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Part I Refrigeration

1. Basic concepts of Refrigeration 1.1 Introduction

Defined as the process of achieving and maintaining a temperature below that of the surroundings, the aim being to cool some product or space to the required temperature. Important Applications: Preservation of perishable food products by storing them at low temperatures Providing thermal comfort to human beings by means of air conditioning. Chemical and process industries Special Applications such as cold treatment of metals, medical, construction, ice skating etc. The availability of refrigerants, the prime movers and the developments in compressors and the methods of refrigeration all are a part of it. 1.2 Types of refrigeration systems: i. Natural Refrigeration: Use of Ice Evaporative cooling Cooling By Salt

II. Artificial Refrigeration: Vapour Compression Refrigeration Systems: Vapour Absorption Refrigeration Systems: Solar energy based refrigeration system: Gas Cycle Refrigeration: Steam Jet Refrigeration System: 1.2 Reversed Carnot Cycle and its Limitation: 1.2.1: Difference between heat engine refrigerator and heat pump A. HEAT ENGINE: In a heat engine, the energy is transferred from a higher temperature to a lower temperature level called sink. During the process, we get the output as work. The higher temperature is known as source and the lower temperature is known as sink. The figure given below Shows the energy transfer in a heat engine. The Coefficient Of Performance (COP) value of a heat engine will be always less than 1.

B. REFRIGERATOR: A refrigerator is a reversed heat engine which cools and maintains the temperature of a body lower than the atmospheric temperature. This is done by the process of extracting heat from the cold body and then delivers it to a hot body. In the figure, Q1 is the energy taken from the cold body and Q2 is the energy given to T2. Since T2>T1, a work should be done to the system in order to make the process feasible. T2 will be equal to the atmospheric temperature. COP may be greater than, equal to or less than 1. The product is cold volume. T1<Ta

HEAT PUMP: There is no difference between a heat pump and a refrigerator in the case of its cycle of operation. The main difference between the heat pump and refrigerator is its operating temperatures. The working temperatures of a refrigerator are cold temperature T1 and atmospheric temperature Ta. Where as in the case of a heat pump, the working temperatures are atmospheric temperature and hot body temperature T2. Here, T1 = Ta COP always greater than 1. Hot volume is the product T2>Ta


Air Cycle refrigeration system:

Belong to the general class of gas cycle refrigeration systems Gas is used as the working fluid. The gas does not undergo any phase change during the cycle, consequently, all the internal heat transfer processes are sensible heat transfer processes. Air cycle refrigeration system analysis is considerably simplified if one makes the following assumptions

i. The working fluid is a fixed mass of air that behaves as an ideal gas ii. The cycle is assumed to be a closed loop cycle with all inlet and exhaust processes of open loop cycles being replaced by heat transfer processes to or from the environment iii. All the processes within the cycle are reversible, i.e., the cycle is internally reversible iv. The specific heat of air remains constant throughout the cycle

1.2.3 Basic concepts The temperature of an ideal gas can be reduced either by making the gas to do work in an isentropic process or by sensible heat exchange with a cooler environment. When the gas does adiabatic work in a closed system by say, expanding against a piston, its internal energy drops. Since the internal energy of the ideal gas depends only on its temperature, the temperature of the gas also drops during the process, i.e.,

where m is the mass of the gas, u1 and u2 are the initial and final internal energies of the gas, T1 and T2 are the initial and final temperatures and cv is the specific heat at constant volume. If the expansion is reversible and adiabatic, by using the ideal gas equation (PV=RT)and the equation for isentropic process (P1V1=P2V2) the final temperature is related to the initial temperature (T1) and initial and final pressures (P1 and P2) by the equation:

Isentropic expansion of the gas can also be carried out in a steady flow in a turbine which gives a net work output. Neglecting potential and kinetic energy changes, the work output of the turbine is given by:

1.2.4 Refrigeration Cycle Heat flows in direction of decreasing temperature, i.e., from high-temperature to low temperature regions. The transfer of heat from a low-temperature to high-temperature requires a refrigerator and/or heat pump. Refrigerators and heat pumps are essentially the same device; they only differ in their objectives. The performance of refrigerators and heat pumps is expressed in terms of coefficient of performance (COP):

Reversed Carnot cycle employing a gas:
Reversed Carnot cycle is an ideal refrigeration cycle for constant temperature external heat source and heat sinks. Reversing the Carnot cycle does reverse the directions of heat and work interactions. A refrigerator or heat pump that operates on the reversed Carnot cycle is called a Carnot refrigerator or a Carnot heat pump. Figures below show the schematic of a reversed Carnot refrigeration system using a gas as the working fluid along with the cycle diagram on T-s and P-v coordinates.

Fig. a T-s diagram and major components for Carnot refrigerator


Fig. b. P-V diagram of a reversed Carnot refrigerator The reversed Carnot cycle is the most efficient refrigeration cycle operating between two specified temperature levels. It sets the highest theoretical COP. The coefficient of performance for Carnot refrigerators and heat pumps are:

The COP of a Carnot system only depends on temperatures of the refrigeration (T1) and heat rejection (Th)

Process 1-2: Reversible, adiabatic compression in a compressor Process 2-3: Reversible, isothermal heat rejection in a condenser Process 3-4: Reversible, adiabatic expansion in a turbine Process 4-1: Reversible, isothermal heat absorption in a turbine The heat transferred during isothermal processes 2-3 and 4-1 are given by:

Applying first law of thermodynamics to the closed cycle,

The work of isentropic expansion, w3-4 exactly matches the work of isentropic compression w1-2.

Limitations of Carnot cycle:

Carnot cycle is an idealization and it suffers from several practical limitations. One of the main difficulties with Carnot cycle employing a gas is the difficulty of achieving isothermal heat transfer during processes 2-3 and 4-1. For a gas to have heat transfer isothermally, it is essential to carry out work transfer from or to the system when heat is transferred to the system (process 4-1) or from the system (process 2-3). This is difficult to achieve in practice. In addition, the volumetric refrigeration capacity of the Carnot system is very small leading to large compressor displacement, which gives rise to large frictional effects. All actual processes are irreversible, hence completely reversible cycles are idealizations only. The Carnot cycle cannot be approximated in an actual cycle, because: 1. executing Carnot cycle requires a compressor that can handle two-phases 2. also process 4-1 involves expansion of two-phase flow in a turbine. Seminar on (reading) 1. Ideal reverse Brayton cycle 2. Actual reverse Brayton cycle:



A Carnot refrigerator extracts 150 kJ of heat per minute from a space which is maintained at -20C and is discharged to atmosphere at 45C. Find the work required to run the unit.

2. A cold storage plant is required to store 50 tons of fish.

The temperature at which fish was supplied = 35C Storage temperature of fish = -10C Cp of fish above freezing point = 2.94kJ/kgC Cp of fish below freezing point = 1.26 kJ/kgC Freezing point of fish = -5C Latent heat of fish = 250 kJ/kg If the cooling is achieved within half of a day, find: a) Capacity of the refrigerating plant b) Carnot COP c) If actual COP = Carnot COP/2.5 find the power required to run the plant.

1.3 Actual Refrigeration System:

The actual compression processes for most compressors and the actual expansion processes for most expanders are irreversible polytropic processes. And there are temperature difference and pressure losses in the actual heat transfer process. These factors make the performance of the actual cycle different from the theoretical one. The analysis of the actual cycle is based on the following assumptions: The air is an ideal gas. There are no pressure losses in the heat exchangers. The temperature difference in the actual heat transfer process is taken into account in the exit temperature of heat Exchangers. Then the actual cycle is depicted on a T-s (temperature -specific entropy) diagram in the following Figure as 1-2s-3-4s-1. For simplicity, the overall isentropic efficiency, which is a widely used efficiency index for refrigeration compressors and expanders, is used to model the compressor and the expander for the cycle.

The actual work per kg of air input to the compressor for the process 1-2 is calculated as,

2 1

Where c is the isentropic efficiency of the compressor

The actual work developed per kg of air for the expansion process 3-4 is given by,

= 3 4 e
Where eis

the isentropic efficiency of the expander (turbine) Net work input to the air cycle refrigeration system is calculated as 2 1 3 4 e Net refrigerating effect per kg of air is given by, = 1 4 = Cp(T1 T4s) The coefficient of performance (COP) of this cycle can be calculated as = =

The relationship between temperature and pressure for isentropic compression process 1-2 is:

For the isentropic expansion process 3-4, The relationship between temperature and pressure is

COP of this cycle can be calculated as

1.4 Vapour compression cycle and its equipment's

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. The input to the system is in the form of mechanical energy required to run the compressor. The 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 analyzed, it is essential to find the upper limit of performance of Vapour compression cycles. This limit is set by a completely reversible cycle.

The Ideal VaporCompression Refrigeration Cycle

The vapor-compression refrigeration is the most widely used cycle for refrigerators, air conditioners, and heat pumps.

Assumptions for ideal vapor-compression cycle: Irreversibilities within the evaporator, condenser and compressor are ignored No frictional pressure drops Refrigerant flows at constant pressure through the two heat exchangers (evaporator and condenser) Heat losses to the surroundings are ignored Compression process is isentropic


Figure: T-s and P-h diagrams for an ideal vapor-compression refrigeration cycle. 1-2 : A reversible, adiabatic (isentropic) compression of the refrigerant. The saturated vapor at state 1 is superheated to state 2. wc =h2 h1 2-3: An internally, reversible, constant pressure heat rejection in which the working substance is de-superheated and then condensed to a saturated liquid at 3. During this process, the working substance rejects most of its energy to the condenser cooling water. q H = h2 h3

3-4 : An irreversible throttling process in which the temperature and pressure decrease at constant enthalpy. The refrigerant enters the evaporator at state 4 as a low-quality saturated mixture.

h3 = h4
4-1: An internally, reversible, constant pressure heat interaction in which the refrigerant (two-phase mixture) is evaporated to a saturated vapor at state point 1. The latent enthalpy necessary for evaporation is supplied by the refrigerated space surrounding the evaporator. The amount of heat transferred to the working fluid in the evaporator is called the refrigeration load.

qL = h1 h4


Notes: The ideal compression refrigeration cycle is not an internally reversible cycle, since it involves throttling which is an irreversible process. If the expansion valve (throttling device) were replaced by an isentropic turbine, the refrigerant would enter the evaporator at state 4s. As a result the refrigeration capacity would increase (area under 4-4s) and the net work input would decrease (turbine will produce some work). However; replacing the expansion valve by a turbine is not practical due to the added cost and complexity. The COP improves by 2 to 4% for each C the evaporating temperature is raised or the condensing temperature is lowered.

qe Qe / m h1 h4 wi Wi / m h2 h1

The Actual Vapour Compression refrigeration cycle

Fig. below shows an actual vapor compression cycle compared with a basic cycle. There are several differences between them.

The actual compression process is irreversible (not isentropic) and goes in the direction of increase of entropy (S2>S1 ). The isentropic efficiency of the compressor is used to evaluate the performance of the compressor and define enthalpy at the exit of the actual compressor (point 2).

And at the end of the actual heat rejection process in the condenser (process 2-3) the liquid is subcooled, not saturated.

Actual VaporCompression Refrigeration Cycle contd..

Fig. T-s diagram for actual vapor-compression cycle.

Most of the differences between the ideal and the actual cycles are because of the irreversibilities in various components which are:
1. In practice, the refrigerant enters the compressor at state 1, slightly superheated vapor, instead of saturated vapor in the ideal cycle. 2. The suction line (the line connecting the evaporator to the compressor) is very long. Thus pressure drop and heat transfer to the surroundings can be significant, process 6-1.


3. The compressor is not internally reversible in practice, which increase entropy. However, using a multi-stage compressor with intercooler, or cooling the refrigerant during the compression process, will result in lower entropy, state 2. 4. In reality, the refrigerant leaves condenser as sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooling process is shown by 3-4 in Fig above. Sub-cooling increases the cooling capacity and will prevent entering any vapor (bubbles) to the expansion valve. 5. Heat rejection and addition in the condenser and evaporator do not occur in constant pressure (and temperature) as a result of pressure drop in the refrigerant.

Equipment's of Vapour compression refrigeration cycle


There are different types of compressors that generally used in industry are, (a) Reciprocating compressor (b) Centrifugal compressor (c) Rotary compressor (d) Screw compressor (e) Scroll compressor The reciprocating and screw compressors are best suited for use with refrigerants which require a relatively small displacement and condense at relatively high pressure, such as R-12, R-22, Ammonia, etc. The centrifugal compressors are suitable for handling refrigerants that require large displacement and operate at low condensing pressure, such as R-11, R-113, etc. The rotary compressor is most suited for pumping refrigerants having moderate or low condensing pressures, such as R-21 and R-114; this is mainly used in domestic refrigerators.

The functions of the condenser are to desuperheat the high pressure gas, condense it and

also sub- cool the liquid. Heat from the hot refrigerant gas is rejected in the condenser to the condensing medium-air or water. Air and water are chosen because they are naturally available. Their normal temperature range is satisfactory for condensing refrigerants. Like the evaporator, the condenser is also heat-exchange equipment. There are three types of condensers, viz. (a) Air- cooled, (b) Water-cooled and (c) Evaporative. As their names imply, air-cooled condensers use air as the cooling medium, watercooled condensers use water as the medium and the evaporative condenser is a combination of the above, i.e. uses both water and air.

The process of heat removal from the substance to be cooled or refrigerated is done in the evaporator. The liquid refrigerant is vaporized inside the evaporator (coil or shell) in order to remove heat from a fluid such as air, water etc. Evaporators are manufactured in different shapes, types and designs to suit a diverse nature of cooling requirements. Thus, we have a variety of types of evaporators, such as a) prime surface types, b) finned tube or extended surface type, c) shell and tube liquid chillers, etc.

There are different types of expansion or throttling devices. The most commonly used are: a) Capillary tube, b) Float valves, c) Thermostatic expansion valve.

Multi stage (Cascade ) Vapour compression refrigeration cycle

Systems that have 2 (or more) refrigeration cycles operating in series.

Fig. A 2-stage cascade Vapour compression cycle

Cascade cycle is used where a very wide range of temperature between TL and TH is required. As shown in Fig. 5-5, the condenser for the low temperature refrigerator is used as the evaporator for the high temperature refrigerator. Cascading improves the COP of a refrigeration cycle. Moreover, the refrigerants can be selected to have reasonable evaporator and condenser pressures in the two or more temperature ranges.

Fig. T-S diagram for a 2 stage cascade Vapour compression cycle

The two cycles are connected through the heat exchanger in the middle, which serves as evaporator (cycle A) and condenser (cycle B). One can write:

Figure above shows the increase in refrigeration capacity (area under 4-7) and decrease in compressor work (2-2-6-5).

Multistage Compression Refrigeration system

Two-stage expansion system with a flash cooler

A two-stage system is a refrigeration system working with a two-stage compression and mostly also with a two-stage expansion. A schematic system layout and the corresponding process in a log p-h diagram are shown in the following figure.
Flash gas is separated from liquid refrigerant in an intermediate receiver between the two expansion valves. The high-stage compressor will then remove the flash gas, as shown in Fig.6.13

Fig Two stage expansion system with a flash cooler

The basic components of the system, with two compressors in series and two expansion valves are shown in Fig above, and the states of the refrigerant around the cycle are shown on pressure-enthalpy coordinates in Fig above.


Vapor refrigerant at point 1 enters the low-stage compressor at the dry saturated state. It is compressed to the interstage pressure pi at point 2 and mixes with evaporated vapor refrigerant from the flash cooler, often called an economizer. The mixture then enters the high-stage compressor at point 3. Hot gas, compressed to condensing pressure pcon, leaves the high-stage compressor at point 4. It is then discharged to the condenser, in which the hot gas is desuperheated, condensed, and to liquid state at point 5 . After the condensing process, the subcooled liquid refrigerant flows through a throttling device, such as a float valve, at the high-pressure side. A small portion of the liquid refrigerant flashes into vapor in the flash cooler at point 7, and this latent heat of vaporization cools the remaining liquid refrigerant to the saturation temperature corresponding to the interstage pressure at point 8. Inside the flash cooler, the mixture of vapor and liquid refrigerant is at point 6.


Liquid refrigerant then flows through another throttling device, a small portion is flashed at point 9, and the liquid-vapor mixture enters the evaporator. The remaining liquid refrigerant is vaporized at point 1 in the evaporator. The vapor then flows to the inlet of the low-stage compressor and completes the cycle. This is the overall process of two stage expansion system with a flash cooler.
In the flash cooler, out of 1 unit of refrigerant flowing through the condenser, x unit of it cools down the remaining portion of liquid refrigerant (1 - x) unit to saturated temperature T8 at interstage pressure pi. Because h5 is the enthalpy of the liquid refrigerant entering the flash cooler, h6 is the enthalpy of the mixture of vapor and liquid refrigerant after the throttling device, for a throttling process, h5 = h6. Enthalpies h7 and h8 are the enthalpies of the saturated vapor and saturated liquid, respectively, at the interstage pressure, and h9 is the enthalpy of the mixture of vapor and liquid refrigerant leaving the flash cooler after the lowpressure side throttling device. Again, for a throttling process, h8 = h9 The fraction of liquid refrigerant evaporated in the flash cooler x is given as

1) Fraction of Evaporated Refrigerant in Flash Cooler

h5 h8 x h7 h8
2. Enthalpy of Vapor Mixture Entering high-Stage Compressor

Ignoring the heat loss from mixing point 3 to the surroundings, we see that the mixing of the gaseous refrigerant discharged from the low-stage compressor at point 2 and the vaporized refrigerant from the flash cooler at point 7 is an adiabatic process. The state 3 at entry to the high-stage compressor is found by applying the energy equation to the mixing of streams 7 and 2. So the specific enthalpy of state 3 given by

h (1 x)h xh
3 2

(3) Coefficient of Performance

For 1 unit of refrigerant flowing through the condenser, the amount of refrigerant flowing through the evaporator is (1 - x) . The specific refrigeration effect can be expressed as

qe (1 x)(h1 h9 )

Total work input to the compressor (including the low and high-stage compressor) ,Wi is

wi (1 x)(h2 h1 ) (h4 h3 )

The coefficient of performance of the two-stage expansion system with a flash cooler COP is
COP qe (1 x)(h1 h9 ) Wi (1 x)(h2 h1 ) (h4 h 3 )


Factors affecting cycle performance

(a) Sub-cooling of Liquids: In the below of simple vapor compression cycle, condensation process CD resulted in the liquid at saturated state D. If it was possible to further cool down the liquid to some lower value say up to D, then the net refrigeration effect will be increased as (hB hA) > (hB - hA). Hence, the sub cooling of the liquid increases the refrigerating effect without increasing the work requirement. Thus COP is improved.

Fig. Effect of sub-cooling on cycle performance

The sub cooling may be achieved by any of the following methods: I. By passing the liquid refrigerant from condenser through a heat exchanger through which the cold vapor at suction from the evaporator is allowed to flow in the reversed direction. This process subcools the liquid but superheats the vapor. Thus, COP is not improved though refrigeration effect is increased. II. By making use of enough quantity of cooling water so that the liquid refrigerant is further cooled below the temperature of saturation. In some cases, a separate subcooler is also made use of for this purpose. In this case, COP is improved. b. Superheating of Vapor: If the vapor at the compressor entry is in the superheated state B, which is produced due to higher heat absorption in the evaporator, then the refrigerating effect is increased as (hB - hA) > (hB hA). However, COP may increase, decrease or remain unchanged depending upon the range of pressure of the cycle.

C. Change in suction pressure (PS):

Fig. Effects of change in t evaporator and condenser pressure. Let the suction pressure or the evaporating pressure in a simple refrigeration cycle be reduced from PS to PS. It will be clear from the figure that: The refrigerating effect is reduced to: (hB - hA ) < (hB - hA ) The work of compression is increased to: (hC - hB ) > (hC - hB) Hence, the decrease in suction pressure decreases the refrigeration effect and at the same time increases the work of compression. But, both the effects tend to decrease the COP.

D. Change in discharge pressure (Pd):

In Fig. above, let us assume that the pressure at the discharge or the condensing pressure is increased from Pd to Pd. It will have effects as follows: The compressor work requirement is increased to: (hC - hB) > (hC - hB ) The refrigerating effect is reduced to: (hB - hA ) < hB - hA ) Therefore, the increase in discharge pressure results in lower COP. Hence, the discharge pressure should be kept as low as possible depending upon the temperature of the cooling medium available.


Ideal Gas refrigeration cycle: The power cycles can be used as refrigeration cycles by simply reversing them. Of these, the reversed Brayton cycle, which is also known as the gas refrigeration cycle, is used to cool aircraft and to obtain very low (cryogenic) temperatures after it is modified with regeneration.

The work output of the turbine can be used to reduce the work input requirements to the compressor. Thus, the COP of a gas refrigeration cycle is:

The energy equations (neglecting kinetic and potential energy effects) are as follows:


Types of refrigerants
Selection of refrigerants Read, report and present on seminar