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Title: High Efficiency, Low Emission Refrigeration System

Abstract

Supermarket refrigeration systems account for approximately 50% of supermarket energy use, placing this class of equipment among the highest energy consumers in the commercial building domain. In addition, the commonly used refrigeration system in supermarket applications is the multiplex direct expansion (DX) system, which is prone to refrigerant leaks due to its long lengths of refrigerant piping. This leakage reduces the efficiency of the system and increases the impact of the system on the environment. The high Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants commonly used in these systems, coupled with the large refrigerant charge and the high refrigerant leakage rates leads to significant direct emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Methods for reducing refrigerant leakage and energy consumption are available, but underutilized. Further work needs to be done to reduce costs of advanced system designs to improve market utilization. In addition, refrigeration system retrofits that result in reduced energy consumption are needed since the majority of applications address retrofits rather than new stores. The retrofit market is also of most concern since it involves large-volume refrigerant systems with high leak rates. Finally, alternative refrigerants for new and retrofit applications are needed to reduce emissions and reducemore » the impact on the environment. The objective of this Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Hill Phoenix is to develop a supermarket refrigeration system that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and has 25 to 30 percent lower energy consumption than existing systems. The outcomes of this project will include the design of a low emission, high efficiency commercial refrigeration system suitable for use in current U.S. supermarkets. In addition, a prototype low emission, high efficiency supermarket refrigeration system will be produced for laboratory and field testing. Laboratory and field testing will demonstrate the high energy efficiency and low environmental impact of the refrigeration system developed in this project.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Building Technologies Research and Integration Center
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1311267
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2016/363
BT0302000; CEBT002; CRADA/NFE-11-03296
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION

Citation Formats

Fricke, Brian A., and Sharma, Vishaldeep. High Efficiency, Low Emission Refrigeration System. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1311267.
Fricke, Brian A., & Sharma, Vishaldeep. High Efficiency, Low Emission Refrigeration System. United States. doi:10.2172/1311267.
Fricke, Brian A., and Sharma, Vishaldeep. 2016. "High Efficiency, Low Emission Refrigeration System". United States. doi:10.2172/1311267. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1311267.
@article{osti_1311267,
title = {High Efficiency, Low Emission Refrigeration System},
author = {Fricke, Brian A. and Sharma, Vishaldeep},
abstractNote = {Supermarket refrigeration systems account for approximately 50% of supermarket energy use, placing this class of equipment among the highest energy consumers in the commercial building domain. In addition, the commonly used refrigeration system in supermarket applications is the multiplex direct expansion (DX) system, which is prone to refrigerant leaks due to its long lengths of refrigerant piping. This leakage reduces the efficiency of the system and increases the impact of the system on the environment. The high Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants commonly used in these systems, coupled with the large refrigerant charge and the high refrigerant leakage rates leads to significant direct emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Methods for reducing refrigerant leakage and energy consumption are available, but underutilized. Further work needs to be done to reduce costs of advanced system designs to improve market utilization. In addition, refrigeration system retrofits that result in reduced energy consumption are needed since the majority of applications address retrofits rather than new stores. The retrofit market is also of most concern since it involves large-volume refrigerant systems with high leak rates. Finally, alternative refrigerants for new and retrofit applications are needed to reduce emissions and reduce the impact on the environment. The objective of this Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Hill Phoenix is to develop a supermarket refrigeration system that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and has 25 to 30 percent lower energy consumption than existing systems. The outcomes of this project will include the design of a low emission, high efficiency commercial refrigeration system suitable for use in current U.S. supermarkets. In addition, a prototype low emission, high efficiency supermarket refrigeration system will be produced for laboratory and field testing. Laboratory and field testing will demonstrate the high energy efficiency and low environmental impact of the refrigeration system developed in this project.},
doi = {10.2172/1311267},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

Technical Report:

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  • The team of TIAX LLC, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, and Callidus Technologies, LLC conducted a six-year program to develop an ultra-low emission process heater burner and an advanced high efficiency heater design. This project addresses the critical need of process heater operators for reliable, economical emission reduction technologies to comply with stringent emission regulations, and for heater design alternatives that reduce process heater energy requirements without significant cost increase. The key project targets were NOx emissions of 10 ppm (@ 3% O2), and a heater thermal efficiency of 95 percent. The ultra low NOx burner was developed through amore » series of pilot-scale and field tests combined with computational fluid dynamic modeling to arrive at simultaneous low emissions and suitable flame shape and stability. Pilot scale tests were run at TIAX, at the 2 MMBtu/hr scale, and at Callidus at 8 MMBtu/hr. The full scale burner was installed on a 14 burner atmospheric pipestill furnace at an ExxonMobil refinery. A variety of burner configurations, gas tips and flame stabilizers were tested to determine the lowest emissions with acceptable flame shape and stability. The resulting NOx emissions were 22 ppm on average. Starting in 2001, Callidus commercialized the original ultra low NOx burner and made subsequent design improvements in a series of commercial burners evolving from the original concept and/or development. Emissions in the field with the ultra low-NOx burner over a broad spectrum of heater applications have varied from 5 ppm to 30 ppm depending on heater geometry, heater service, fuel and firing capacity. To date, 1550 of the original burners, and 2500 of subsequent generation burners have been sold by Callidus. The advanced heater design was developed by parametric evaluations of a variety of furnace and combustion air preheater configurations and technologies for enhancing convective and radiative heat transfer. The design evolution relied heavily on computational fluid dynamic predictions of design alternatives. The final design features modular separate radiant cells, each with one and two-side fired vertical tubes. The convection section configuration is vertical tube banks enclosed in the radiant channels. Commercial modular plate air preheaters are used. The predicted performance for the integrated advanced heater and Callidus burner is 95 percent efficiency with 9 ppm NOx emissions firing natural gas, and 12 ppm firing refinery gas. The total erected cost is less than a conventional heater with combustion air preheat.« less
  • Tasks 1 through 3 (identify candidate refrigerants, construct bench-top test device, test candidate refrigerants in the bench-top device) are complete. The project is on budget and on schedule. Significant positive results have been obtained.
  • The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has undertaken a field test to quantify the performance of high-efficiency supermarket refrigeration. The initial work on this project was presented in EPRI report CU-6268 Supermarket Refrigeration Modeling and Field Demonstration.'' The information given here was generated through continued testing at the field test site. The field test was conducted at a supermarket owned by Safeway Stores, Inc., that was located in Menlo Park, CA. Testing was performed with the existing conventional refrigeration system and a high-efficiency multiplex refrigeration system that was installed for these tests. The results of the testing showed that themore » high-efficiency multiplex system reduced refrigeration energy consumption by 23.9% and peak electric demand for refrigeration by 30.0%. Analyses of these savings showed that the largest portion was due to the use of high-efficiency compressors (29.5% of total saving). Floating head pressure control, ambient and mechanical subcooling, compressor multiplexing and hot gas defrost accounted for 50% of total savings. The remainder of the savings (20.5%) were attributed to the use of an evaporative condenser. Tests were also conducted with several retrofit technologies. The most promising results were obtained with external liquid-suction heat exchangers installed at the outlets of the display cases. Favorable paybacks were calculated for these exchangers when they were used with very low and low temperature refrigeration.« less
  • Magnetic refrigeration was investigated as an efficient, environmentally friendly, flexible alternative to conventional residential vapor compression central air conditioning systems. Finite element analysis (FEA) models of advanced geometry active magnetic regenerator (AMR) beds were developed to minimize bed size and thus magnet mass by optimizing geometry for fluid flow and heat transfer and other losses. Conventional and magnetocaloric material (MCM) regenerator fabrication and assembly techniques were developed and advanced geometry passive regenerators were built and tested. A subscale engineering prototype (SEP) magnetic air conditioner was designed, constructed and tested. A model of the AMR cycle, combined with knowledge from passivemore » regenerator experiments and FEA results, was used to design the regenerator beds. A 1.5 Tesla permanent magnet assembly was designed using FEA and the bed structure and plenum design was extensively optimized using FEA. The SEP is a flexible magnetic refrigeration platform, with individually instrumented beds and high flow rate and high frequency capability, although the current advanced regenerator geometry beds do not meet performance expectations, probably due to manufacturing and assembly tolerances. A model of the AMR cycle was used to optimize the design of a 3 ton capacity magnetic air conditioner, and the system design was iterated to minimize external parasitic losses such as heat exchanger pressure drop and fan power. The manufacturing cost for the entire air conditioning system was estimated, and while the estimated SEER efficiency is high, the magnetic air conditioning system is not cost competitive as currently configured. The 3 ton study results indicate that there are other applications where magnetic refrigeration is anticipated to have cost advantages over conventional systems, especially applications where magnetic refrigeration, through the use of its aqueous heat transfer fluid, could eliminate intermediate heat exchangers or oil distribution issues found in traditional vapor compression systems.« less