Highly Efficient Control Method for Vapor Compression Cycle

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Researchers at Purdue University have developed a control method to decrease energy consumption of the vapor-compression heat pump cycle without sacrificing its ability to operate over a broad range of temperatures. A common problem with turbomachine expanders is that they perform best with a fixed-geometry nozzle with a single inlet and outlet. While such expanders can be very effective at harnessing energy from expansion work, the majority of vapor-compression heat pump cycles operate under varying conditions such as changing ambient temperatures. The Purdue solution allows active control over the rate of vapor flow from the expander after phase separation which allows the user to maintain a fixed compressor suction superheat over a range of ambient conditions while still recovering expansion work at the same time. This results in high efficiency for any cycle involving a vapor-compression heat pump.

-Controllability of current expansion methods
-High-efficiency expansion work recovery

Potential Applications:
-Any industry or product which uses a vapor-compression cycle to pump heat
Dec 4, 2020
Utility Patent
United States

Dec 11, 2019
United States
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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Email: otcip@prf.org