Experimental Investigation of Innovative Thermal Mechanical Refrigeration System
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The current electrical refrigeration and air condition systems are considered as one of the major sources for ozone depletion and global warming problems. Furthermore, they consume a large percentage of the worldwide gross production of electricity (around 17%). Therefore, developing new refrigeration systems that might be able to work using renewable sources (solar, geothermal, etc.) and waste heat sources is necessary to address these problems. In this paper, the experimental investigation of an innovative thermal-mechanical refrigeration (TMR) system is presented. The TMR system replaces the electric compressor of the conventional refrigeration systems with an innovative expander-compressor unit (two connected double-acting cylinders). The proposed ECU can be driven by ultra-low heat temperature sources, has simple configuration, and high flexibility for the operating conditions. A hybrid electric-compressor and ECU refrigeration setup was developed to investigate the performance of the ECU and compare it to that of an electric compressor. The experiment was conducted using R134a as a working fluid at different masses. The results show that a maximum COP of 0.57 is obtained at a refrigerant mass of 30g (in electric mode) and a maximum COP of 0.41 is obtained at a refrigerant mass of 60g (in ECU mode).
- Theme 1: Energy and Environment [73 items ]