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CHAPTER 4

LIQUID OVERFEED SYSTEMS
Overfeed System Operation ....................................................... 4.1 Controls...................................................................................... 4.5
Refrigerant Distribution............................................................. 4.2 Evaporator Design ..................................................................... 4.6
Oil in System .............................................................................. 4.3 Refrigerant Charge..................................................................... 4.6
Circulating Rate......................................................................... 4.3 Start-Up and Operation ............................................................. 4.6
Pump Selection and Line Sizing.................................................................................. 4.7
Installation ............................................................................. 4.5 Low-Pressure Receiver Sizing.................................................... 4.7

O VERFEED systems force excess liquid, either mechanically or
by gas pressure, through organized-flow evaporators, separate
it from the vapor, and return it to the evaporators.
• Refrigerant level controls, level indicators, refrigerant pumps, and
oil drains are generally located in equipment rooms, which are
under operator surveillance or computer monitoring.
• Because of ideal entering suction gas conditions, compressors last
Terminology longer. There is less maintenance and fewer breakdowns. The oil
Low-pressure receiver. Sometimes referred to as an accumula- circulation rate to the evaporators is reduced because of the
tor, this vessel acts as the separator for the mixture of vapor and liq- low compressor discharge superheat and separation at the low-
uid returning from the evaporators. A constant refrigerant level is pressure receiver (Scotland 1963).
Licensed for single user. © 2010 ASHRAE, Inc.

usually maintained by conventional control devices. • Automatic operation is convenient.
Pumping unit. One or more mechanical pumps or gas-operated The following are possible disadvantages:
liquid circulators are arranged to pump overfeed liquid to the evap-
orators. The pumping unit is located below the low-pressure re- • In some cases, refrigerant charges are greater than those used in
ceiver. other systems.
Wet returns. These are connections between the evaporator out- • Higher refrigerant flow rates to and from evaporators cause liquid
lets and low-pressure receiver through which the mixture of vapor feed and wet return lines to be larger in diameter than high-
and overfeed liquid is drawn. pressure liquid and suction lines for other systems.
Liquid feeds. These are connections between the pumping unit • Piping insulation, which is costly, is generally required on all feed
outlet and evaporator inlets. and return lines to prevent condensation, frosting, or heat gain.
Flow control regulators. These devices regulate overfeed flow • Installed cost may be greater, particularly for small systems or
into the evaporators. They may be needle valves, fixed orifices, cal- those with fewer than three evaporators.
ibrated manual regulating valves, or automatic valves designed to • Operation of the pumping unit requires added expenses that are
provide a fixed liquid rate. offset by the increased efficiency of the overall system.
• Pumping units may require maintenance.
Advantages and Disadvantages • Pumps sometimes have cavitation problems caused by low avail-
The main advantages of liquid overfeed systems are high system able net positive suction pressure.
efficiency and reduced operating expenses. These systems have Generally, the more evaporators used, the more favorable the ini-
lower energy cost and fewer operating hours because tial costs for liquid overfeed compared to a gravity recirculated or
• The evaporator surface is used efficiently through good refriger- flooded system (Scotland 1970). Liquid overfeed systems compare
ant distribution and completely wetted internal tube surfaces. favorably with thermostatic valve feed systems for the same reason.
• The compressors are protected. Liquid slugs resulting from fluc- For small systems, the initial cost for liquid overfeed may be higher
tuating loads or malfunctioning controls are separated from suc- than for direct expansion.
tion gas in the low-pressure receiver. Ammonia Systems. Easy operation and lower maintenance are at-
• Low-suction superheats are achieved where suction lines between tractive features for even small ammonia systems. However, for am-
the low-pressure receiver and the compressors are short. This monia systems operating below 18°C evaporating temperature,
minimizes discharge temperature, preventing lubrication break- some manufacturers do not supply direct-expansion evaporators be-
down and minimizing condenser fouling. cause of unsatisfactory refrigerant distribution and control problems.
• With simple controls, evaporators can be hot-gas defrosted with
little disturbance to the system. OVERFEED SYSTEM OPERATION
• Refrigerant feed to evaporators is unaffected by fluctuating ambi- Mechanical Pump
ent and condensing conditions. Flow control regulators do not
Figure 1 shows a simplified pumped overfeed system in which a
need to be adjusted after initial setting because overfeed rates are
constant liquid level is maintained in a low-pressure receiver. A
not generally critical.
mechanical pump circulates liquid through the evaporator(s). The
• Flash gas resulting from refrigerant throttling losses is removed at
two-phase return mixture is separated in the low-pressure receiver.
the low-pressure receiver before entering the evaporators. This
Vapor is directed to the compressor(s). Makeup refrigerant enters
gas is drawn directly to the compressors and eliminated as a factor
the low-pressure receiver by means of a refrigerant metering device.
in system low-side design. It does not contribute to increased
Figure 2 shows a horizontal low-pressure receiver with a mini-
pressure drops in the evaporators or overfeed lines.
mum pump pressure, two service valves in place, and a strainer on
the suction side of the pump. Valves from the low-pressure receiver
The preparation of this chapter is assigned to TC 10.1, Custom Engineered to the pump should be selected for minimal pressure drop. The
Refrigeration Systems. strainer protects hermetic pumps when oil is miscible with the

4.1
Copyright © 2010, ASHRAE

Pumper drum B drains when hot REFRIGERANT DISTRIBUTION gas enters the drum through valve B. With ammonia. Cen- trifugal pumps have a flat curve and have difficulty with systems in which discharge pressure fluctuates. The pump should be evaluated over the full range of operation at low and high flow. There are two pumper drums. 2 Pump Circulation. a level control maintains the liquid level in the low-pressure dump cycle. To function properly. Net positive suction pressure and flow requirements vary with pump type and design. 3 Double-Pumper-Drum System Fig. Excess liquid drains into a liquid dump trap from cess in many installations before more sophisticated controls were . 3 Double Pumper Drum System Fig. If no strainer is used. and/or evaporator circuit. tistage systems. con- sider using a suction strainer. License Date: 6/1/2010 4. resulting in continuous liquid feed at constant pressure. 4 Constant-Pressure Liquid Overfeed System Licensed for single user. 2 Pump Circulation. the To prevent underfeeding and excessive overfeeding of refriger- pumper drums must be correctly vented so they can fill during the ants. they have been used with some suc- sure regulator. 1 Liquid Overfeed with Mechanical Pump Fig. An automatic regulating device continu- Another common arrangement is shown in Figure 4.9 m/s. consult the pump manufacturer for specific requirements. Other common system. ideal flow conditions. Liquid velocity to the pump should not exceed 0. with the low-pressure receiver. Open-drive pumps do not require strainers. Fig. Duplication and distribution to others prohibited. Check valves and a three-way equalizing pumping power supplied by gas at condenser pressure. sure receiver. Generally. inlets. Fig. minimum pump pressure should be at least double the net positive suction pressure to avoid cavitation. In this ously controls refrigerant feed to the design value.2 2010 ASHRAE Handbook—Refrigeration (SI) Fig. This file is licensed to you for use at your computer. It should have a free area twice the transverse cross- sectional area of the line in which it is installed. and the other is drained as hot gas pushes liquid from the pumper drum to the evaporator. metering devices regulate the liquid feed to each evaporator fill cycle. In this sys. and distributors. However. Horizontal Separator Fig. one is filled by the low-pres. a dirt leg should be used to reduce the risk of solids getting into the pump. calibrated regulating valves. © 2010 ASHRAE. valve transfer liquid into the controlled-pressure receiver during the tem. high-pressure liquid is flashed into a controlled-pressure devices are hand expansion valves. Refined versions of this arrangement are used for mul- receiver. ori- receiver that maintains constant liquid pressure at the evaporator fices. Flash It is time-consuming to adjust hand expansion valves to achieve gas is drawn into the low-pressure receiver through a receiver pres. 4 Constant-Pressure Liquid Overfeed System Gas Pump Figure 3 shows a basic gas-pumped liquid overfeed system. Inc. 1 Liquid Overfeed with Mechanical Pump Fig. Horizontal Separator refrigerant.

halocarbons are miscible with oil. With ammonia. gravity-flooded evaporators pressure receiver.  --p- (1) erant at the evaporator temperature. the lines should not contain flash clogging. The cir- culation per circuit is 33. manually operated regulating valves reduce some of d =  ----------  ----------------------- - = 2. and the refrigerant and feed and return lines larger than minimum may be needed. may be installed downstream of a distributor with oversized orifices Except at low temperatures. bility in liquid ammonia. They are generally used only for oil finds its way into the system low-pressure sides.5 mm is recommended. stalled. oil should be removed from the system by been used successfully in liquid overfeed systems. mm pressure differences between condensing and evaporating pressure. orifices.25 Q   amount of liquid vaporized is based on the latent heat for the refrig- d = -----. Because refrigerant flow rate is high. Pumps 6). to achieve the required pressure reduction and efficient distribution. To the type usually paired with thermostatic expansion valves have maintain high efficiency. 5 Liquid Overfeed System Connected on Common Sys- tem with Gravity-Flooded Evaporators Fig. Existing gravity-flooded evaporators with accumulators can be There are many methods. high-pressure vapor must does not apply to halocarbons because of the greater liquid volume be piped into the oil pot to force oil out. Foreign matter overfeed systems. skimmers must be used because oil migrates to the top of the low- ment is shown in Figure 5. An acceptable arrange. positive oil return to the compressor must be ensured. most of this oil can be drained from low-pressure and congealed oil globules can restrict flow. so valves with p= pressure drop through orifice. with suction lines from the accumu. With a Fig. liquid flashing can occur if excessive heat gains by the refrigerant and/or high pressure drops build up in feed lines. circulated as a result of fluid characteristics. have different circuiting arrangements from overfeed evaporators. Find the orifice diameter of an ammonia overfeed system with surface heat exchangers. ice cream freezers. the circulating number or rate is the mass ratio of liquid pumped to amount of vaporized liquid. a separate valved and pressure-protected. Evaporating temperature is –35°C.5 mm diameter orifice to avoid lines is above saturation pressure. they cannot be adjusted. use a 2. such as flake ice makers. thick oil globules circulate with the liquid Conventional multiple-outlet distributors with capillary tubes of and can restrict flow through strainers. the circulating rate is 1 and the overfeed rate is 0.and horizontal-feed multicircuit evaporators. Changes may be needed only and heat exchange from high-pressure liquid or vapor. Some for the feed to the accumulator. Inc. At low temperatures. noninsulated oil have to be increased beyond that needed for the minimum orifice drain pot can be placed in a warm space at the accumulator (Figure size because of the small liquid volume normally circulated.7  Calibrated. One factor to consider is that standard hand expansion where valves are designed to regulate flows caused by the relatively high d= orifice diameter. To be effective. oil lator connected to the system wet return lines. OIL IN SYSTEM Orifices should be carefully designed and selected. 6 Oil Drain Pot Connected to Low-Pressure Receiver .47 kW and a circulating rate of 7. In ammonia top. Capillary tubes regular draining. the circulation rate may systems. When vapor leaves an evaporator at saturated vapor conditions with no excess liquid. gas.61  55  1000 valves. a refrigeration load per circuit of 4. mL/s In overfeed systems.7 kg/m3 increased refrigerant quantity and relatively small pressure differ. 5 Liquid Overfeed System Connected on Common System with Gravity-Flooded Evaporators Fig. This is particularly critical in are greater than those used in conventional overfeed systems. However. 6 Oil Drain Pot Connected to Low-Pressure Receiver Fig. Duplication and distribution to others prohibited. excessive oil can accumulate and rapidly reduce efficiency. pressure drop across the orifice is 55 kPa.47 mm the uncertainties involved in using conventional hand expansion  0. Because of oil’s low solu- Licensed for single user. and regulators. large differences do not exist. Q= discharge through orifice. including oil stills using both electric heat connected to liquid overfeed systems. This file is licensed to you for use at your computer. License Date: 6/1/2010 Liquid Overfeed Systems 4. Caution is necessary when using larger orifices because con- trollability decreases as orifice size increases. and scraped- Example 1. This evaporates.3 available. the circulating rates developed by thermosiphon action because it rapidly decreases efficiency. In low-temperature 2.25  33. At subatmospheric pressures. CIRCULATING RATE Solution: Orifice diameter may be calculated as follows: In a liquid overfeed system. The  0.5 0. Therefore.3  683. and the coefficient of discharge for the orifice is 0. Cd = coefficient of discharge for orifice ences. © 2010 ASHRAE. In Build-up of excessive oil in evaporators must not be allowed many cases.3 mL/s. evaporators with high heat transfer rates associated with low vol- umes.5 0. Because refrigerant in the liquid feed Note: As noted in the text. Despite reasonably efficient compressor discharge oil separators. Pa larger orifices may be needed to cope with the combination of = density of fluid at 35°C = 683. The oil/ammonia mixture flows into the pot. a minimum orifice of receivers with suitable oil drainage facilities. the valves should be adjusted to the manu- facturer’s recommendations. Generally. The overfeed rate is the ratio of C d    liquid to vapor returning to the low-pressure receiver. once in. arrangements are discussed in Chapter 1. 0.61.

the overfeed rate at full load is 3.3 times more energy for pumping to the same height than the less-dense ammonia. ally lower than those for ammonia. Rates in Table 1 Figure 7 provides a method for determining the liquid refrigerant agree with these recommendations. The optimum rate can vary with because of the solubility of the oil in these refrigerants. Although halocarbons circulate at lower rates than ammonia. If halocar- R-134a 2 bons R-22. some additional wetting is also experienced of the rates to suit fluctuating loads. circuit length. Manual or automatic regulating valves can Upfeed (small-diameter tubes) 2 to 4 control flow for the optimum or design value. Many evaporator manufacturers specify rec. flow (Niederer 1964). © 2010 ASHRAE. Fig. ammonia mass must be circulated compared to halocarbons. at –40°C evaporating loading condition that gives the minimum temperature difference temperature. High circulating rates can rate per circuit is not necessary because orifices or other distribution cause excessively high pressure drops through evaporators and wet devices are not required. Lorentzen and tions. upfeed 3 Halocarbon densities are about twice that of ammonia.5 for R-22. 7 Charts for Determining Rate of Refrigerant Feed (No Flash Gas) Table 1 Recommended Minimum Circulating Rate Because of distribution considerations. ammonia. Inc. causing fluctuating temperatures latent heat of vaporization. refrigerant distribution must be adjusted to provide the best possible Ammonia (R-717) results. there is an ideal circulating rate for every uid and vapor volume ratios. and number of parallel cir. it is impossible to predict culating rate of 4 for ammonia and 2. siderably. a minimum feed cuits to achieve the best performance. heat load. With few exceptions. pipe diameter.4 2010 ASHRAE Handbook—Refrigeration (SI) Fig. License Date: 6/1/2010 4. ideal circulating rates or to design a plant for automatic adjustment With halocarbons. Evaporator capacities vary con. This file is licensed to you for use at your computer. it must be added to the system load. For example. The circulating rate for top-feed and return lines. load conditions may vary. with constant flow conditions in the wet return connec- and best evaporator efficiency (Lorentzen 1968. they require 6 to 8. Ammonia has a relatively high tions. R-22. In multicircuit systems. R-502. and R-502 are circulated at the same rate as *Circulating rate of 1 equals evaporating rate. When bottom feed is used for multicircuit coils. ommended circulating rates for their equipment. so for equal heat removal. With few excep. much less outside and within the evaporator. Return line sizing (see the section on Line Sizing) can horizontal-feed coils may be determined by the minimum rates from affect the ideal rates. Because pumping energy circulating rate of 4. similar ratios of liquid and vapor are experienced with a cir- Gronnerud 1967). R-134a. and R-134a. at no load. Most systems are designed for steady flow. The charts indicate the amount of refrigerant . halocarbon circulating rates are usu- is 4. with constant refrigerant flow to the evaporator. wetting process in the evaporators is still efficient because of the liq- For each evaporator. the orifices or other distributors in use. the feed rate fluctuates. the over. higher circulating rates Refrigerant Circulating Rate* are common with top-feed evaporators. Incorrect distribution can cause excessive overfeed or star- Downfeed (large-diameter tubes) 6 to 7 vation in some circuits. Duplication and distribution to others prohibited. 7 Charts for Determining Rate of Refrigerant Feed (No Flash Gas) Licensed for single user.

capacity tables. Suction connections should from the solenoid valve. Relief valves ation to determine total flow. heat leakage. Liquid and suction solenoid valves must be selected for refriger- uid. combina- and/or within the pump itself. Using valves with trapped liquid as it is heated. valves.9 m/s. monly used. Pressure loss could be low-pressure receivers) should be made above the bottom of the legs 35 kPa in a typical system. cycling of automatic evaporator liquid available. and vertical lift involved. An alternative device. these valves Considerations include ambient temperatures. or other proven semihermetic pumps are best suited for halocarbons at or below automatic devices. This prevents exces- For continuous duty. automatic flow-regulating valve specifically for overfeed systems is tion. Regenerative turbines are compressors and/or operating alarms. When using recommended liquid feed to allow collection space for solids and sludge. Strainers. Cav- seals. without restrictions. whereas mostatic level controls. Whatever type The liquid level in the low-pressure receiver can be controlled by of pump is used. Occasionally. Solenoid valves should be installed on liquid lines (minimum sure. although a poor substitute for a clean regulators must be higher than the vapor pressure at the low. low-level float recommendations of an experienced pump supplier are the best switches can be fitted on liquid legs. Motors should have a service factor that compensates for drag fice should be sized for operation between system high and low on the pump if the oil is cold or stiff. should be used. Consider using vor- sizing practices. areas. gas pressure pumping systems. When hand expansion used with low-temperature systems to ensure that the oil remains valves are used to control the circulation rate to evaporators. Because of the sensitive suction conditions of mechanical pumps When a check valve and a solenoid valve are paired on an over- on overfeed systems. and turbine vane. Inc. and lubricate the seals is com. a differ- guide for selecting the packing or seal. quantity and types of fittings. Strain- Pressure drop through flow control regulators is usually 10 to ers are not usually installed in ammonia pump suction lines because 50% of the available feed pressure. any evaporator Pump suction connections to liquid legs (vertical drop legs from pressure regulator. and injector operation below –18°C. ther- Centrifugal pumps are typically used for larger volumes. A small immersion electric heater in the oil reservoir can be itation can also cause this control to operate. the check valve should be downstream specifications must be followed closely. Oil heaters Types of Pumps for the seal lubrication system keep the oil fluid. internal available to meter the flow according to the design conditions. the two-phase mixture through the evaporator. In such cases. cause carryover at start-up. sive refrigerant from collecting in low-pressure receivers. wash. License Date: 6/1/2010 Liquid Overfeed Systems 4. Over- sized lines also increase heat gain from ambient spaces. This file is licensed to you for use at your computer. dan- be as short as possible. which can uid refrigerant supply to cool. because slight modifications may be required. espe- Installing and Connecting Mechanical Pumps cially if the loads are minor. not by refrigeration ratings from sider is the time lag caused by the heat capacity of pump suction. particularly when submersion of the suction inlet is pressure drop from pump discharge to evaporators is about 70 kPa. lines. particularly during Mechanical pumps. protect halocarbon pumps from damage by dirt or pipe pressure receiver by an amount equal to the total pressure drop of scale. Pressure at the outlet of the flow they plug with oil. the manufacturer’s application and installation feed system liquid line. An bypass of liquid to pump suction. insufficient to prevent the intake of gas bubbles. can starve the circuit. the ori- fluid. pressures. effect. manually adjusted regulators are fluctuating system pressures from compressor cycling. they are mandatory in some used with relatively high pressure and large swings in discharge pres. may be multiplied by the desired circulating rate and total refriger. ing methods should be investigated. gerous hydraulic pressure can build up from expansion of the Angle or full-flow ball valves should be used. friction heat. dynamic conditions. oversized lines can cause bubble formation during evaporator temperature PUMP SELECTION AND INSTALLATION decrease because of the heat capacity of the liquid and piping. case. Lorentzen (1963. ant flow rates by mass or volume. When refrigerant by a thin nonmagnetic membrane. pumps. the frictional tex eliminators. assuming a single-story building. It is good practice to achieved by sensible. and hermetic. Duplication and distribution to others prohibited. automatically achieved with system shutdown. Positive rotary and gear pumps are generally operated at slow speeds up to 900 rpm. Types of mechanical pump drives include open. © 2010 ASHRAE. depending on the lengths and sizes of feed lines. The possibility of connecting the units directly to high-pressure liquid should be considered. magnetic clutch. High-level float switches are useful in stopping atmospheric refrigerant saturated pressure. Evaporator pressure regulators should be sized cavitation. and receivers increases efficiency. Experience with the particular application or the To prevent pumps from operating without liquid. refrigerant heat gain may be refrigerant bypassed from the pump discharge. action of regulators. stops the pump without interrupting liquid flow. and suction stop valves. Gas binding is flash gas in the liquid feed line. particularly for positive-displacement pumps. 1963). The general velocity should be about 0. the motors are cooled and the bearings lubricated by liquid with very-low-temperature liquid). Another factor to con. Calibrated. The value obtained from the chart more likely with high evaporating pressures. Small lines cause restrictions. one operating and one standby. and wet return lines. electronic level sensors. The motor and pump can be ential pressure switch connected across pump discharge and suction magnetically coupled instead of shaft coupled to eliminate shaft connections. Notify the manufacturer that valves being ordered are for overfeed The motor and stator of hermetic pumps are separated from the application. sized) feeding low-pressure receivers so that positive shutoff is Open pumps are fitted with a wide variety of packing or seals. a mechanical seal with an oil reservoir or a liq. CONTROLS rotary. semihermetic. Therefore. installation. other defrost- use two pumps. and loss of subcooling by pressure drop. When the solenoid valve is closed. Installing discharge check valves prevents backflow. controlling air defrosting of cooling units (particularly when fed mally. or elbows. Rotor arrangements include positive Licensed for single user. When evaporator pressure regulators . Sizing the pump suction line is important. take care to prevent flashing at the pump suction conventional devices such as low-pressure float valves. and net positive suction pressure factors (Lorentzen according to the manufacturer’s ratings for overfeed systems. tions of float switch and solenoid valve with manual regulator. centrifugal. Thermally insulating all cold surfaces of systems are available for liquid overfeed systems. The metal membrane evaporator pressure regulators are used on overfeed systems for should be strong enough to withstand system design pressures. Nor. not latent. with reduced inlet pressure.5 vaporized in a 1 kW system with circulated operation having no horizontal valve spindles eliminates possible traps. motor heat conduc. a pump for 140 to 170 kPa should be satisfactory in this 1965) gives more complete information. gas entrance with liq.

receiver. License Date: 6/1/2010 4. Their recommendations should be fol. REFRIGERANT CHARGE orating temperatures from pressurizing evaporators and reducing capacities of operating units. This applies in particular to air. such as flake ice mak- less critical than in top or horizontal feed because each circuit fills ers and scraped-surface heat exchangers. Liquid • Possibly smaller low-pressure receiver height is established by liquid level indicators in the low-pressure • Possible absence of static pressure penalty receivers. When top feed is used to ensure volume from full load to no load must be considered in sizing the good distribution. the system until an operating balance is achieved (Soling 1971. especially in horizontal vessels. liquid solenoid control valves can be used during the back pressure on the valve from the low-pressure receiver. An evaporator designed for gravity. low-pressure receiver (Miller 1971. Bottom feed is advantageous in that When balancing is necessary. mechanical pumps are used. have small charges with liquid to equal the pressure loss in other parallel circuits. simpler defrost arrangements design conditions and adjusted for better performance when neces- For halocarbon systems with greater fluid densities. or electric example. because of small evaporator volumes. with fluctuating loads for correct vessel design. Top-feed arrangements have smaller charges than bottom- installed to prevent damage from excessive hydraulic pressure. tor volume. particularly for a lowed when designing systems. circulating rate. a minimum quantity per circuit must be circulated. Inc. The refrigerant charge for the There is an ideal refrigerant feed and flow system for each evap. The most efficient circuiting is for vapor flow in horizontal vessels is reduced with increasing liquid determined in most cases through laboratory tests conducted by the level. no arrangement is best All control devices should be checked before start-up. neither can systems always be designed occupy 100% of the evaporator volume. Regular oil draining penalties. When hand expansion valves are used. Dur- drop penalties. In bottom-feed evaporators. the system should be ant charge. and increased line pressure should be adjusted and checked to ensure that it is functioning. pared. ties of oil added to and drained from each system should be com- 1979). This file is licensed to you for use at your computer. • Better oil return Calibrated. oil return. and static pressure are very important. the regulators should be cut back on circuits not starved of liquid. to force the liquid through underfed • Distribution considerations are less critical circuits. In this case. Where low-temperature liquid feeds Overfeed systems need more refrigerant than dry expansion sys- can be isolated manually or automatically. although both feed types can be installed in a sin- gle system. For defrost cycle. defrost units. overfeed rate. 1974). Any liquid remaining in the coils rapidly evaporates or imum discharge pressure from the pump is 900 kPa. Because of oil’s miscibility with feed. The amount of refrigerant in Circuit length in evaporators is determined by allowable pressure the low side has a major effect on the size of the low-pressure drop. airflow unit cooler. and vice versa. . Exces- The top-feed system is limited by the relative location of compo. with corresponding variations in the wet returns. distribution is Evaporators with high heat transfer rates. entering liquid pressure should be high enough to cause circuits than for upper circuits can compensate for pressure differ- flow into the evaporator. allowing for pressure drops. Because this system sometimes requires more refrigerant cir. ences. Each feed type has advantages. Multicircuit systems must have a bypass relief valve in the pump When the top-feed free-draining arrangement is used for air- discharge. The amount of charge depends on evaporator volume. if the low-pressure receiver is set at 300 kPa and the max. excess liq. Starved circuits are indicated by • System design and layout are simpler temperatures higher than those for adequately fed circuits. the relief valve drains to the low-pressure receiver. started by opening the valves about one-quarter to one-half turn. sizes of flow and return lines. the pump manufacturer’s recommendations for lubri- individual inlets and outlets can be installed to reduce static pressure cation and maintenance should be followed. The relief valve’s pressure should be set considering the cooling units. sary. If for all systems. the refriger. water. load per circuit. manually operated regulators should be set for the • Quicker. procedures should be established for ammonia systems. excessive pressure drop. the quanti- dual suction risers eliminate static pressure penalties (Miller 1974. uid is bypassed into the low-pressure receiver rather than forced through the evaporators still in operation. multiple headers with ing operation. for equal circuit loadings in a horizontal. to determine whether oil is accumulating. sive feed to a circuit increases evaporator temperature because of nents. feed systems. tubing diameter. Oil should not be Distribution must be considered when using a vertical refrigerant drained in halocarbon systems. Licensed for single user. Generally. relief valves can be tems. and heat transfer coefficients. the direction of operation must be cor- Advantages of top feed include rect. System evacuation and charging procedures are similar to those for other systems. top-feed evaporators operate with the refrigerant charge occupying about 25 Considerations to 40% of the evaporator volume. using gradually smaller orifices for bottom-feed Stoecker 1960). Under flooded operation cannot always be converted to an overfeed some no-load conditions in up-feed evaporators. the charge may arrangement. The relief bypass from the liquid line to the low-pressure receiver possibly larger feed and return lines. The system must be operating under normal • Smaller refrigerant charge conditions to determine the total required refrigerant charge. For example. low-pressure receiver that does not have a constant level control but is fed through a high-pressure control. it has greater pumping load. Duplication and distribution to others prohibited. culation than bottom-feed systems. generally about 30 mL/s. The cross-sectional area erant. © 2010 ASHRAE. Defrost is faster than in bottom- should be set at 600 kPa. It is important to ascertain the evaporator refrigerant charge evaporator manufacturers. Top Feed Versus Bottom Feed System design must determine whether evaporators are to be top START-UP AND OPERATION fed or bottom fed. and heat transfer coefficients. because of static pressure variations in the feed and return header halocarbons at high temperatures. feed evaporators. The outlet temperature of the return line from each evapo- • Relative locations of evaporators and low-pressure receivers are rator should be the same as the main return line’s saturation temper- less important ature.6 2010 ASHRAE Handbook—Refrigeration (SI) are used. type of refrig. operating tempera- EVAPORATOR DESIGN ture differences. This prevents higher evap. the liquid surge to circulate the optimum flow rate. bottom-feed arrangement occupies about 60 to 75% of the evapora- orator design and arrangement. For high lift of return overfeed lines from the evaporators. When some circuits are closed. it may be necessary to add oil to circuits. In bottom-feed evaporators.

developed. Inc. maintain the condensing pressure with level variations. or low-side pressure vessels. require In selecting a gas-and-liquid separator. determines the maximum oper- If condensing pressure is reduced as much as 70 kPa. (1972). R-22. slop tanks. The end pressure drop allowance to compensate for liquid holdup in of the inlet pipe C1 is capped so that flow dispersion is directed ammonia systems that have unavoidable vertical risers. provide traps and a means of pumping liquids. reduced to a value achieved by a suitable multiplier such as 0. This holdup ally have L/D ratios between 3/1 and 5/1. because of various inefficiencies also handle swelling and foaming of the liquid charge in the that exist from system to system and from plant to plant). ating liquid level. Gas. a mechanical pump can Vertical separators maintain the same separating area with level be used to pump gas with no effect on evaporator performance. It must other systems (though not always. with a separation height above report includes tables of flow capacities at 0. Where important parameters of vertical and horizontal gravity separators. accumulators. a liquid seal must be main- hours. from which no useful refrigeration liquid supply and a vapor space above the minimum liquid height is obtained. Efficiency of tained on the supply line for continuous-circulation devices. A sep- early gas pump systems has been improved by using high-side pres. For example. outdoor dry.75. flash coolers. whereas separating areas in horizontal separators change operated systems must. • Use a velocity selected for dry expansion reduced by the factor The gas-and-liquid separator may be designed with baffles or 1/Circulating Rate. Horizontal separators should have inlets and within a much smaller range to pump the liquid and maintain the outlets separated horizontally by at least the vertical separating dis- required overfeed rate. and maintenance costs are reduced. power. the amount of liquid entrainment from gravity evaporator with a circulating rate of 4 that forms vapor at a rate of separators increases. • As alternatives in severe cases. Low-pressure receiver sizing is determined by the required liquid holdup volume and allowable gas velocity. Table 2 shows the gravity separation veloci- 50 g/s needs a feed line sized for 4  50 = 200 g/s. As the separating Table 1 is multiplied by the evaporating rate. Scheiman 1963. The volume must Fig. Duplication and distribution to others prohibited. an distance reduces. in turn. For exist. Such a • Use the design method described by Chaddock et al. R-12. gas and liquid coolers. ties. arating space must be provided for gas velocity low enough to cause sure to circulate overfeed liquid. Hori- because of gravity and two-phase pressure drop. or half that of the the top of the shell to the compressor. knockout drums. • Install low-pressure drop valves so the stems are horizontal or Fig. should be taken: Although separators are made with length-to-diameter (L/D) • Carefully size overfeed return lines with vertical risers because ratios of 1/1 increasing to 10/1. Sonders and Brown 1934. The proce- loads and to reduce liquid static pressure loss (Miller 1979). variations. 1964. Fig. The liquid feed line to the evaporator and wet return line to the In horizontal separators. This method suggests that the wet-return eliminators to separate liquid from the suction gas returning from velocity for a circulating rate of 4 is 1/4 = 0. suction gas velocity low enough to allow liquid droplets to separate and not be entrained with the returning suction gas off the top of the When sizing refrigerant lines. to the evaporators or to the controlled-pressure receiver. More often. 8 Basic Horizontal Gas-and-Liquid Separator nearly so (Chisholm 1971). The circulating rate from allowed in vertical separators can be tolerated. however. Miller 1971. for liquid surge must be provided.7 Operating Costs and Efficiency accommodate fluctuations of liquid in the evaporators and overfeed Operating costs for overfeed systems are generally lower than for return lines as a result of load changes and defrost periods. which use refrigerant gas to pump liquid Younger 1955). the com. The design is usually of the vertical type. the following design precautions shell. of vapor passing through increases so that higher velocities than ure 7 can be used to size liquid feed lines. Gas-pumped systems. LOW-PRESSURE RECEIVER SIZING Low-pressure receivers are also called liquid separators. zontal separators may be preferable where vertical height is critical • Use double risers with halocarbons to maintain velocity at partial and/or where large volume space for liquid is required. adequate volume for the additional compressor volume. dures for designing vertical and horizontal separators are different. • Add the equivalent of a 100% liquid static height penalty to the A vertical gas-and-liquid separator is shown in Figure 9. At the same time. as the horizontal separating distance low-pressure receiver cannot be sized by the method described in increases beyond the vertical separating distance.036 K drop per metre the liquid level of 600 to 900 mm. Figures 8 and 9 identify these levels and the pressor power per unit of refrigeration drops by about 7%.and wet-bulb conditions allow. or use dual-pipe risers.5. LINE SIZING horizontal velocity without reducing the residence time of the gas flow within the shell (Miller 1971). Stoecker 1960. surge drums. License Date: 6/1/2010 Liquid Overfeed Systems 4. Vertical separators are increases with reduced vapor flow and increases pressure loss normally used for systems with reciprocating compressors. Niemeyer 1961. This requires analysis of operat- pressor power to maintain refrigerant flow. The shell diameter is sized to keep of horizontal lines for R-717 (ammonia). receiver. and R-502. These systems consume 4 to 10% or more of the com. the maximum steady-flow velocity should be • Use one pipe size larger than calculated for vapor flow alone. liquid/vapor separators. Refinements of Space limitations and design requirements result in a wide variety of the double-pumper-drum arrangement (see Figure 3) have also been configurations (Lorentzen 1966. the operating pressure reduction. For surging loads or pulsating flow associated with large step Alternative ways to design wet returns include the following: changes in capacity. tance. This type of system is indicated in a minimum entrainment of liquid drops into the suction outlet. This file is licensed to you for use at your computer. depending on their function and user preference. © 2010 ASHRAE. A useful arrangement in horizontal separators distributes the inlet flow into two or more connections to reduce turbulence and Licensed for single user. space is allowed above the liquid level for this purpose. the least expensive separators usu- more liquid is held in risers than in horizontal pipe. suction traps. 8 Basic Horizontal Gas-and-Liquid Separator . the controlled-pressure system shown in Figure 4. the residence time Chapter 22 of the 2009 ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals. ing load variations. This. which is caused by boiling during temperature increase or ing dry expansion plants converted to liquid overfeed. enough separation acceptable dry-vapor velocity.

5 0. with Steady Flow Conditions Vertical Maximum Steady Flow Velocity.84 57 250 0. Height H1 with a 120° dis. If Ht represents the maximum vertical distance from the liquid and placement of these devices. H2 is measured from the outlet to the inside top of the shell.43 0. the jet effect of entering fluid must be Ax = minimum transverse net cross-sectional area or gas space.36 1.17 1. mm imum distance of IDS/5 above the maximum liquid level in the Q = total quantity of gas leaving vessel.298 0.1 0. Regardless of the number of gas outlet connections for uniform distribution of gas flow.49 910 1.32 7 250 0.44 0.87 0. mm equals D + 0.06 610 0.52 0.71 0.71 910 2. Separation °C Distance. the cross-sectional area of the gas space is down toward the liquid level.88 1. Duplication and distribution to others prohibited. 9 Basic Vertical Gravity Gas and Liquid Separator droplets in the shell.07 0.492 0. level to the inside top of the shell. but in others.793 0.31 0. test correlations are necessary for a given configuration used. mm R-717 R-22 R-12 R-502 +10 250 0. mm Q = maximum flow for that portion of the shell. The suggested opening is four times the transverse internal area of the pipe.14 0.69 0.72 0.+ C 2 (2) V 1000QD RTL = --------------------.30 1.49 0. © 2010 ASHRAE.24 0.592 0.25 610 3.21 0. R-12. V = separation velocity for separation distance used.54 1.78 1. The maximum cross-flow velocity of gas establishes residence time for the gas and any entrained liquid Fig.4 0.11 610 1. Liquid Separator R-22.10 0.04 1. Ax = --------------------.17 610 1.64 0. D = average vertical separation distance.2 0. determine the minimum horizontal distance for gas flow from point of entry to point of exit as follows: IDS = 1270Q 2 ---------------. An alternative inlet pipe with a downturned elbow or mitered where bend can be used. The most effective removal of entrainment occurs when residence time is the maximum practical. flow so that the maximum vertical separation distance cannot be however.068 0.33 0.08 610 0.36 0. It L = inside length of shell.6 0.7 0.57 1.11 0.215 0. 9 Basic Vertical Gravity Gas and Table 2 Maximum Effective Separation Velocities for R-717. (4) The maximum liquid height in the separator is a function of the VA x type of system in which the separator is being used.0 0. The pipe outlet must be a min.99 0. Ht /IDS D/IDS Ht /IDS D/IDS 0.42 23 250 0.48 0. Licensed for single user.893 The suction connection(s) for refrigerant gas leaving the hori- zontal shell must be at or above the location established by the aver- age distance for separation.140 0. and R-502.3 0. 2000DQ persion of the flow reaches approximately 70% of the internal diam.392 1.8 0. (3) VL eter of the shell. L/s must be returned to the system by a suitable means at a rate compa- rable to its collection rate.21 0. Inc.81 0. the average separation distance as An alternative formula for determining separation velocities that a fraction of IDS is as follows: can be applied to separators is .99 0.01 0.5 times the depth of the curved portion of the head. is an average value.29 0. This file is licensed to you for use at your computer. m/s For the alternative location of C2. In some systems where this can be estimated.43 0.693 0.58 0.15 0.31 0.9 0.39 0. Accumulated liquid RTL = residence time length. License Date: 6/1/2010 4.08 0. However.54 1. All connections must be sized for the flow rates and pressure drops With a horizontal separator.. previous experience is the only guide for selecting the proper liquid height.35 910 0.16 0.80 0. L/s shell. The top part of the horizontal shell restricts gas Internal baffles or mist eliminators can reduce vessel diameter. m/s Temp.59 40 250 0.17 0.61 0.25 910 0. determine IDS from the fol- lowing equation: For nonuniform distribution of gas flow in the horizontal shell.08 910 3. mm2 considered to avoid undue splashing.8 2010 ASHRAE Handbook—Refrigeration (SI) Fig.25 Source: Adapted from Miller (1971). the vertical separation distance used permissible and must be positioned to minimize liquid splashing.37 0.

E. W. D. Conditions of cavitation in liquid pumps for refrigerant Licensed for single user. 1970.03. ditioning. J.B. J. Paris. D. Watkins. Lau. Miller. ASH. Proceedings of the Xth International Congress of Lorentzen. Papachristou. In knockout drums that separate light entrainment. Related Commercial Resources .. Chemical Engineering 9. m/s cessing and Petroleum Refiner (May). 1971. W.06. March 13. This file is licensed to you for use at your computer. 215. A. 1965. J. ASHRAE Transactions 82(2):134-150. International Institute of Refrigeration. en- bons. 0. ASHRAE Symposium Bulletin KC-70-3: Liquid overfeed systems. W. ASHRAE Symposium Bulletin PH-71-2: Effect of oil on the refrigeration system. use a k of trainment and capacity. March 27). Inc. Kulde 21(4):55. R.B. 1979. kg/m3 cylinder ammonia compressors. D. 1970. Chemical Engi- REFERENCES neering (May). Soling. H.B.O. and A. systems with circulation pumps. 1971. Recent methods for sizing liquid overfeed piping and Refrigeration (June):139.V. W. How to design and operate flooded evaporators for tical separation distance for R-717 and for halocarbons. Proceedings of the IIR Conference. Baglo. R. 1963. D. ASHRAE Symposium Bulletin KC-70-3: Liquid over- In gravity liquid/vapor separators that must separate heavy feed systems. Kältetechnik 18:89. On the dimensioning of liquid separators for refrigera. 1960. kg/m3 Scotland. principles. Advantages. 1976.B. M. How to design piping for liquid recirculation. where Scheiman.K. 1966. An investigation of a gas pump recir- of Refrigeration (November-December):160. 1963.W. D. disadvantages and economics of liquid distance and surface tension for gravity separators overfeed systems. March 20. Wash. Prediction of pressure drop at pipe fittings during two- systems—Design tables. Younger. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry (January). suction accumulator-receivers. Air Con- Lorentzen. Brown. 1956. Richards.9 l – v Niemeyer. Pumps and piping in liquid overfeed systems. 1964. R-717 and 350 to 400 mm vertical separation distance for halocar- Sonders. S. © 2010 ASHRAE. Piping & Air Conditioning (December). and E. 1961. 1955. Werner. Heating.H. and C.D. 1959. Lorentzen. Gronnerud. Niederer. Sizing dual suction risers in liquid overfeed refrigeration Thompson. Two-phase pressure drop in Lorentzen. This gives velocities equiv. Washington. 1967. 1969. Kältetechnik 4:111. Piping & Air Conditioning (June):139. Liquid ammonia recirculation systems. D. Size vapor-liquid separators quicker by nomograph. 1967. 6. v Scheiman. entrainment from vapors.K. 1963. Heating & Refrigeration News (January 30. Hydrocarbon Pro- v = velocity of vapor. March tion systems. A. License Date: 6/1/2010 Liquid Overfeed Systems 4. Heating. G.H. February 6. ASHRAE Transactions BIBLIOGRAPHY 78(2):114-123. 1964. This gives velocities equivalent to those used for 900 mm ver. Chaddock.R. Design of fractionating columns. Slipcevic. Duplication and distribution to others prohibited. B. G. and G. G. 1934. cooling air and liquids. E. culation system. Richards. D.G. Stoecker.C. (5) Hydrocarbon Processing and Petroleum Refiner (June). Proceedings of the IIR Conference. Horizontal vapor-liquid separators. Control of evaporators in liquid overfeed systems.D. Discharge temperature considerations with multi- v = density of vapor. Refrigeration problems of a VCM carrying tanker. Journal Lorentzen. l = density of liquid. v = k --------------- . Chaddock. G. Chaddock.B. 1968. A. Industrial Miller.P.. systems.C. 1976. 1974. Skuchas. Geltz. Modern Refrigeration (February). 1964.V. The calculation of the refrigerant charge in refrigerating RAE Journal 11. Oil recovery from low temperature pump recirculating alent to those used for 300 to 350 mm vertical separation distance for hydrocarbon systems. circulation. Check these points when designing knockout drums. refrigerant liquid overfeed systems—Experimental measurements. k = factor based on experience without regard to vertical separation Scotland. D. Progress Refrigeration Science Technology I:497. Pressure drop in the suction lines of refrigerant circulation systems. Pump overfeed evaporator refrigeration systems. 1972. The Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Business (December). Lorentzen. ASHRAE Transactions 82(2):107-133.K. G. ASHRAE Symposium Bulletin KC-70-3: Liquid overfeed systems. Hydrocarbon Processing and Petroleum Refiner (October).P. J. and R. Liquid recirculation systems—What rate of feed is rec. W. phase flow. G. Two-phase pressure drop in refrigerant liquid overfeed Chisholm.G. Evaporator design and liquid feed regulation. 1971. On the design of recirculation type Refrigeration.B. Miller. Improving refrigeration systems by applying established ommended. ington. Industrial Refrigeration (June). How to size future process vessels.F. use a k of 0. p. evaporators. 1970.