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Proceedings of Symposium on Energy Engineering in the 21<sup>st</sup> Century (SEE2000) Volume I-IV

ISSN:
1-56700-132-7 (Print)

EVALUATING WET COMPRESSION IN REFRIGERATION CYCLES WORKING WITH PURE OR NON-AZEOTROPIC REFRIGERANT MIXTURES FOR AIR-CONDITIONERS

Wayne Swanepoel
Research Group for Cooling and Heating Technology, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Rand Afrikaans University

Josua Petrus Meyer
Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa

Abstract

Wet compression versus dry compression in refrigeration cycles working with pure refrigerants or non-azeotropic mixtures is investigated in this paper. In total 34 pure refrigerants as well as 31 non-azeotropic binary mixtures are considered. This resulted in approximately 300 different mixtures being analysed. The pure refrigerants and refrigerant mixtures were analysed for one cooling application, namely that of spatial air conditioning at an evaporating temperature of 7°C, and a condensing temperature of 50°C. The investigation was conducted with cycle analyses calculating performances at different wet and dry compressor inlet values. Use was made of thermodynamic refrigerant properties calculated from a computer database. It was concluded that for both pure and non-azeotropic refrigerants analysed, all those with re-entrant saturation vapour lines produce better cooling COP's when the refrigerant is superheated before entering the compressor. Only a few of the refrigerants with bell-shaped T-s curves consistently produce higher cooling COP's when wet compression is used. However, their cooling capacities decreased while the compressor displacement rates increased. It was concluded that in general dry compression is more favourable than wet compression. From the exceptions that do exist, some manage to produce relatively high COPc's while retaining competitive cooling capacities. A by-product of this study is that, from the vast amount of refrigerant mixtures analysed, valuable knowledge was gathered regarding refrigerants not commonly used in the applications considered.