Performance evaluation of two-stage mechanical vapour recompression with turbo-compressors
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Mechanical Vapour Recompression (MVR) is an open loop heat pump system using water (R718) as working fluid, one of the most abundant and safest refrigerant on the planet. The concept can significantly reduce the energy consumption for steam based processes like drying, pasteurization, evaporation or distillation but also for steam production itself. However, the compression technology is commonly not cost efficient especially for small scale productions in the capacity range from 500 kW to 4 MW. A two stage turbo-compression system was developed and tested based on mass produced automotive turbocharger technology. The turbo-compressor of the first stage reached a pressure ratio of 1.69 and is designed for a mass flow of 400-600 kg/h superheated steam. The second stage turbo-compressor had an identical design and achieved the same pressure ratio. Between compression stage one and two de-superheating is applied by water injection. With the developed system it is possible to compress superheated steam from atmospheric pressure to above 2.8 bar, where it can be condensed at a temperature of 131°C. The COP of the performed investigation was 7.8, when the achievable condensation energy is compared to the total amount of energy supplied to the system. The compressor efficiency is around 70% of the Carnot efficiency.