Abstract

Refrigeration systems contribute to the critical environmental concerns including global warming and ozone depletion. It is necessary to develop new systems that use renewable energy resources and waste heat to perform the cooling function with eco-friendly working fluids. This improves the energy efficiency of the power systems and minimizes the harmful effects of conventional refrigeration systems. This paper introduces an analysis of a regenerative thermo-mechanical refrigeration system that is powered with renewable heat sources (solar, geothermal) or waste heat (from internal combustion engines, gas power plants, and steam power plants). The system operates at the supercritical conditions of the working fluids. The performance of the system is evaluated based on power efficiency, the COP, and the expander-compressor diameters. Also, a number of working fluids were compared with each other based on their performance and environmental effects. There is a trade-off between high-performance fluids and their environmental effects. Using R32 as a working fluid at Th = 150 °C and Tc1 = 40 °C, the system produces a cooling capacity of 1 kW with power efficiency of 10.23%, expander diameter of 53.12 mm and compressor diameter of 75.4mm. The regenerator increases the power efficiency by about 1%. However, the size of the regenerator is small (Dr = 6.5 mm, Lr = 142 mm].

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