 271.1 5016
Water H 2O 18.02 100 0 374.2 22103 3.128

high pressure equipment. R11, R12, R502 and R22) are being phased out by
Ÿ Low pressure portion of the cycle should international agreement.
be above atmospheric pressure to prevent
inward leakage of air and water vapour into The Montreal Protocol on substances suspected of
the refrigerant piping. attacking ozone was first agreed in 1988, and has
Ÿ High heat transfer coefficients. now been signed by over 90 countries. HCFCs such
as R22, which have much lower ozone depletion
Physical properties of various common refrigerants potentials than CFCs, are termed transition
are listed in Table 2 substances and cannot be considered long term
refrigerants. New HCFCs are being developed
The relative safety and hazard level of various which, together with R22, are being used today to
refrigerants have been compiled and classified replace CFCs in many applications.
under ANSI Code B9.l l97l and by Underwriter's
laboratories. Table 2 provides a listing of these New refrigerants which do not attack ozone are
properties for various refrigerants. also being developed. R134a, the first of these to
become commercially available, has been
Many refrigerants widely used today belong to the developed to replace R12 on mobile air-
fam ily of c hem ica ls c all ed C FCs (ch lor o- conditioning and small refrigeration applications. It
fluorocarbons) which are suspected of breaking is not a 'drop in' replacement for R12, although it
down ozone in the upper atmosphere. This operates with very similar temperatures and
environmental concern is causing major changes in pressures. It is not miscible with the mineral oils
refrigerant development and use. CFC and HCFC currently used with CFCs and HCFCs, so new
(hydrochlorofluorocarbon) type refrigerants (e.g. synthetic oils have been developed. Systems

36
Table 3: Non-CFC refrigerants

Ref. ODP 1 GWP 2 Availability BP 3 at Efficiency 4 Application


1Bar (ºC)

R22 0.05 0.34 Now -40.8 Better than R12; R12, R502 replacement
same as R502
MP39 0.03 0.22 Now -28.9 Similar to R12 Medium temp retail food
MP66 0.035 0.024 Now -30.7 Similar to R12 R12 replacement
HP81 0.03 0.52 Now -47.4 Same to slightly Medium temp retail food,
better than R12 ice machines, vending
R134a 0 0.34 Now -26.1 Same to slightly Medium and high temp
worse than R12 food retail
69S 0.04 4.0 Now approx. -50.0 Same to slightly Low temp close coupled
better than R502 systems
69L 0.028 4.09 Now -50.6 Same to slightly Low temp remote systems
better than R502
HP80 0.02 0.63 Now -49.0 Slightly worse Low temp retail food,
than R502 transport
FX10 0.023 0.76 Now -49.7 Slightly better Low temp
than R502
HP62 0 0.94 1993/4 -46.5 Similar to R502 Low temp
FX40 0 0.88 1993 for trials -55.0 Slightly worse Low temp
than R502
KLEA60 0 0.35 Now -38.0 to 45.0 Similar to R502 Low temp

Notes:
1. The ODP (ozone depletion potential) is relative to R11 for which OP=1.
2. The GWP (direct greenhouse warming potential) is relative to R11 for which GWP=1.
3. BP = boiling point
4 The efficiency is based on limited test data (not theoretical calculations) in the case of newly developed refrigerants and is therefore
an indication of expected efficiency in actual installations. Much of this data is provisional - the actual effect on efficiency of any new
refrigerant should be checked at the operating conditions of the system.

running with R12 can be retrofilled with Rl34a if the synthetic oils. Very few single substances are totally
oil is also changed, providing that the components suitable as refrigerants, and therefore blends of new
in the system can be used with the new refrigerant. and existing substances are being developed.
Successful retrofills have been carried out, with Blends have already been developed based on
minimum disruption to the cooling application. HCFCs and are currently being used as transition
substances. Care must be taken, however, to
Further ozone benign refrigerants are being ensu re t hat the blen d re main s co nsis tent
developed which will also need to use the new throughout a plants lifetime.

37
Table 3 gives information on non-CFC refrigerants Water, is the most common refrigerant, and is used
that are available now and on those that will be in combination with lithium bromide as the
available in the near future. absorbent.

4.2 COMMON 4.4 BRINES AND


REFRIGERANTS - SECONDARY
VAPOUR COMPRESSION COOLANTS
CYCLES Secondary refrigerants, brines and heat transfer
fluids find common use in refrigeration applications.
Freons: R22, used primarily in air conditioning; R-12,
These liquids are cooled or heated by the primary
used primarily in medium- and high-temperature
refrigerant and transfer heat energy without a
refrigeration (R-134a is now used as a replacement
change of state. Their use is common where:
for R-12); R-502, used primarily in low-temperature
refrigeration. R-500 can still be found in older Ÿ Large refrigerant quantities would
equipment. otherwise be required.
Ÿ Toxicity or flammability of the refrigerant is
Ammonia, refrigerant R-717, one of the earliest
a concern.
refrigerants, is now limited to industrial applications
Ÿ Central refrigeration is used to produce
because of its high toxicity. High cycle efficiency,
cooling for a number of remote locations.
low specific volume, high latent heat and low cost
Many examples exist where brines and
led to its popularity, particularly in ice rink facilities
secondary coolants are used.
and other applications where large temperature
Ÿ Chilled water or glycol-water solutions for
differences were required.
air-conditioning and process cooling.
Carbon dioxide is a non-toxic, non-flammable, Ÿ Calcium chloride or sodium chloride in
odourless, colourless, and inert gas. Because of high solution with water for ice production in
operating pressures and high horsepower skating rink applications.
requirements its use as a refrigerant is limited to Ÿ Propylene glycol and water solutions for
specific industrial applications. use in food and potable water refrigeration
systems.
Ÿ Hydrocarbon refrigerants in the liquid
4.3 COMMON phase for extremely low temperature
applications.
REFRIGERANTS -
ABSORPTION CYCLE Selection of the brine type and concentration is
made on the basis of freezing point, crystallization
Ammonia is a refrigerant used with water as the temperature, specific volume, viscosity, specific
absorbent (solvent). Use of ammonia is declining heat and boiling point. Toxicity, flammability and
with the introduction of refrigerants that have low corrosion characteristics are secondary factors, but
toxicity and operate at lower system pressures. must be considered in the overall analysis.

38
5. ENERGY MANAGEMENT
OPPORTUNITIES

'Energy Management Opportunities' is a term that surfaces reduces the heat transfer
represents the ways that energy can be used wisely to efficiency, requiring higher temperature
reduce operating costs. A number of Energy differences to maintain the heat transfer
Management Opportunities, subdivided into rate. An increase in temperature difference
Housekeeping, Low Cost, and Retrofit categories are reduces the COP.
outlined in this section with worked examples or
written text to illustrate the potential energy savings. Ÿ Repair suction and liquid line insulation to
This is not a complete listing of the opportunities reduce superheating of suction gas and loss
available for refrigeration and heat pump systems. of subcooling. Refrigerant lines gain heat
However, it is intended to provide ideas for when they are located in spaces that are
management, operating, and maintenance personnel not air-conditioned, increasing the system
to allow them to identify other opportunities that are load without producing useful cooling.
applicable to a particular facility. Other guides in this Ÿ Calibrate controls and check operation on
series should be considered. a regular basis to ensure that the
refrigeration and heat pump systems
operate efficiently.
Ÿ Maintain specified refrigerant charge in
5.1 HOUSEKEEPING refrigeration and heat pump equipment.
OPPORTUNITIES Insufficient refrigerant reduces system
performance and capacity. Reduced mass
flow rates of refrigerant causes excessive
superheating of the refrigerant at the
5.1.1 GENERAL
evaporator which reduces the efficiency of
MAINTENANCE the compressor, and increases the
condensing temperatures.
Implemented housekeeping opportunities are Energy Ÿ Provide unrestricted air movement around
Management actions that are done on a regular basis condensing units and cooling towers to
and never less than once a year. The following are eliminate short circuiting or the airstreams
typical Energy Management Opportunities in this which causes a higher condensing
category: temperature and pressure.
Ÿ Minimize the simultaneous operation of
Ÿ Keep heat transfer surfaces of evaporators heating and cooling systems. Strategically
and condensers clean, through regular located thermometers will help identify
inspection and cleaning. Fouling of the this problem.

39
5.1.2 PLANT OPERATION instrumentation should be considered to
measure/monitor:
Plant performance will be maintained if the system
is monitored and appropriate remedial action taken Ÿ pressures;
when necessary. Adequate instrumentation is Ÿ temperatures;
necessary to enable a plant to be easily monitored. Ÿ current and/or power.
The use of computers to analyse data will help to
highlight areas which should be investigated before Figure 26 shows where such measurements should
problems develop. be taken on a water chilling system.

Many compressors can he used on part capacity,


and the number of cylinders operating on a
5.1.3 INSTRUMENTATION
reciprocating compressor can be indicated by the
signal to the solenoid valves which unload cylinders.
There should be sufficient instrumentation on a
On centrifugal or screw compressors an analogue
plant to enable the performance to be assessed and
indication of the control signal can be useful.
faults diagnosed. With smaller commercial systems
pressure gauges, thermometers and amp probes of
Level gauges should be fitted to all vessels that
the type carried by service engineers are likely to be
contain liquid refrigerant, i.e. liquid receivers, shell
sufficient. With larger installations permanent
and tube evaporators and condensers, and

Figure 26 Simple direct expansion water chilling system


(source: ETSU)

40
Table 4: An example of a log sheet.

COMPRESSOR CONDENSER EVAPORATOR

Suction temperature Discharge temperature Condensing liquid Water Evaporating


Recommended Hours Amps temp
value Run Saturated Actual Saturated Actual Comp. Oil Diff. Saturated Liquid Inlet Exit Flow Inlet Exit
P1 T1 P2 T2 Loading press P3 line temp. Temp. Rate temp temp.
1 to 5 P1+3ºC to % >3bar P2-2ºC T4 T5 F1 P4 P5
P1+7ºC to 7/10ºC 2/5ºC 550
P2-5ºC l/min
Date Time
18.7.92 1400 2326 92.5 3.0 6.1 30.0 57.2 100 4.2 30.0 28.0 8.4 3.6 547 0.5 0

41
NB: Temperatures taken from pressure gauges (P) refer to saturated temperatures from dual scale gauges
interstage vessels on two stage systems. The 5.1.5 HOUSEKEEPING
normal refrigerant level, and the acceptable WORKED EXAMPLES
maximum and minimum levels should be marked
oil the gauge. Worked examples are used to illustrate potential
energy and cost savings. The examples are
considered typical of conditions found in
5.1.3.1 PLANT MONITORING refrigeration and heat pump systems.

The instrumentation fitted to a system enables on-


site plant operators or off-site contractors to 5.1.5.1 REDUCE CONDENSING
monitor performance and detect faults before they TEMPERATURE
cause major decline in efficiency.
Over time the performance of a 175 kW
Ÿ Log Sheets refrigeration system, with an air-cooled, packaged
condensing unit, deteriorated. Investigation
Plant log sheets should be kept, containing revealed that the space where the condensing unit
information on normal operation as well as was located had been converted to a storage area
recording day to day operation. These logs with stacked materials. Air flow to the condenser
allow performance to be assessed was blocked, causing short circuiting of the cooling
providing that: air stream.

On a day when the ambient temperature was


- data is measured and recorded
35ºC, the air entering the condenser was 46.1ºC.
accurately
The actual refrigerating load was 120 kW.
- information is correctly analysed
Manufacturer's data for 120 kW cooling indicates
- problems found are followed by
that the compressor power is 42.3 kW at 35º
appropriate action arid recorded.
C, and 49.76 kW at 46.1ºC. The system operates
2000 hours per year at the elevated temperature.
Table 4 shows an example log sheet for the plain
Removal of the stored materials from the
shown in Figure 26. The data recorded on a log
condenser vicinity would prevent short circuiting
sheet for a specific plant will depend on the
and lower the air temperature entering the
characteristics of that plant.
condenser to the ambient temperature. Electricity
cost is 0.10R/kWh

5.1.4 TROUBLE SHOOTING Compressor energy required at 46.1ºC


= 2000 x 49.76
= 99 520 kWh
From monitoring the refrigeration system, several
irregularities can be linked directly to savings Compressor energy required at 35ºC
potential. Below table 5 gives a list of such potential = 2000 x 42.3
symptoms. = 84 600 kWh

42
Table 5: Common faults on refrigeration systems

Major Other Fault Solution Operational


symptom symptoms cost penalty
Low cooling duty Bubbles in liquid System undercharged LP Add refrigerant to Up to 25% or more reduction
compared with line and low or zero float or TEV system correct level in duty and COP
compressor curves subcooling from
condenser
On HP float systems: HP float valve stuck open, Determine why bypass Up to 50% reduction in
bypassed, gas passing valve was opened duty and COP
initially. Correct fault and
close bypass valve
High actual compressor Broken or obstructed Repair valve and identify Loss of duty in proportion
discharge temperature reciprocating and rectify cause of to cylinders affected
and low compressor compressor suction blockage or obstruction
absorbed power valve
High actual compressor Broken or obstructed Repair valve and identify Loss of duty and COP
discharge temperature reciprocating and rectify cause of in proportion to cylinders
compressor discharge breakage or obstruction affected
valve
Poor evaporator Low evaporating pressure Fouling of air/water side Clean evaporator and Up to 15% loss of COP,
effectiveness high water/air side of evaporator locate and cure source 25% loss of cooling duty
pressure drop of fouling
Low evaporating pressure Blocked suction strainer Clean suction strainer. Up to 30% reduction in COP
high apparent superheat Identify and rectify source
of blockage
Loss of oil from Oil accumulation in Remove excess oil, install Up to 25% reduction in COP
compressor flooded evaporator effective oil drain or
crankcase rectification system
Loss of oil from Poor oil return from Re-design suction side Up to 25% reduction in
compressor expansion valve system pipework duty and COP
crankcase
In all systems, possible Obstruction in liquid line Locate and clear Up to 15% loss in COP,
subcooling, high obstruction. Identify 25% loss of cooling duty
high liquid line cause and rectify
suction superheat

Poor condenser High condensing Very high overcharge of Remove excess charge Up to 10% loss of duty,
effectiveness temperature, high LP float or TEV system 15% reduction in COP
liquid subcooling
High condensing, high Air or non-condensable Purge non-condensable Up to 10% loss in COP
liquid subcooling gas in system gas in system
High water/air side Fouling of air-water side Clean condenser and Up to 25% loss in COP, 10%
pressure drop of condenser locate and cure source loss in duty
of fouling
Low suction superheat LP float and TEV: possible Incorrect or faulty expansi Identify and rectify fault Up to 15% reduction in duty.
low compressor discharge on device control Potential compressor failure
temperature due to liquid carry over

High suction superheat HP float: low liquid level in System undercharged Add refrigerant to correct Up to 10% loss of duty.
evaporator level 7½% reduction in COP

43
Energy Saved = 99 520 - 84 600 "Clean" refrigerant condensing temperature:
= 14 920 kWh 40.6ºC = 313.6 K

TL
Rand savings = 14920 kWh x R0.10/kwh "Dirty" COP = 0.25* x
(TH - TL )
= R1492/yr
274.7
=0.25 x = 1.55
319.1 - 274.7
TL
5.1.5.2 CLEAN EVAPORATORS "Clean" COP = 0.25* x
(TH - TL )
AND CONDENSERS
280.2
= 0.25 x = 2.10
An 880 kW centrifugal chiller with a forced draft 313.6 - 280.2
cooling tower is used to produce chilled water for
*COP actual values estimated as
air conditioning. On a walk-through audit it was
.25 x COP (theoretical)
noticed that algae was growing on the wetted
surfaces of the cooling tower. Water blowdown to
control mineral deposits and chemical feed was (2.10 - 1.55)
Change in COP = x 100
performed by leaving the blowdown valve open. 1.55
Chemical testing and treatment was neglected.
= 35% (improvement)

During a plant shutdown, the heat exchanger


surfaces of the evaporator and condenser were
Power required for 880 kW cooling:
examined and found to be fouled. A contractor was
hired to clean the equipment at a cost of R1,700 for 880
"Dirty" = 568 kW
each heat exchanger and Rl,400 for the cooling 1.55
tower, for a total of R4.800. Electricity cost is
0.10/kWh. 880
"Clean" = 419 kW
2.10
Performance of the system was evaluated, before
and after the cleaning, using manufacturer's data
and estimated COP values. The system operates at full load for an estimated
900 hours per year. Savings because of cleaning are:
"Dirty" refrigerant suction temperature:
1.7ºC = 274.7 K Savings = (568 - 419) kW x
900 hr x R0. 10/kWh
"Dirty" refrigerant condensing temperature: = R13410/yr
46.lºC = 319.1 K
Simple payback = (Investment/Savings)
"Clean" refrigerant suction temperature: = 0.36 years
7.2ºC = 280.2 K (4 months)

44
5.2 LOW COST performance of the refrigeration system
will offset the increased power
OPPORTUNITIES requirement of the cooling tower fan and
make-up water costs.
Implemented low cost opportunities are Energy Provide an automatic water treatment
Management actions that are done once and for system to add chemicals, and control
which the cost in not considered great. The following blowdown, to match the water losses of
are typical Energy Management Opportunities in cooling tower and evaporative condenser
this category. systems. Proper water treatment will
maximize heat transfer effectiveness, and
Ÿ Increase evaporator temperature to keep condensing temperatures low.
increase system COP. Benefits include reduced quantities of
Reset the temperature of the chilled water, make-up and blowdown water, and lower
glycol solution or air as a function of the operating and maintenance costs.
cooling required, to allow the evaporator Ÿ Reschedule production cycles to reduce
temperature to rise at part loads. For peak electrical demand and make more
example, the setting of the air temperature efficient use of available cooling or heating
leaving the evaporator of an air- energy. Rescheduling may permit
conditioning system can be based on the shutdown of some compressors in
latent load requirement. As the latent load multiunit systems while running others at
falls, less dehumidification is required, and optimum load and peak efficiency.
the controls adjust the evaporator Operation at higher efficiency may delay
temperature upwards. purchase of additional equipment when
Relocate the outdoor coil of an air-to-air heat total load increases
pump to a clean exhaust airstream. A Ÿ Upgrade automatic controls in
building's ventilation exhaust is warmer refrigeration plants to provide accurate
than the outside ambient air during most of and flexible operation. Solid state digital
the heating season. control can optimize equipment and
Ÿ Reduce condensing temperature to system operation to meet load
increase system COP requirements with minimum power
Relocate air cooled condensers and heat consumption, and/or shed load to reduce
pump outdoor coils to clean exhaust short term electrical peaks.
airstreams. Generally the building's Ÿ Replace high-maintenance, centrifugal
ventilation exhaust is cooler than the compressors with compressors selected
outside ambient air when cooling is for high efficiency when operating at part
required. load conditions.
Reduce condenser water temperature by Ÿ Upgrade insulation on primary and
resetting cooling tower temperature secondary refrigerant piping circuits.
controls. Detailed analysis is required to Ÿ Provide multispeed fan motors on cooling
determine whether increased towers, evaporative coolers and air cooled

45
condensers. Normally, equipment is 5.2.1 LOW COST WORKED
selected to match the rarely attained peak EXAMPLES
design condition. Lower outdoor wet and
dry bulb temperatures, and lower indoor Worked examples are used to illustrate potential
loads, predominate. Reducing condenser cost savings. The examples are considered typical
air flow to match the capacity requirement of the conditions found in building refrigeration and
reduces the fan power. heat pump systems
Ÿ Evaporative coolers and condensers
operated in winter may provide adequate
capacity when operated with dry coils. 5.2.1.1 WATER TREATMENT FOR
Maintenance, water and electrical costs
CONDENSER WATER
can be reduced. Heat tracing and pan
heaters can be turned off. The detrimental
Maintain maximum heat transfer rates by
effect of icing on equipment and buildings
minimizing fouling. Consider the condenser water
is eliminated. Note that the reduced
system in Housekeeping Worked Example 2.
power requirements for fan and circulating
Assume that half the change in performance was
pumps in cooling towers and evaporative
because of condenser cleaning.
coolers may be offset by a COP decrease
caused by higher condenser temperatures.
Reduced electrical costs = R 3 353 / 2
Detailed analysis is required.
R 1 676
Ÿ Consider a new heat pump system instead
of a new air conditioning system, if winter An automatic water treatment system was
heating is required. The higher equipment provided for the cooling tower, to optimize water
cost will be offset by reduced heating costs make-up and blowdown, and automatically feed
during the winter season. chemicals to control fouling. Capital cost was
Ÿ Provide lockable covers on automatic R3,000. Annual chemical costs are estimated at
controls and thermostats, to prevent R800. Note that the system must be cleaned before
unauthorised tampering or adjustment. automatic water treatment is initiated.

Ÿ Use clean process cooling water that


Simple payback = R 3 000 /1 676
normally goes to drain for evaporative
=1.8 yrs
condenser or cooling tower make-up
water. While not conserving energy, this At the end of the first year, the cost of cleaning the
will reduce operating costs. exchangers, the cooling tower, and providing
Ÿ Re-evaluate the use of hot gas bypass condenser water treatment is negligible. See
when a refrigeration unit works at part- Housekeeping Worked Example 2.
load for any significant period. It may be
possible to eliminate the bypass feature Other costs are reduced. Annual cleaning of
and cycle or turn off the refrigeration exchangers is eliminated and controlled blowdown
system. reduces make-up water requirements.

46
5.2.1.2 HEAT PUMP VERSUS 5.2.1.3. HOT GAS
ELECTRIC HEAT BYPASS

A small office addition is planned for an industrial A small manufacturing plant has a 90 kW capacity
facility in Cape Town. An economical means of refrigeration plant operating at a COP of 3. The
heating and cooling the addition is desirable. The compressor has six cylinders and operates at full-
plant rejects waste heat in the form of warm water. load 24 hours per day, 5 days per week and 50
Loads for the proposed building, including weeks per year. During weekends the refrigeration
ventilation, are 35.17 kW cooling, and 29.31 kW load is less than 10 per cent of full-load, and the unit
heating. A rooftop packaged air conditioning uses hot gas bypass to avoid low suction pressures
system with electric heating is proposed. The and evaporator frosting. It is proposed to eliminate
estimated annual heating cost for the all-electric hot gas bypass and cycle the unit on and off to meet
system is R2 45l. the low loads. Controls will be modified to
eliminate hot gas bypass and install anti-short cycle
A water-to-air heat pump was considered as an
timers at a cost of R1400. The hot gas bypass
alternative to the basic, air-conditioning with
imposes a cooling load of about 33 per cent on the
electric heat, rooftop package initially proposed.
unit at a cost of R1188 per year. In addition to the
The heat pump was selected to meet the design
cost of providing the 9 kW cooling load, by
heating and cooling loads, with electric duct heaters
eliminating hot gas bypass, this R1188 can be saved.
for 100 per cent backup. The COP for heating at
the given water condition was 2.25 and similar to
Simple payback = R1 400/R1 188
the air-conditioner performance in the summer.
= 1.2 years
The source of warm water was available 85 per
cent of the time during the heating season, and
cooling water was available throughout the cooling
season. 5.3 RETROFIT
Annual heat pump energy costs OPPORTUNITIES
= (0.85xR2451)/2.25
+(0.15xR2451) Implemented retrofit opportunities are defined as
= 1 294 energy management actions that are done once, and
for which the cost is significant. Many of the
Annual savings = R2 451- R1 294 opportunities in this category will require detailed
= R1 157 analysis by specialists and cannot be examined in
detail in this guide. The following are typical Energy
The extra cost for a heat pump package over Management Opportunities in the Retrofit
standard air conditioning with electric heat is category.
estimated at R 3 000
Ÿ Absorption equipment can provide low
Simple payback = R3 000/R1 157 cost cooling if dependable, high grade
= 2.6 years waste heat is available.

47
Ÿ Use a heat pump to upgrade the low superheat can be used where lower
temperature waste heat to a temperature temperature latent heat cannot. Care must
suitable for building heating. be taken in the design of the refrigerant
Ÿ Provide a thermal storage system to piping system to ensure proper return of
reduce compressor cycling, and allow liquid refrigerant and oil from the
continuous operation at full-load and desuperheater.
higher efficiency. Ÿ Use well, river or lake water as a lower
Ÿ Provide decentralized systems to match temperature cooling medium to reduce
loads with specialized requirements. For condensing temperatures. If an air-cooled
example, if a large system operates at a low condenser requires major repair or
evaporator temperature when only a small replacement, consider using an
portion of the load requires low evaporative condenser. Improved
tem per atu re, pro vid e a s mal l, l ow performance and reduced energy cost
temperature system to serve the special because of the higher COP may justify the
area. Operate the large system at a higher added expenditure.
evaporator temperature to improve COP. Ÿ Use mechanical refrigeration equipment in
Co ns id er "p ig gy ba ck in g" th e lo w facilities, such as indoor swimming pools
temperature system onto the higher where high ventilation rates are required
temperature system to reduce for humidity control. Winter heating costs
temperature differences and increase for the ventilation air can be reduced by
COP. reducing the ventilation rate. The total heat
Ÿ Reclaim rejected condenser heat for space of rejection can be used to preheat the
hea tin g, pro ces s hea tin g or wat er ventilation supply air and preheat the
preheating. In addition to reclaiming the make-up water for the pool. Energy savings
otherwise wasted heat, the system COP result.
may be increased when a lower
temp erat ure cond ensi ng medi um is Calculations for 'retrofit' savings are site specific and
available. For example, preheating in many cases involve detailed analysis. This booklet
domestic water will reduce the energy serves as a guide for the possible avenues to
required for water heating and reduce the investigate and gives a feel for energy efficiency
con den sin g tem per atu re. The col d earning opportunities in refrigeration and cooling.
incoming water supply can often reduce
the condensing water temperature by 5 to
10ºC, thereby increasing the system COP.
Ÿ Desuperheat the refrigerant vapour (hot
gas) leaving the compressor. The
superheat can be recovered for process or
make-up water preheating. Because the
temperature of the hot gas is higher than
the condensing temperature, the

48
APPENDIX 1:
GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Glossary of terms used in commercial refrigeration

(Words in italics are other terms explained within the glossary.)

Air cooled condenser: A condenser cooled by natural or forced flow of air.

Ambient temperature: The prevailing temperature of the atmosphere surrounding the component
under consideration.

Atmospheric pressure: The pressure exerted by the column of air in the atmosphere above the
reference point.

Balanced port valve: An expansion valve which gives good system stability despite widely varying
operating conditions.

Boiling point: The temperature at which evaporation of liquid takes place at a specific
pressure.

Capacity control: Variation in the quantity of refrigerant circulated in order to vary the
refrigeration capacity.

Cascade system: A refrigeration system composed of more than one circuit where the
evaporation process of the higher temperature circuit cools the condenser of
the lower temperature circuit.

CFC: Chlorofluorocarbon a derivative of a hydrocarbon containing chlorine.

Changes of State: When sufficient heat is added or removed, most substances undergo a
change of state. The temperature remains constant until the change of state is
complete. Change of state can be from solid to liquid, liquid to vapour or vice
versa. Typical examples are ice melting and water boiling.

Condense: The process of changing a vapour into a liquid by the extraction of heat.

49
Condenser: A heat exchanger in which a vapour is liquefied by the removal of heat.

Coefficient of performance: (For a refrigerator:)The ratio of the refrigeration capacity to the power
absorbed by the compressor.(For a heat pump:) The total heat delivered to
the power absorbed by the compressor.

Compression ratio: The ration of the absolute pressures before and after compression.

Compressor: A machine for mechanically increasing the pressure of a gas.

Condensing pressure: The pressure at which a vapour changes into a liquid at a specific temperature.

Condensing temperature: The temperature of a fluid at which condensation occurs when at a known
pressure.

Condensing unit: A collection of components usually consisting of a compressor, condenser and


receiver assembled onto a common base frame.

Cycle: A cycle is a series of processes where the end point conditions or properties
of the substance are identical to the initial conditions. In refrigeration, the
processes required to produce a cooling effect are arranged to operate in a
cyclic manner so that the refrigerant can be reused.

Defrost on demand: An automatic defrost system which is initiated by an unacceptable build up of


ice and terminated when the coil has cleared.

Defrost: Elimination of an ice deposit from the surface of an evaporator.

Density of Saturated Liquid: The density of liquid at saturation temperature and pressure is expressed in
kg/m3. The specific volume of the refrigerant liquid can be calculated by taking
the inverse of the density.

1
Specific Volume =
Density

Desuperheat: Removal of part or all of the superheat in a gas.

Discharge: The output side of the compressor.

Discharge temperature: The temperature of the compressed fluid discharged from the compressor.

50
Discharge pressure: The pressure of the compressed fluid discharged from the compressor.

Energy in Liquids and Vapours: When a liquid is heated, the temperature of the liquid rises to the boiling point.
This is the highest temperature to which the liquid can rise at the measured
pressure. The heat absorbed by the liquid in raising the temperature to the
boiling point is called sensible heat. The heat required to convert the liquid to
vapour at the same temperature and pressure is called latent heat.

Electronic expansion valve: An electro-mechanical expansion valve controlled by a microprocessor which


has sensors attached to the evaporator and adjacent pipe work.

Enthalpy (h): The total energy contained in a refrigerant is called the enthalpy. Most
refrigerant tables assume, for convenience of calculations, that the saturated
liquid at 40ºC has zero energy.
Enthalpy of liquid (hf) is the amount of energy contained in one kilogram of the
liquid at a particular temperature, and is expressed in kJ/kg.
Enthalpy of vapour (hg) is the total energy contained in dry saturated vapour at
a particular temperature and saturation pressure, and is expressed in kJ/kg.
Latent heat of vaporization (hfg) is the amount of energy required to evaporate
one kilogram of liquid at a given temperature and pressure and is the
difference between the enthalpy of the liquid and the vapour. It is expressed
in kJ/kg.

The enthalpy equation is: hfg = hg - hf

Enthalpy of a mixture is a value necessary in the calculation of most practical


applications because a refrigerant usually contains a mixture of both vapour
and liquid. If the quality of the vapour is "x" then:

h = hf + x(hg - hf)

Where, h = Enthalpy of "wet" vapour (kJ/kg)


hf = Enthalpy of the liquid (kJ/kg)
hg = Enthalpy of the vapour (kJ/kg)
x = Quality of the vapour (decimal fraction)

Entropy (s): Entropy can be described as a measure of the molecular disorder of a


substance, and is used to describe the refrigeration cycle.
Entropy of saturated liquid (sf) at a given temperature and pressure condition is
expressed in kJ/(kg·K).

51
Entropy of saturated vapour (sg) at a given temperature and pressure condition
s expressed in kJ/(kg·K).
Entropy of vaporization (sfg), is the difference in entropy between the saturated
liquid and the saturated vapour.

Evaporation and Condensation: Unlike freezing and melting, evaporation and condensation can take place at
almost any temperature and pressure combination. Evaporation is the
gaseous escape of molecules from the surface of a liquid and is accomplished
by the absorption of a considerable quantity of heat without any change in
temperature. The vapour that leaves the surface of a boiling liquid is called
saturated vapour. The quantity of heat required to make the change of state is
called the latent heat of vaporization. Condensation occurs when the gaseous
molecules return to the liquid state.
Liquids including refrigerants, evaporate at all temperatures with increased
rates of evaporation taking place at higher temperatures. The evaporated
gases exert a pressure called the vapour pressure. As the temperature of the
liquid rises, there is a greater loss of the liquid from the surface which increases
the vapour pressure. Boiling occurs when the vapour pressure reaches the
pressure of the surrounding space. During boiling, vapour is generated at a
pressure equal to the gas pressure on the surface. If the pressure on the
surface is increased, boiling takes place at a higher temperature and the boiling
point is said to increase. Similarly, a reduction in the pressure will lower the
boiling point.

Evaporating temperature: The temperature at which a fluid vaporises within an evaporator at a specific
pressure.

Evaporating pressure: The pressure at which a fluid vaporises within an evaporator at a specific
temperature.

Evaporator: A heat exchanger in which a liquid is vaporised to produce refrigeration.

Externally cooled: A compressor which is cooled by air or water passing over the outside of its
housing.

Extraction rate: The quantity of heat which a refrigeration plant is capable of extracting under
specified conditions of time and temperature.

Fin block: A group of tubes which have been expanded into fins to form a heat
exchanger.

52
HCFC: Hydrochlorofluorocarbon.

Heat exchanger: A device designed to transfer heat between two physically separated fluids.

Heat recovery: The reclaim of heat from a refrigeration system for use in a heating process.

Heat Transfer: Heat energy can flow only from a higher to a lower temperature level unless
energy is added to reverse the process. Heat transfer will occur when a
temperature difference exists within a medium or between different media.
Higher heat transfer rates occur at higher temperature differences.

Hermetic compressor: A compressor directly coupled to an electric motor and contained within a
gas-tight welded casing.

High pressure switch: A switch designed to stop the compressor motor should the discharge
pressure reach a predetermined maximum valve.

Hot gas bypass: A system whereby some or all of the discharge refrigerant is passed directly
back into the compressor suction.

Immiscible: A condition where oil and refrigerant are incapable of being mixed.

Latent Heat of Fusion: For most pure substances there is a specific melting/freezing temperature
relatively independent of the pressure. For example, ice begins to melt at 0ºC.
The amount of heat necessary to melt one kilogram of ice at 0ºC to one
kilogram of water at 0ºC is called the latent heat of fusion of water and
equals 334.92 kJ/kg. The removal of the same amount of heat from one
kilogram of water at 0ºC will change it back to ice.

Liquid refrigerant injection: Introduction of liquid refrigerant into high temperature refrigerant gas to cool it.

Montreal Protocol: International legislation to phase out production of CFCs and other
substances suspected of depleting ozone.

Oil separator: A device for separating oil from refrigerant vapour.

Open compressor: A compressor driven by an external power unit, requiring a shaft seal.

tOperating conditions: The conditionsunder which a refrigeration system works, including the
evaporating pressure and condensing pressure.

Ozone depletion potential: The potential of a substance to destroy stratospheric ozone.

53
Performance data: The extraction rate and power input of a refrigeration system.

Plant room: A secure room where most of the high pressure components of a
refrigeration system are located along with the electrical panel.

Pressure: Pressure is the force exerted on a surface, per unit area, and is expressed in
kilopascals (kPa), megapascals (MPa), bar and pounds per square inch (psig).

Process: A process is a physical or chemical change in the properties of matter, or the


conversion of energy from one form to another. In refrigeration, a process is
generally defined by the condition (or properties) of the refrigerant at the
beginning and end of the process.

Quality ofVapour: Theoretically, when vapour leaves the surface of a liquid, it is pure and
saturated at the particular temperature and pressure. In actual practice, tiny
liquid droplets escape with the vapour. When a mixture of liquid and vapour
exists, the ratio of the mass of the liquid to the total mass of the liquid and
vapour mixture is called the 'quality' and is expressed as a percentage or
decimal fraction.

Receiver: A vessel permanently installed in the refrigeration system between the


condenser and the expansion valve to provide a reservoir of liquid refrigerant.

Reciprocating: A positive displacement compressor with piston(s) moving linearly and


alternately in opposite directions in the cylinder(s).

Refrigerant: The working fluid in a refrigeration system, which absorbs heat at a low
temperature (by evaporation) and rejects heat at a high temperature (by
condensation).

Refrigeration capacity: The quantity of heat which a refrigeration plant is capable of extracting under
specified conditions of time and temperature.

Refrigerant Tables: Common properties of refrigerants are tabulated for both liquid and vapour
phases, and at different temperature pressure conditions.

Rotary: A compressor in which the rotation of the component varies the volume of
the compression chamber.
Saturation: A condition at which liquid and vapour may exist when in contact with each

54
other.

Saturation Pressure: Saturation pressure is normally the second column in a refrigerant table and is
expressed as MPa (absolute). To obtain gauge pressure subtract 0.101325
MPa (101.325 kpa) from the absolute pressure.

Saturation Temperature: Saturation temperature, normally the first column in a refrigerant table, and
given in K, is the temperature at which boiling will occur to produce vapour at
the given saturation pressure.

Semi-hermetic compressor: A compressor directly coupled to an electric motor and contained within a
gas-tight bolted housing.

Shut-off valve: A valve used to isolate particular items of equipment.

Sight glass: A device which allows a visual inspection of a liquid within a pressurised
container.

Specific Volume of Saturated Vapour: The specific volume of saturated vapour is the volume occupied by one
kilogram of dry saturated gas at the corresponding saturation temperature
3
and pressure, and is expressed in m /kg. Density of the vapour can be
calculated by taking the inverse of the specific volume.

1
Density =
Specific Volume

Subcooled liquid: A liquid whose temperature is lower than the condensing temperature at its
given pressure.

Suction (return) temperature: The temperature at which refrigerant gas enters the compressor.

Suction cooled: A compressor in which the motor is cooled by refrigerant gas passing over the
motor windings.

Superheat: The quantity of heat added to dry saturated vapour to raise it from it
saturation temperature to a higher temperature.

Temperature: Temperature is an indication of the heat energy stored in a substance. If the


temperature of a substance was decreased to 273ºC or 0 K (Kelvin), known
as absolute zero, the substance contains no heat energy and all molecular
movement stops.
Temperature difference: The difference in temperature between two substances, surfaces or

55
environments involving transfer of heat.

Thermostat: An automatic switch which is responsive to temperature.

Thermostatic expansion valve: A valve which automatically regulates the flow of liquid refrigerant into the
evaporator to maintain within close limits the degree of superheat of the
vapour leaving the evaporator.

Water-cooled condenser: A condenser cooled by the circulation of water through it.

Work: Work is the energy which is transferred by a difference in pressure or force of


any kind. Work is subdivided into shaft work and flow work.
Shaft work is mechanical energy used to drive a mechanism such as a pump,
condenser or turbine. Flow work is the energy transferred into a system by fluid
flowing into, or out of, the system. Both forms of work are expressed in
kilojoules, or on a mass basis, kJ/kg.

Since South Africa mainly uses metric units, these are the first choice in this guide. However, Imperial units are

56
APPENDIX 2:
ENERGY, VOLUME AND MASS
CONVERSION FACTORS

often given as well. The units used are given in the table below:

Table A1: Unit Conversions

Metric Imperial Conversion


Pressure absolute bar psi 1 barg = 14.7 psig
Pressure gauge barg psig 1 bar = 14.7 psi
Flow, volumetric l/sec cfm 1 l/s = 2 cfm (approx)
Power kW hp 1 kW = 1.34 hp
Energy kWh Btu 1 kWh = 3412.4 Btu
Specific energy J/l

Abbreviations:

psi: pounds per square inch kW: kilowatt


psig: pounds per square inch gauge hp: horsepower
l/sec: litres per second kWh: kilowatt-hour
cfm: cubic feet per minute Btu: British thermal units
J/l: Joules/litre

Pressure absolute = pressure gauge + 1 bar


1 bar = 100 kPa
Standard atmospheric pressure = 1.013 bar

Example of measuring the COP of a refrigeration system directly:

57
APPENDIX 3: EXAMPLE OF
MEASURING COP DIRECTLY.

COP is defined as the refrigeration affect (i.e. heat taken up in the evaporator) divided by the work (from the
compressor) supplied to the system. Supposing we have an 880 kW centrifugal refrigeration system. The liquid
refrigerant (134a see relevant Pressure-Enthalpy diagram) condenses at 1Mpa (P3 from section 5.1.2.1) this
corresponds to just over 40ºC. The refrigerant is then expanded (at constant Enthalpy) to a pressure of 0.22
MPa (from the PE diagram this corresponds to 10ºC) and a vapour fraction of about 35%. The outlet
temperature and pressure (T6 and P6) are measured as 0ºC and 0.2 MPa. The temperature of the brine being
cooled is (T5 and T6) from 1 8'C at the inlet to 2ºC coming out. The flowrate of the brine is 0.0367 m3/s (Fl).
Calculate the COP of the system and the flowrate of the refrigerant.

Cooling effect:
Water flow = 36.67 kg/s
Temp change for water = 18ºC-2ºC = 16ºC
Heat capacity (Cp) of water = 4.2 kJ/kg.ºC
(Cp is the amount of heat (in joules) that is given up (when the substance is cooled) or taken up (when the
substance is heated), for a change in temperature of a degree C or
K.Cp is generally given - as above - per kilogram of substance.)
Thus the cooling effect = 4.2 * 16 * 36.67 = 2464 kJ/s

COP

COP = cooling effect/ = 2462/880 = 2.8(note: kJ/s = kW)


compressor work

Refrigerant flow:
Refrigerant enthalpies
After expansion valve = 188 kJ/kg (0.22 MPa & -10ºC)
After the evaporator = 400 kJ/kg (0.2 MPa & 0ºC)
Enthalpy difference = 400 - 188 = 212 kJ/kg
Assuming heat losses between the expansion valve and suction side of the compressor are negligible, Refrigerant
flow required 2464/212 = 11.6 kg/s

Note: given the flow of refrigerant, the actual COP may be estimated directly from the refrigerant enthalpy
change (from the P-E graphs) over the evaporator, and the power drawn from the compressor.
SOURCES OF FURTHER INFORMATION

58
SOURCES OF
FURTHER
INFORMATION

For the latest news in energy efficiency technology:

“Energy Management News” is a free newsletter issued by the ERI, which


contains information on the latest developments in energy efficiency in
Southern Africa and details of forthcoming energy efficiency events.

Copies can be obtained from:

The Energy Research Institute


Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Cape Town
Private Bag
Rondebosch 7701
Cape Town
South Africa
Tel No: +27 (0) 21 650 3892
Fax No: +27 (0) 21 686 4838
E-mail: eri@eng.uct.ac.za
www.eri.uct.ac.za

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