US20100115984A1 - Dual-circuit series counterflow chiller with intermediate waterbox - Google Patents

Dual-circuit series counterflow chiller with intermediate waterbox Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100115984A1
US20100115984A1 US12444930 US44493010A US2010115984A1 US 20100115984 A1 US20100115984 A1 US 20100115984A1 US 12444930 US12444930 US 12444930 US 44493010 A US44493010 A US 44493010A US 2010115984 A1 US2010115984 A1 US 2010115984A1
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US
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Prior art keywords
circuit
waterbox
circuits
evaporator
chiller
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12444930
Inventor
Scott M. MacBain
Michael A. Stark
Robert Hong Leung Chiang
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Carrier Corp
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Carrier Corp
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25BREFRIGERATION MACHINES, PLANTS OR SYSTEMS; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT-PUMP SYSTEMS
    • F25B29/00Combined heating and refrigeration systems, e.g. operating alternately or simultaneously
    • F25B29/003Combined heating and refrigeration systems, e.g. operating alternately or simultaneously of the compression type system
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25BREFRIGERATION MACHINES, PLANTS OR SYSTEMS; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT-PUMP SYSTEMS
    • F25B2339/00Details of evaporators; Details of condensers
    • F25B2339/04Details of condensers
    • F25B2339/047Water-cooled condensers
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25BREFRIGERATION MACHINES, PLANTS OR SYSTEMS; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT-PUMP SYSTEMS
    • F25B2400/00General features or devices for refrigeration machines, plants or systems, combined heating and refrigeration systems or heat-pump systems, i.e. not limited to a particular subgroup of F25B
    • F25B2400/06Several compression cycles arranged in parallel

Abstract

A dual refrigeration circuit watercooled chiller has its respective evaporators and condensers interconnected by waterboxes such that the first circuit tubes discharge into the respective waterbox and the flow of water then passes from the respective waterboxes to the respective evaporator/condenser tubes of the second circuit. Instrumentation is attached to the waterboxes to enable the measurement of the leaving temperature differential to provide improved control. Since the first and second circuit tubes are separate and independent, both serviceability and flexibility in design are substantially enhanced.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates generally to water cooled chillers and, more specifically, to the interconnection of two vapor compression refrigeration systems in a series-counterflow arrangement.
  • Water cooled chillers in a series-counterflow arrangement consist of two independent vapor compression refrigeration systems with chilled water and condenser water circuits that are common to both circuits and are arranged in series. This arrangement allows for an increased coefficient of performance (COP) over a single refrigeration circuit design because the separate circuits with series counterflow have a lower average pressure differential between the evaporator and condenser, thus requiring less energy to compress refrigerant from the evaporator to the condenser.
  • In such a system, water in each of the evaporators and the condensers flows through a plurality of tubes that span both refrigeration circuits, with the refrigeration circuits being separated by a tubesheet which is located at the middle of the tubes, and with each tube being hermetically sealed to the tubesheet, typically by expansion of the tube to the tubesheet.
  • One problem that arises is that of servicing the tubes such as may be required if a tube fails in operation. Such removal of a tube requires cutting the tube at all locations where it has been expanded and then pulling the tube out. It is not possible to completely remove a tube since there is no access to cut the tube at the center tubesheet location, which is inside the refrigerant boundary. If a tube is cut internally, or if a tube fails in operation, a leak path is created between the circuits that does not allow for operation of either circuit, thus adversely impacting both reliability and serviceability.
  • Another problem with a dual circuit system is that of control. A critical parameter for control of a water cooled chiller is the use of the leaving temperature differential, which is the difference in the temperature of the water leaving a heat exchanger and the refrigerant temperature within the heat exchanger. Since the water tubes span both refrigerant circuits in a dual system, it is not possible to obtain the leaving water temperatures of the upstream circuit's condenser or evaporator.
  • In addition to serviceability and control as discussed hereinabove, prior art heat exchanger tubes that span dual circuits pose problems of reliability, shipping and performance. That is, because the common tubes extend across both circuits, it is impossible to optimize the heat transfer tubes in each circuit independently, and shipping of machines that are longer due to the longer tubes can be difficult.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Briefly, in accordance with one aspect of the invention, each circuit has unique tubesheets that separate the refrigeration circuit from the cooling medium. Between each circuit is an intermediate waterbox that passes water from the upstream circuit to the downstream circuit. The waterbox is removable for service and enables the transporting of the units in pieces with shorter length requirements.
  • In accordance with another aspect of the invention, since each circuit has its separate and unique tubes, a tube failure in either circuit no longer creates a refrigerant leak path to the adjacent circuit, such that operation of the nonfailed circuit can be maintained, thereby increasing reliability.
  • By another aspect of the invention, since the intermediate waterbox is accessible from the outside, temperature measurement instrumentation can be installed to obtain the leaving temperature differential of the first circuit, thereby providing better control of the system.
  • In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the intermediate waterbox causes mixing of the water that leaves the upstream circuit before entering the downstream circuit, thereby increasing heat transfer effectiveness and COP.
  • By yet another aspect of the invention, use of the waterbox allows for multiple parameters that can be varied in order to optimize the efficiency of each of the circuits. In addition to varying the length of each circuit, the tube material, the tube heat transfer enhancement, and the number of tubes are configurable, and can be unique to each circuit
  • In the drawings as hereinafter described, a preferred embodiment is depicted; however, various other modifications and alternate constructions can be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of the temperatures in a single circuit chiller in accordance with the prior art.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of the temperatures in a dual-circuit chiller in accordance with the prior art.
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of the condensers and evaporators of a dual-circuit chiller in accordance with the prior art.
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of dual-circuit chiller system in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of the condenser and evaporators in a dual-circuit system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of the waterbox portion of the dual-circuit system in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the waterbox portions of a dual-circuit system in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 8 is an end view of the waterbox portion of a dual-circuit system in accordance with the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • FIG. 1 shows a condenser 11 and a cooler or evaporator 12 of a single circuit chiller that is typical of the prior art. As shown, the condenser water and evaporator water flows in a counterflow relationship, and the resulting temperatures entering and leaving the condenser and evaporator are as shown.
  • In order to obtain increased COPs, a dual-circuit is connected in series counterflow arrangement as shown in FIG. 2. Here, two independent vapor compression refrigeration circuits, 13 and 14, are connected by an intermediate tubesheet 15 as shown. The first circuit 13 has a condenser 16 and an evaporator 17, and the second circuit 14 has its own condenser 18 and evaporator 19. However, the condenser water circuits of the condenser 16 and 18 are common to both circuits and are arranged in series. Also, the chilled water circuits of the evaporators 17 and 19 are common to both circuits and are arranged in series. This can be best seen by reference to FIG. 3.
  • It will be seen in FIG. 3 that the condenser tubes 21 are long and span the length of each of the condensers 16 and 18 of the circuits 13 and 14. While the intermediate tubesheet 15 isolates and separates the refrigerant in the respective circuits 13 and 14, the water flow through the condenser tubes 21 is continuous from the entrance of the condenser 16 to the outlet of the condenser 18.
  • Similarly, the evaporator tubes 22 are unitary members that extend across both circuits 13 and 14, with the intermediate tubesheets providing isolation only for the refrigerant in the systems 13 and 14, but allow for the evaporator water to flow continuously from the inlet end of the evaporator 19 to the outlet end of the evaporator 17.
  • As discussed hereinabove, such dual-circuit systems with heat exchanger tubes that span both circuits present problems with respect to service, reliability, shipping, performance and control.
  • Referring now to FIG. 4, a system is shown to overcome the above-discussed problems. A first circuit, 23, includes a condenser 24, an expansion device 26, an evaporator 27 and a compressor 28, which operate in serial flow relationship in a well-known manner. A second circuit, 29, includes a condenser 31, an expansion device 32, an evaporator 33 and a compressor 34 which also are connected in serial flow relationship and operate in a well known manner. The two circuits 23 and 29 are interconnected in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 3 but with a different structure at the interface between the two circuits and different structure with respect to the tubes within both the condensers and the evaporators.
  • As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, at an intermediate position between the two evaporators 27 and 33 is an evaporator waterbox 36, and at an intermediate position between the two condensers 24 and 31 is a condenser waterbox 37. Further, unlike the systems described hereinabove wherein the tubes are unitary tubes extending across both circuits, the condenser tubes 38 of circuit I are separate and independent from the condenser tubes 39 of circuit 2, and the evaporator tubes 41 in circuit 1 are separate and distinct from the evaporator tubes 42 of circuit 2. That is, the condenser tubes 38 are fluidly connected to one side of the waterbox 36 and the condenser tubes 39 are fluidly connected to the other side thereof. Similarly, the evaporator tubes 41 are fluidly connected to one side of the waterbox 37 and the evaporator tubes 42 are fluidly connected to the other side thereof. The waterboxes 36 and 37 therefore act as intermediate receptacles for the water as it passes between the first circuit 23 and second circuit 29.
  • The advantages of the above-described design are numerous. First of all, rather than having long unitary tubes, the tubes, and therefore the refrigeration circuits, are generally only about half as long and can be more easily handled and shipped to a site, with the tubes, and therefore the refrigeration circuits, being independent and separatable from the waterboxes. Second, since the tubes are independent, they can be configurable to optimize performance in each circuit. That is, in addition to the variation in length of the tubes in each circuit, the number of tubes within the second circuit can be different from those in the first circuit as shown in FIG. 5, and other variations can be made, such as different tube material, or different heat transfer enhancements. This allows the designer to optimize the desired capacity, efficiency, pressure drop, or cost for each circuit.
  • Other advantages of the present system can be seen by reference to FIG. 6. Because the water from the upstream tubes is discharged along one side of the waterbox 36 (or waterbox 37 in the case of the evaporator), it tends to cause a turbulence within the waterbox such that the individual flow streams are mixed so as to become a reservoir of water with a relative uniform temperature before it enters the tubes of the downstream circuit. This mixing is beneficial to the heat transfer effectiveness, thereby increasing COP of the total system.
  • By using the waterbox 36 as described, the intermediate waterbox 36 is now accessible from the outside and temperature measurement instrumentation 43 can easily be used to obtain the leaving temperature differential of the upstream heat exchangers, thus providing improved control of the system.
  • Another advantage of the use of waterboxes as described is that of facilitating service and repair. That is, since the waterbox is attached to the tube circuits in a manner that allows removal of the waterbox, as will be described hereinafter, the removal of the waterbox allows service of the tubes at each circuit's tubesheet, thereby substantially improving serviceability. Further, since a tube failure in either circuit does not create a refrigerant leak path to the adjacent circuit, the reliability of the system is substantially enhanced.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, the structural interface of the intermediate waterbox and the adjacent circuits are shown. As shown the intermediate waterbox 44 comprises a relatively short cylinder with a plurality of holes 46 formed longitudinally from one end 47 to the other, for receiving bolts 48 passing through the respective tubesheets 49 and 51. The waterbox, 44, is thus sandwiched between the tubesheets 49 and 51 of the respective circuits and can be easily disassembled by removing the bolts, 48, to get access to the tubes for repair purposes at the tubesheets between the circuits. It will therefore be recognized that each of the circuits is independent, and access can be gained to the intermediate tube to tubesheet joints without disrupting refrigerant boundary of either circuit.
  • Although the waterbox 44 is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 as relatively short in length (i.e. about 4 inches), its configuration, size and shape can be substantially varied while remaining within the scope of the present invention. Further, although described in terms of use with a water cooled chiller, the present invention could also be applicable to an air cooled chiller wherein the evaporators of series connected circuits are interconnected by way of an intermediate waterbox structure.

Claims (14)

  1. 1. A chiller system of the type having first and second refrigeration circuits with each refrigeration circuit having a compressor, a condenser, an expansion device and an evaporator and with the respective evaporators in the first and second circuits having a plurality of tubes to conduct the flow of fluid to be cooled, and with the respective evaporators of the first and second circuits being interconnected in series relationship such that the fluid to be chilled passes serially through the respective evaporators of the first and second, circuits, comprising:
    a waterbox interconnected between the evaporators of the first and second circuits and having a unitary reservoir for conducting the flow of fluid from the tubes in the evaporator of the first circuit and to the tubes of the evaporator of the second circuit.
  2. 2. A chiller system as set forth in claim 1 wherein each of said first and second evaporators includes an intermediate tubesheet, and wherein said intermediate waterbox is interconnected between said tubesheets.
  3. 3. A chiller system as set forth in claim 2 wherein said intermediate waterbox is cylindrical in form and is connected to said tubesheets at the respective circular ends of the cylinder.
  4. 4. A chiller system as set forth in claim 3 wherein said waterbox has a plurality of holes formed longitudinally between its opposite ends and further wherein bolts are passed through the tubesheets and through said holes.
  5. 5. A chiller system as set forth in claim 1 and including temperature measurement instrumentation connected to said waterbox to measure the temperature of the water therein.
  6. 6. A chiller system as set forth in claim 1 wherein the respective condensers of the first and second circuits are connected in series and are watercooled and include a waterbox interconnected between the condensers.
  7. 7. A chiller system as set forth in claim 6 wherein said evaporators of first and second circuit are adapted to conduct the flow of cooling water in counterflow relationship to the flow of cooling water in the condensers of the first and second circuits.
  8. 8. A dual-circuit chiller, comprising:
    a first circuit having a compressor, a condenser, an expansion device and an evaporator, with the evaporator having a plurality of tubes for conducting the flow of water to be cooled from an inlet end to an outlet end of the tube;
    a second circuit having a compressor, a condenser, an expansion device and an evaporator with the evaporator having a plurality of tubes for conducting the flow of water to be cooled from an inlet end to an outlet end of the tubes; and
    an evaporator waterbox fluidly interconnected between said first circuit tube outlet ends and the second circuit tube inlet ends, such that water to be cooled flows from said first circuit tube outlet ends, into said evaporator waterbox and then into the second circuit tube inlet ends.
  9. 9. A dual-circuit chiller as set forth in claim 8 and including a first intermediate tubesheet surrounding said first circuit tube outlet ends and a second intermediate tubesheet surrounding said second circuit tube inlet ends and further wherein said waterbox is connected to said first and second intermediate tubesheets.
  10. 10. A dual-circuit chiller as set forth in claim 9 wherein said waterbox is cylindrical in form.
  11. 11. A dual-circuit chiller as set forth in claim 10 wherein said cylinder has holes formed longitudinally between its end surfaces and further wherein bolts pass through said first and second intermediate tubesheets and through said holes to secure the waterbox to said first and second intermediate tubesheets, respectively.
  12. 12. A dual-circuit chiller as set forth in claim 8 and including temperature measurement instrumentation attached to said waterbox for measuring the temperature of the water therein.
  13. 13. A dual-circuit chiller as set forth in claim 8 wherein said condensers of said first and second circuits are watercooled and are connected in serial flow relationship and further include a condenser waterbox interconnected between the condensers of said first and second circuits.
  14. 14. A dual-circuit chiller as set forth in claim 6 wherein the flow of water in said evaporators is in counterflow relationship with the flow of water in said condensers.
US12444930 2006-10-10 2006-10-10 Dual-circuit series counterflow chiller with intermediate waterbox Abandoned US20100115984A1 (en)

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PCT/US2006/039514 WO2008045040A3 (en) 2006-10-10 2006-10-10 Dual-circuit series counterflow chiller with intermediate waterbox

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120125033A1 (en) * 2009-07-28 2012-05-24 Toshiba Carrier Corporation Heat source unit
US20150241100A1 (en) * 2012-09-27 2015-08-27 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Heat source system and control method thereof

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US8166776B2 (en) 2007-07-27 2012-05-01 Johnson Controls Technology Company Multichannel heat exchanger
US20120103009A1 (en) * 2009-05-15 2012-05-03 Carrier Corporation Hybrid serial counterflow dual refrigerant circuit chiller
US9657978B2 (en) 2009-07-31 2017-05-23 Johnson Controls Technology Company Refrigerant control system for a flash tank
EP2516942A1 (en) 2009-08-17 2012-10-31 Johnson Controls Technology Company Heat-pump chiller with improved heat recovery features
CN102035307B (en) * 2010-12-29 2012-07-04 哈动国家水力发电设备工程技术研究中心有限公司 Evaporative cooling system for water-wheel generator with master-slave condenser
US9752803B2 (en) 2011-02-16 2017-09-05 Johnson Controls Technology Company Heat pump system with a flow directing system
CN103161529A (en) * 2011-12-12 2013-06-19 邵再禹 Closed circulation electricity generation method canceling working medium backwash pump

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US3589141A (en) * 1969-03-26 1971-06-29 Carrier Corp Refrigeration apparatus
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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120125033A1 (en) * 2009-07-28 2012-05-24 Toshiba Carrier Corporation Heat source unit
US9127867B2 (en) * 2009-07-28 2015-09-08 Toshiba Carrier Corporation Heat source unit
US20150241100A1 (en) * 2012-09-27 2015-08-27 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Heat source system and control method thereof

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WO2008045040A3 (en) 2009-04-16 application
WO2008045040A2 (en) 2008-04-17 application
CN101595353A (en) 2009-12-02 application
CN101595353B (en) 2012-04-25 grant

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Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MACBAIN, SCOTT M.;STARK, MICHAEL A.;CHIANG, ROBERT HONG-LEUNG;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060922 TO 20061113;REEL/FRAME:022932/0788