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Type: Journal article
Title: Energy-Saving Potential of Thermal Diode Tank Assisted Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Systems
Author: Wang, M.
Hu, E.
Chen, L.
Citation: Energies, 2022; 15(1):206-1-206-16
Publisher: MDPI AG
Issue Date: 2022
ISSN: 1996-1073
Statement of
Mingzhen Wang, Eric Hu and Lei Chen
Abstract: Lowering the condensing temperature of the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning (RAC) system has been proven to effectively increase the system’s Coefficient of Performance (COP). This paper revolves around evaluating the energy-saving generated by applying a Thermal Diode Tank (TDT) in the RAC systems. The TDT is a novel invention, which is an insulated water tank equipped with gravity heat pipes. If the TDT was placed outdoors overnight, its inside water would theoretically be at the minimum ambient temperature of the previous night. When the TDT water is used to cool the condenser of RAC systems that operate during the daytime, a higher COP of this TDT assisted RAC (TDT-RAC) system could be achieved compared with the baseline system. In this study, a steady-state performance simulation model for TDT-RAC cycles has been developed. The model reveals that the COP of the TDT-RAC cycle can be improved by 10~59% over the baseline cycle depending on the compressor types. The TDT-RAC cycle with a variable speed compressor can save more energy than that with a fixed speed compressor. In addition, TDT-RAC cycles can save more energy with a higher day/night ambient temperature difference. There is a threshold tank size for a given TDT-RAC cycle to save energy, and the energy-saving can be improved by enlarging the tank size. A desk-top case study based on real weather data for Adelaide in January 2021 shows that 9~40% energy could be saved by TDT-RAC systems every summer day on average.
Keywords: refrigeration; heat pipe; thermal diode tank; COP improvement; vapor compression cycle; potential energy savings
Description: Published: 29 December 2021
Rights: Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).
DOI: 10.3390/en15010206
Appears in Collections:Mechanical Engineering publications

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