Vapor compression refrigeration technology has seen great improvement over the last several decades in terms of cycle efficiency through a concerted effort of manufacturers, regulators, and research engineers. As the standard vapor compression systems approach practical limits, cycle modifications should be investigated to increase system efficiency and capacity. One possible means of increasing cycle efficiency is to flood the compressor with a large quantity of oil to achieve a quasi-isothermal compression process, in addition to using a regenerator to increase refrigerant subcooling.
In theory, compressor flooding and regeneration can provide a significant increase in system efficiency over the standard vapor compression system. The effectiveness of compressor flooding and regeneration increases as the temperature lift of the system increases. Therefore, this technology is particularly well suited towards lower evaporating temperatures and high ambient temperatures as seen in supermarket refrigeration applications. While predicted increases in cycle efficiency are over 40% for supermarket refrigeration applications, this technology is still very beneficial for typical air-conditioning applications, for which improvements in cycle efficiency greater than 5% are predicted. It has to be noted though that the beneficial effects of compressor flooding can only be realized if a regenerator is used to exchange heat between the refrigerant vapor exiting the evaporator and the liquid exiting the condenser.
air conditioning, refrigeration, regeneration, flooding, high efficiency, flooded compression
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