Improving the energy efficiency of refrigeration plants by decreasing the temperature difference in air-cooled condensers
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The electric energy consumption efficiency is estimated in comparing the real refrigeration machine cycle with the theoretical inverse Carnot cycle. The potential for saving electricity in using aircooled condensers with different values of temperature difference is shown. A procedure for calculating a refrigerating system with the evaporation temperature equal to −10°C, which corresponds at this temperature level to the thermal load of a standard supermarket, is described. The calculation was carried out taking into account the annual profile of temperatures in the indicated locality and based on the possibility of adjusting the condenser capacity for maintaining constant condensation temperature. The payback period in case of using condensers with different values of temperature difference is calculated; for example, in using condensers with a temperature difference of less than 15 K, the payback period will be less than one year. Decreasing the temperature difference results, on one hand, in a larger annual consumption of electric energy by the condenser fans, and on the other hand, it results in a lower condensation pressure, which leads to a smaller annual consumption of energy by the compressor unit. As a result, the total amount of energy consumed by the refrigeration system decreases so that despite a higher cost of condensers designed to operate at lower values of temperature difference, it becomes possible to achieve the above-mentioned payback period. Additionally, the payback period in case of using an air-cooled microchannel aluminum condenser was calculated: in case of using such a condenser with a temperature difference of 8 K instead of the condenser with the temperature difference equal to 15 K, the payback period will be less than half a year. Recommendations for designing new refrigeration systems equipped with air-cooled condensers are given.
Keywordsenergy efficiency temperature difference air-cooled condenser payback period condenser choice substantiation
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