Performance Study of Direct Integration of PCM into an Innovative Evaporator of a Simple Vapour Compression System

A new paper presenting HYBUILD outcomes has just been released by the GREiA Research Group, of the Universitat de Lleida in the Applied Sciences journal.

This paper experimentally investigates the direct integration of 3.15 kg of phase change materials (PCM) into a standard vapour compression system of variable cooling capacity, through an innovative lab-scale refrigerant-PCM-water heat exchanger (RPW-HEX), replacing the conventional evaporator. Its performance was studied in three operating modes: charging, discharging, and direct heat transfer between the three fluids. In the charging mode, a maximum energy of 300 kJ can be stored in the PCM for the cooling capacity at 30% of the maximum value. By doubling the cooling power, the duration of charging is reduced by 50%, while the energy stored is only reduced by 13%. In the discharging mode, the process duration is reduced from 25 min to 9 min by increasing the heat transfer fluid (HTF) flow rate from 50 L·h−1 to 150 L·h−1. In the direct heat transfer mode, the energy stored in the PCM depends on both the cooling power and the HTF flow rate, and can vary from 220 kJ for a cooling power at 30% and HTF flow rate of 50 L·h−1 to 4 kJ for a compressor power at 15% and a HTF flow rate of 150 L·h−1. The novel heat exchanger is a feasible solution to implement latent energy storage in vapour compression systems resulting to a compact and less complex system.

Read the full paper at