Generalized Performance Characteristics of Refrigeration and Heat Pump Systems

Huleihil, Mahmoud; Andresen, Bjarne
January 2010
Physics Research International;2010, p1
Academic Journal
A finite-time generic model to describe the behavior of real refrigeration systems is discussed. The model accounts for finite heat transfer rates, heat leaks, and friction as different sources of dissipation. The performance characteristics are cast in terms of cooling rate (r) versus coefficient of performance (w). For comparison purposes, various types of refrigeration/heat pump systems are considered: the thermoelectric refrigerator, the reverse Brayton cycle, and the reverse Rankine cycle. Although the dissipation mechanisms are different (e.g., heat leak and Joule heating in the thermoelectric refrigerator, isentropic losses in the reverse Brayton cycle, and limits arising from the equation of state in the reverse Rankine cycle), the r -w characteristic curves have a general loop shape. There are four limiting types of operation: open circuit in which both r and w vanish in the limit of slow operation; short circuit in which again r and w vanish but in the limit of fast operation; maximum r; maximum w. The behavior of the considered systems is explained by means of the proposed model. The derived formulae could be used for a quick estimation of w and the temperatures of the working fluid at the hot and cold sides.


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