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Chapter 11

Chapter 11

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REFRIGERATION CYCLES
|
607
Chapter 11
A
major application area of thermodynamics isrefrigera-
tion, which is the transfer of heat from a lower temper-

ature region to a higher temperature one. Devices that produce refrigeration are calledrefrigerators, and the cycles on which they operate are called refrigeration cycles. The most frequently used refrigeration cycle is thevapor-compression

refrigeration cyclein which the refrigerant is vaporized and
condensed alternately and is compressed in the vapor phase.
Another well-known refrigeration cycle is the gas refrigeration
cyclein which the refrigerant remains in the gaseous phase

throughout. Other refrigeration cycles discussed in this chapter are cascade refrigeration, where more than one refrigeration cycle is used; absorption refrigeration, where the refrigerant is dissolved in a liquid before it is compressed; and, as a Topic of Special Interest, thermoelectric refrigeration, where refrigera- tion is produced by the passage of electric current through two dissimilar materials.

Objectives
The objectives of Chapter 11 are to:
\u2022Introduce the concepts of refrigerators and heat pumps and
the measure of their performance.

\u2022Analyze the ideal vapor-compression refrigeration cycle.
\u2022Analyze the actual vapor-compression refrigeration cycle.
\u2022Review the factors involved in selecting the right refrigerant

for an application.
\u2022Discuss the operation of refrigeration and heat pump
systems.
\u2022Evaluate the performance of innovative vapor-compression
refrigeration systems.

\u2022Analyze gas refrigeration systems.
\u2022Introduce the concepts of absorption-refrigeration systems.
\u2022Review the concepts of thermoelectric power generation

and refrigeration.
11\u20131
\u25a0
REFRIGERATORS AND HEAT PUMPS

We all know from experience that heat flows in the direction of decreasing temperature, that is, from high-temperature regions to low-temperature ones. This heat-transfer process occurs in nature without requiring any devices. The reverse process, however, cannot occur by itself. The transfer of heat from a low-temperature region to a high-temperature one requires special devices calledrefrigerators.

Refrigerators are cyclic devices, and the working fluids used in the refrig- eration cycles are calledrefrigerants. A refrigerator is shown schematically in Fig. 11\u20131a. HereQLis the magnitude of the heat removed from the refrig- erated space at temperatureTL,QHis the magnitude of the heat rejected to the warm space at temperatureTH,and Wnet,inis the net work input to the refrigerator. As discussed in Chap. 6,QLandQHrepresent magnitudes and thus are positive quantities.

Another device that transfers heat from a low-temperature medium to a high-temperature one is the heat pump. Refrigerators and heat pumps are essentially the same devices; they differ in their objectives only. The objec- tive of a refrigerator is to maintain the refrigerated space at a low tempera- ture by removing heat from it. Discharging this heat to a higher-temperature medium is merely a necessary part of the operation, not the purpose. The objective of a heat pump, however, is to maintain a heated space at a high temperature. This is accomplished by absorbing heat from a low-temperature source, such as well water or cold outside air in winter, and supplying this heat to a warmer medium such as a house (Fig. 11\u20131b).

The performance of refrigerators and heat pumps is expressed in terms of
the coefficient of performance (COP), defined as
(11\u20131)
(11\u20132)
These relations can also be expressed in the rate form by replacing the
quantitiesQL,QH, andWnet,in byQ.
L,Q.
H, andW.
net,in, respectively. Notice that
both COPRand COPHPcan be greater than 1. A comparison of Eqs. 11\u20131
and 11\u20132 reveals that
(11\u20133)

for fixed values ofQL andQH. This relation implies that COPHP\ue000 1 since COPRis a positive quantity. That is, a heat pump functions, at worst, as a resistance heater, supplying as much energy to the house as it consumes. In reality, however, part ofQHis lost to the outside air through piping and other devices, and COPHPmay drop below unity when the outside air tem- perature is too low. When this happens, the system normally switches to the fuel (natural gas, propane, oil, etc.) or resistance-heating mode.

The cooling capacity of a refrigeration system\u2014that is, the rate of heat
removal from the refrigerated space\u2014is often expressed in terms of tons of
refrigeration.The capacity of a refrigeration system that can freeze 1 ton
(2000 lbm) of liquid water at 0\u00b0C (32\u00b0F) into ice at 0\u00b0C in 24 h is said to be
COPHP\ue001 COPR\ue002 1
COPHP\ue001
Desired output
Required input\ue001
Heating effect
Work input\ue001
QH
Wnet,in
COPR\ue001
Desired output
Required input\ue001
Cooling effect
Work input\ue001
QL
Wnet,in
608
|
Thermodynamics
WARM
house
WARM
environment
COLD
refrigerated
space
COLD
environment
(a) Refrigerator
(b) Heat pump
QH
(desired
output)
HP
R
QH
QL
(desired
output)
QL
Wnet,in
(required
input)
Wnet,in
(required
input)
FIGURE 11\u20131

The objective of a refrigerator is to
remove heat (QL) from the cold
medium; the objective of a heat pump
is to supply heat (QH) to a warm
medium.

SEE TUTORIAL CH. 11, SEC. 1 ON THE DVD.
INTERACTIVE
TUTORIAL

1 ton. One ton of refrigeration is equivalent to 211 kJ/min or 200 Btu/min. The cooling load of a typical 200-m2residence is in the 3-ton (10-kW) range.

11\u20132
\u25a0
THE REVERSED CARNOT CYCLE

Recall from Chap. 6 that the Carnot cycle is a totally reversible cycle that consists of two reversible isothermal and two isentropic processes. It has the maximum thermal efficiency for given temperature limits, and it serves as a standard against which actual power cycles can be compared.

Since it is a reversible cycle, all four processes that comprise the Carnot cycle can be reversed. Reversing the cycle does also reverse the directions of any heat and work interactions. The result is a cycle that operates in the counterclockwise direction on aT-s diagram, which is called thereve r s e d

Carnot cycle.A refrigerator or heat pump that operates on the reversed
Carnot cycle is called a Carnot refrigerator or a Carnot heat pump.

Consider a reversed Carnot cycle executed within the saturation dome of a refrigerant, as shown in Fig. 11\u20132. The refrigerant absorbs heat isothermally from a low-temperature source atTLin the amount ofQL(process 1-2), is compressed isentropically to state 3 (temperature rises toTH), rejects heat isothermally to a high-temperature sink atTHin the amount ofQH(process 3-4), and expands isentropically to state 1 (temperature drops toTL). The refrigerant changes from a saturated vapor state to a saturated liquid state in the condenser during process 3-4.

Chapter 11
|
609
QH
2
TH
Condenser
WARM medium
atTH
COLD medium
atTLQL
QH
QL
4
3
2
1
T
s
Evaporator
TL
Turbine
Compressor
1
3
4
FIGURE 11\u20132
Schematic of a Carnot refrigerator andT-s diagram of the reversed Carnot cycle.

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