Numerical performance of a water source transcritical CO<inf>2</inf> heat pump with mechanical subcooling

Journal ar
Applied Thermal Engineering
  • Volumen: 219
  • Fecha: 25 January 2023
  • ISSN: 13594311
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2022.119639
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
© 2022 The AuthorsIn order to improve their efficiency, transcritical CO2 heat pumps need to resort to the use of a subcooling method. Among the different subcooling methods, dedicated mechanical subcooling (DMS) systems and internal heat exchangers (IHX) are currently the more promising technologies. This paper presents a numerical study of a transcritical water source CO2 heat pump during hot water generation using different subcooling methods. Ten different configurations, including both, IHX and DMS, separately and combined in different layouts, some of them not studied previously, are analyzed numerically under the same operating conditions in order to compare their performance. A description of the numerical model is presented: compressors are modeled using the performance curves provided by their manufacturers, expansion valves are modeled as isenthalpic, and heat exchangers are modeled by deriving correlations for the evaporation/condensation pressure and heat transfer rate obtained using a 1D cell-by-cell discretization method previously applied to all heat exchangers. Results are presented for different water heating conditions and show that in most configurations analyzed, the use of a DMS does not improve the performance of the system compared to the base system with IHX. There is only an improvement in the efficiency for two of the configurations analyzed, those in which the main CO2 cycle and the DMS cycle are coupled by the water flowing first through the evaporator of the auxiliary cycle and then through the gas cooler of the main cycle. Specifically, compared to the base cycle with IHX, the configuration that provides the best results (Conf. F* according to the nomenclature used in this work) gives average improvements of around 26% in efficiency and almost 160% in the heating capacity, while the optimum gas cooler pressure is reduced by an average of 12%. Even more, compared to the best performance system previously studied by other authors (indirect DMS without IHX, Conf. F in this work) this configuration improves the efficiency by almost 8.5%, with a decrease in the total capacity lower than 1% and similar gas cooler pressure. The results also show that the auxiliary compressor capacity and the way in which the water is distributed among the main and the auxiliary cycle have an important influence on the efficiency of the system, although that influence depends on the configuration studied. For the configuration that provides the best efficiency (Conf. F*), the optimum efficiency is obtained when the auxiliary compressor capacity is similar to the capacity of the main compressor (55% of the total heating capacity comes from the auxiliary cycle), and the water is mostly heated in the auxiliary cycle (85% of the water flow heated in the condenser of the auxiliary cycle, 15% heated in the gas cooler of the main cycle).

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