The cycle is described. Member ASHRAE ABSTRACT The scate-of-art in ammonia-water absorption cooling has been applied to an air-source heatingonly heat-pump cycle which delivers its heat indoors via circulating liquid. Refrigeration and Richard H.. Merrick. KLY WORDS Absorption Air conditioning Ammonia Heat-pump heating Donald Kuhlenschmidt is chief Engineer. differences from the cooling application noted.AN AMMONIA-WATER ABSORPTION-HIAT-PUMP CYCLE BY Donald Kuhlenschmidt. Indiana. Engineering and Research of Arkla Industries Inc. and test results on a 14.000 Btuh) input unit reported. .65-kW (50. Member ASHRAE Richard H. Merrick is Vice President. Evansville.

3°C(17F) outdoor basis for the indoor heat exchanger.INTRODUCTION The ammonia-water absorption cycle is well known for its 50-year use in domestic refrigerators and 20-year record in gas--fired air conditioning chillers. comment on the design differences compared to the air conditioning application and report performance of the cycle as tested in DISCUSSION the 14. Work is being sponsored by the Department of Energy through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. ambient establish at the design parameters for the cycle.000 Btuh) input unit shown in Figure 1. In this case the non-reversing approach improve reliability. maximize cold was chosen to simplify the design.7°C(125F) supply and 40. -1- .65 kW(50. The authors are involved in a project to use this cycle in an air source heat pump designed to operate in the heating mode only and deliver its output as hot water.6°C(105F) return water temperature.8 0 C(55F). Reversible absorption cycles for heating and cooling are possible but with additional cost and complexity. The purpose of this paper is to describe the cycle. These values were chosen to give a reasonable sizing Obtaining these at -8. These heating condi- tions are more demanding than the air conditioning application where heat is rejected to 35°C(95F) ambient air and the chilled water returns to the cycle at 12. Hydronics specification were set at 51. weather COP and minimize parasitic electrical power. be desirable to make maximum use of air conditioning cycle comparticularly the generator and solution pump which are the core of every absorption cycle. 2. Several things became apparent at the outset: 1. It would ponents.

It is important to Reversing cycles avoid oversizing which penalizes first cost and seasonal COP. In this application the ammonia con- centration of the strong absorbent leaving the generator is 10% and the weak concentration leaving the absorber is 41%. pressure drops of 48(7) to 69(102 -2- . to achieve acceptable equillibriums. lower evaporator temperature and somewhat higher absorber rejection temperature. absorber of the chiller requires extensive finned surface to The air-cooled contact the air In order kPa(psi) accomplished in a configuration requiring the absorption process to take place within finned tubes. For -8. operating a solution heat exchanger and rectifier in parallel is preferred. In the heat pump schematic of Figure 3 this is referred to as the triple heat exchanger.05 kW(2 tons) of cooling.65 kW(50.3(17F) ambient heat pump application.000 Btuh). RESULTS Cycle Design This unit. Absorber design is another important area of difference. versed. Under these conditions the solution-cooled absorber offers no advantage and. in fact. Our estimate of the requirements of a well insulated mass market home esestablished the product input at 14. Owing to the the strong absorbent leaving the generator can remain at 10%. would produce 7. if re- Figure 2 is a schematic of the ammonia-water cycle as applied to air conditioning in a gas-fired air-cooled chiller. The lower temperature Lift for air conditioning allows a large concentration change making possible the use of a solution-cooled absorber wherin some heat of absorption can actually be used to boil ammonia in the generator. Cycle thermodynamics would have to be examined to determine whether changes in the air conditioning cycle were called for in optimizing the cycle for cold weather heating performance. the ammonia concentration of the weak absorbent leaving the absorber will be 30%.3. will force a choice that is not the optimum in many areas.

This will reduce the COPs in the table by .3°C(47F). fired-analyzer style used in the air condi- The generator is tioning cycle. Because the evaporator is upstream of the absorber. In the data shown. . the schematic shows.3°(17F) and 8. which was subcooled in the triple heat exchanger. the ammonia concentration in the solution is op- timal for each of the two ambient and was achieved by adjusting the charge during testing. fluid circulating through helical coils and the strong absorbent deployed over the outside of these coils in a falling film fashion.7°C(125F) when the ambient is 8. to the generator it Because this heat is not delivered in the cycle to extract generates no additional refrigerant heat from the outdoor air.are common. It was apparent that cycle performance would profit from an absorber designed This was achieved in a design with the heat rejection with zero pressure drop. This heat exchanger is a finned tube design which heats strong absorbent. The air conditioning diaphragm solution pump is used and has proven suitable even at sub-zero temperatures. by extracting heat from waste flue products leaving the main generator and delivering this heat to the circulating hot water as additional heat rejection in the absorber. Cycle Conditions Table I lists the cycle conditions for ambients of -8. this pressure drop is the equivalent of operating the cycle in an ambient several degrees colder.6°C(105F) and held at a flow rate that produces a leaving hot water temperature 51.03. It is possible to add a concentration control feature into the cycle This actual cycle is not com- which will adjust to these conditions automatically. As. circuit is piped in the condenser is a tube-in-tube design and its water parallel with that of the absorber. the same finned.3°C(47F) with the hot water returning to the unit at 40. A new feature introduced to the cycle is the flue gas heat exchanger. pletely self-compensating so the charge is usually optimized for an ambient temperature in between.

Work is continuing on an advanced ammonia cycle with Experience COP targets of 1. It is expected that field testing under actual performance conAt this writing it seems ditions will clarify the best way to manage defrost.3°C(47F) and 1. to operate for a four-minute "spin-down" to utilize refrigerant which has accumulated in the condenser and evaporator. The additional options concern continuation of water circulation to the load and/or tirner operation. -4- . the thermostat ON time and spin-dowr. to date indicates that these will not be easy to achieve.The COPs are measured test values based on the higher heating value of the fuel input to the generator in the product configuration as shown in Figure 1.25 -8. doubtful that operation of the burners will be required and that circulation of the load water will be continued. The cycle is designed for ON/OFF operation at the direction of a thermostat.2 to 1.50 kW during defrosting. The evaporator fan is driven by a separate motor so that it can be off Electrical consumption for the unit of Figure 1 is . Cycle Control The solution pump and generator combustion blowers are driven from a common motor. Several defrost schemes have been tried..3°C(17F). CONCLUSION The work reported here is the result of applying state-of-the-art absorption cooling technology to the task of developing a reliable heating device with an efficiency that exceeds lOO. The gas burner cycles if the leaving water temperature or the condensing On normal shut clow the solution pump continues pressure reach excessive levels.35 at 8.3 to 1. In all cases a defrost valve opens The hot water to the load circulates during co by-pass the refrigerant restrictor allowing vapor from the high side to condense directly in the evaporator whilethe solution pump continues to circulate.

Currently there are several heat operated heat pump projects underway Involving Rankine. cycle sealing and starting problems. Stirling. Residential application requires close attention to noise. maintenance. Corrosion and thermal stability are proven for 204°C(400F). 3. Brayton. Air conditioning use has' established -5- . Absorption machines in small capacities will surpass alternative mechanical systems in approaching ideal cycle efficiency. 2. Absorption has a further advantage over mechanical systems through insensitivity to refrigerant volume increases at low ambients which yields a flatter capacity versus outdoor ambient curve. high reliability in these areas. tial However. 4. the ammonia water absorption is Some reasons are: hard to beat in residen- and small commercial applications. 1. 5. Some of these cycles operate at hotter temperatures and surpass the ammonia-water absorption theoretically. The fewer moving pares associated with absorption leads to greater product reliability over more mechanically complex cycles.and organic absorption cycles.

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C(F) 8..50 54.000) Water In.°C(F) Output.256 .89(165) 44. Out.40(62..55(132) 2308(335) 439(64) 20 41 -8.OPERATING CONDITIONS Outdoor Ambient.TABLE I .65(50) 40. Out.65(50) 40.°C(F) Water Out.56(105) 50.67(35) 7.119 . CC(: Absorber Sol. Ref.89(75) 73. kPa (psia) Strong Absorbent Conc. % NH3 *COP = Thermal Output Fuel Higher Heating Value Input .56(105) 52.50 72. kW (Btuh/1. In. Out.89(93' 72.70(46) 33.000) COP* Water Flow. C(P Absorber Ref.67(107) 1. kW (Btuh/1.30(47) 14.30(17) 14.55(114) 6. Out. C(T: Aosorber Sol.379(6) .55(4) -7.44(184) 47.22(117) -15. CC(Y Triple HX Sol. °C(F) Input.8) 1. Ref. °C(F) EvaD. % NH3 Weak Absorbent Conc.11(133) 2037(297) 207(30) 10 30 Condenser Ref.16(125. C(F) Condenser Pressure.22(162: 45. L/s (gpm) Electrical Consumption.7) 16. °C(F) Evap. In.95) 1.9) 18.379(6) . klV Condenser Ref. In.22(162) 41. In.393(55.44(112) 56. kPa (psia) Absorber Pressure.78(18) 23.94(123.

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