# Lesson 10 Vapour Compression Refrigeration Systems

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1 Lesson 0 Vapour Compression Refrigeration Systems Version ME, II Kharagpur

2 he specific objectives of the lesson: his lesson discusses the most commonly used refrigeration system, ie Vapour compression refrigeration system he following things are emphasized in detail: he Carnot refrigeration cycle & its practical limitations (Section 0) he Standard Vapour compression Refrigeration System (Section 0) Analysis of Standard Vapour compression Refrigeration System (Section 05) At the end of the lesson the student should be able to: Analyze and perform cyclic calculations for Carnot refrigeration cycle (Section 0) State the difficulties with Carnot refrigeration cycle (Section 0) Analyze and perform cyclic calculations for standard vapour compression refrigeration systems (Section 0) Perform various cycle calculations for different types of refrigerants (Section 0) 0 Comparison between gas cycles and vapor cycles hermodynamic cycles can be categorized into gas cycles and vapour cycles As mentioned in the previous chapter, in a typical gas cycle, the working fluid (a gas) does not undergo phase change, consequently the operating cycle will be away from the vapour dome In gas cycles, heat rejection and refrigeration take place as the gas undergoes sensible cooling and heating In a vapour cycle the working fluid undergoes phase change and refrigeration effect is due to the vaporization of refrigerant liquid If the refrigerant is a pure substance then its temperature remains constant during the phase change processes However, if a zeotropic mixture is used as a refrigerant, then there will be a temperature glide during vaporization and condensation Since the refrigeration effect is produced during phase change, large amount of heat (latent heat) can be transferred per kilogram of refrigerant at a near constant temperature Hence, the required mass flow rates for a given refrigeration capacity will be much smaller compared to a gas cycle Vapour cycles can be subdivided into vapour compression systems, vapour absorption systems, vapour jet systems etc Among these the vapour compression refrigeration systems are predominant 0 Vapour Compression Refrigeration Systems As mentioned, vapour compression refrigeration systems are the most commonly used among all refrigeration systems As the name implies, these systems belong to the general class of vapour cycles, wherein the working fluid (refrigerant) undergoes phase change at least during one process In a vapour compression refrigeration system, refrigeration is obtained as the refrigerant evaporates at low temperatures he input to the system is in the form of mechanical energy required to run the compressor Hence these systems are also called as mechanical refrigeration systems Vapour compression refrigeration Version ME, II Kharagpur

3 systems are available to suit almost all applications with the refrigeration capacities ranging from few Watts to few megawatts A wide variety of refrigerants can be used in these systems to suit different applications, capacities etc he actual vapour compression cycle is based on Evans-Perkins cycle, which is also called as reverse Rankine cycle Before the actual cycle is discussed and analysed, it is essential to find the upper limit of performance of vapour compression cycles his limit is set by a completely reversible cycle 0 he Carnot refrigeration cycle Carnot refrigeration cycle is a completely reversible cycle, hence is used as a model of perfection for a refrigeration cycle operating between a constant temperature heat source and sink It is used as reference against which the real cycles are compared Figures 0 (a) and (b) show the schematic of a Carnot vapour compression refrigeration system and the operating cycle on -s diagram As shown in Fig0(a), the basic Carnot refrigeration system for pure vapour consists of four components: compressor, condenser, turbine and evaporator Refrigeration effect (q - = q e ) is obtained at the evaporator as the refrigerant undergoes the process of vaporization (process -) and extracts the latent heat from the low temperature heat source he low temperature, low pressure vapour is then compressed isentropically in the compressor to the heat sink temperature c he refrigerant pressure increases from P e to P c during the compression process (process -) and the exit vapour is saturated Next the high pressure, high temperature saturated refrigerant undergoes the process of condensation in the condenser (process -) as it rejects the heat of condensation (q - = q c ) to an external heat sink at c he high pressure saturated liquid then flows through the turbine and undergoes isentropic expansion (process -) During this process, the pressure and temperature fall from P c, c to P e, e Since a saturated liquid is expanded in the turbine, some amount of liquid flashes into vapour and the exit condition lies in the two-phase region his low temperature and low pressure liquid-vapour mixture then enters the evaporator completing the cycle hus as shown in Fig0(b), the cycle involves two isothermal heat transfer processes (processes - and -) and two isentropic work transfer processes (processes - and -) Heat is extracted isothermally at evaporator temperature e during process -, heat is rejected isothermally at condenser temperature c during process - Work is supplied to the compressor during the isentropic compression (-) of refrigerant vapour from evaporator pressure P e to condenser pressure P c, and work is produced by the system as refrigerant liquid expands isentropically in the turbine from condenser pressure P c to evaporator pressure P e All the processes are both internally as well as externally reversible, ie, net entropy generation for the system and environment is zero Applying first and second laws of thermodynamics to the Carnot refrigeration cycle, δw δq = w δq = δw = q q = q e q w = w w c C = w net (0) Version ME, II Kharagpur

4 ( q q ) = w c e net Heat sink q c C C w net E q e Heat source Fig0(a): Schematic of a Carnot refrigeration system P c P e c w - q c e w - qq e e s Fig 0(b): Carnot refrigeration cycle on -s diagram Version ME, II Kharagpur

5 now for the reversible, isothermal heat transfer processes - and -, we can write: q c q = ds = c (s s ) (0) = q e q = ds = e (s s ) (0) = where e and c are the evaporator and condenser temperatures, respectively, and, s = = (0) s and s s the Coefficient of Performance (COP) is given by: refrigeration effect q e e (s s ) e COP Carnot = = = = (05) net work input w net c (s s ) e (s s ) c e thus the COP of Carnot refrigeration cycle is a function of evaporator and condenser temperatures only and is independent of the nature of the working substance his is the reason why exactly the same expression was obtained for air cycle refrigeration systems operating on Carnot cycle (Lesson 9) he Carnot COP sets an upper limit for refrigeration systems operating between two constant temperature thermal reservoirs (heat source and sink) From Carnot s theorems, for the same heat source and sink temperatures, no irreversible cycle can have COP higher than that of Carnot COP c w net e q e b a s Fig0 Carnot refrigeration cycle represented in -s plane 5 Version ME, II Kharagpur

6 It can be seen from the above expression that the COP of a Carnot refrigeration system increases as the evaporator temperature increases and condenser temperature decreases his can be explained very easily with the help of the -s diagram (Fig0) As shown in the figure, COP is the ratio of area a---b to the area --- For a fixed condenser temperature c, as the evaporator temperature e increases, area a---b (q e ) increases and area --- (w net ) decreases as a result, COP increases rapidly Similarly for a fixed evaporator temperature e, as the condensing temperature c increases, the net work input (area ---) increases, even though cooling output remains constant, as a result the COP falls Figure 0 shows the variation of Carnot COP with evaporator temperature for different condenser temperatures It can be seen that the COP increases sharply with evaporator temperatures, particularly at high condensing temperatures COP reduces as the condenser temperature increases, but the effect becomes marginal at low evaporator temperatures It will be shown later that actual vapour compression refrigeration systems also behave in a manner similar to that of Carnot refrigeration systems as far as the performance trends are concerned Fig0 Effects of evaporator and condenser temperatures on Carnot COP Practical difficulties with Carnot refrigeration system: It is difficult to build and operate a Carnot refrigeration system due to the following practical difficulties: i During process -, a mixture consisting of liquid and vapour have to be compressed isentropically in the compressor Such a compression is known as wet compression due to the presence of liquid In practice, wet compression is very difficult especially with reciprocating compressors his problem is particularly severe in case of high speed reciprocating compressors, which get damaged due to the presence of liquid droplets in the vapour Even though some types of compressors can tolerate the presence of liquid in 6 Version ME, II Kharagpur

7 vapour, since reciprocating compressors are most widely is refrigeration, traditionally dry compression (compression of vapour only) is preferred to wet compression ii he second practical difficulty with Carnot cycle is that using a turbine and extracting work from the system during the isentropic expansion of liquid refrigerant is not economically feasible, particularly in case of small capacity systems his is due to the fact that the specific work output (per kilogram of refrigerant) from the turbine is given by: Pc w = v dp (06) Pe since the specific volume of liquid is much smaller compared to the specific volume of a vapour/gas, the work output from the turbine in case of the liquid will be small In addition, if one considers the inefficiencies of the turbine, then the net output will be further reduced As a result using a turbine for extracting the work from the high pressure liquid is not economically justified in most of the cases One way of achieving dry compression in Carnot refrigeration cycle is to have two compressors one isentropic and one isothermal as shown in Fig0 q c q c 5 Condenser Evaporator q - C C w - w - P c > P i > P e 5 P c P i P e q e e Fig0 Carnot refrigeration system with dry compression As shown in Fig0, the Carnot refrigeration system with dry compression consists of one isentropic compression process (-) from evaporator pressure P e to an intermediate pressure P i and temperature c, followed by an isothermal compression process (-) from the intermediate pressure P i to the condenser pressure P c hough with this modification the problem of wet compression can be avoided, still this modified system is not practical due to the difficulty in achieving true isothermal compression using highspeed compressors In addition, use of two compressors in place of one is not economically justified However, currently efforts are being made to recover this work of expansion in some refrigeration systems to improve the system efficiency 7 Version ME, II Kharagpur

8 From the above discussion, it is clear that from practical considerations, the Carnot refrigeration system need to be modified Dry compression with a single compressor is possible if the isothermal heat rejection process is replaced by isobaric heat rejection process Similarly, the isentropic expansion process can be replaced by an isenthalpic throttling process A refrigeration system, which incorporates these two changes is known as Evans-Perkins or reverse Rankine cycle his is the theoretical cycle on which the actual vapour compression refrigeration systems are based q c Condenser Exp Device C w c Evaporator q e P c c ' P e e S Fig05 Standard Vapour compression refrigeration system 8 Version ME, II Kharagpur

9 0 Standard Vapour Compression Refrigeration System (VCRS) Figure 05 shows the schematic of a standard, saturated, single stage (SSS) vapour compression refrigeration system and the operating cycle on a s diagram As shown in the figure the standard single stage, saturated vapour compression refrigeration system consists of the following four processes: Process -: Isentropic compression of saturated vapour in compressor Process -: Isobaric heat rejection in condenser Process -: Isenthalpic expansion of saturated liquid in expansion device Process -: Isobaric heat extraction in the evaporator By comparing with Carnot cycle, it can be seen that the standard vapour compression refrigeration cycle introduces two irreversibilities: ) Irreversibility due to non-isothermal heat rejection (process -) and ) Irreversibility due to isenthalpic throttling (process - ) As a result, one would expect the theoretical COP of standard cycle to be smaller than that of a Carnot system for the same heat source and sink temperatures Due to these irreversibilities, the cooling effect reduces and work input increases, thus reducing the system COP his can be explained easily with the help of the cycle diagrams on s charts Figure 06(a) shows comparison between Carnot and standard VCRS in terms of refrigeration effect c ' e ' A c d e S Fig06(a) Comparison between Carnot and standard VCRS he heat extraction (evaporation) process is reversible for both the Carnot cycle and VCRS cycle Hence the refrigeration effect is given by: For Carnot refrigeration cycle (- -- ): q e,carnot = q = ds = (s s ) = area e ' c e (07) ' ' e ' 9 Version ME, II Kharagpur

10 For VCRS cycle (---): q e,vcrs = q = ds = (s s ) = area e d e (08) e thus there is a reduction in refrigeration effect when the isentropic expansion process of Carnot cycle is replaced by isenthalpic throttling process of VCRS cycle, this reduction is equal to the area d-- -c-d (area A ) and is known as throttling loss he throttling loss is equal to the enthalpy difference between state points and, ie, q q = area d ' c d = (h h ) = (h h ) = area A e,carnot VCRS ' ' (09) It is easy to show that the loss in refrigeration effect increases as the evaporator temperature decreases and/or condenser temperature increases A practical consequence of this is a requirement of higher refrigerant mass flow rate he heat rejection in case of VCRS cycle also increases when compared to Carnot cycle A ' '' ' c d e S Fig06(b) Comparative evaluation of heat rejection rate of VCRS and Carnot cycle As shown in Fig06(b), the heat rejection in case of Carnot cycle (- -- ) is given by: q c,carnot = q = ds = (s s ) = area e ' ' c e '' '' c '' (00) In case of VCRS cycle, the heat rejection rate is given by: q = q = ds = area e c e (0) c,vcrs Hence the increase in heat rejection rate of VCRS compared to Carnot cycle is equal to the area -- (area A ) his region is known as superheat horn, and is due to the 0 Version ME, II Kharagpur

11 replacement of isothermal heat rejection process of Carnot cycle by isobaric heat rejection in case of VCRS Since the heat rejection increases and refrigeration effect reduces when the Carnot cycle is modified to standard VCRS cycle, the net work input to the VCRS increases compared to Carnot cycle he net work input in case of Carnot and VCRS cycles are given by: w net,carnot = (q c q e ) Carnot = area ' ' ' (0) w net,vcrs = (q c q e ) VCRS = area ' c d (0) As shown in Fig06(c), the increase in net work input in VCRS cycle is given by: w w = area ' ' ' + area c ' d c = area A + area A net,vcrs net,carnot (0) A ' ' A c d e S Fig06(c) Figure illustrating the increase in net work input in VCRS cycle o summarize the refrigeration effect and net work input of VCRS cycle are given by: q e,vcrs = q area A (05) e,carnot w = w + area A + area A (06) net,vcrs net,carnot he COP of VCRS cycle is given by: COP VCRS q e,vcrs q e,carnot area A = = (07) w w + area A + area A net,vcrs net,carnot Version ME, II Kharagpur

12 If we define the cycle efficiency, η R as the ratio of COP of VCRS cycle to the COP of Carnot cycle, then: area A COP q VCRS e,carnot ηr = = (08) COPCarnot area A + + area A w net,carnot he cycle efficiency (also called as second law efficiency) is a good indication of the deviation of the standard VCRS cycle from Carnot cycle Unlike Carnot COP, the cycle efficiency depends very much on the shape of s diagram, which in turn depends on the nature of the working fluid If we assume that the potential and kinetic energy changes during isentropic compression process - are negligible, then the work input w - is given by: w,vcrs = (h h) = (h h f ) (h h f ) (09) Fig07 Figure showing saturated liquid line -f coinciding with the constant pressure line Now as shown in Fig07, if we further assume that the saturated liquid line -f coincides with the constant pressure line P c in the subcooled region (which is a reasonably good assumption), then from the nd ds relation; ds =dh - v dp = dh; when P is constant f (h h f ) = ds = area e f g e (00) Version ME, II Kharagpur

13 and, (h f f h ) = ds = area e f g e (0) Substituting these expressions in the expression for net work input, we obtain the compressor work input to be equal to area ---f- Now comparing this with the earlier expression for work input (area --- -c-d--), we conclude that area A is equal to area A As mentioned before, the losses due to superheat (area A ) and throttling (area A A) depend very much on the shape of the vapor dome (saturation liquid and vapour curves) on s diagram he shape of the saturation curves depends on the nature of refrigerant Figure 08 shows s diagrams for three different types of refrigerants ype ype ' '' ' '' ' ' S ype S ' S Fig08 -s diagrams for three different types of refrigerants Refrigerants such as ammonia, carbon di-oxide and water belong to ype hese refrigerants have symmetrical saturation curves (vapour dome), as a result both the superheat and throttling losses (areas A and A) are significant hat means deviation of VCRS cycle from Carnot cycle could be significant when these refrigerants are used as working fluids Refrigerants such as CFC, CFC, HFCa belong to ype, these refrigerants have small superheat losses (area A ) but large throttling losses (area A) High molecular weight refrigerants such as CFC, CFC, CFC5, iso-butane belonging to ype, do not have any superheat losses, ie, when the compression inlet condition is saturated (point ), then the exit condition will be in the -phase region, as a result it is not necessary to superheat the refrigerant However, these refrigerants Version ME, II Kharagpur

14 experience significant throttling losses Since the compressor exit condition of ype refrigerants may fall in the two-phase region, there is a danger of wet compression leading to compressor damage Hence for these refrigerants, the compressor inlet condition is chosen such that the exit condition does not fall in the two-phase region his implies that the refrigerant at the inlet to the compressor should be superheated, the extent of which depends on the refrigerant Superheat and throttling losses: It can be observed from the discussions that the superheat loss is fundamentally different from the throttling loss he superheat loss increases only the work input to the compressor, it does not effect the refrigeration effect In heat pumps superheat is not a loss, but a part of the useful heating effect However, the process of throttling is inherently irreversible, and it increases the work input and also reduces the refrigeration effect 05 Analysis of standard vapour compression refrigeration system A simple analysis of standard vapour compression refrigeration system can be carried out by assuming a) Steady flow; b) negligible kinetic and potential energy changes across each component, and c) no heat transfer in connecting pipe lines he steady flow energy equation is applied to each of the four components Evaporator: Heat transfer rate at evaporator or refrigeration capacity, Qe m r (h h is given by: = ) (0) where m r is the refrigerant mass flow rate in kg/s, h and h are the specific enthalpies (kj/kg) at the exit and inlet to the evaporator, respectively ( h h ) is known as specific refrigeration effect or simply refrigeration effect, which is equal to the heat transferred at the evaporator per kilogram of refrigerant he evaporator pressure P e is the saturation pressure corresponding to evaporator temperature e, ie, Compressor: Power input to the compressor, Pe = Psat (e ) (0) W c W c m r (h h is given by: = ) (0) where h and h are the specific enthalpies (kj/kg) at the exit and inlet to the compressor, respectively ( h h) is known as specific work of compression or simply work of compression, which is equal to the work input to the compressor per kilogram of refrigerant Condenser: Heat transfer rate at condenser, Q c is given by: Q e Version ME, II Kharagpur

15 Qc = (h h ) (05) where h and h are the specific enthalpies (kj/kg) at the exit and inlet to the condenser, respectively he condenser pressure P c is the saturation pressure corresponding to evaporator temperature c, ie, Pc = Psat (c ) (06) Expansion device: For the isenthalpic expansion process, the kinetic energy change across the expansion device could be considerable, however, if we take the control volume, well downstream of the expansion device, then the kinetic energy gets dissipated due to viscous effects, and h = h (07) he exit condition of the expansion device lies in the two-phase region, hence applying the definition of quality (or dryness fraction), we can write: m r h = ( x )h + x h = h + h fg (08) f,e g,e f x where x is the quality of refrigerant at point, h f,e, h g,e, h fg are the saturated liquid enthalpy, saturated vapour enthalpy and latent heat of vaporization at evaporator pressure, respectively he COP of the system is given by: Q e m r (h h ) (h h ) COP = = = (09) (h h) W c m r (h h) At any point in the cycle, the mass flow rate of refrigerant m volumetric flow rate and specific volume at that point, ie, applying this equation to the inlet condition of the compressor, where V is the volumetric flow rate at compressor m r r can be written in terms of = V (00) v V m r = (0) v inlet and v is the specific volume at compressor inlet At a given compressor speed, V is an indication of the size of the compressor We can also write, the refrigeration capacity in terms of volumetric flow rate as: 5 Version ME, II Kharagpur

16 where h h v h h Q e = m r (h h ) = V (0) v is called as volumetric refrigeration effect (kj/m of refrigerant) Generally, the type of refrigerant, required refrigeration capacity, evaporator temperature and condenser temperature are known hen from the evaporator and condenser temperature one can find the evaporator and condenser pressures and enthalpies at the exit of evaporator and condenser (saturated vapour enthalpy at evaporator pressure and saturated liquid enthalpy at condenser pressure) Since the exit condition of the compressor is in the superheated region, two independent properties are required to fix the state of refrigerant at this point One of these independent properties could be the condenser pressure, which is already known Since the compression process is isentropic, the entropy at the exit to the compressor is same as the entropy at the inlet, s which is the saturated vapour entropy at evaporator pressure (known) hus from the known pressure and entropy the exit state of the compressor could be fixed, ie, h =h(p c,s ) = h(p c,s ) (0) s = s he quality of refrigerant at the inlet to the evaporator (x ) could be obtained from the known values of h, h f,e and h g,e Once all the state points are known, then from the required refrigeration capacity and various enthalpies one can obtain the required refrigerant mass flow rate, volumetric flow rate at compressor inlet, COP, cycle efficiency etc Use of Pressure-enthalpy (P-h) charts: e c P c P P e ' h = h h h Fig09 Standard vapour compression refrigeration cycle on a P-h chart h 6 Version ME, II Kharagpur

17 Since the various performance parameters are expressed in terms of enthalpies, it is very convenient to use a pressure enthalpy chart for property evaluation and performance analysis he use of these charts was first suggested by Richard Mollier Figure 09 shows the standard vapour compression refrigeration cycle on a P-h chart As discussed before, in a typical P-h chart, enthalpy is on the x-axis and pressure is on y-axis he isotherms are almost vertical in the subcooled region, horizontal in the two-phase region (for pure refrigerants) and slightly curved in the superheated region at high pressures, and again become almost vertical at low pressures A typical P-h chart also shows constant specific volume lines (isochors) and constant entropy lines (isentropes) in the superheated region Using P-h charts one can easily find various performance parameters from known values of evaporator and condenser pressures In addition to the P-h and -s charts one can also use thermodynamic property tables from solving problems related to various refrigeration cycles Questions: A Carnot refrigerator using R as working fluid operates between 0ºC and -0ºC Determine the work of compression and cooling effect produced by the cycle (Solution) An ideal refrigeration cycle operates with Ra as the working fluid he temperature of refrigerant in the condenser and evaporator are 0ºC and -0ºC respectively he mass flow rate of refrigerant is 0 kg/s Determine the cooling capacity and COP of the plant (Solution) A R- plant has to produce 0 tons of refrigeration he condenser and evaporator temperatures are 0ºC and -0ºC respectively Determine a) Refrigerant flow rate b) Volume flow rate of the compressor c) Operating pressure ratio d) Power required to drive the compressor e) Flash gas percentage after throtting f) COP (Solution) A NH refrigerator produces 00 tons of ice from water at 0ºC in a day he cycle operates between 5ºC and -5ºC he vapor is dry saturated at the end of compression If the COP is 50% of theoretical COP, calculate the power required to drive the compressor (Solution) 5 In a refrigerator the power rating impressed on the compressor is kw he circulating wire in evaporator is 5 kw and the cooling water took away 0 kw from condenser coil he operating temperatures range is 8ºC and 0ºC and their corresponding latent heats are 70 kj/kg and 0 kj/kg and the difference between the 7 Version ME, II Kharagpur

18 liquid energy is 5 kj/kg Find the actual COP of the system () relative COP, assuming the vapour is just dry and saturated at the end of the compression (Solution) 6 A water cooler using R refrigerant works between 0ºC to 9ºC Assuming the volumetric and mechanical efficiency of the compressor to be 80 and 90% respectively, and the mechanical efficiency of motor to be 90%, and 0% of useful cooling is lost into water cooler, find: ) he power requirement of the motor ) Volumetric displacement of the compressor Given C p (saturated vapour at 0ºC) = 07 kj/kg K (Solution) he properties of F at 0ºC and ºC are: emp ºC Pressure (Bar) Liquid Vapour h f (kj/kg) Sf hg Sg vs (kj/kg K) (kj/kg) (kj/kg K) m /kg Version ME, II Kharagpur

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