Carbon Dioxide in Supermarket Refrigeration
Abstract: This thesis theoretically and experimentally investigates different aspects of the application of CO2 in supermarket refrigeration. Theoretical analysis has been performed using computer simulation models developed to simulate CO2 indirect, NH3/CO2 cascade, CO2 trans-critical and direct expansion (DX) R404A systems. The models supported the selection of the CO2 system solutions to be tested experimentally and facilitated the design of NH3/CO2 cascade and trans-critical systems test rigs. Performance evaluation and systems’ optimizations have also been carried out.In order to verify the findings of the theoretical analysis an experimental evaluation has been performed whereby a scaled-down medium size supermarket has been built in a laboratory environment. NH3/CO2 cascade and trans-critical systems have been tested and compared to a conventional R404A system installed in the same laboratory environment. Experimental findings have been compared to the computer simulation models.In supermarket refrigeration applications, safety is a major concern because of the large number of people that might be affected in the event of leakage. Therefore, a computer simulation model has been developed to perform calculations of the resulting concentration levels arising from different scenarios for leakage accidents in the supermarket. The model has been used to validate some of the risks associated with using CO2 in the application of supermarket refrigeration.Results of the experiments and the computer simulation models showed good agreement and suggest that the NH3/CO2 cascade system is a more efficient solution than the analyzed conventional ones for supermarket refrigeration. On the other hand, CO2 trans-critical solutions have efficiencies comparable to the conventional systems analyzed, with potential for improvements in the trans-critical systems. From a safety point of view, the analysis of the calculations’ results clearly shows that using CO2 in supermarket refrigeration does not create exceptional health risks for customers and workers in the shopping area.Studies conducted in this thesis prove that the CO2 systems investigated are efficient solutions for supermarket refrigeration.
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