Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512

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Compression–absorption cascade refrigeration system
Jose´ Ferna´ndez-Seara *, Jaime Sieres, Manuel Va´zquez
A´rea de Ma´quinas y Motores Te´rmicos, Escuela Te´cnica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales, Universidade de Vigo,
Campus Lagoas-Marcosende, 9, 36200 Vigo, Spain
Received 28 October 2004; accepted 26 July 2005
Available online 13 September 2005

Abstract
This paper describes the study carried out to analyse a refrigeration system in cascade with a compression system at the low temperature stage and an absorption system at the high temperature stage to generate cooling at low temperatures, as well as the possibility of powering it by means of a cogeneration system. CO2 and NH3 have been considered as refrigerants in the compression
stage and the pair NH3–H2O in the absorption stage. The analysis has been realized by means of a mathematical model of the refrigeration system implemented in a computer program and taking into account the characteristic operating conditions of a cogeneration system with gas engines. The paper presents the results obtained regarding the performance of the refrigeration system and the
adaptability between the power requirements of the refrigeration system and the power supplied by the cogeneration system taking
into account the present Spanish Regulations about the use of cogeneration systems.
Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Cascade refrigeration; Cogeneration; Compression; Absorption

1. Introduction
The integration of environmentally friendly refrigeration with cogeneration systems [1] appears to be an
interesting option since it could lead to autonomous systems with on-site power generation independent from
the electric grid [2].
In the refrigeration field there are applications which
require the production of very high cooling power at low
temperatures, such as freezing processes and cold stores
for the storage of frozen products. Currently, different
configurations of vapor compression systems of double
stage with ammonia or synthetic refrigerants are generally applied to this type of applications. Two stage vapor
compression systems in cascade are also considered in
the general literature [3]. Moreover, recently the two
stage compression systems in cascade with CO2 as refrigerant in the low temperature stage are the object of
*

Corresponding author. Tel.: +34 986 812605; fax: +34 986 811995.
E-mail address: jseara@uvigo.es (J. Ferna´ndez-Seara).

1359-4311/$ - see front matter Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2005.07.015

important research and nowadays there are already several industrial and commercial installations successfully
running [4,5]. However, the disadvantage of the compression systems in this type of applications is their high
electricity consumption.
In this paper the analysis of an alternative refrigeration system that could reduce the electricity consumption in those applications is realized. The system is a
two stages cascade that consists of a single stage compression system for the generation of the cooling power
at low temperature and an absorption system in the high
temperature stage, as shown in Fig. 1. Both systems
share a heat exchanger, which operates simultaneously
as the condenser of the compression system and as the
evaporator of the absorption system. This refrigeration
system would decrease the electricity consumption compared to the two stages compression systems, since it is
only required to operate the compression system at the
low stage; meanwhile the absorption system is driven
by heat. Moreover, it could use environmentally friendly
working fluids such as carbon dioxide or ammonia in

Furthermore.J. 1. Fig. HIGH TEMPERATURE STAGE. Ferna´ndez-Seara et al. and the primary energy eva evaporation. the objectives of the paper are twofold. it would bring an additional advantage. compressor con condensation. this cascade refrigeration system could be integrated with a cogeneration system. The analysis has been carried out using a mathematical model of the refrigeration system implemented in a computer program and taking into account the general performance of a cogeneration system employing gas engines. VALVE SOLUTION H. from the viewpoint of the energetic requirements. to determine and evaluate the adaptability. LOW TEMPERATURE STAGE. At a first glance. / Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512 503 Nomenclature COP E EEE P PE PER Q Q0 T coefficient of performance (–) electrical power (kW) equivalent electric efficiency (–) pressure (Pa) primary energy per unit time (kW) primary energy ratio (–) heat (kW) cooling duty (kW) temperature (°C) Subscripts a absorption system c compression system com compression. VALVE PUMP ABSORBER COMPRESSOR EVAPORATOR COMPRESSION SYSTEM. between the refrigeration and the cogeneration systems. The energy adaptability between the cogeneration and the refrigeration systems is evaluated based on the current Spanish regulations [7] about the use of cogeneration systems. condenser el electrical the compression stage and the pairs ammonia–water or water–lithium bromide in the absorption system. CONDENSER RECTIFICATION COLUMN GENERATOR LIQ. These regulations define the parameter named as Equivalent Electric Efficiency (EEE). reused w water ABSORPTION SYSTEM. . EXP. since the global system could be designed as a standalone device independent of the electric grid. to simulate and analyse the influence of the key design parameters and the operating conditions on the performance of the compression–absorption cascade refrigeration system.EX.-VAP.EX. the performance of the global refrigeration–cogeneration system is also obtained. the heat recovered. Moreover. However. making use of these benefits requires knowledge of the adaptability of the energy needs of the refrigeration system (electricity and heat) to the power distribution supplied by the cogeneration system. and on the other hand. on the one hand. which takes into account the electrical power generated. Schematic diagram of the compression–absorption cascade refrigeration system. evaporator ex extra exh exhaust gases g global gen generation. H. since this would supply simultaneously the electricity to the compression system and the heat to the absorption system. VALVE EVAPORATORCONDENSER EXP. Therefore. EXP. generator h heat int intermediate lim limit max maximum minEEE minimum equivalent electric efficiency opt optimal p pump rec recovered. This has been defined according to the available literature data [6].

the electric power required by the compressor and the pump and the compression and absorption systems performance (COPc and COPa) which are obtained from Eqs. In the compression system. DTeva–con [°C] Outlet–inlet temperature difference in the evaporator. A simple steady state simulation model based on sequential modular approach has been developed and implemented in a computer program. pump and two expansion devices. The compression and the absorption systems are connected to each other by means of the evaporator– condenser heat exchanger. hence the cooling duty of the absorption system is equated to the condensation power of the compression system.a [°C] Liquid subcooling at the condenser outlet. the performance of the cascade refrigeration system with the cogeneration system is evaluated by means of the primary energy ratio (PER).a [°C] Design condenser temperature difference.1 The model equations are not presented here for the sake of brevity. Tcon. DTcon.995 0. Tw [°C] Compression system Liquid subcooling at the condenser outlet. Refrigeration system and simulation model The absorption–compression cascade system being considered is depicted schematically in Fig.c [°C] Condensation temperature at the compression system. esol. The model input data have been divided into three groups. distillation column. Refl [–] Absorber efficiency.8 0.504 J. ep [–] Pressure drop between evaporator and absorber. generator. in the compression system. eabs [–] Solution heat exchanger efficiency. The analysis has been carried out considering two different natural refrigerants. DTeva. mass and energy balances. 1. The condensation temperature at the compression system is taken as design parameter to define the intermediate temperature level. The condensation temperature of the compression system together with the temperature difference between this temperature and the evaporation temperature at the absorption system are used to characterise the heat transfer processes in the evaporator–condenser heat exchanger. Finally. [10]. State equations used for the working fluids at equilibrium and the thermodynamic properties are taken from REFPROP [8] for the pure refrigerants and from Ziegler and Trepp [9] for the ammonia–water mixture.7 0.5 0. respectively. GSc [°C] Vapour superheat at the evaporator outlet. A perfect isolation of the evaporator–condenser heat exchanger is assumed. evaporator. Xref [kg/kg] Distillation tower reflux. The absorption system uses the pair ammonia–water and its major components are the absorber.4 0. solution heat exchanger. GRc [°C] Absorption system Temperature difference at the evaporator–condenser. The results obtained directly from the simulations are the thermodynamic state and the mass and volume flow rates at every representative point in the thermodynamic cycles of the compression and absorption systems.c COPa ¼ Qgen þ Ep COPc ¼ ð1Þ ð2Þ . eL–V HX [–] Pump efficiency. 2. the heat flux in each heat exchanger. The model equations are formulated from species. (1) and (2). but they are described in detail in Ref. In the model.8 0.c [°C] Generation temperature at the absorption system. carbon dioxide and ammonia. respectively. the following assumptions are taken into account. condenser. Tgen [°C] Temperature of the water used as external cooling medium. Q0 Ecom Qcon. the components irreversibilities are defined either directly by means of temperature differences or by means of the components efficiency. GSa [°C] Design absorber temperature difference. DTabs [°C] Refrigerant concentration. the refrigerant solution leaving the condenser and the weak solution leaving the generator are saturated at condensation and generation temperature. as shown in Table 1. / Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512 per unit time consumed by the cogeneration system. Q0 [kW] Evaporation temperature at the compression system.4. (3). condenser and the expansion device. taken into account a power plant efficiency of 0. whose main components are the evaporator. Ferna´ndez-Seara et al.HX [–] Liquid–vapor heat exchanger efficiency. Teva. The global system performance (COPg) is calculated from Eq. liquid– vapour heat exchanger. the compressor efficiency is calculated as a function of the compression ratio. The model has been implemented in a computer program using Fortran 95. DPeva–abs [bar] 1 45 2 125 30 0 5 8 5 10 0 8 0. In the absorption system. Table 1 Model input data General system data Cooling duty. compressor. the general system data and the specific data for the compression and for the absorption systems. It consists of a single stage compression system in the low temperature cascade and a single stage absorption system in the high temperature cascade.

it is assumed that the generator temperature in the absorption system is the cooling limit for the engine exhaust gases and the cooling water. The data in white boxes are the energy flux in the corresponding system component. then the ratio of the primary energy per unit time that could be recovered as heat from the engine exhaust gases (PERexh) and the cooling water (PERw) and applied to drive the absorption system can be estimated from Eqs. 2. 2. Results of the simulation program on the system scheme. / Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512 505 Fig. as shown in Fig. In order to estimate the heat that could be recovered and applied to drive the absorption system.lim) of 90 °C. The electrical efficiency of the cogeneration plant is taken as 40%. respectively.lim ð4Þ ð5Þ The adaptability of the cascade refrigeration system to the cogeneration system is assessed by calculating the parameter named as equivalent electric efficiency (EEE) . then the heat recovered from the exhaust gases and from the engine cooling water will be limited by the generator temperature (Tgen) in the absorption system.rec T w  T gen ¼ 0:25  PE T w  T w. The heat recovered from the exhaust gases is set at 18% of the primary energy. COPg ¼ Q0 Qgen þ Ecom 0:4 þ Ep 0:4 ð3Þ The sample program results for temperatures around the circuit are displayed on the system scheme. Taken into account the assumptions cited above and the cogeneration system operating conditions. It is also assumed that the specific heat capacity for exhaust gases and water is constant. If the cascade refrigeration system is powered by the cogeneration system.lim Qw.rec T exh  T gen ¼ 0:18  PE T exh  T exh. with a cooling limit (Tw. Cogeneration system The cogeneration system considered in the analysis is based on the use of gas engines. The heat recovered from the engine cooling water is considered 25% of the primary energy.lim) of 25 °C. PERexh ¼ PERw ¼ Qexh. The exhaust gases and the cooling water outlet temperatures (Texh and Tw) have been considered as 600 °C and 120 °C. respectively. considering a cooling limit (Texh.J. Ferna´ndez-Seara et al. 3. The system operating conditions have been established taken into account general literature data [6]. (4) and (5).

Otherwise. then the quantity of the electricity and/or heat energy that should be recovered and used in other applications in order to reach the minimum EEE value are also calculated. Results and discussion The model has been used to simulate and analyse the performance of the cascade refrigeration system and the possibilities of it being powered by the cogeneration . The calculation procedure starts by obtaining the electricity and the heat required by the cascade refrigeration system by using the system model described in the previous section. (8)–(10). (7). then the primary energy per unit time needed to produce the limiting power is taken as the primary energy per unit time consumed by the cogeneration system. (16). The primary energy per unit time needed to obtain the electrical power is calculated from Eq. Eq.lim þ 0:25  T wwT w. The PER is calculated considering that the cogeneration system is used only to power the refrigeration system (PERg).lim ð14Þ Furthermore. there is also an extra heat that could be recovered at temperature levels lower than the generation temperature.lim  PEh  Qgen ð13Þ  If T 6 90 C ! Qex   Tw  T ¼ 0:18 þ 0:25   PEh  Qgen T w  T w.J. The heat that could be recovered up to a temperature level (T) is given by Eqs. if the EEE value obtained is lower than the minimum value imposed by the regulations. then the EEE of the cogeneration system will be obtained considering that the extra electricity is used in other applications or put on the market. (13) or (14).minEEE).minEEE PE ð16Þ The calculations described above have been implemented as a Fortran subroutine in the simulation program of the cascade refrigeration system.lim If T gen 6 90  C ! PEh ¼ ð8Þ ð9Þ required by the absorption system (Qgen). If PEh > PEel ! PE ¼ PEh ! Eex ¼ 0:4  PE  ðEcom þ Ep Þ If T P 120  C ! Qex T exh  T ¼ 0:18   PEh  Qgen T exh  T exh.minEEE ¼ ð15Þ Q0 þ Eex þ Qrec. The primary energy per unit time needed to obtain the heat is calculated from Eqs. 4. After that.lim  0:18 T exh  T gen If 90  C < T gen < 120  C ! Qgen PEh ¼ T exh T gen T T gen 0:18  T exh T exh. the EEE is obtained considering that the cogeneration system is only used to power the cascade refrigeration system. This minimum EEE value for a cogeneration system based on the use of gas engines is set at 55%. Ferna´ndez-Seara et al. taking into account the electric efficiency of the cogeneration plant. (15). Then the type of limiting power (electrical or heat) is determined by calculating the primary energy by unit of time that is needed to obtain the electrical power and the heat required by the cascade system. the adaptability of the cogeneration system to the cascade refrigeration system can be evaluated in each simulation run and it is included in the parametric analysis. if the electrical power is the limiting one (PEel > PEh). then there is no extra electric power and the maximum heat that could be recovered is also calculated from Eqs. (12). (6). if the heat is the limiting one. depending on the temperature value and the heat ð12Þ If 90  C < T < 120  C ! Qex   T exh  T Tw  T ¼ 0:18  þ 0:25  T exh  T exh. PEel ¼ Ecom þ Ep 0:4 ð7Þ If T gen P 120  C ! PEh ¼ Qgen T exh  T exh. EEE ¼ E rec PE  Q0:9 ð6Þ Moreover. (13) or (14). (6). Finally. Then. (11).lim T T gen 0:18 þ 0:25  T wwT w. In the analysis. or the extra heat is obtained when the electrical power is the limiting one.55 will be calculated by using Eq. / Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512 506 given by Eq. the primary energy ratio of the global system (cascade refrigeration system and the cogeneration system) is obtained. taking into account the generation temperature. Then. and also when the EEE is equal to the minimum value imposed by the Spanish Regulations [7] and part of the electric power and/or the heat are reused in other applications (PERg. PERg ¼ Qgen ð11Þ Q0 PE PERg. according to the present Spanish regulations [7] relating to the use of cogeneration systems. (12). If the heat is limiting (PEh > PEel). then the extra electrical power is calculated from Eq. Moreover. either the extra electrical power is calculated when the heat is limiting. In this case. Eq. the regulations also impose a minimum annual average value for the EEE of the cogeneration system. then the heat that should be recovered to attain the minimum EEE of 0. if the value of the EEE of the cogeneration system is bellow the limiting value imposed by the Spanish Regulations.lim ð10Þ Once the limiting power is known.lim T w  T w.

An outstanding design parameter in cascade refrigeration systems is the intermediate temperature level at which the low temperature system gives up the condensing heat to the high temperature system. Another significant parameter that makes a difference between both refrigerants is the compressor discharge temperature. as well as the low evaporation pressure required when using NH3 at low temperature levels. The main differences in the operating conditions of the system using CO2 or NH3 as refrigerants in the compression stage are due to the characteristic thermodynamic properties of each refrigerant. Thus. the volume flow of CO2 is much smaller than the volume flow of NH3 due to the low specific volume of the CO2 at the compressor inlet state.1. The following sections show the noteworthy results. The results considering NH3 as refrigerant in the compression system are also presented by the program on the system scheme (as shown in Fig. / Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512 system.204 96. Table 2 summarizes the major differences.472 14. 4 shows the optimal intermediate temperature (maximum COP of the cascade system) Table 2 Cascade system operating conditions with CO2 and NH3 as refrigerants in the compression stage Cascade system operating conditions CO2 NH3 Evaporation pressure at the compression system. COPg [–] 8. In addition. The mass flow and the volume flow at the compressor inlet are also quite different.406 2. Note the high pressure levels in the compression system when using CO2. the electric power required by the compressor in the compression system and by the pump in the absorption system.253 0. Vcom [m3/h] Compressor discharge temperature. The compression COP decrease is less significant as the evaporation temperature decreases. It can be noticed that the intermediate temperature increase causes simultaneously a compression COP decrease and an absorption COP increase.427 0. Fig. 2 shows the direct results provided by the simulation program considering the data in Table 1 with CO2 as refrigerant in the compression system.976 2.427 33. Pcon [bar] Refrigerant mass flow at the compression system. As expected.73 1. COPa [–] COP of the cascade system.233 0.463 0. 2). The electric power required by the compressor is slightly lower when using CO2 than when using NH3. it can be concluded that the use of CO2 or NH3 as refrigerants at the compression stage does not modify significantly the operating conditions at the absorption system. mc [kg/h] Volume flow at the compressor inlet.384 2. Ferna´ndez-Seara et al. The mass flow of CO2 is higher than the mass flow of NH3 due to the low refrigerant effect produced by CO2. The condensation heat at the compression system and therefore the cooling duty of the absorption system are similar for both refrigerants. Table 1 shows the general system operating conditions considered in the analysis.14 1. The numbers next to the characteristic points of the system show the temperature values. Tcom. 3 shows the results of the COP values of the compression. In this analysis.J. The absorption COP does not depend on the evaporation temperature of the compression system.953 6. Ecom [kW] COP of the compression system. However. The results with NH3 are not shown here for the sake of brevity.702 53. Therefore.602 0.427 0.262 0. COPc [–] COP of the absorption system. Fig. 507 Therefore. This temperature has an opposite effect on the COP values of the compression and absorption systems.c [kW] Electric power required by the compressor. The intermediate temperature that produces the maximum COP depends on the evaporation temperature of the compression system. Peva [bar] Condensation pressure at the compression system.762 0. the intermediate temperature level is defined by the condensation temperature of the compression system.254 .0 [°C] Condensation heat at the compression system and cooling duty at the absorption system. the compression system COP is also slightly higher with CO2 than with NH3. an optimum COP value can be expected for the overall cascade system. The white boxes on the system diagram show the heat interchanged in each heat exchanger.143 3. absorption and cascade systems with CO2 as the refrigerant in the compression system and evaporation temperatures of 50. Similar results are obtained considering NH3 as the refrigerant in the compression system. Qcon. The high values of the discharge temperature produced by NH3 should be taken into account at the design stage in order to select an adequate intermediate temperature level and avoid the wellknown problems caused by excessive discharge temperatures on the compressor lubrication. 40 and 30 °C obtained by varying the intermediate temperature while keeping the remaining design parameters and operating conditions equal to the values indicated in Table 1. Cascade refrigeration system Fig. 4. the cascade system COP presents a maximum when the intermediate temperature is varied.

max (CO2) COPg.45 8 0. 4.35 6 0. COPg.25 4 0.30 5 COPa. absorption system COP (COPa) and cascade system COP (COPg) vs.15 2 1 0. 40 and 50 °C.55 10 0. / Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512 COPc (-50) COPg (-40) COPc (-40) COPg (-30) COPc (-30) COPa COPg (-50) 11 0. Ferna´ndez-Seara et al.max (NH3) 1 0 -1 Tint.max (NH3) PERg.20 3 0. Compression system COP (COPc). COPg 508 0. 3. Optimal intermediate temperature level (condensation temperature of the compression system) for maximum system COP and for maximum PER with a EEE of 55% vs.opt [°C] -2 -3 -4 -5 -6 -7 -8 -9 -50 -48 -46 -44 -42 -40 -38 -36 -34 -32 -30 Teva [°C] Fig. intermediate temperature level (condensation temperature of the compression system) with CO2 as refrigerant in the compression stage and for evaporation temperatures of 30.J. evaporation temperature at the compression stage with CO2 and NH3 as refrigerants in the compression system.50 9 0.40 COPc 7 0.10 -16 -12 -8 -4 0 4 8 12 16 Tint [°C] Fig.max (CO2) PERg. .

/ Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512 with CO2 and NH3 as a function of the evaporation temperature. the effect of the evaporation temperature on the optimal intermediate temperature is more significant with NH3 than with CO2.J.057 0. there will be extra electric power for selling or reusing in other applications.025 0. [11].031 0. They demonstrate the unfitting of the cogeneration system to the energy needs of the cascade system. taken into account that the cogeneration system supplies the heat required by the cascade system.078 6.406 0. Furthermore.492 1.09 1.431 17. However.491 1. it can be concluded that. Ecom [kW] Electricity required by the pump. This result also reinforces the conclusion of discarding the option of coupling the cascade refrigeration system with the cogeneration system as a stand-alone unit.933 0.361 0.865 0. Therefore.2. Ep [kW] Electricity required by the cascade system (compressor + pump). then the EEE of the cogeneration system is still below the limiting value imposed by the Spanish regulations.405 0. 4 corroborate clearly that the optimal intermediate temperature increases when the evaporation temperature increases with both refrigerants.589 0. Therefore.minEEE [–] 2. Qrec.41 17. They have been obtained considering the data in Table 1 and expressed per unit of cooling power. It also clearly shows that the electric to heat ratio required by the cascade system does not match the energy ratio provided by the cogeneration system. PEel [kW] Electricity surplus. Eex [kW] Electric equivalent efficiency. the results from the simulation model can be an outstanding tool at the design stage of the system. It is noticeable that the optimal intermediate temperature level should be determined in a previous design stage because of its influence on the cascade system. Ferna´ndez-Seara et al. Ec [kW] Primary energy required by the absorption system generator.minEEE [kW] Global primary energy ratio of the cascade system. Therefore. EEEel [–] Heat recovered to attain the minimum EEE. Table 3 Refrigeration and cogeneration systems operating conditions Operating conditions CO2 NH3 Heat at the absorption generator. Therefore. EEE [–] Electric equivalent efficiency considering the extra electricity.55. The significant results obtained considering the variation of the intermediate temperature are shown in the following figures. then the electric power generated by the cogeneration system surpasses the electric power required by the cascade system. if the cogeneration system is used to power the cascade refrigeration system. These results express clearly that the energy requirements of the cascade refrigeration are very different from the energy supplied by the cogeneration 509 system.384 0. then it will be necessary to make use of the extra electric power and part of the extra heat in other applications. from the results obtained.059 0. Thus. PERg [–] Global primary energy ratio to attain the minimum EEE. The primary energy needed to obtain the heat required by the generator is much greater than the primary energy per unit time needed to obtain the electricity required by the cascade system. Cogeneration system Results for the significant parameters required to evaluate the suitability of powering the cascade refrigeration system by means of the cogeneration system taking into account the use of CO2 and NH3 as refrigerants in the compression stage are collected in Table 3. Qgen [kW] Electricity required by the compressor.024 6. in order to fulfil the present Spanish Regulations. it would be necessary to reuse in other applications part of the heat that is not required by the refrigeration system in order to attain the minimum value imposed to the EEE. The value of the PER of the global system (refrigeration and cogeneration system) without considering the use of any extra electric or heat in other applications is shown in Table 3.497 1. Results in Fig. it is concluded that the use of a cogeneration system only to power the absorption–compression refrigeration system should be discarded. if the cogeneration system is used to power the cascade refrigeration system and the extra electric power is reused or put on the market but no additional heat is recovered. 4. PERg. The effects of the absorption system design parameters such as the generation and the external cooling medium temperatures are not presented here for the sake of brevity but they can be established from data in Ref. The EEE is also much smaller than the minimum value imposed by the Spanish Regulations of 0.029 0.512 2.025 0. Results in Table 3 show clearly that the limiting power is the heat required by the absorption system.33 0. Another significant result shown in Table 3 is the very low value of the EEE obtained from the energy requirements of the cascade refrigeration system. Therefore. The parametric analysis has been extended to the parameters shown in Table 3 taking into account CO2 and NH3 as refrigerants in the compression stage. PEh [kW] Primary energy required by the electric power.511 .

which states clearly once again the unsuitability of employing the cogeneration system only to power the cascade refrigeration system. These results are considering CO2 as refrigerant in the compression system.02 0. / Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512 510 Fig. 40 and 50 °C. It is worth to note the low values of the PERg. 40 and 50 °C and CO2 as refrigerant in the compression system. and secondly. 6 is also due to the reduction in the heat demanded by the absorption system and therefore the reduction of the primary energy and consequently of the heat generated by the cogeneration system. Ferna´ndez-Seara et al. Therefore. firstly the increase of the intermediate temperature causes an increase in the electric power required by the compressor in the compression system. when the cogeneration system attends only the energy demands of the cascade refrigeration system.J. It points out again the mismatch between the energy requirements of the cascade system and the energy distribution provided by the cogeneration system.07 0.06 EEE 0.01 -16 -12 -8 -4 0 4 8 12 16 Tint [°C] Fig. when the intermediate temperature level is varied. 40 and 50 °C taking into account that the cogeneration system is used to power only the cascade refrigeration system (PERg) and also considering the reusing of the extra electric power and the extra heat needed to attain the EEE of 0. 40 and 50 °C and CO2 and NH3 as refrigerants in the compression system. 5. it simultaneously causes a reduction in the heat demanded by the absorption system and therefore the decrease of primary energy consumed by the cogeneration system and the heat and the extra electric power produced by the cogeneration system. The increase of the EEE when increasing the intermediate temperature is due to an increase in the electrical power demanded by the compression system and simultaneously to the reduction of the heat demanded by the absorption system. The more significant results are the very small values of the EEE. It is also remarkable that the depiction of the global PER EEE CO2 (-40) EEE NH3 (-40) EEE CO2 (-30) EEE NH3 (-30) 0. . when the intermediate temperature level is varied. 6 shows the extra electric energy and heat that should be reused in other applications in order to attain the minimum value of the EEE imposed by the Spanish regulations taking into account the evaporation temperatures of 30. The heat decrease that occurs simultaneously with the intermediate temperature level increase observed in Fig. Equivalent electric efficiency (EEE) vs.55 (PERg. if the intermediate temperature increases. Fig.04 0. then the electrical to heat ratio required by the cascade system will approach the energy ratio provided by the cogeneration system.minEEE). The results with NH3 are very similar.03 0. The surplus of the electrical power decreases as the intermediate temperature in- EEE CO2 (-50) EEE NH3 (-50) creases. Finally. 5 shows the effect of the intermediate temperature level (the condensation temperature of the compression system) on the EEE taking into account evaporation temperatures of 30. Fig. 7 shows the results of the PER for evaporation temperatures of 30.05 0. intermediate temperature level (condensation temperature at the compression stage) with CO2 and NH3 as refrigerants in the compression system and evaporation temperatures of 30. The reason is twofold.

minEEE (-30) 12 4. / Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512 Qrec.minEEE) vs.minEEE (-50) Eex.minEEE (-40) Q rec. the intermediate temperature level (condensation temperature at the compression stage).minEEE (-40) PERg.46 -16 -12 -8 -4 0 4 8 12 16 Tint [°C] Fig.51 0.03 0. .minEEE PER g 0.50 0. PERg.06 0.48 0.0 6 1.minEEE (-30) PERg (-50) PERg (-40) PERg (-30) 0.0 11 3.minEEE (-40) rec.04 0. 6.minEEE (-50) PERg.minEEE [kW] 3.minEEE 511 (-30) Eex. Primary energy ratio of the cascade-cogeneration system taking into account that the cogeneration system is used to power only the cascade refrigeration system (PERg) and also considering the reusing of the extra electric and the extra heat needed to attain the EEE of 55% (PERg. Electricity surplus and heat that should be recovered in other application in order to attain the minimum EEE of 55% vs.0 7 2.54 0. Ferna´ndez-Seara et al.53 0.05 PERg. 7.5 5 1.0 4 -16 -12 -8 -4 0 Tint [°C] 4 8 12 16 Fig.47 0.minEEE [kW] Qrec.5 Eex.49 0.07 0. the intermediate temperature level (condensation temperature at the compression stage) with CO2 as refrigerant in the compression system and for evaporation temperatures of 30. 40 and 50 °C.52 0.minEEE (-50) Q Eex.5 10 9 8 2.J.

The extra electricity could be sold or used in other applications. Motores de combustio´n interna alternativos. Mun˜iz. Mun˜oz. The use of CO2 or NH3 as refrigerants in the compression stage does not affect significantly the operating conditions at the absorption stage due to the condensation heat is similar with both refrigerants. Conclusions The results shown in this paper and the results obtained in the complete analysis about the compression–absorption cascade refrigeration system and the possibilities of being powered by a cogeneration system allows us to draw the following conclusions. A. / Applied Thermal Engineering 26 (2006) 502–512 presents a maximum. Sieres. Payri. USA. Rolfsman. Washington DC. then the intermediate temperature level should be selected based on the maximum of the global PER.W. Taking into account the present Spanish regulation it would be necessary to make use not only of the extra electric power but also of part of the extra heat in other applications. J. Huber.O. 1990. Washington DC. USA. 1998. Van der Sluis. in: Proceedings of the VII Congreso Iberoamericano de Aire Acondicionado y Refrigeracio´n (CIARÕ2003). Moreover. Ziegler. if the cogeneration system fulfils the needs of the cascade refrigeration system. However. [10] J. M. Trepp. Se dictan normas sobre produccio´n de energı´a ele´ctrica por instalaciones abastecidas por recursos o fuentes de energı´a renovables.0. Colonna.D. Ch. 4. Potential energy benefits of integrated refrigeration system with microturbine and absorption chiller. Equation of state of ammonia–water mixtures. . [6] M. Refrigeration systems and applications. in: Proceedings of the 21st IIR International Congress of Refrigeration. The optimal intermediate temperatures from the viewpoint of the maximum global PER considering CO2 and NH3 as refrigerants in the compression system as a function of the evaporation temperature are shown in Fig. Physical and Chemical Properties Division National Institute of Standards and Technology. 2003. La Habana. 4). References 5. Applied Thermal Engineering 21 (2001) 343–347. Koppenol. residuos y cogeneracio´n. if the cogeneration system is used only to power the cascade refrigeration system. [11] J. [5] L.M. Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers. General Foundation of the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Applied Thermal Engineering 23 (2003) 381–396. [7] Real Decreto 2818 de 23/12/1998. the increase of the optimal intermediate temperature is higher with NH3 than with CO2 as shown in Fig. Hwang. Cuba. Therefore. Lobreget. [9] B. [8] E. Lemmon. the results from the simulation model can be an outstanding tool at the system design stage. Industrial trigeneration using ammonia– water absorption refrigeration systems (AAR).512 J. The primary energy per unit time required by the cogeneration system in order to fulfil the heat demanded by the cascade refrigeration system is higher than the primary energy per unit time needed to generate the electricity required by the refrigeration system. 1989. Modelo de ca´lculo y simulacio´n de un sistema de refrigeracio´n con compresio´n y absorcio´n en cascada para bajas temperaturas. Experiences from CO2 cascade plants. Reference Fluid Thermodynamic and Transport Properties (REFPROP) version 7. it can be seen that the optimal intermediate temperature increases when the evaporation temperature increases with both refrigerants. A. The intermediate temperature that provides the maximum value for the global PER does not coincide with the intermediate temperature that provides the maximum COP of the cascade refrigeration system (see Fig. Publication Service of the Industrial Engineering School. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). S. in: Proceedings of the 21st IIR International Congress of Refrigeration. [4] S. Ferna´ndez-Seara et al. 2003. [2] Y. 2004. cascade refrigeration system by means of a cogeneration system in order to obtain a stand-alone unit should be discarded. Ferna´ndez-Seara. Therefore. M. 1990 ASHRAE Handbook. The intermediate temperature level is an important design parameter that causes an opposite effect on the COP of the compression and absorption systems. Study and control of the optimal generation temperature in NH3–H2O absorption refrigeration system. [3] ASHRAE. Va´zquez. F. 2003. 4. then there will be a surplus of electric power. The intermediate temperature that produces the maximum COP depends on the evaporation temperature of the compression system. CO2 systems are sweeping through the Netherlands. S.L. M. McLinden. The optimal intermediate temperature level should be determined in a previous design stage because of its influence on the cascade system. The very low values of the EEE and the PER obtained when the cogeneration system is used only to power the cascade refrigeration system show clearly that the energy requirements of the cascade system and the energy distribution provided by the cogeneration system are very different. International Journal of Refrigeration 7 (1984) 101–106. International Journal of Refrigeration 27 (2004) 816–829. the cascade system COP presents a maximum when the intermediate temperature is varied. Therefore. USA. Therefore. M. Va´zquez. Therefore. the idea of powering the [1] P. The effect of the evaporation temperature on the optimal intermediate temperature is more significant with NH3 than with CO2 as refrigerant in the compression system. Gabrielli. Atlanta. Ferna´ndez-Seara. American Society of Heating.