Experimental Characterization of an Innovative Hybrid Thermal-Electric Chiller for Industrial Cooling and Refrigeration Application

Article pulished in Applied Energy (2020)

Title: Experimental Characterization of an Innovative Hybrid Thermal-Electric Chiller for Industrial Cooling and Refrigeration Application

Language: English

Authors: Giuseppe E. Dino (*1) , Valeria Palomba (*1), Eliza Nowak (*2), Andrea Frazzica (*1).

*1: CNR ITAE, Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5, 98126 Messina, Italy
*2: Fahrenheit GmbH, Siegfriedstr. 19, 80803 Munich, Germany

Abstract: The energy demand of industries accounts for about 30–35% of world yearly energy consumption, a relevant percentage is due to the need of heating and cooling demand. Solar heating and cooling technologies can be integrated in industrial processes to reduce the fossil fuels consumption as well as the related greenhouse gas emissions. This paper reports the experimental analysis of a novel hybrid sorption-compression chiller for cooling and refrigeration purposes in cascade layout, which uses silica gel/water for the sorption cycle and a low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant, i.e. propylene for the compression cycle. The experimental results highlighted the flexibility of the system in terms of performances and operating conditions, these were compared to the theoretical performances and it was found out that electricity energy savings from 15% to 25% can be achieved when using the hybrid system over a compression one with the same cooling capacity. The results were converted in performance maps and processed in a statistical model, in order to get a simplified expression for
determining the overall performances of the hybrid system through variables that could be measured by a final user, such as the operating temperatures. Optimization strategies were identified for a further enhancement of the performance of the chiller, i.e. the reduction of the electricity consumption, by controlling the intermediate temperature (evaporation temperature of the sorption chiller) through sorption cycle management and the use of variable speed of the pumps in all the circuits to reduce the parasitic consumption especially at low part loads.

We have been showcased @CORDIS_EU

Our project aiming to increase the use of solar heat in industrial processes has been featured at cordis.europa.eu, the European Commission’s primary source of results, news, and information on EU-funded research projects. The article shows how we are boosting the concept on the cheap and easy-to-install linear Fresnel system, which basically consists of many mirrors in parallel rows, that imitate a large Fresnel Lens, to augment solar energy acquisition. This concentrated solar power system (CSP) is coupled with tailor-made hybrid heat pumps (HHPs) that enable “both industrial heating and cooling powered by the sun” as our project coordinator, Silvia Jané, has explained.
Quoting the article:
“At the Spanish production site of consortium partner Givaudan, a flavors and fragrances company, the HyCool concept has been applied to several processes with either heating or cooling needs. Givaudan’s current cold installation makes use of a glycolic water chiller to keep the water entering the liquid ring of the vacuum pumps at 7 °C, with a thermal demand of 125.5kW. ”For the use cases considered, the electrical consumption of the compression chiller will be reduced by 29 % (spring) and 44 % (summer), respectively, by using HyCool technology,” says Jané This efficiency gain is even higher if compared to common refrigeration systems”.
We are advancing this technology and systems to promote energy efficiency for industries.