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Title: Refrigerant charge management in a heat pump water heater

Heat pumps that heat or cool a space and that also heat water, refrigerant management systems for such heat pumps, and methods of managing refrigerant charge. Various embodiments remove idle refrigerant from a heat exchanger that is not needed for transferring heat by opening a refrigerant recovery valve and delivering the idle refrigerant from the heat exchanger to an inlet port on the compressor. The heat exchanger can be isolated by closing an electronic expansion valve, actuating a refrigerant management valve, or both. Refrigerant charge can be controlled by controlling how much refrigerant is drawn from the heat exchanger, by letting some refrigerant back into the heat exchanger, or both. Heat pumps can be operated in different modes of operation, and various components can be interconnected with refrigerant conduit. Some embodiments deliver refrigerant gas to the heat exchanger and drive liquid refrigerant out prior to isolating the heat exchanger.
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1260403
Report Number(s):
9,383,126
14/278,982
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2014 May 15
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 42 ENGINEERING