high temperature heat pump, industrial heat pump, HCFO/HFO refrigerants, R1224yd(Z), R1233zd(E), R1336mzz(Z)
The use of industrial high-temperature heat pumps (HTHP) is particularly interesting for heat recovery applications and various industrial processes such as steam generation, drying, sterilization, paper production, or food preparation. The application of new synthetic hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) and hydrochlorofluoroolefin (HCFO) refrigerants with low environmental impact is becoming increasingly important in future HTHP. At our university in Switzerland, a laboratory-scale HTHP has been developed as part of the SCCER-EIP project (Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research – Efficiency of Industrial Processes). The developed heat pump is single-stage, operates with a variable speed piston compressor, and contains a continuously adjustable internal heat exchanger (IHX) for superheating control. A viscous POE oil (173 mm2/s at 40 °C) is used to achieve sufficient lubrication at high temperatures with the refrigerants. This paper presents the experimental performance of the HCFO and HFO refrigerants R1224yd(Z), R1233zd(E), and R1336mzz(Z) as drop-in replacements for the fluorinated hydrocarbon (HFC) R245fa in the same laboratory HTHP with 10 kW heating capacity. Starting from a reference point at W60/W110 (50 K temperature lift), a parameter study was performed to investigate the operating maps (i.e. heating capacity and COP) of the heat pump in the range from 30 to 80 °C heat source and 70 to 150 °C supply temperature. Besides, an overview of the thermophysical, environmental, and safety aspects of the refrigerants is given. At W60/W110 COPs of 3.2, 3.1, 3.0, and 3.1 for R1224yd(Z), R1233zd(E), R1336mzz(Z) and R245fa were measured. Up to about 110 °C, R1224yd(Z), R1233zd(E), and R245fa presented a slightly higher COP than R1336mzz(Z) due to higher heating capacities and lower relative heat losses at the same temperature conditions. Due to higher critical temperatures, R1336mzz(Z) was more efficient at 150 °C heat supply temperature. Otherwise, the differences in COP were within the measurement uncertainty of maximum ± 0.22 COP. The integration of the IHX in the heat pump cycle significantly increased the COP and the heating capacity over the entire operating map compared to a basic cycle. A further COP increase was achieved by a higher temperature glide on the heat supply side from 5 to 30 K (increased subcooling), which is promising in processes with low return temperatures. The drop-in tests also showed that the heating capacity of R1224yd(Z) was on average 9% higher than that of R1233zd(E), which in practice requires slightly smaller compressors to achieve a comparable heating capacity. Overall, the very low GWP, the non-flammability, and the negligible environmental impact (i.e. low trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) formation during atmospheric degradation) of the investigated HCFO and HFO refrigerants indicate a high potential for future use in HTHP applications and retrofit systems.