US20180087786A1 - Energy management apparatus, system and method - Google Patents

Energy management apparatus, system and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20180087786A1
US20180087786A1 US15/618,362 US201715618362A US2018087786A1 US 20180087786 A1 US20180087786 A1 US 20180087786A1 US 201715618362 A US201715618362 A US 201715618362A US 2018087786 A1 US2018087786 A1 US 2018087786A1
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canceled
heat
compressor
air
internal combustion
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US15/618,362
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Donald Williams
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M-Trigen Inc
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Donald Williams
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Priority claimed from US14/461,962 external-priority patent/US10253993B2/en
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Publication of US20180087786A1 publication Critical patent/US20180087786A1/en
Assigned to M-TRIGEN, INC. reassignment M-TRIGEN, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WILLIAMS, DONALD
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F3/00Air-conditioning systems in which conditioned primary air is supplied from one or more central stations to distributing units in the rooms or spaces where it may receive secondary treatment; Apparatus specially designed for such systems
    • F24F3/12Air-conditioning systems in which conditioned primary air is supplied from one or more central stations to distributing units in the rooms or spaces where it may receive secondary treatment; Apparatus specially designed for such systems characterised by the treatment of the air otherwise than by heating and cooling
    • F24F3/14Air-conditioning systems in which conditioned primary air is supplied from one or more central stations to distributing units in the rooms or spaces where it may receive secondary treatment; Apparatus specially designed for such systems characterised by the treatment of the air otherwise than by heating and cooling by humidification; by dehumidification
    • F24F3/1411Air-conditioning systems in which conditioned primary air is supplied from one or more central stations to distributing units in the rooms or spaces where it may receive secondary treatment; Apparatus specially designed for such systems characterised by the treatment of the air otherwise than by heating and cooling by humidification; by dehumidification by absorbing or adsorbing water, e.g. using an hygroscopic desiccant
    • F24F3/1423Air-conditioning systems in which conditioned primary air is supplied from one or more central stations to distributing units in the rooms or spaces where it may receive secondary treatment; Apparatus specially designed for such systems characterised by the treatment of the air otherwise than by heating and cooling by humidification; by dehumidification by absorbing or adsorbing water, e.g. using an hygroscopic desiccant with a moving bed of solid desiccants, e.g. a rotary wheel supporting solid desiccants
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F3/00Air-conditioning systems in which conditioned primary air is supplied from one or more central stations to distributing units in the rooms or spaces where it may receive secondary treatment; Apparatus specially designed for such systems
    • F24F3/12Air-conditioning systems in which conditioned primary air is supplied from one or more central stations to distributing units in the rooms or spaces where it may receive secondary treatment; Apparatus specially designed for such systems characterised by the treatment of the air otherwise than by heating and cooling
    • F24F3/14Air-conditioning systems in which conditioned primary air is supplied from one or more central stations to distributing units in the rooms or spaces where it may receive secondary treatment; Apparatus specially designed for such systems characterised by the treatment of the air otherwise than by heating and cooling by humidification; by dehumidification
    • F24F3/147Air-conditioning systems in which conditioned primary air is supplied from one or more central stations to distributing units in the rooms or spaces where it may receive secondary treatment; Apparatus specially designed for such systems characterised by the treatment of the air otherwise than by heating and cooling by humidification; by dehumidification with both heat and humidity transfer between supplied and exhausted air
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F5/00Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater
    • F24F5/0007Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater cooling apparatus specially adapted for use in air-conditioning
    • F24F5/0035Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater cooling apparatus specially adapted for use in air-conditioning using evaporation
    • 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
    • F25B13/00Compression machines, plants or systems, with reversible cycle
    • 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
    • F25B25/00Machines, plants or systems, using a combination of modes of operation covered by two or more of the groups F25B1/00 - F25B23/00
    • F25B25/005Machines, plants or systems, using a combination of modes of operation covered by two or more of the groups F25B1/00 - F25B23/00 using primary and secondary systems
    • 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
    • F25B27/00Machines, plants or systems, using particular sources of energy
    • F25B27/02Machines, plants or systems, using particular sources of energy using waste heat, e.g. from internal-combustion engines
    • 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
    • F25B39/00Evaporators; Condensers
    • F25B39/04Condensers
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F2203/00Devices or apparatus used for air treatment
    • F24F2203/10Rotary wheel
    • F24F2203/1032Desiccant wheel
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F2203/00Devices or apparatus used for air treatment
    • F24F2203/10Rotary wheel
    • F24F2203/104Heat exchanger wheel
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F2221/00Details or features not otherwise provided for
    • F24F2221/34Heater, e.g. gas burner, electric air heater
    • 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
    • F25B21/00Machines, plants or systems, using electric or magnetic effects
    • F25B21/02Machines, plants or systems, using electric or magnetic effects using Peltier effect; using Nernst-Ettinghausen effect
    • 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
    • F25B2313/00Compression machines, plants or systems with reversible cycle not otherwise provided for
    • F25B2313/025Compression machines, plants or systems with reversible cycle not otherwise provided for using multiple outdoor units
    • F25B2313/0254Compression machines, plants or systems with reversible cycle not otherwise provided for using multiple outdoor units in series arrangements
    • F25B2313/02543Compression machines, plants or systems with reversible cycle not otherwise provided for using multiple outdoor units in series arrangements during heating
    • 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
    • F25B2327/00Refrigeration system using an engine for driving a compressor
    • F25B2327/001Refrigeration system using an engine for driving a compressor of the internal combustion type
    • 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
    • F25B2339/041Details of condensers of evaporative 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
    • 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
    • F25B2400/04Refrigeration circuit bypassing means
    • F25B2400/0403Refrigeration circuit bypassing means for the condenser
    • 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
    • F25B2400/07Details of compressors or related parts
    • F25B2400/075Details of compressors or related parts with parallel compressors
    • 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
    • F25B2600/00Control issues
    • F25B2600/25Control of valves
    • F25B2600/2507Flow-diverting valves
    • 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
    • F25B27/00Machines, plants or systems, using particular sources of energy
    • 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
    • F25B2700/00Sensing or detecting of parameters; Sensors therefor
    • F25B2700/02Humidity
    • 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
    • F25B41/00Fluid-circulation arrangements
    • F25B41/20Disposition of valves, e.g. of on-off valves or flow control valves
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02ATECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02A30/00Adapting or protecting infrastructure or their operation
    • Y02A30/27Relating to heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] technologies
    • Y02A30/274Relating to heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] technologies using waste energy, e.g. from internal combustion engine
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B30/00Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC]
    • Y02B30/54Free-cooling systems

Abstract

A system and method for power generation and/or distribution and for providing air conditioning is disclosed, that is particularly suitable for localized consumption. Power generation includes a combined cooling, heating and power system (CCHP) containing a gas or liquid fueled internal combustion engine with a generator and heat recovery system for providing electrical power and heat for local consumption. The CCHP system includes an integrated cooling system for cooling a local environment, using either vapor compression and/or heat pump and/or evaporative cooling technology. The CCHP system also contains an energy management unit allowing CCHP system and local area electrical needs in whole or in part to be powered by either the CCHP generator and/or a communal electrical grid and/or renewable energy sources and/or a battery storage network.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/348,267, filed on Jun. 10, 2016 (pending), the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference for all purposes and made a part of the present disclosure. The present application also claims the benefit, as a Continuation-in-Part, of U.S. patent Ser. No. 14/461,962, filed on Aug. 18, 2014 (pending), which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/867,571, filed on Aug. 19, 2013 (expired), the entireties of which are incorporated herein by reference for all purposes and made a part of the present disclosure.
  • FIELD
  • The present disclosure relates to an energy process handling system, and more particularly, to combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP) systems for use in localized environments.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Each of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/461,962 (entitled “Temperature Modulated Desiccant Evaporative Cooler and Indirect and Direct Evaporative Air Conditioning Systems, Methods and Apparatus”, filed on Aug. 18, 2014, and published as U.S. 2015/0128625), and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/314,771 (entitled “Power Generation System and Method”, filed on Jun. 25, 2014, and published as U.S. 2015/0033778), may provide background and points of reference helpful in the understanding of certain subject matter introduced herein, and are, therefore, hereby incorporated by reference for all purposes and made a part of the present disclosure.
  • Due to a dependence upon existing infrastructures, latent technologies and industry specialization, local energy supplies are often remotely and centrally generated, distributed for local use via grid systems and divided according to application. As an example, natural gas may be transported using a central pumping station and delivered by a pipeline for local consumption (e.g., for use in heating water, cooking food or ventilated heating systems). Similarly, electricity is typically produced at a central power plant and distributed over a traditional electric grid system for use in such applications as lighting and powering appliances or ventilated cooling systems. In many respects, such a multi-management technique for delivering energy is considered wasteful of manpower and material. It is also highly energy inefficient with energy lost to waste heat disposal in centralized electric power generation and non-reversible losses of energy transmission both via electric power lines and gas pumping stations and pipelines. Such losses are not only expensive and wasteful, but also contribute to the hazardous effects of toxic and green house gas production.
  • To address these deficiencies, manufacturers have to turned to technologies affording local power generation including both renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and geothermal, as well as heat engine technologies, allowing the local burning of fossil fuels. Although promising in their clean, inexhaustible nature, renewable technologies do not offer performance competitive with that possible with fossil fuel technologies (for local, low power generation applications). Noting this, some manufacturers have turned to local energy management solutions such as combined heat and power (CHP) systems, heat pumps (HP) and absorption chillers. CHP systems vastly improve fuel efficiency by conducting energy conversion locally at the spot where the energy is used, thus utilizing combustion heat and avoiding transmission losses not possible with conventional centralized communal electrical grids. Alternatively, because these move, rather than convert energy, HPs have proven to be a highly efficient and flexible method of heating and cooling.
  • However, such systems are often produced, installed and managed by separate providers to service separate energy needs; exist in different parts of the local environment; and operate independently. Thus, although such technologies eliminate some inefficiencies of central production, such lack of integration serves to re-establish inefficiencies of the multi-management approach, preventing the utilization of the additional energy harvesting and improved efficiencies possible via integrated, symbiotic sharing subsystems.
  • SUMMARY
  • In one aspect, the present disclosure provides a fully integrated energy management system capable of providing highly efficient energy production and/or management for local energy needs, including electric power generation, heating, cooling, energy storage, and water processing. A basic architecture of such systems may include a CHP and supporting elements, such as vapor-compression cooling systems, HPs, evaporative coolers (EC), heat exchanger networks, and energy storage subsystems, to realize a number of configurations suited for a given application, energy requirements and\or available energy resources.
  • In a further aspect, the present disclosure provides for a CHP and cooling system characterized by subsystems having an integrated nature, which afford greater application flexibility and higher efficiencies relative to conventional systems.
  • In a further aspect, the present disclosure provides for a system and method for generating electric power and providing air conditioning in a localized installation. A hybrid power generator, including an internal combustion engine operatively coupled to an electric generator, may be generate both electrical and mechanical energy. The system may include an air conditioning system, including at least one compressor. The at least one compressor may be operatively coupled to the hybrid power generator. The hybrid power generator may be engageable with the compressor, mechanically and/or electrically, to compress a working refrigerant fluid.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • So that the manner in which the features and advantages of embodiments of the present disclosure may be understood in more detail, a more particular description of the briefly summarized embodiments above may be had by reference to the embodiments which are illustrated in the appended drawings that form a part of this specification. It is to be noted, however, that the drawings illustrate only various exemplary embodiments, and are therefore not to be considered limiting of the scope of this disclosure, as it may include other effective embodiments as well.
  • FIG. 1 is a simplified block diagram or schematic of an energy management system or power generation and distribution system according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 2 is a simplified schematic of an electrical resource management system according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 3a is a simplified schematic of a power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP utilizing a vapor compression cooling system, according to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 3b is a simplified schematic of a power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP utilizing an electrically driven vapor compression cooling system, according to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 3c is a simplified schematic of a power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP utilizing both a selectively mechanically drivable compressor and a selectively electrically drivable compressor, according to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 3d is a simplified schematic of the power generation and distribution system installation in FIG. 3c shown with the mechanically drivable compressor selectively engaged and directly mechanically driven by an engine, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 3e is a simplified schematic of the power generation and distribution system installation in FIG. 3c shown with the electrically drivable compressor selectively engaged and electrical driven by an electric generator, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 3f is a simplified schematic of a power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP with a single, hybrid compressor, according to an embodiment;
  • FIG. 4a is a simplified schematic of a power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing a mechanically driven compressor and a heat pump, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 4b is a simplified schematic of a power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing an electrically-driven compressor and a heat pump, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 4c is a simplified schematic of a power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing a hybrid, dual compressor and heat pump configuration, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 4d is a simplified schematic of a power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing a hybrid, single compressor and heat pump configuration, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 5a is a simplified schematic of an exemplary power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing a mechanically driven compressor and a waste heat recovery system associated with the engine, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 5b is a simplified schematic of an exemplary power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing an electrically driven compressor and a waste heat recovery system associated with the engine, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 5c is a simplified schematic of an exemplary power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing a hybrid dual compressor and heat pump configuration and a waste heat recovery system associated with the engine, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 5d is a simplified schematic of an exemplary power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing a hybrid single compressor and heat pump configuration and a waste heat recovery system associated with the engine, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 6a is a simplified schematic of an exemplary power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing a mechanically driven compressor and heat pump configuration, and enhanced waste heat recovery according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 6b is a simplified schematic of an exemplary power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing an electrically driven compressor and heat pump configuration, and enhanced waste heat recovery according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 6c is a simplified schematic of an exemplary power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing a selectively mechanically or electrically driven dual compressor and heat pump configuration, and enhanced waste heat recovery according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 6d is a simplified schematic of an exemplary power generation and distribution system installation, including a CCHP employing a single, selectively mechanically or electrically driven compressor and heat pump configuration, and enhanced waste heat recovery according to the present disclosure;
  • FIGS. 7a-7e are simplified illustrations of an exemplary mass heat exchanger suitable for use with an evaporative cooling apparatus or system according to the present disclosure;
  • FIGS. 8a-8b are simplified illustrations of a desiccant dehumidifier unit suitable for use with an evaporative cooling apparatus or system according to the present disclosure;
  • FIGS. 9a-9c are simplified illustrations of an exemplary installation including a CCHP heater, dehumidifier, and mass heat exchanger according to the present disclosure;
  • FIGS. 10a-10e are simplified illustrations of flow patterns associated with an exemplary installations including a mass heat exchanger according to the present disclosure;
  • FIGS. 11a-11d are simplified illustrations of flow patterns associated with exemplary installations, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIGS. 12a and 12b are simplified illustrations of flow patterns associated with an exemplary localized air conditioning system employing a desiccant wheel, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 13 is a simplified diagram of an exemplary CCHP system installation, including a waste and ambient heat powered heat engine and vacuum cooler, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 14 is a simplified diagram of an exemplary, CCHP system installation, including a waste and ambient heat powered heat engine and indirect evaporative cooler, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 15 is a simplified schematic of an exemplary, CCHP system installation, including a waste and ambient heat powered heat engine, according to the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 16 is a simplified schematic of an exemplary, CCHP system installation, including a waste heat hot water and ambient heat powered heat engine, according to the present disclosure; and
  • FIG. 17 is a simplified schematic of an exemplary localized air conditioning or other energy system utilizing waste heat generated by a heat engine or HVAC to transfer energy to a working fluid, according to the present disclosure.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Embodiments of the present disclosure will now be described more fully with reference to the accompanying drawings, which illustrate various exemplary embodiments. The disclosed concepts may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as being limited by the illustrated embodiments set forth herein. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough as well as complete and will fully convey the scope to those skilled in the art and modes of practicing the embodiments.
  • In one aspect, the present disclosure provides for an improved energy handling, distribution, and\or generating system, and\or specific components or subsystems thereof, and methods of operating or performing the same. The present disclosure also provides for a system and method for air conditioning.
  • Referring to the system diagram of FIG. 1, certain embodiments of the present disclosure relate to a power generation system, system 1000. System 1000 includes a power generator, including internal combustion engine 100 (prime mover) and an electric generator 110 powered by the internal combustion engine 100. System 1000 includes a heat recovery apparatus or unit 130, and a cooling apparatus or unit 320. The internal combustion engine 100, heat recovery unit 130, and cooling unit 132 are operatively interconnected. The heat recovery unit 130 is disposed to capture waste heat produced by the internal combustion engine 100. The cooling unit 132 includes a refrigeration unit powered by the internal combustion engine 100, and may include at least one compressor driven by the internal combustion engine 100. In certain embodiments, the cooling unit 132 includes a heat pump driven by the internal combustion engine 100. In operation, the electric generator 110 is engageable by the internal combustion engine 100 to generate electricity.
  • The system 1000 also includes an electrical energy converter 115. The electrical energy converter 115 converts, distributes, and regulates electrical energy such that electrical energy for a local environment may be supplied by either the internal combustion engine 100 and electric generator 110; an electric grid 116; a renewable energy source 114, such as solar, wind or geothermal energy sources; or battery storage 118. Also, the electrical energy converter 115 may be configured to allow locally generated energy from the internal combustion engine 100 and electric generator 110 and/or from renewable energy sources 114 to be redistributed into the electric grid 116 for communal use. The cooling unit 132 may be electrically or mechanically powered via converter 115 or via a drive shaft 120 coupled with the internal combustion engine 100, and a heat recovery unit 130 for local heat generation. System 1000 also includes an HVAC system 134 with air temperature and relative humidity (RH) controlled via heat recovery unit 130 and/or cooling unit 132. Additionally, the system 1000 includes a water management system 138, such as a boiler or chiller, with temperature controlled via heat recovery unit 130 and/or cooling unit 132. Thus, the configuration of system 1000 forms a combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) system that, in some embodiments, is capable of sinking and sourcing energy from multiple sources, enabling system 1000 to adapt to a wide range of energy supply conditions and applications, while also supplying all forms of energy typically required for local consumption including utility power, HVAC, and water conditioning.
  • With reference to FIG. 2, system 1000, and methods of use thereof for energy generation and\or distribution, may employ various types of fuels and heat engine designs including diesel, gasoline, dual fuel designs, and biofuels. For example, in some embodiments, internal combustion engine 100 is a naturally aspirated, four-cycle, natural gas internal combustion engine. Electric generator 110 (e.g., alternator) is operably connected to an engine crankshaft 101, such as by gear or belt and clutch drive assembly 102. Thus, engine crankshaft 101 and drive assembly 102 operate to transfer mechanical energy from the internal combustion engine 100 to the electric generator 110, for conversion of the transferred mechanical energy into electrical energy.
  • The electrical energy produced in the electric generator 110 is then transferred to the electrical energy converter 115 for converting, distributing, and regulating the electrical energy. The electrical energy converter 115 includes conditioning circuitry 105 configured to manage or condition the electricity from electric generator 110, and to perform other conditioning functions, including rectification, regulation and generator over current protection circuitry, depending upon the specific electric generator 110 design. In some embodiments, electric generator 110 is a DC brushless generator, and conditioning circuitry 105 includes a regulator that maintains a constant voltage supply with variations in engine RPM and electrical loads.
  • The electrical energy converter 115 also includes a grid conditioning subsystem with a transformer assembly 109 providing galvanic isolation and conditioning circuitry 106 that includes a bidirectional power converter for converting AC power from the electric grid 116 to a compatible DC supply for use with the system 1000, such as when sinking energy from the electric grid 116 as well as when converting the CCHP DC supply to synchronized AC supply for supplying power back to the electric grid 116 from system 1000.
  • The electrical energy converter 115 includes battery monitoring and charging circuitry 107 for monitoring battery status as well as maintaining proper charging protocols for charging battery storage elements 118. In some embodiments, charging circuitry 107 is a current regulator with voltage feedback to a complex balanced charger used with a multi-cell Lithium-Ion battery bank. In some embodiments, charging circuitry 107 is a current regulator with voltage feedback to a complex balanced charger, and battery storage 118 includes a series of parallel, coupled, deep cycle lead acid batteries.
  • The electrical energy converter 115 includes multiplexing circuitry 108 electrically coupled with each electrical power source of system 1000, including electric generator 110, electric grid 116, and battery storage 118. Multiplexing circuitry 108 may be adapted to allow user power source selection via system controller 104 and user interface 111. System controller 104 may include mechanical relays and a programmed logic control (PLC), power MOSFET arrays and solid-state relays controlled via custom microcontroller hardware, or remote distributed control via a SCADA network. The electrical output of electrical energy converter 115 passes through power interface circuitry 103, which includes additional regulation and protection circuitry such as current limit circuits and fuses to further protect load and supply circuitry from system related faults.
  • Certain embodiments include an electrical control unit 112 (ECU) as a controller that provides the logic (hardware and software) for controlling the internal combustion engine 100. System controller 104 and ECU 112 may be connected via a digital communication link, such as OBDII or CANBus, allowing the units to share performance data such as engine RPM, manifold pressures, spark advance, electrical load, and supply status, which may be used in conjunction with firmware algorithms in one or both units in a feedback loop to optimize efficiency and system performance.
  • For cooling local environments, system 1000 may include various modes of AC production. In a first embodiment shown in FIG. 3a , in addition to the power generation components described above with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, system 1000 includes a vapor compression subsystem. Vapor compression subsystem includes a mechanically driven compressor 320 with a clutch and gear or belt drive system 300 coupled with the engine crankshaft 101. Vapor compression subsystem includes a condenser 340 located outside the local environment, an expansion valve 360, and evaporator 350 located within the local environment. The vapor compression subsystem operates to extract heat from the local environment via heat transfer through the evaporator 350 with vaporization of the working fluid 335. Compressor 320 then receives the vaporized working fluid from the evaporator 350, and operates to compress the working fluid to a high-pressure vapor. Heat is then expelled outside of the local environment via the condenser 340, resulting in condensation of the working fluid. The condensed working fluid then flows from the condenser 340 into the expansion valve 360, wherein the working fluid is expanded into a low-pressure vapor.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3a , compressor 320 is driven by the mechanical output of the internal combustion engine 100 via a belt and pulley linkage engaged via drive system 300 (e.g., an electromagnetic clutch) under control of cooling control unit 370. Cooling control unit 370 may be powered by the electrical energy converter 115, as shown and describe above with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2. The cooling control unit 370 may be, for example and without limitation, an on/off switch or a thermostatically controlled feedback system used to automatically engage the compressor 320 at a duty cycle sufficient to maintain a constant local ambient temperature.
  • In another embodiment shown illustrated by FIG. 3b , system 1000 employs an electrically driven compressor 310 that is directly powered by or from electrical energy converter 115. All other components and functionality are the same as previously described with reference to FIG. 3A, with the exception that cooling control unit 370 controls electrical power to the compressor 310 instead of mechanically engaging the compressor via drive system 300.
  • FIGS. 3c-3e illustrate another embodiment of system 1000 that employs a hybrid vapor compression cooling system, including both an electrically driven compressor 310 and a mechanically driven compressor 320. The compressors 310 and 320 may be selectively engaged via cooling control unit 370 (not shown), thus allowing cooling to be achieved using either fuel (e.g., gas) or electrical power. The cooling control unit 370 in the embodiment of FIGS. 3c-3e may include both on/off controls for the electrical compressor 310 and drive system 300, as well as drive circuitry for control of flow control valves 331, 332 (e.g., solenoid valves). Flow control valves 331, 332 may be disposed within the vapor compression cooling subsystem refrigerant loop to control the flow of the working fluid, such that the working fluid can be selectively controlled to flow through either compressor 310 or compressor 320. In operation, to deactivate the cooling system, cooling control unit 370 turns off the power supply to the electrical compressor 310, disengages the drive system 300 of the mechanical compressor 320, and de-energizes the flow control valves 331, 332. In some embodiments, idle valve positions of the flow control valves 331, 332 are immaterial when both compressors are deactivated, as there is no working fluid flowing. With reference to FIG. 3d , to activate the mechanical compressor 320, cooling control unit 370 powers the drive system 300, deactivates electrical compressor 310, and energizes both flow control valves 331, 332 to result in the flow of working fluid through the mechanical compressor 320. With reference to FIG. 3e , to activate the electrical compressor 310, cooling control unit 370 deactivates drive system 300, thus disengaging the mechanical compressor 320 from the internal combustion engine 100 drive train. Also, when the electrical compressor 310 is activated, both flow control valves 331, 332 are de-energized, resulting in the working fluid cycling through the electrical compressor 310. As such, the embodiment of system 1000 shown in FIGS. 3c-3e allow for selectively driving the working fluid of the vapor compression subsystem via mechanical compressor 320 or electrical compressor 310.
  • FIG. 3f depicts another embodiment of system 1000 employing a hybrid vapor compression that includes a single compressor 315. The single compressor 315 may have a hybrid design that is capable of operating with either direct mechanical or electrical input. Thus, the single compressor 315 is electrically coupled to electric generator 110 via the electrical energy converter 115, and is mechanically coupled to the internal combustion engine 100 via the engine crankshaft 101 and drive system 300.
  • Depending on the load applied to the internal combustion engine 100, it may, at times, be more efficient to power the vapor compression cooling subsystem using the electric grid 116, battery storage 118, renewable energy resources 114, electric generator 110, or mechanical drive system 300. The dual hybrid compressors 310, 320 shown in FIG. 3c , as well as the single hybrid compressor 315 shown in FIG. 3f , allow for “on the fly” selection of the power source that drives the working fluid of the vapor compression cooling subsystem. Such selection of the power source affords a backup source of power in the case of one power system becoming inoperable, e.g., if the fuel supply to the internal combustion engine 100 is interrupted during such events as a gas leak or if there is a black out in the electric grid 116. Additionally, such selection of the power source allows the user to select the most economical fuel, such as using the mechanical compressor 320 (or mechanically driving the single compressor 315) and a gas supplied internal combustion engine 100 during periods of high electric grid 116 demand when tier pricing rates are highest, and switching to the electrically driven compressor 310 (or electrically driving the single compressor 315) during low cost, low demand electric grid 116 periods.
  • Certain embodiments of the present disclosure provide for a system 1000 for generating electric power in a localized installation (e.g., a commercial or residential building). In such embodiments, the system 1000 includes a hybrid power generator composed of internal combustion engine 100, and electric generator 110; an air conditioning cooling system (cooling unit 132) including a compressor (e.g., compressor 310, 320, or 315); and a selectively engageable drive assembly composed of drive assembly 102 and/or drive assembly 300. The selectively engageable drive assembly of such a system 1000 is operably connected with the hybrid power generator, and is operable to selectively engage the electric generator 110 and/or the internal combustion engine 1000 with the compressor. In operation, the hybrid power generator is engageable with the compressor to compress the working refrigerant fluid.
  • In some embodiments, due to enhanced efficiency and flexibility in being able to both heat and cool, a heat pump (HP) is employed in place of a vapor compression subsystem. With reference to FIGS. 4a-4d , an embodiment of system 1000 including a heat pump is shown. In FIGS. 4a-4d , all components are the same as those used in the vapor compression subsystem of FIGS. 3a-3f , with the exception of the addition of a valve 410 that is configured to selectively reverse the flow direction of the working fluid 335, thus interchanging the operational role of the condenser 340 and the evaporator 350, allowing for both heating and cooling. While valve 410 may have any valve configuration capable of reversing the flow direction of the working fluid, in certain embodiments valve 410 is a discharge port driven 4-way solenoid valve. The operation of system 1000 with the heat pump is similar to those of the embodiments previously described with reference to FIGS. 3a-3f using a vapor compression refrigeration subsystem. The system 1000 employing the heat pump may include a mechanical compressor 320, an electrical compressor 310, dual hybrid mechanical and electrical compressors 320 and 310, or a single hybrid compressor 315, as shown, respectively, in FIGS. 4a, 4b, 4c, and 4d . The operation of each of said compressors 310, 320, and 315 is the same as described above with respect to FIGS. 3a-3f . Additionally, cooling control unit 370 of FIGS. 4a-4d operates in the same manner as described above with respect to FIGS. 3a-3f , with the exception that the cooling control unit 370 of FIGS. 4a-4d additionally includes circuitry for controlling the valve 410 to enable either heating or cooling functionality. For example, cooling control unit 370 may control valve 410 by simply energizing the valve solenoid for one direction of working fluid flow and de-energizing for the valve solenoid for the other direction of working fluid flow.
  • Some embodiments disclosed herein provide for a system for generating electric power and operating a refrigeration cycle for a localized installation. Such a system includes a power generator (internal combustion engine 100 and electric generator 110); an air conditioning cooling system (cooling unit 132), including at least one compressor (compressor 310, 320, and/or 315); and a selectively engageable drive assembly (drive system 300) operably connected with the power generator. In such a system, the power generator is engageable with the at least one compressor to compress a working refrigerant fluid. A heat pump, as shown in FIGS. 4a-4d , is disposed in a refrigeration cycle with the compressor. The drive system 300 is operable to selectively engage the electric motor 110 or the internal combustion engine 100 with the at least one compressor. For example, in some embodiments, the system includes a single compressor 315 that is selectively engaged or disengaged from operative coupling with the engine crankshaft 101 of the internal combustion engine 100. In other embodiments, such a system includes at least two compressors, mechanically driven compressor 320 and electrically driven compressor 310. The mechanically driven compressor 320 is selectively engageable with the internal combustion engine 100 and powerable thereby, and the electrically driven compressor 310 is selectively engageable with the electric generator 110 and electrically powerable thereby.
  • Heat pump operation depends, at least in part, upon the condenser 340 and evaporator 350 ambient temperature differential, which may exhibit a low coefficient of performance (COP) when cooling with high outside temperatures or when heating with low outside temperatures. One solution to address this issue is the use of a dual fuel system in which use of the heat pump is stopped and use of a conventional electric or gas powered burner is initiated to generate heat from fossil fuels or electrical power, such as when there is insufficient internal energy in ambient air for operation of the heat pump. While use of a dual fuel system is effective, such an approach is relatively complex and diminishes efficiency by relying on less efficient support systems. Thus, in some embodiments, system 1000 includes a heat recovery unit 130 through which the working fluid is cycled. As shown in FIG. 5a , heat recovery unit 130 includes heat exchanger 510. Although any radiative or conductive heat sources may be used as heat exchanger 510, some embodiments of heat exchanger 510 include a series of heat exchangers attached to the engine exhaust manifold, catalytic converter and exhaust distribution system of the internal combustion engine 100. The heat recovery unit 130 is in fluid communication with the refrigerant cycle of the cooling unit 132 via flow control valves 331 and 332 for receipt of the working fluid therefrom. The additional heat provided by the heat recovery unit 130 to the working fluid both increases internal combustion engine 100 efficiency and heat pump COP, while also increasing the heat pump dynamic range and allowing it to function during periods of low outside temperatures without resorting to the use of generator technologies. In FIGS. 5a-5d , all components and their associated functions and operation are the same as those used in system 1000 in FIGS. 4a-4d , with the exception of the addition of the heat recovery unit 130, including heat exchanger 510, as well as flow control valves 333 and 334.
  • Some embodiments provide for an energy generating and distribution system 1000 including internal combustion engine 100; cooling unit 132 powered by energy generated by the internal combustion engine 100; and electric generator 110 powered by the internal combustion engine 100. In some such embodiments, the cooling unit 132 is selectively directly powerable by the internal combustion engine 100, such as via mechanically driving compressor 320 via drive system 300; selectively electrically driven and interoperably connected with the electric generator 110, such as via powering compressor 310 with electric generator 110; or combinations thereof. Such a system 1000 may include heat recovery unit 130 associated thermally coupled with internal combustion engine 100 to capture waste heat generated thereby. In some embodiments of such a system, an HVAC system 134 is directly associated (e.g., thermally and/or fluidly coupled) with the heat recovery unit 130 to transfer energy there-between.
  • With reference to FIGS. 6a-6d , certain embodiments of system 1000 exhibit increased heating ability and enhanced heat capacity or cooling ability. In FIGS. 6a-6d , all components and their associated functions and operation are the same as those used in system 1000 in FIGS. 5a-5d , with the exception of the addition of the heat exchanger 610 and valve 620 to the heat recovery unit 130. Valve 620 is in fluid communication with the heat exchanger 610, heat exchanger 510, and flow control valves 331, 332. In operation, exhaust heat exchanger 610 and valve 620 allow the working fluid to be routed either through the heat exchanger 510 alone, or in series with the exhaust heat exchanger 610. The valve 620 may be in operational communication with cooling control unit 370, which may control the opening and closing of valve 620. Routing the working fluid through heat exchanger 510 enhances heating ability of system 1000. Routing the working fluid through exhaust heat exchanger 610 increases the overall system heat capacity via the use of both the condenser 340 and exhaust heat exchanger 610 to increase cooling ability of the system 1000. While FIGS. 6a-6d depict a particular valve configuration the heat recovery unit 130, heat recovery unit 130 may have different configurations depending upon the specific application. For example and without limitation, valve 620 could be configured with heat exchangers 510 and 610 in parallel with common supply and return lines of the working fluid, allowing selective flow of the working fluid through either heat exchanger 510 or heat exchanger 610, thus selectively enhancing either heating or cooling functions as opposed to both heating and cooling functions. Thus, the heat recovery unit 130 is not limited to the specific piping configurations shown in FIGS. 6a-6d . Embodiments of system 1000 with heat recovery unit 130 provide physical and/or thermodynamic integration of CHP and HP devices of the system 1000.
  • Certain embodiments of the system provided herein include evaporative cooling (EC) subsystems. Such subsystems utilize the high heat capacity of water to lower the air temperature by using its internal energy to vaporize liquid water. Such subsystems may be used, for example, in low humidity environments, and have may have a relatively simple design and operation. For example, some embodiments of such subsystems may require no refrigerant, minimal capital investment, and provide a nearly 80% savings in operational cost compared to vapor compression systems. Evaporative cooling subsystems may be employed in dry climate zones, industrial complexes, and buildings having large volume requirements. Operation is relatively simple compared to refrigerant based systems, with one difference being that while both take advantage of the latent heats during a phase change of a medium, refrigerant based systems carry heat outside the local environment via refrigerant while EC systems replace local air with cooled air from outside. FIGS. 7a-7e are reproduced from incorporated U.S. patent Ser. No. 14/461,962, and correspond to FIGS. 19A-19E of U.S. patent Ser. No. 14/461,962 (the '962 application), respectively. Thus, the descriptions from the '962 application of FIGS. 19A-19E are incorporated herein with reference to present FIGS. 7a-7e , respectively. Additionally, FIGS. 8a and 8b are reproduced from the incorporated '962 application, and correspond to FIGS. 10 and 11 of the '962 application. Thus, the descriptions of FIGS. 10 and 11 from the '962 application are incorporated herein with reference to present FIGS. 8a and 8b , respectively.
  • With references to FIGS. 7a-8b , embodiments of EC subsystems include a mass heat exchanger (MHX) 700, and a desiccant dehumidifier 800. The MHX 700 includes a basic evaporation cooling architecture (e.g., a dew point cooler architecture) composed of air channels 710 (e.g., plastic vent panels and separators) sandwiched between layers of hygroscopic foil 705 (e.g., natural fiber hygroscopic membranes) for channeling air input via ports 720 and 721 and cool and warm outputs 722 and 723, respectively and exhaust port 724. The MHX 700 channels water via fill port 725, distribution 727, collection tray 728, and drain port 726. Some embodiments include a steel enclosure 729 formed as a generally rectangular housing with a length from inlet to outlet ports greater than either the height or width.
  • As describe in more detail below, the MHX 700 may be configured into:
      • Air Pass Through mode
      • Direct Evaporative Cooling (DEC) or Swamp Cooling mode (e.g., FIG. 10a )
      • Indirect Evaporative Cooling (IEC) or Dew Point Cooling mode (e.g., FIG. 10c )
      • Combination DEC/IEC mode (e.g., FIG. 10d )
  • Embodiments in which MHX 700 is combined with desiccant dehumidifier 800 and indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) control unit 810 may be configured for multiple air processing techniques including, but not limited to:
      • Increased evaporative air flow
      • Modulated preheating of working air
      • Increased evaporation surface
      • Dehumidification of both working and process air
      • Water (refrigerant) treatment
      • Vacuum creation to reduce dew point temperature
  • Such EC subsystems may be powered by the CCHP system 1000, thus provide the EC subsystem with operational independence from the electric grid, producing little or no outside exhaust with the use of multiple such units, maintaining the desired RH via full control of both humidifying and dehumidifying operations without additional fuel consumption, and using an environmentally-friendly water in place of chemical refrigerants. FIGS. 9a-9c are reproduced from the '962 application, and correspond to FIGS. 12-14 of the '962 application, respectively. Thus, the descriptions of FIGS. 12-14 from the '962 application are incorporated herein with reference to present FIGS. 9a-9c , respectively. FIGS. 9a-9c depict a residential installation of system 1000 showing water supply lines and fan locations. System 1000 is installed at a local environment 1001 (e.g., a residential or commercial building), and operatively coupled with energy sources 116 a (e.g., an electrical grid) and 116 b (e.g., a natural gas line) for operation of the internal combustion engine. System 1000, as shown in FIG. 9a , is configured to provide heat for heating water in hot water heater 117. Hot water heater 117 may be in fluid communication with desiccant dehumidifier 800, which may be operatively coupled with MHX 700. System 1000 of FIGS. 9a-9c may be, for example, the same or similar as any of the embodiments of system 1000 shown in FIGS. 3a-6d , 15, or 16.
  • Certain embodiments provide for an evaporative cooling (EC) system including a desiccant dehumidifier 800 and one or more heat and mass exchangers, MXH 700, one or more fans, water source, and distribution to control the air temperature, relative humidity (RH) and ventilation of the air in a local environment. The desiccant dehumidifier 800 may have a rotating wheel type construction in which desiccant is heated via a hot water supply and a conductive heat exchanger or directly via a resistive heat source powered by electrical energy provided from the electric energy converter 115. The MHX 700 may be composed of fans, a water source and a series of channels or flutes and hygroscopic film that increase the surface area, allow for fresh water filtration and forced convection to efficiently engage cooling of air via evaporation of the water, as well as control the direction and source of air input and exhaust. The fans of the MHX 700 may include pre-primary supply fans at the inlet of the MHX 700 to draw supply air into the MHX unit 700; post-primary fans at the outlet of the MHX unit 700 to pull primary air out of the MHX unit 700; secondary exhaust fans for drawing secondary air out of the MHX unit 700 for exhausting outside of the local environment; or combinations thereof. In some embodiments of the system, the desiccant dehumidifier 800 is engaged with one or more MHX 700 units to dehumidify either the MXH 700 supply or exhaust air. One or multiple MHX units 700 may be used to provide a number of EC protocols, including direct evaporation (DEC), indirect evaporation (IEC), indirect-direct evaporation (IDEC), and DX. In some embodiments, multiple MHX 700 units may be placed in parallel to handle larger amounts of air throughput than is possible with a single MHX unit 700. Multiple MHX units 700 may be placed in series or staged for super cooling to generate larger temperature differentials than is possible using a single MHX unit 700. The MHX units 700 may be adapted to accept supply air from one or multiple sources including both recycled air from within the local environment and unprocessed air from outside the local environment.
  • FIGS. 10a-10e depict various MHX 700 airflow patterns for various, exemplary configurations. FIGS. 10a-10e are reproduced from the '962 application, and correspond to FIGS. 21-23, 25 and 25 of the '962 application, respectively. Thus, the descriptions of FIGS. 21-23, 25 and 25 from the '962 application are incorporated herein with reference to present FIGS. 10a-10e , respectively.
  • The configuration of MHX 700 shown in FIG. 10a is a direct evaporative cooling configuration in which the primary air from outside (e.g., dry, fresh outside air) enters MHX 700 via port 720, is cooled via evaporation within MHX 700, and is then passed directly to the local environment via port 722.
  • The configuration of MHX 700 shown in FIG. 10b is a humidifier configuration in which the primary air (e.g., hot air or cool dry air from indoors) enters MHX 700 via port 721, water vapor is added (e.g., via fill port 725 and distribution 727), and the humid air is then passed directly to the local environment via port 723. The resulting airflow pattern from the MHX 700 configuration of FIG. 10a within the local environment 100 is depicted in FIG. 12a . FIG. 12a is reproduced from the '962 application, and corresponds to FIG. 22 of the '962 application. Thus, the description of FIG. 22 from the '962 application is incorporated herein with reference to present FIG. 12 a.
  • The configuration of MHX 700 shown in FIG. 10c is an indirect evaporative cooling configuration. One drawback of direct evaporative cooling is the increased humidity of the primary air due to the added moisture providing a ‘swamp’ or muggy feeling to the air quality. To avoid this, many evaporative systems use an indirect method in which the primary air feeding the local environment is isolated from the evaporative cooled air with heat transferred via a heat exchanger. With reference to FIG. 10c , primary air (e.g., hot outside air) enters port 721, is cooled via evaporation in MHX 700, and is passed through a heat exchanger as secondary air where it cools primary air (e.g., hot dry air) entering port 720 via conduction before exiting via exhaust port 724. The conduction cooled primary air (cold dry air) is then passed to the local environment via port 722. The resulting airflow pattern, from the configuration of FIG. 10c , within said local environment 1001 is shown depicted in FIG. 12b . FIG. 12b is reproduced from the '962 application, and corresponds to FIG. 24 of the '962 application. Thus, the description of FIG. 24 from the '962 application is incorporated herein with reference to present FIG. 12 b.
  • The configuration of MHX 700 shown in FIG. 10d is a combination of direct and indirect evaporative cooling. The operation of the configuration of MHX 700 shown in FIG. 10d is the same as that of the of MHX 700 shown in FIG. 10c , with the exception that a portion of the evaporation cooled primary air (cold wet air) is passed directly to the local environment via port 723, such that the local environment is cooled by a mixture of wet and dry primary air.
  • The configuration of MHX 700 shown in FIG. 10e is an indirect evaporative cooling with indoor air venting. The operation of the configuration of MHX 700 shown in FIG. 10e is the same as that of the of MHX 700 shown in FIG. 10c , with the exception that inside air (i.e., stale indoor air from within the local environment) enters via port 723 and is used as secondary air to conduction cool primary air (hot outside air) entering port 720. The inside airflow may be assisted via an exhaust fan.
  • FIGS. 11a-11d depict various airflow patterns and quality within the local environment resulting from various system configurations. FIGS. 11a-11d are reproduced from the '962 application, and correspond to FIGS. 15-18 of the '962 application, respectively. Thus, the descriptions of FIGS. 15-18 from the '962 application are incorporated herein with reference to present FIGS. 11a-11d , respectively. FIG. 11a depicts an example of an indirect/direct evaporative cooling (IDEC) in which a 50% mixture of inside and outside air is used to cool the local environment 1001 using both direct and indirect methods. As used herein, “outside air” refers to air from outside of the local environment 1001, and “inside air” refers to air from inside of the local environment 1001. Using a mixture of low temperature indoor air and high temperature outside air provides allows for a continual supply of fresh air, while also reducing the cooling load. FIG. 11b depicts a multi-staged or super cooling configuration using two MHXs, 700 a and 700 b, in which primary air is cooled in MHX 700 a, dehumidified in desiccant dehumidifier 800, and again cooled a second time in MHX 700 b before passing to the local environment 1001. Such a configuration may be capable of handling large temperature differences such as is common with equatorial climates, walk-in coolers or large scale local environments where the air-flow rate exceeds the maximum cooling rate possible with a single MHX unit. FIG. 11c depicts an airflow pattern that reduces local environment 1001 temperature via the use of a secondary cooling stage at the output of MHX 700 MX, including a direct evaporative (DX) unit 701. FIG. 11d depicts an airflow pattern utilizing heat pipes.
  • Some embodiments of the present disclosure provide for a system for supplying cooling air to a residence or building interior. Such a system includes a heat and mass exchanger, MHX 700, positioned to discharge conditioned air into a residence or building interior, local environment 1001; and a rotatable desiccant wheel dehumidifier, desiccant dehumidifier 800. The desiccant dehumidifier 800 is positioned and configured to receive supply air for treatment; exhaust hot, humid air; and supply dry air to the MHX 700. The MHX 700 is positioned and configured to receive dry air from the desiccant dehumidifier 800, and to supply cooler dry air to the local environment 1001. In some embodiments, the desiccant dehumidifier 800 is positioned and configured to receive dry recycled air from within the interior of the residence or building (local environment 1001).
  • In some embodiments of the system for supplying cooling air to a residence or building interior, the desiccant dehumidifier 800 is positioned and configured to receive dry recycled air from the residence or building interior, or is positioned and configured to receive outdoor air for treatment.
  • Some embodiments of the system for supplying cooling air to a residence or building interior include a second heat and mass exchanger, MHX 700 a, positioned upstream of the desiccant dehumidifier 800 to deliver supply air to the desiccant dehumidifier 800, and configured to receive return air from the residence or building interior and outdoor air for treatment.
  • In some embodiments of the system for supplying cooling air to a residence or building interior, the MHX 700 includes a vacuum chamber positioned on a discharge side through which said cool supply air discharged to the residence or building interior travels. In certain embodiments, the MHX 700 includes a vacuum chamber positioned on an exhaust side through which exhaust air exits.
  • In some embodiments of the system for supplying cooling air to a residence or building interior, the MHX 700 is configured in a direct evaporative cooling mode. In other embodiments, the MHX 700 is configured and operable in an indirect evaporative cooling mode, including inlet ports to receive hot dry air and hot outside air, an exhaust to discharge wet cool exhaust, and an outlet to discharge cool dry air. The MXH 700 may be configured and operable in an indirect/direct evaporative cooling mode, including inlet ports to receive hot dry air and hot outside air, an exhaust to discharge wet cool exhaust, and outlet ports to discharge cool dry air and cool wet air. The MHX 700 may also be configured and operable in an enthalpy mode, including inlet ports to receive hot outside air, an exhaust to discharge wet cool exhaust, an outlet to discharge cool dry air, and an auxiliary port selectively positionable and operable to receive stale indoor air into the MHX 700.
  • FIG. 13 depicts an embodiment of the system 1300 employing a vacuum cooler 1310 in a closed loop system (waste heat evaporator), which uses water as the operating fluid (refrigerant). FIG. 13 is reproduced from the '962 application, and corresponds to FIG. 27 of the '962 application. Thus, the description of FIG. 27 from the '962 application is incorporated herein with reference to present FIG. 13. The heat and mass exchanger is modified to operate with the vacuum cooler 1310 adjacent and upstream of a liquid desiccant absorber 1312. As shown, a vacuum pump 1314 is operated with the vacuum cooler 1310. The liquid desiccant absorber 1312 receives mixed hot humid outside air and indoor air, as well as solely outside air. Heat exchanger 1316 is positioned to interact with (and heat) liquid desiccant 1318 and hot water source 1330. Warmer desiccant concentrate is communicated to the liquid desiccant absorber 1312 and cooler desiccant dilute is returned. Cool dry air is discharged from the vacuum cooler 1310 to the target environment (e.g., a local environment, such as a house or building). The system 1300 is also equipped with a condenser 1320 and vapor separator 1322 to treat and cycle system water passing from and to the vacuum cooler 1310.
  • In the embodiment of system 1300 depicted in FIG. 14, the closed loop system employs an indirect evaporative cooler 1311 in place of the vacuum cooler 1310. Humid cool air is exhausted from the cooler via the humid cool air outlet 1315, and cool dry air is supplied to the local environment. FIG. 14 is reproduced from the '962 application, and corresponds to FIG. 28 of the '962 application. Thus, the description of FIG. 28 from the '962 application is incorporated herein with reference to present FIG. 14.
  • In a method operating the closed loop system of FIG. 13 or 14, the system 1300 recovers condensate absorbed by the desiccant. Minimizing liquid desiccant exposure, the closed loop system 1300 reduces the corrosion effects on system components and associated systems and equipment, and other damage otherwise caused by liquid desiccant exposure. The system 1300 also reduces system water loss and produces clean distilled water.
  • FIG. 15 depicts an embodiment of system 1000 in which the heat recovery unit 130 includes heat exchanger 510 thermally coupled with the internal combustion engine 100, heat exchanger 1520 in fluid communication with the evaporator 350, and a heat engine 1510 disposed in series with the heat exchangers 510 and 1520. The heat engine 1510 may be, for example and without limitation, a thermoelectric or thermoacoustic generator or cooler. System 1000 with the heat engine 1510 may power electrical appliances from either natural gas or the internal energy of the surrounding air.
  • With reference to FIG. 16, aside from HVAC applications, heat recovered from the internal combustion engine 100 by the heat recovery unit 130 may be used directly to produce hot water or steam, such that system 1000 is capable of supplying the local environment with a number of heat related services. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 16, water is circulated through a pipeline via pump 1605, where waste heat is transferred via heat exchanger 510 (e.g., an evaporator) to water condensers 1610, 1620 and 1630. Water condenser 1610 is thermally coupled to a desiccant dehumidifier 800, water condenser 1620 is thermally coupled to a boiler 1650, and water condenser 1630 is thermally coupled to a radiating space heater 1660, thus providing desiccant dehumidification, boiler, and radiating space heater functions, respectively. Water flow to each water condenser 1610, 1620, and 1630 may be selectively controlled and/or bypassed via flow control valves 1611, 1621 and 1631, depending upon need. Flow control valves 1611, 1621, and 1631 may be controlled via a master water heater control panel 1600 or via individual controls. As discussed with respect to compressors 1310, 1320 and 1315, pump 1605 may be driven either mechanically via a gear or belt linkage to engine crankshaft 101, or electrically via electric generator 110, electric grid 116, or battery storage 118 in conjunction with electric energy converter 115.
  • Some embodiments disclosed herein provide for a system and method for generating, converting, and/or distributing energy for use in a local environment. The energy generated, converted, and/or distributed in such a system may include mechanical energy obtained from the crankshaft 101 of a reciprocating internal combustion engine (ICE) 100; electrical energy produced by the electric generator 110 powered by said mechanical energy; electrical energy produced delivered via a communal electric grid 116 from a remote source; electrical energy produced produced by a local renewable energy source 114; electrical energy produced stored within an electrochemical battery medium 118; heat energy derived from the capture of the ICE 100 combustion waste heat via heat recovery unit 130; or combinations thereof. The system may include an energy conversion and distribution circuit (electrical energy converter 115) composed of a series of energy converters, such as transformers and inductive switch mode circuits and switches, such as relays and power MOSFETS, allowing the system electrical energy to be obtained in part or in whole by a combination of multiple electrical energy sources including, but not limited to: (1) electrical energy produced by electric generator 110 powered by ICE 100; (2) electrical energy supplied by a communal electric grid system 116 powered by a remote source external to the local environment; and (3) electrical energy produced by renewable energy resources 114, including photovoltaic cells, wind turbines, and/or geothermal generators.
  • Embodiments of such a system include a compressor (310, 320, and/or 315) disposed in a vapor compression or heat pump refrigeration cycle to cool and/or heat the local environment. The compressor may be powered by the mechanical energy form ICE 100, the electrical energy, or selectively via both the mechanical and electrical energy.
  • In some such embodiments, the system includes a heat pump (HP) composed of a refrigerant circuit containing working fluid, a heat exchanger for transferring heat from the surrounding air into the working fluid, a heat exhausting exchanger for transferring heat from the working fluid to the surrounding air, compressor (310, 320, or 315) for compressing and cycling the working fluid, and a pressure lowering device to heat or cool the local environment.
  • The heat pump refrigerant may be cycled through the ICE 100 heat recovery unit 130, thus allowing ICE 100 waste heat to be transferred to the working fluid of the HP to augment heat also recovered from HP heat exchanger. In some embodiments, the heat pump refrigerant is cycled through the ICE 100 waste heat exhaust system, thus allowing heat within the working fluid to be expelled via both the HP exhaust exchanger and ICE 100 heat sinks, increasing the heat capacity of both the ICE 100 and HP subsystem. In some embodiments, a heat engine (e.g., 1510) is added to the refrigerant cycle, allowing both ICE 100 waste heat and/or HP absorbed heat to be utilized to produce electrical or mechanical energy via the use of a conductive heat exchanger. The heat engine 1510 may be a thermoelectric device, such as a thermopile operating in accordance with the thermoelectric effect, generating an electromotive force via heat conduction through dissimilar metals. In other embodiments, the heat engine is a thermoacoustic heat engine producing a resonant or regenerative acoustic wave in a medium in response to a temperature differential across said medium.
  • Some embodiments of such a system include pump 1605; at least one heat exchanger (e.g., heat exchangers 1610, 1620, 1630); and a piping system (hot water lines), which may include flow control valves 1611, 1621, and 1631. Water may be heated by transfer of heat from ICE 100 through heat exchanger 510 for distribution to the local environment. In some embodiments, heat exchangers 1610, 1620, 1630 and plumbing may be staged to produce separate channels of varying water state such as liquid or steam. In certain embodiments, hot water supply may be tapped within the local environment for cooking and drinking, and/or hot water lines may be plumbed to automated washers, such as for cleaning tableware and clothes. In some such embodiments, the hot water lines may be plumbed to radiative heaters (e.g., space heater 1660), allowing internal heat energy within said water or steam to be transferred via conduction through said heat exchanger 1630 and radiate into the surrounding air to raise the temperature of the air in the local environment. The hot water may be used to heat the desiccant material of desiccant dehumidifier 800 within the local environment, via heat exchanger 1610. The hot water may be used to provide heat to boiler 1650 via heat exchanger 1620.
  • Table 1, below, provides specifications available from operation of exemplary systems or embodiments as discussed above with respect to the Figures. Typical coefficient of performance (COP) values are provided, which are achievable with operation of embodiments of CCHP systems disclosed herein.
  • TABLE 1
    Exemplary Coefficient of
    Performance (COP) Specifications
    Combined Combined Cooling
    Heat and Cooling, and Heat
    Power Heat, and Only
    Mode Power Mode Mode
    Electrical 24.4% 21.0%
    (DC)
    Heating   56%   64% 72.7%
    Cooling 57.6% 83.3%
  • Emissions data (from in-house emissions test):
      • Fuel Consumption: 105,450 Btu/hr
      • NOx: 51 ppm
      • CO: 54 ppm
      • O2%: 13.3
      • NOx (g/kW-h 15% O2): 0.26
      • CO (g/kW-hr 15% O2): 0.17
  • Certain embodiments of the system according to the present disclosure utilize waste heat rejected to ambient surroundings by, for example, a traditional HVAC system, for power generation. Such captured waste heat may be directed and provided as an energy source for an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system, and\or more specifically as a heat transfer medium to a working fluid (e.g., at constant pressure), where the working fluid may be vaporized and then expanded to transfer energy to a turbine or other energy component. Such systems may: 1) use a gas driven engine (internal combustion engine 100) to run a compressor (compressor 320 or 315) as opposed to an electrically driven compressor; 2) recover the waste heat generated by this gas driven process (heat recovery unit); and 3) feed the waste heat from both the HVAC cycle and the gas driven cycle into an ORC system through a two-stage heating system. This results in an ORC system that uses low-quality waste heat from the HVAC cycle for a first stage heating/preheating, before using the higher-quality waste heat from the gas driven process in a second stage heating process for the ORC fluid.
  • In one aspect, such a system uses the excess heat rejected by the ORC system in the condenser to further heat refrigerant in the HVAC system after it has recovered heat from the conditioned space of the local environment 1001 (e.g., home, refrigerator, office space, tent, etc.). A result is the raising of the pressure of the refrigerant, reducing the high and low side operating pressures, thus reducing the amount of work done by the compressor 320, which may be at the expense of additional heat rejection capacity both in the HVAC system condenser and the excess heat dump 1700 of the ORC system. The HVAC system 134, thus, operates as a regenerator with additional heat input for the ORC system. On the low-pressure side of the HVAC system, both the heat absorbed from the conditioned space (heat input) and at least some of the excess heat rejected by the ORC cycle is fed back into the ORC system on the high pressure side (regeneration). Such a combination ORC system with HVAC driven regenerator is limited to being gas driven, so long as there is an additional source of heat input for the ORC system. FIG. 17 depicts a schematic of a system or installation utilizing such a process, and specifically the capture of waste heat and transfer of energy to the ORC system.
  • An exemplary or suitable application may be one for, or in, a data center where there is a consistent, substantial cooling load and consequently a large amount of waste heat being consistently generated. The proposed system operating in this application would provide the necessary cooling to the data center while producing electricity as a by-product of the process.
  • Some embodiments provide for a method of use and/or operating any of the systems disclosed herein, and described with respect to FIGS. 1-17, to provide energy (electrical and/or mechanical); air conditioning (heating and/or cooling); electrical energy resource management, such as selective control over energy source, such as ICE 100, electric generator 110, electric grid 116, battery storage 118, and/or renewable energy resources 114; waste heat recovery; selective powering of cooling units, such as selectively driving a compression in a refrigerant cycle mechanically or electrically; evaporative cooling; humidification and/or dehumidification; water heating; powering an ORC system; or combinations thereof.
  • Method of Generating Energy
  • Some embodiments include a method of generating energy for use in a local environment (e.g., local environment 1001). The method includes operating an internal combustion engine (e.g., ICE 100). The method includes powering an electrical generator (e.g., electrical generator 110) using the internal combustion engine. The method also includes driving a compressor (e.g., compressor 310, 315, or 320) to compress a working fluid of a refrigeration cycle. In some embodiments of the method, waste heat is generated, which may be recovered.
  • Method of Driving a Compressor
  • Some embodiments include a method of driving a compressor of an air conditioner to meet localized demand. The method includes providing a local environment (e.g., 1001) having an air conditioning unit (e.g., cooling unit 132) for supplying cooled air within the local environment. The air conditioning unit may include a closed loop circuit configured to operate a closed loop refrigeration cycle, including a compressor (e.g., 310, 320 or 315) operable to compress a working fluid of the closed loop circuit.
  • The method includes selectively engaging an internal combustion engine (e.g., 100) with the compressor, and operating the internal combustion engine to drive the compressor, thereby transferring energy from the internal combustion engine to the refrigeration cycle.
  • Method of Supplying Air Conditioned Air to a Residence
  • Some embodiments include a method of supplying air-conditioned air to a residence or other target space interior (local environment 1001). The method includes positioning a heat and mass exchanger (MHX 700) to discharge conditioned air into the residence or target space; positioning a rotatable desiccant wheel dehumidifier (desiccant dehumidifier 800) in fluid communication with the heat and mass exchanger; and receiving and treating supply air in the dehumidifier, thereby supplying dry air to the heat and mass exchanger and exhausting hot humid air. The heat and mass exchanger is positioned and configured to receive dry air from the dehumidifier, and to supply cooler dry air to the residence or target space. The heat and mass exchanger may be operated evaporative cooling mode, or in indirect evaporative cooling mode.
  • In some embodiment, the method includes communicating dry recycled air from the residence or target space as supply air received by the dehumidifier.
  • The method may include receiving outdoor air into the heat and mass exchanger for treatment.
  • Receiving supply air by the dehumidifier may include receiving dry recycled air that is less than about 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and, thereby, delivering dry air that is above 100 degrees Fahrenheit to the heat and mass exchanger. The heat and mass exchanger supplies dry air at a temperature below about 78 degrees Fahrenheit to the residence or target space.
  • The method may include positioning a second heat and mass exchanger, MHX 700 a, upstream of the dehumidifier, and operating the second heat and mass exchanger to deliver supply air to the dehumidifier and to receive return air from the residence or target space and outdoor air for treatment.
  • In certain embodiments, the method includes positioning a vacuum chamber on a discharge side of the heat and mass exchanger, and drawing cool supply air through the vacuum chamber prior to discharge to the residence or target space. The method may include positioning a vacuum chamber on an exhaust side of the heat and mass exchanger, such that exhaust air passes therethrough.
  • Method of Generating Electric Power and Providing Air Conditioning
  • Certain embodiments provide for a method of generating electric power and providing air conditioning in a localized installation (e.g., 1001). The method includes providing a hybrid power generator that includes an internal combustion engine (e.g., 100) operatively coupled to an electric generator (e.g., 110); operating the hybrid power generator to generate mechanical energy via the internal combustion engine and electrical energy via the electric generator; and driving at least one compressor of an air conditioning system with the mechanical energy generated via the internal combustion engine, with the electrical energy generated via the electric generator, or combinations thereof. The compressor compresses a working refrigerant fluid of the air conditioning system.
  • In embodiments in which the at least one compressor is includes a single compressor that is operatively coupled to both the electric generator and the internal combustion engine, the method includes selectively engaging the electric generator with the compressor to electrically drive the compressor to compress the working refrigerant fluid, and selectively engaging the internal combustion engine with the compressor to mechanically drive the compressor to compress the working refrigerant fluid.
  • In embodiments in which the at least one compressor is includes a mechanically driven compressor operatively to the internal combustion engine and an electrically driven compressor operatively coupled to the electric generator, the method includes selectively engaging the internal combustion engine with the mechanical compressor to mechanically drive the mechanical compressor to compress the working refrigerant fluid; and selectively engaging the electric generator with the electric compressor to electrically drive the compressor to compress the working refrigerant fluid.
  • In some embodiments, the method includes selectively driving the at least one compressor with electrical energy from the electric generator, a battery (e.g., 118), an electric grid (e.g., 116), or a renewable energy resource (e.g., 114).
  • The air conditioning unit may include a vapor compression cooling subsystem disposed in a refrigeration cycle with the at least one compressor, or a heat pump disposed in a refrigeration cycle with the at least one compressor. Certain embodiments includes transferring heat into the working fluid of the refrigeration cycle vial a heat exchanger (e.g., 510) thermally coupled with the internal combustion engine.
  • It should be noted and understood that many of the specific features or combination of features illustrated in or introduced above (or described in the claims submitted below), and\or discussed in accompanying descriptions, may be combined with or incorporated with or other feature(s) or embodiment(s) described or illustrated in any other Figure provided herein. Moreover, the following claims serve also to describe and illustrate some (but not all) aspects of the present disclosure. The claims serve therefore as an integral part of the present disclosure.
  • The foregoing description has been presented for purposes of illustration and description of preferred embodiments. This description is not intended to limit associated concepts to the various systems, apparatus, structures, processes, and methods specifically described herein. For example, aspects of the processes and equipment illustrated by the Figures and discussed above may be employed or prove suitable for use with other energy systems, and energy handling or conversion systems and apparatus. The embodiments described and illustrated herein are further intended to explain the best and preferred modes for practicing the system and methods, and to enable others skilled in the art to utilize same and other embodiments and with various modifications required by the particular applications or uses of the present disclosure.

Claims (73)

1. (canceled)
2. (canceled)
3. (canceled)
4. (canceled)
5. (canceled)
6. (canceled)
7. (canceled)
8. (canceled)
9. (canceled)
10. (canceled)
11. (canceled)
12. (canceled)
13. (canceled)
14. (canceled)
15. (canceled)
16. (canceled)
17. (canceled)
18. A method of supplying air-conditioned air to a residence or other target space interior, said method comprising:
positioning a heat and mass exchanger to discharge conditioned air into the residence or target space;
positioning a rotatable desiccant wheel dehumidifier in fluid communication with the heat and mass exchanger; and
receiving and treating supply air in the dehumidifier, thereby supplying dry air to the heat and mass exchanger and exhausting hot humid air;
wherein the heat and mass exchanger is positioned and configured to received dry air from the dehumidifier and supply cooler dry air to the residence or target space.
19. The method of claim 18, further comprising communicating dry recycled air from the residence or target space as supply air received by the dehumidifier.
20. The method of claim 18, further comprising receiving outdoor air into the heat and mass exchanger for treatment.
21. (canceled)
22. The method of claim 18, further comprising:
positioning a second heat and mass exchanger upstream of the dehumidifier; and
operating the second heat and mass exchanger to deliver supply air to the dehumidifier and to receive return air from the residence or target space and outdoor air for treatment.
23. The method of claim 18, further comprising positioning a vacuum chamber on a discharge side of the heat and mass exchanger and drawing said cool supply air through the vacuum chamber prior to discharge to the residence or target space.
24. (canceled)
25. (canceled)
26. (canceled)
27. (canceled)
28. (canceled)
29. (canceled)
30. (canceled)
31. (canceled)
32. (canceled)
33. (canceled)
34. (canceled)
35. (canceled)
36. (canceled)
37. (canceled)
38. (canceled)
39. (canceled)
40. (canceled)
41. (canceled)
42. (canceled)
43. (canceled)
44. (canceled)
45. A system for generating electric power and providing air conditioning in a localized installation, the system comprising:
a hybrid power generator, the hybrid power generator including an internal combustion engine operatively coupled to an electric generator; and
an air conditioning system, the air conditioning system including at least one compressor;
wherein the at least one compressor is operatively coupled to the hybrid power generator, whereby the hybrid power generator is engageable with the compressor to compress a working refrigerant fluid.
46. The system of claim 45, wherein the at least one compressor is includes a single compressor that is operatively coupled to both the electric generator and the internal combustion engine, whereby the electric generator is selectively engageable with the compressor to electrically drive the compressor to compress the working refrigerant fluid, and whereby the internal combustion engine is selectively engageable with the compressor to mechanically drive the compressor to compress the working refrigerant fluid.
47. The system of claim 45, wherein the at least one compressor is includes:
a mechanically driven compressor operatively to the internal combustion engine, whereby the internal combustion engine is selectively engageable with the mechanical compressor to mechanically drive the mechanical compressor to compress the working refrigerant fluid;
an electrically driven compressor operatively coupled to the electric generator, whereby the electric generator is selectively engageable with the electric compressor to electrically drive the compressor to compress the working refrigerant fluid; or
combinations thereof.
48. The system of claim 45, wherein the electric generator is electrically coupled to an electrical energy convertor, and wherein the electrical energy convertor is electrically couple to battery storage, an electric grid, a renewable energy resource, or combinations thereof.
49. (canceled)
50. The system of claim 45, wherein the air conditioning unit includes a vapor compression cooling subsystem disposed in a refrigeration cycle with the at least one compressor.
51. The system of claim 45, wherein the air conditioning unit includes a heat pump disposed in a refrigeration cycle with the at least one compressor.
52. The system of claim 51, further comprising a heat recovery unit in fluid communication with the refrigeration cycle of the heat pump, wherein the heat recovery unit includes a first heat exchanger thermally coupled with the internal combustion engine.
53. The system of claim 52, wherein the heat recovery unit further comprises a second heat exchanger thermally coupled with an exhaust of the internal combustion engine.
54. (canceled)
55. The system of claim 52, wherein the heat recovery unit further comprises a second heat exchanger downstream of the first heat exchanger and a heat engine fluidly coupled between the first and second heat exchangers.
56. The system of claim 55, wherein said heat engine is a adapted to generate an electromotive force via heat conduction through dissimilar metals, or wherein said heat engine is a thermoacoustic heat engine adapted to produce a resonant or regenerative acoustic wave in a medium in response to a temperature differential across said medium.
57. (canceled)
58. The system of claim 52, further comprising a pump fluidly coupled with, and downstream of, the first heat exchanger, wherein the pump is in fluid communication with at least one water condenser.
59. The system of claim 58, wherein the at least one water condenser includes:
a first water condenser thermally coupled with a desiccant dehumidifier;
a second water condenser thermally coupled with a boiler;
a third water condenser thermally coupled with a radiant space heater; or
combinations thereof.
60. The system of claim 58, wherein the at least one water condenser includes a first water condenser thermally coupled with a desiccant dehumidifier, the desiccant dehumidifier in fluid communication with a heat and mass exchanger.
61. A method of generating electric power and providing air conditioning in a localized installation, the method comprising:
providing a hybrid power generator, the hybrid power generator including an internal combustion engine operatively coupled to an electric generator;
operating the hybrid power generator to generate mechanical energy via the internal combustion engine and electrical energy via the electric generator;
driving at least one compressor of an air conditioning system with the mechanical energy generated via the internal combustion engine, with the electrical energy generated via the electric generator, or combinations thereof, wherein the compressor compresses a working refrigerant fluid of the air conditioning system.
62. (canceled)
63. (canceled)
64. The method of claim 61, further comprising selectively driving the at least one compressor with electrical energy from the electric generator, a battery, an electric grid, or a renewable energy resource.
65. (canceled)
66. (canceled)
67. (canceled)
68. (canceled)
69. (canceled)
70. (canceled)
71. (canceled)
72. (canceled)
73. (canceled)
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Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN108825369A (en) * 2018-06-06 2018-11-16 广州供电局有限公司 Distributed energy supply equipment and cool and thermal power decoupling method, device
US20190003751A1 (en) * 2016-03-10 2019-01-03 Bitzer Kuehlmaschinenbau Gmbh Cooling Facility
US10285310B2 (en) * 2016-03-20 2019-05-07 Robert Bonar Computer data center cooling and electricity generation using recovered heat
US20190217246A1 (en) * 2018-01-17 2019-07-18 Ingersoll-Rand Company Hybrid low dew point compressed air dryer
CN112332535A (en) * 2020-10-22 2021-02-05 合肥高新云制造研究院 Energy internet scheduling and controlling method
CN113503659A (en) * 2021-06-30 2021-10-15 太原理工大学 Novel air source thermoacoustic heat pump system

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20190003751A1 (en) * 2016-03-10 2019-01-03 Bitzer Kuehlmaschinenbau Gmbh Cooling Facility
US11073312B2 (en) * 2016-03-10 2021-07-27 Bitzer Kuehlmaschinenbau Gmbh Cooling facility
US10285310B2 (en) * 2016-03-20 2019-05-07 Robert Bonar Computer data center cooling and electricity generation using recovered heat
US20190217246A1 (en) * 2018-01-17 2019-07-18 Ingersoll-Rand Company Hybrid low dew point compressed air dryer
US10603627B2 (en) * 2018-01-17 2020-03-31 Ingersoll-Rand Industrial U.S., Inc. Hybrid low dew point compressed air dryer
US11298652B2 (en) * 2018-01-17 2022-04-12 Ingersoll-Rand Industrial U.S., Inc. Hybrid low dew point compressed air dryer
CN108825369A (en) * 2018-06-06 2018-11-16 广州供电局有限公司 Distributed energy supply equipment and cool and thermal power decoupling method, device
CN112332535A (en) * 2020-10-22 2021-02-05 合肥高新云制造研究院 Energy internet scheduling and controlling method
CN113503659A (en) * 2021-06-30 2021-10-15 太原理工大学 Novel air source thermoacoustic heat pump system

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