Identification of Existing Challenges and Future Trends for the Utilization of Ammonia-Water Absorption–Compression Heat Pumps at High Temperature Operation
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionApplied Sciences. 2021, 11 (10), . https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104635
Decarbonization of the industrial sector is one of the most important keys to reducing global warming. Energy demands and associated emissions in the industrial sector are continuously increasing. The utilization of high temperature heat pumps (HTHPs) operating with natural fluids presents an environmentally friendly solution with great potential to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions in industrial processes. Ammonia-water absorption–compression heat pumps (ACHPs) combine the technologies of an absorption and vapor compression heat pump using a zeotropic mixture of ammonia and water as working fluid. The given characteristics, such as the ability to achieve high sink temperatures with comparably large temperature lifts and high coefficient of performance (COP) make the ACHP interesting for utilization in various industrial high temperature applications. This work reviews the state of technology and identifies existing challenges based on conducted experimental investigations. In this context, 23 references with capacities ranging from 1.4 kW to 4500 kW are evaluated, achieving sink outlet temperatures from 45 °C to 115 °C and COPs from 1.4 to 11.3. Existing challenges are identified for the compressor concerning discharge temperature and lubrication, for the absorber and desorber design for operation and liquid–vapor mixing and distribution and the choice of solution pump. Recent developments and promising solutions are then highlighted and presented in a comprehensive overview. Finally, future trends for further studies are discussed. The purpose of this study is to serve as a starting point for further research by connecting theoretical approaches, possible solutions and experimental results as a resource for further developments of ammonia-water ACHP systems at high temperature operation.