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Performance of a single-family heat pump at different working conditions using small quantity of propane as refrigerant
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9902-2087
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.
2007 (English)In: Experimental heat transfer, ISSN 0891-6152, E-ISSN 1521-0480, Vol. 20, no 1, 57-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The performance of a domestic heat pump that uses a low quantity of propane as refrigerant has been experimentally investigated. The heat pump consists of two minichannel aluminium heat exchangers, a scroll compressor, and an electronic expansion valve. It was charged with the minimum amount of refrigerant propane required for the stable operation of the heat pump without permitting refrigerant vapor into the expansion valve at incoming heat source fluid temperature to the evaporator of +10 degrees C The inlet temperature of the heat source fluid passing through the evaporator was varied from +10 degrees C to -10 degrees C while holding the condensing temperature constant at 35 degrees C, 40 degrees C, 50 degrees C, and 60 degrees C, respectively. The minimum refrigerant charges required at above-tested condensing temperatures were found to decrease when the condensing temperature increased and were recorded as 230 g, 224 g, 215 g, and 205 g, respectively. The results confirm that a heat pump with 5 kW capacity can be designed with less than 200 g charge of refrigerant propane in the system. Due to the high solubility of propane in compressor lubrication oil, the amount of refrigerant which may escape rapidly in case of accident or leakage is less than 150 g.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 20, no 1, 57-71 p.
Keyword [en]
heat pump; minichannel; multiport; ground source; minimum charge; low charge; propane; natural refrigerants; flammable refrigerants
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6768DOI: 10.1080/08916150600977481ISI: 000243500600004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33847145339OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-6768DiVA: diva2:11570
Note
QC 20100708. Uppdaterad från Accepted till Published 20100708.Available from: 2007-02-14 Created: 2007-02-14 Last updated: 2010-07-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Experimental Investigation of Refrigerant Charge Minimisation of a Small Capacity Heat Pump
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experimental Investigation of Refrigerant Charge Minimisation of a Small Capacity Heat Pump
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Enormous quantities of heat are available in air, soil, water, exhaust air from buildings, and in waste water of any kind. However these heat sources are use-less for heating purposes since their temperatures are lower than the tempera-ture required for heating. Heat pumps can be used to extract heat from these sources with a small expenditure of additional energy and up-grade and deliver the energy as useful heat for room heating.

The heat pump cycle employs the well-known vapour compression cycle. The amount of heat delivered by a heat pump is equal to the amount of energy extracted from the heat source plus the heat equivalent to the compression work of the heat pump. Heat pumps, of course, are being generally accepted as outstanding energy saving units due their coefficient of performance (COP). Heat pumps for house heating have been used extensively in many countries and are especially common in Sweden. The annual growth rate of heat pump usage in Sweden is the same as in rest of Europe. According to the Swedish heat pump association, between 1986 to August 2003, the number of installed heat pump units in Sweden was 332,309. The demand for heat pumps started to increase from the year 1995 and in the year 2002, approximately 40,000 heat pump units were installed. Among the many types available, single-family heat pumps providing heating capacity of about 5 kW are widely popular.

The main drawbacks of heat pumps are the complexity of the systems, high cost, need of technical knowledge, safety hazards and environmental effects of certain refrigerants, etc. An efficient heat pump with small refrigerant charge would have less of some of these drawbacks and could be a competitive alterna-tive to other heating processes.

In this study, methods of refrigerant charge minimisation without reducing the performance of a small capacity (5 kW) heat pump have been investigated. Work has been focused on finding refrigerant charge distribution in different components of the heat pump, on finding out the solubility of refrigerant (pro-pane) with different compressor lubrications oils, on testing different types of compact heat exchangers, on constructing new minichannel heat exchangers and on finding correlations for calculating the heat transfer of minichannel heat exchangers. The results included in this thesis have been presented in four con-ference papers and five journal papers of which two were published and three were submitted for publication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2007. xxii, 84 p.
Series
Trita-REFR, ISSN 1102-0245 ; 07/58
Keyword
heat pump, propane, low-charge, Wilson plot method, minichannels, aluminium heat exhangers, single.phase flow
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4273 (URN)978-91-7178-569-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-02-19, Salongen, KTHB, Osquars Backe 31, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100707Available from: 2007-02-14 Created: 2007-02-14 Last updated: 2010-07-08Bibliographically approved

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