Natural Refrigerants, Expansion Work Recovery, Ejector Design, Component Optimization, Multi-Objective Optimization
Implementation of an ejector for expansion work recovery in transcritical carbon dioxide (CO2) cycles provides an opportunity to improve the efficiency of these environmentally-friendly refrigeration systems. However, literature outlining an approach to ejector design for a given application is lacking. This paper presents a tool to design a complete ejector applied in a vapor compression cycle. In this work, the developed design tool was validated using experimentally-derived polynomials for air-conditioning conditions. Then, constant values for nozzle and mixing section efficiencies were used as inputs into design tool to broaden the analysis outside of the application boundaries of the experimentally-derived polynomials to study a transcritical CO2 system with an ejector operating in the evaporating temperature and gas cooler pressure in the range of -15 °C to 20 °C and 80 bar to 110 bar, respectively. The design tool allows for the calculation of the motive and suction nozzle throat diameters, the mixing section diameter, and the diffuser outlet diameter, as well as the lengths of each section, to output a full internal geometry of the ejector based on performance requirements. Individual component sub-models are presented within the proposed model structure. The model which forms the basis of the design tool was experimentally validated with a mean absolute error (MAE) between 3% to 4%. Additionally, the sensitivity of the ejector geometry and performance to component efficiencies, operating conditions, and component versus system optimization was investigated. The optimization and parametric studies provided novel insights into the impact of desired efficiency and operating conditions on ejector geometry, thus allowing a designer to make decisions based on the tradeoff between ejector size and performance. For example, as the diffuser length increased by 5.1 mm to obtain an efficiency increase, to obtain a further efficiency increase of the same amount would require a 17.1 mm length increase in diffuser length. Potential model improvements and other future work are also discussed.