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Intermittent Ammonia-Water Refrigeration System

Training in Alternative Technologies


4th Session

August 31 - December 10, 1981

by
Jacob Sandikie, Liberia
Malcolm Whitfield, Sierra Leone
Girish Kumnar Sharma, India
VirYilio Fernandez, Philippines

on
get hands
to project has been
actually objective of this group The ammonia operation of
the intermittent
on the construction and experience
the con the basic activities
in This report,
thus, gives
water system.
such a way
0 system, simplified
in operation of the
NH 3 /H2 struction and
laboratory working guidelines.
that it could be used as
and possible
the TAET are discussed on the existing unit
in Problems
are also suggested.
commercially viable modifications

Valve 2 Valve 1

Valve 3.P 2
7

T2
Valve

NH 3

'B-

* NH
2

4:
0

H 0

vNH 3

w V 2

Heat

Figure 1
The Intermittent Ammonia-Water Refrigeration Unit

Components
2 propane tanks (20 Ib)
(V & V )
1 2 Stainless steel piping
2 pressure gauges (P1
& P2 )
4 regular middle valves
2 type-k thermal couple probes

P2T

T1 Valve 1

PI

ValVe 2

Valve 3 1

P2 .
Valve4

VV

Figure 2

Operation
I Pressure Testing
a) b) Open valves 1, 2 and 3 and leave Valve 4 closed.
PUmD enough water into the system to completely fill the 2 tanks
and the piping arrangements.
c) The system is now kept under a pressure of approximately 125 to
150 pounds per square inch for several hours (24 hr).
d) All leaks discovered during this testing process are tightly
closed or sealed by either welding or tightening the screws.

39 psi

P2

39 psi

Vi

v 2

Figure 3

e) f)

Drain the system of all the water.


Pull a vacuum on
the system by hooking a regular vacuum pump at
Valve 1 and leaving all valves open except 4.
Run the vacuum pump
until a lowest possible pressure is obtained as indicated by the
pressure gauges, PI and P .
In ideal laboratory conditions
2 a
vacuum pressure of as
low as 30 psi
can be obtained. However in
this case a pressure of 39 psi
was reported.

g)

Before removing the


vacuum pump all valves are closed and then the
pump is removed.
The unit is
now ready for charging.

T
~V .Valve

Pi
..

Valve
-

Valve

P2

T 2

4:-..

Figure 4

2 Charging the System


a) A weighed quantity of distilled water is taken in a bucket and
connected to the system through opening opened.
b) Next ammonia is introduced in a similar manner as water in an
amount that will give 60% by weight of ammonia. With still some
q. Valves 1 and 2 are

vacuum left in Vl, after adding water the ammonia will


spontaneously flow into V1 . the hose is removed. Valves 1 and 2 are now closed and

At this stage the system is in a generating

mood, or ready for operation.

;eneration of the NHI

as Part of Operation of the System

Valve 2

ave 3

vT4

. :

- T"

*..

", --

---

;1100"1 ' er Bath)

Generator

denser

Figure 5

a)

To operate the system, heat is


added to V1
now referred to as
the generator.
In doing this, Valves 1, 3 and 4 are kept closed.

b)

This will permit initial pressure to build up in tile generator. Next, Valves 2 and
3 are allowed to open and NH3
to flow into
the condenser.
At this stage heat at
V1 is removed. During the

ammonia generation process V2


was
being cooled to increase the
condensation process of ammonia.
All valves are
now closed.

T Valve 1

Valve 2

Valve 3
_ __"_

P2
_

__

_Valve

T2
2__

~-

3'
3 2

Environmental

Generator/Absorber

Condenser/Evaporator

Figure 6

c)

At this stage, V2 is cool.

After an
approximate equilibrium is

achieved between ambient' temperature and TI,


V2 is placed into
a conformed area to be cooled and V 1 is further cooled to

increase ammonia absorption.


Here, V 1 is acting as an absorber
of ammonia and V2 is
the evaporator. As
the evaporation of

ammonia is an endothermic reaction, it absorbs heat from the


environment, resulting in the cooling of that environment.
In
this case, an insulated box is used as
the environment to be
cooled.

1T

p
1J

Valve 2

Valve 3

2T

'q

Figure 7

Results Generation time Temperature of NH3 /H2 0 mixture, T 1 Temperature T 2 during heating Temperature T 2 during the cooling mode Ambient air temperature Temperature of Box b Cooling time Quantity of water in the system Quantity of ammonia in the system 2 hours 160OF 850 F 360 F 77OF 590 F 1 hour 4 lb 8 lb

- , " '1-

,-

I-I:-r
I 'i i'
.-

1' . . -. 1*

...

- , i, I

_____

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I

- -_'~_I -i

-:

--

-"----Figu r-i-r- a.( )

. A_-.-

- /
- -- --

JI. I-!-I-1 I

1 I'-.t:
,1-77 Tv

I:-.

I- .. l ..

---
-

.
.

.....
i i ''
I.I.

..

_.1

.i

.
_ ! iI
.... I

_.___

_-J-l-i

_~

....

--

--

-i

,T.

l_.j

t _I

i.I!: i-'
.-

I;

'

I
.......

.. '- -'-N.... .-

K
-

'

-i/iili',_ [
I--

_ t -- i i lr
--j'..

-71
l..

1 -- I !

I'i VK'-J-,

--

-I FI

'
_ _ 1

.__i ,--l-r---

--''-i;--l7l .. ...

-, .__...i ...., AL '-r -


'--' -1 ... , . - ' -- ...
_ : -_I.

'-I ... -_

-,_-:-.- -i +l ,,-.---.- ---'


.!+.- ,-,---i
. -f-;.. . ,Ii A_'-t

tit

.ii-

'-

.....

..

-I...

1 4

iii.1 i
I

i14 f-i

Id It +

I~~

17~
__ __ __

'

Observations
1.
In order to accelerate the absorption process of ammonia in V I during
the cooling process, the propane tank V containing the NH3 /H2 0
1
mixture has
to be manually shaken. Agitation of the NH3 /H2 0

mixture accelerates the absorption of NH from V2 and hence, the


3
more shaking done, the more cooling achieved.
In effect:
shaking increases the surface area between N113
and
H2 0 for a more rapid absorption.
NH 3 + H 2 0 --, NH3 /H2 0
Ice
can be obtained if mixing is sufficiently rapid and efficient.
2. From theoretical results, it
is known that
for every pound of ammonia
absorbed, there are
500 lb Btu of cooling.
At this rating, this unit is
40,000 Btu unit
a at a 100% ammonia
generation and reabsorption, or it is
a 3 ton unit. performance was found to be far
less than this.
However, its

Disadvantages of the System


1. The system has to
be charged and shaken manually often requiring
extensive time and physical strength
for the mixing.
2.
The time frame between charging and the Lime when cooling of the box
begins is so large that it is difficult to maintain a continuously low

temperature of the box being cooled.

Advantages of the Systejm


1. The components of the system are
simple, and fairly simple techniques
are needed to understand, construct and operate it.
2. The temperatures needed
operate the unit
to are fairly low, so that
there are several alternatives for obtaining the necessary solar heated
water.

This suggested model (Figure 10)


consists of two generators/absorbers
(a) that permit the total system to work continuously. While the left

generator is being heated by the heat


source
the right generator is being
air cooled by a fan. source. This fan
can work on the
same energy from the heat
rotated

After ammonia is
discharged from the right the fan arm is now being ,heated while the right is

so that the left is

being cooled.

(b) serves as condenser of the NH generated and flowing through the


3 outer pipe. Cooling water can be run
from the regular pipeline if tile

system is
on a very large scale.
(c) serves as
the cooling chamber for condensing and collecting NH3 .
The box area, ammonia is which can be larger, is then cooled and the evaporated through the by-passing pipe that runs

returned to generator (a)

through the center of the larger outer pipe.

Suggested Modifications

Cooling H 0. 24

-.-..-..

f(b)

~P

'",
11
(a) [

Generator
BOX
Abore A~'Pvi.
.------

Il

'
" (a

(a)

~~~Generator!ArN/I0
3
/l

(a

FanGenerator/ Absorber

Ileat