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Unit No. 1- IntroductionIntroduction Unit No.

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UNITS IN THIS COURSE


UNIT 1 UNIT 2 INTRODUCTION TO REFRIGERATION THE REFRIGERATION TRAINER

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Para Page 1.0 1.1 1.2 OBJECTIVES TERMS USED IN REFRIGERATION PROCESSES THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF REFRIGERATION 1.2.1 1.2.2 1.2.3 1.3 Heat Transfer Methods Heat Transfer Heat and Refrigeration 3 4 6 7 9 10 10 12

THE COMPONENTS OF A SINGLE STAGE REFRIGERATION CYCLE

1.4 THE BASIC REFRIGERATION CYCLE 1.0 OBJECTIVES At the end of this unit the trainee will be able to: Explain the terms used in refrigeration processes. Explain the principle of refrigeration and its use of heat.

Identify and explain the functions of the components that make up a single stage refrigeration cycle. Explain the basic refrigeration cycle.

Module No. 14 : Refrigeration Module No. 14 : Refrigeration

1.1

TERMS USED IN REFRIGERATION PROCESSES To understand the process of refrigeration you need to know the special terms and words which are used. Some of the more common terms are listed and defined below. Evaporation takes place when a liquid changes state to a gas. In a refrigeration system evaporation takes place in an evaporator. Condensation takes place when a gas changes state to a liquid. In a refrigeration system condensation takes place in a condenser. Vapour pressure. All liquids give off vapour, which consists of molecules of the Page 1/16

liquid. If the liquid is in an enclosed space (for example, a tank) there is a point where, for every molecule of liquid changing to vapour there is also one molecule of vapour changing back to a liquid at exactly the same time. The pressure this happens at is called the vapour pressure of the liquid. The Joule-Thomson effect is named after the two scientists who discovered that when a fluid is expanded through a small hole there is a change in temperature. The temperature of the fluid is lowered. The change in temperature is proportional to the pressure difference across the hole. A system is an organised group of items working together to perform a function. The state of a system is a set of properties (see below) which characterise the system. For example, the state of a gas may be determined by its pressure, temperature and volume. A property is a special quality of a material. Examples of properties are density, volume or specific heat. A process is a series of steps through which a system changes from one state to another. Something is said to be in equilibrium when there is balance between opposing forces or effects. When a liquid is at its vapour pressure there is equilibrium between the liquid and its vapour. Equilibrium can also mean the initial state of a system. It is the condition that exists before a system is changed by any kind of motion or action. A cycle is a series of operations that end at the starting point. A refrigerant is the fluid that actually does the heat transfer in a refrigeration system. A closed circuit or closed system is one in which the fluids in the system remain in that system even though they may change state. This means that when a closed system is working there is no need to add more fluids to it because the fluids are re-circulated, not released from the system. A thermostat is an instrument for keeping something at a constant temperature. The thermostat checks the temperature of the thing we want to keep at a constant temperature and instructs another device to open or close, or to switch on or switch off to keep the temperature constant. Compression ratio describes how much a compressor compresses a gas. It is the ratio of the outlet pressure from the compressor compared to the inlet (suction) pressure of that same compressor. A compressor that discharges gas at 80 psi and receives it at 10 psi has a compression ratio of 8 to 1, which we write as 8:1 The best compression ratio that a single stage compressor can work at is about 10: 1 . If a larger compression ratio is needed the compressor will need to have at least one more stage. The British thermal unit (Btu) is a measure of the quantity of heat there is in something (you will learn about heat later). The Btu is defined as the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Removing one Btu of heat from one pound of water will lower the temperature of the water by one degree Fahrenheit. See figure 1 - 1 . Page 2/16

Module No. 14 : Refrigeration

Unit No. 1- Introduction

The Btu is an old unit of heat measurement but it is still often used in the oil and gas industries. The modern unit of heat measurement is the 'joule' (J). 1054 Btu equal 1 J.

Unit No. 1- Introduction

Figure 1-1. The British Thermal Unit (Btu)

1.2

THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF REFRIGERATION Before you can understand how a refrigeration system works you need to learn something about heat. Heat is a form of energy. Energy cannot be made or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form of energy to another. As an example, think of a single cylinder compressor driven by an electric motor. Electricity, one form of energy, makes the motor work, and work is another form of energy. The work energy is passed to the piston of the compressor. The piston compresses the gas in the cylinder and two things happen; the pressure of the gas is increased, and the temperature of the gas is increased. The work energy has been changed mainly into pressure energy and, through the increase in temperature, into some heat energy. Although heat and temperature are related, they are not the same. Something which feels hot to you may not contain a lot of heat. More difficult to understand is that something which feels cold to you could contain a lot of heat.

Module No. 14 : Refrigeration

Figure 1-2. Quantity of Heat Page 3/16

Figure 1-2 shows two containers of water, one of 1 litre capacity and the other of 5 litres. Both containers have the same amount of heat, but the temperature of the 1 litre container is higher. The reason for this is that the 1 litre of water contains more heat per unit of volume than the 5 litres of water. The heat energy in the 1 litre of water is more concentrated -than in the 5 litres of water. This shows that the temperature of something does not tell us how much heat it contains.

Unit No. 1- Introduction

It is easy to understand that something which feels hot probably contains heat. It is not so easy to understand how something at a very low temperature, say - 100C, can also contain heat. The lowest temperature we know of is called 'absolute zero. Absolute zero measures -273 on the Celsius scale (-273C) and -460 on the Fahrenheit scale (-460F). At -273C an object contains no heat. If we raise the temperature of that object by just one degree there will be some heat in the object. The definition of the Btu shows this is true. If we raise the temperature of the object by 173C it will be at a temperature of -100 C. The object is still very cold to us, but now it contains quite a bit of heat. This is heat that we can use. The actual amount of heat in the object will depend on its size. . Heat always flows from a higher temperature to a lower temperature. As an example, think of a drink you want to make cold. The drink is poured into a glass and ice cubes are added. The heat in the drink flows to the colder ice cubes which absorb. it. The heat is not destroyed, it has been taken out of the drink to make it colder. The increase in heat in the ice cubes makes them melt. If you just want the drink to be cool, perhaps two ice cubes will be enough. If you want the drink cold you may need four ice cubes. For an even colder drink you could use six or eight ice cubes. The cooling effect depends on the volume as well as the temperature of the ice cubes. There are two forms of heat, latent heat and sensible heat. Latent heat is the heat energy required to make something change its state without any rise or fall in temperature. It doesn't matter if the change of state is from solid to liquid or from liquid to vapour, latent heat is still involved. Latent heat cannot be sensed by a thermometer or felt by the hand. Sensible heat raises the temperature of anything it is added to and lowers the temperature of anything it is removed from. Sensible heat can be detected by a change in temperature of the substance it is being added to or removed from. 1.2.1 Heat Transfer Methods Heat is transferred from one substance to another by three basic methods: conduction, convection or radiation. Figure 1-3 shows how each method takes place.

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Conduction Conduction is heat transfer by molecular collisions (molecules crashing together). See figure 1-3(a). For example, if we hold one end of an iron rod in a fire, the heat will eventually reach our hand through the process of conduction as it travels along the rod. When a substance is heated, the molecular activity of that substance is greatly increased. That increased activity at the heated end is passed on from molecule to molecule until it reaches the hand. This process will continue as long as there is a difference in temperature along the rod.

Unit No. 1- Introduction

Figure 1-3. Three Heat Transfer Methods Convection Convection is heat transfer by mass motion of fluid matter. A change of temperature in a fluid causes a difference in density. This makes a current in the fluid called natural convection. An example of natural convection is easily seen in the rising of smoke from a fire. When a fluid is moved by a fan or a pump, the action is called forced convection. Hot air circulation (air is a fluid) carries the heat, transfers most of it to cooler air, then returns to take more heat and repeat the cycle. See figure 1-3(b).

Module No. 14 : Refrigeration

Radiation If you hold your hand near (but not on) something which is hot, the heat you feel is through radiation. See Figure 1-3(c). The heat is radiated through the space Page 5/16

between your hand and the hot object by something called electromagnetic waves. A good example of radiated heat is the heat we feel from the sun or when sitting round a fire. 1.2.2 Heat Transfer

Unit No. 1- Introduction

Heat can be transferred from one substance to another using a heat exchanger. The substances used in heat transfer are usually liquids and gases. Heat transfer can be between liquid and liquid, gas and gas or liquid and gas. The heat exchanger brings the two substances close together but keeps them separated by something, usually the walls of the pipe containing one of the substances. Two examples of heat exchangers can be found in a car.

Figure 1-4 The Heat Exchangers in a Car The heat from the engine (made by burning fuel) is transferred to the water in the engine block. The water circulates through the radiator where it gives up its heat to the air passing through the radiator fins. The air then carries the heat in the water away.

1.2.3 Heat and Refrigeration

Module No. 14 : Refrigeration

We already know that even something at a temperature of - 100C has heat. If it helps, you can think of this as negative heat. We also know that this (negative) heat can be transferred and that heat flows from a higher temperature to a lower temperature. Imagine two substances which we will call A and B. We can lower the temperature of substance A so that it has negative heat. If we bring substance A and substance B together in a heat exchanger (so that they do not mix) the heat in substance B will be transferred to substance A. The temperature of substance B will be lowered because heat has been removed. Page 6/16

Unit No. 1- Introduction

That is how an ordinary household refrigerator works. Substance A is a fluid called refrigerant which flows through pipes surrounding and inside the food compartment. Substance B is the food-and drinks put into the food compartment. The food and drinks are warm and the refrigerant is cold. Heat is transferred from the food and drinks (making them colder) into the refrigerant (making it warmer). The refrigerant then gives up the heat it has gained from the food and drinks to the air around the refrigerator. 1.3 THE COMPONENTS OF A SINGLE STAGE REFRIGERATION CYCLE A refrigeration system contains the following equipment: A compressor. A condenser. An expansion valve. An evaporator. A high pressure receiver. The equipment in a household refrigerator, and the way it works, is the same as all refrigeration systems, no matter how large or small, with only a few differences. See figure 1-5.

Module No. 14 : Refrigeration

Figure 1-5. Household Refrigerator and Refrigeration Loop

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The compressor compresses the refrigerant vapour and sends it to the condenser. The condenser is a heat exchanger in which the hot refrigerant vapour is cooled and condensed to liquid. This cooling can be done ' either by air or by water flowing around the pipes in the condenser. The receiver is a storage area for liquid refrigerant under high pressure. A receiver is usually only used in large refrigeration systems and is not shown on figure 1-5. The expansion valve has two main functions. It is the place in the system where the refrigerant is expanded so that it cools (the Joule Thomson effect) and it regulates the flow of refrigerant through the system. The evaporator is a heat exchanger where the expanded fluid evaporates before returning to the compressor.

Unit No. 1- Introduction


1.4

THE BASIC REFRIGERATION CYCLE The simplest refrigeration system is the single-stage, vapour compression cycle which uses one compressor with one compression stage to do the work. Figure 1-6 shows how this system works.

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Unit No. 1- Introduction

Figure 1-6. Single-Stage Refrigeration Cycle The cycle of operations is as follows. 1. .In the evaporator the liquid refrigerant vaporises (becomes a gas) and expands. The vaporisation is caused by picking up heat from the surrounding area. This raises the temperature of the refrigerant to its boiling point. The surrounding area is the space we want to make cool. The area will contain warm (or hot) substances. The evaporated refrigerant (a gas) enters the compressor, where it is compressed, increasing its pressure and temperature. The refrigerant leaving the compressor goes to the condenser, where it becomes liquid and gives off much of its heat in the process. The liquid refrigerant may be stored temporarily in the high pressure receiver. The liquid refrigerant leaves the condenser and goes through the expansion valve. When it passes through the valve, expansion occurs and the pressure and temperature are reduced. From the expansion valve the refrigerant again Page 9/16

2.

Module No. 14 : Refrigeration

3. 4. 5.

passes through the evaporator. This completes the cycle. Let us look at this in more detail using figures 1 -7 to 1 - 10. On these figures the large, black arrow shows you where you are in the system. We start at the compressor.

Unit No. 1- Introduction

Figure 1-7. Compressor Increases Pressure and Temperature

The compressor receives cool, low pressure vapour from the evaporator and increases the vapour pressure and temperature. When the refrigerant leaves the compressor it is still a vapour, but at a much higher pressure and temperature. The hot refrigerant vapour is then pumped to the condenser. Compressor input Compressor output Cool, low pressure vapour Hot, high pressure vapour

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Unit No. 1- Introduction

Figure 1-8. Hot Vapour Goes to the Condenser In the condenser the hot gas is cooled and condensed to a liquid. To cause-heat transfer, the condensing agent, either air or water, is at a. lower temperature than that at which the refrigerant condenses at the existing pressure. Condenser input Condenser output Hot, high pressure vapour. High pressure liquid.

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Unit No. 1- Introduction

Figure 1 -9. High Pressure Liquid Goes to the Expansion Valve High pressure liquid refrigerant flows from the condenser to the expansion valve. The expansion valve slows the flow of liquid refrigerant, so that a pressure difference exists between the upstream and downstream sides of the valve. When the liquid passes through the expansion valve, its pressure is suddenly reduced to that of the evaporator. At this low pressure, a small portion of the liquid boils off immediately, chilling the remaining liquid to evaporator temperature. Expansion valve input Expansion valve output High pressure liquid. Lower pressure liquid with a small amount of vapour.

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Figure 1 -10. The Evaporator The cold refrigerant, along with a small amount of vapour, passes into the evaporator where it absorbs heat and evaporates. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the relatively warm air or water to be cooled and vaporises. This transfer of heat causes refrigeration. Evaporator input Evaporator output . The output from the evaporator passes to the inlet of the compressor and the basic refrigeration cycle is completed. Liquid with a small amount of vapour Low pressure refrigerant vapour

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