Conference Year



Refrigeration, CO2 transcritical system, Turboexpander, Experimental test rig


As the potential Eco-friendly refrigerant, CO2 regains more and more attentions. It has various advantages over conventional refrigerants, such as non-flammability, non-toxicity, high volumetric refrigerant capacity and excellent heat transfer properties. Because the heat rejection temperature in a transcritical CO2 heat pump or a transcritical CO2 refrigeration system is higher than the critical temperature of CO2, the transcritical vapor compression cycle becomes the best choice for transcritical CO2 systems. However, the relative low COP caused by the throttle valve limited the further development. The replacement of a throttle valve with a turboexpander, an ejector or a vortex tube is leading to the way for improving the COP of a transcritical CO2 system. With the advantages of high efficiency, high compactness, high reliability and long-life time, turboexpanders have been widely used in gas lique faction devices (below 120K) and most of the reverse Brayton refrigeration systems. It is also one of the most ideal expansion devices for transcritical CO2 systems. However, its applications are limited by the difficulties of high pressure and super high rotating speed operation. With the development of manufacturing technology and gas bearing technology, it becomes possible to use turboexpanders in transcriticalCO2 systems. In this paper, two turboexpanders with 10 mm radial reaction turbine wheel and 9 mm rotor diameter were designed for the 15 kW transcritical CO2 refrigeration system, and the rotating speed is about 200 krpm.The proposed turboexpanders outlet states are CO2 two-phase flow and subcooled CO2 liquid flow, respectively. This study will lay a foundation for the application of turboexpanders in transcritical CO2 systems.

2531_presentation.pdf (2077 kB)
Design and Setup of the Micro-Turboexpander Transcritical CO2 System