(19)
(11)EP 2 147 264 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
16.01.2019 Bulletin 2019/03

(21)Application number: 07756033.2

(22)Date of filing:  24.04.2007
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F25B 1/00  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2007/010065
(87)International publication number:
WO 2008/130357 (30.10.2008 Gazette  2008/44)

(54)

REFRIGERANT VAPOR COMPRESSION SYSTEM

KÄLTEMITTELDAMPFKOMPRESSIONSSYSTEM

SYSTÈME DE COMPRESSION DE VAPEUR DE RÉFRIGÉRANT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MT NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
27.01.2010 Bulletin 2010/04

(73)Proprietor: Carrier Corporation
Farmington, CT 06034 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • MITRA, Biswajit
    Liverpool, NY 13090 (US)
  • CHEN, Yu, H.
    Manlius, NY 13104 (US)
  • SCARCELLA, Jason
    Cicero, NY 13039 (US)
  • DURAISAMY, Suresh
    Liverpool, NY 13090 (US)
  • LIU, Lucy, Yi
    Fayetteville, NY 13066 (US)

(74)Representative: Dehns 
St. Brides House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- 1 318 860
JP-A- 58 049 866
US-A- 4 707 996
US-B2- 7 096 679
JP-A- 4 263 746
US-A- 3 848 422
US-A- 5 103 652
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the Invention



    [0001] This invention relates generally to refrigerant vapor compression systems and, more particularly, to simultaneous efficiency and capacity improvement and improved refrigerant charge management in a refrigerant vapor compression system operating in a transcritical cycle.

    Background of the Invention



    [0002] Refrigerant vapor compression systems are well known in the art and are commonly used for conditioning air to be supplied to a climate controlled comfort zone within a residence, office building, hospital, school, restaurant or other facility. Refrigerant vapor compression systems are also commonly used in refrigerating air supplied to display cases, merchandisers, freezer cabinets, cold rooms or other perishable/frozen product storage areas in commercial establishments.

    [0003] Refrigerant vapor compression systems are also commonly used in transport refrigeration systems for refrigerating air supplied to a temperature controlled cargo space of a truck, trailer, container or the like for transporting perishable/frozen items by truck, rail, ship or intermodal. Refrigerant vapor compression systems used in connection with transport refrigeration systems are generally subject to more stringent operating conditions due to the wide range of operating load conditions and the wide range of outdoor ambient conditions over which the refrigerant vapor compression system must operate to maintain product within the cargo space at a desired temperature. The desired temperature at which the cargo needs to be controlled can also vary over a wide range depending on the nature of cargo to be preserved. The refrigerant vapor compression system must not only have sufficient capacity to rapidly pull down the temperature of product loaded into the cargo space at ambient temperature, but also operate efficiently at low load when maintaining a stable product temperature during transport. Additionally, transport refrigerant vapor compression systems are subject to vibration and movements not experienced by stationary refrigerant vapor compression systems.

    [0004] Traditionally, conventional refrigerant vapor compression systems commonly operate at subcritical refrigerant pressures and typically include a compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator, and expansion device, commonly an expansion valve, disposed upstream, with respect to refrigerant flow, of the evaporator and downstream of the condenser. These basic refrigerant system components are interconnected by refrigerant lines in a closed refrigerant circuit, arranged in accord with known refrigerant vapor compression cycles, and operated in the subcritical pressure range for the particular refrigerant in use. Refrigerant vapor compression systems operating in the subcritical range are commonly charged with fluorocarbon refrigerants such as, but not limited to, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), such as R22, and more commonly hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), such as R134a, R410A, R404A and R407C.

    [0005] In today's market, greater interest is being shown in "natural" refrigerants, such as carbon dioxide, for use in air conditioning and transport refrigeration systems instead of HFC refrigerants. However, because carbon dioxide has a low critical temperature, most refrigerant vapor compression systems charged with carbon dioxide as the refrigerant are designed for operation in the transcritical pressure regime. In refrigerant vapor compression systems operating in a subcritical cycle, both the condenser and the evaporator heat exchangers operate at refrigerant temperatures and pressures below the refrigerant's critical point. However, in refrigerant vapor compression systems operating in a transcritical cycle, the heat rejection heat exchanger, which is a gas cooler rather than a condenser, operates at a refrigerant temperature and pressure in excess of the refrigerant's critical point, while the evaporator operates at a refrigerant temperature and pressure in the subcritical range. Thus, for a refrigerant vapor compression system operating in a transcritical cycle, the difference between the refrigerant pressure within the gas cooler and refrigerant pressure within the evaporator is characteristically substantially greater than the difference between the refrigerant pressure within the condenser and the refrigerant pressure within the evaporator for a refrigerant vapor compression system operating in a subcritical cycle.

    [0006] It is also common practice to incorporate an economizer into the refrigerant circuit for increasing the capacity of the refrigerant vapor compression system. For example, in some systems, a refrigerant-to-refrigerant heat exchanger is incorporated into the refrigerant circuit as an economizer. U.S. Pat. No. 6,058,729 discloses a subcritical refrigerant vapor compression system for a transport refrigeration unit incorporating a refrigerant-to-refrigerant heat exchanger into the refrigerant circuit as an economizer. The disclosed system also includes a suction modulation valve (SMV) for throttling refrigerant flow to the suction inlet of the compressor and an intermediate pressure-to-suction pressure unload circuit for compressor capacity control. U.S. Pat. No. 7,114,349 discloses a refrigerant vapor compression system with a common economizer and liquid-suction heat exchanger interdisposed in the refrigerant circuit downstream of the condenser with respect to refrigerant-flow and upstream of the evaporator with respect to refrigerant flow. Through various bypass lines and manipulation of various open/closed solenoid valves associated with the bypass lines, the common heat exchanger may be operated either as an economizer heat exchanger or as a liquid-suction heat exchanger.

    [0007] U.S. Pat. No. 6,694,750 discloses a subcritical refrigeration system that includes a first refrigerant-to-refrigerant heat exchanger economizer and a second refrigerant-to-refrigerant heat exchanger economizer disposed in series in the refrigerant circuit between the condenser and the evaporator. Refrigerant passing through the primary refrigerant circuit from the condenser to the evaporator passes in series through the first pass of the first refrigerant-to-refrigerant heat exchanger and thence through the first pass of the second refrigerant-to-refrigerant heat exchanger before traversing the primary refrigerant circuit's single evaporator expansion valve prior to entering the evaporator. A second portion of the refrigerant passing from the condenser is diverted from the primary refrigerant circuit and passed through an auxiliary expansion valve and thence through the second pass of the first refrigerant-to-refrigerant heat exchanger prior to being injected into a high pressure stage of the compression process. A third portion of the refrigerant passing from the condenser is diverted from the primary refrigerant circuit and passed through another auxiliary expansion valve and thence through the second pass of the second refrigerant-to-refrigerant heat exchanger prior to being injected into a low pressure stage of the compression process.

    [0008] In some systems, a flash tank economizer is incorporated into the refrigerant circuit between the condenser and the evaporator. In such case, the refrigerant leaving the condenser is expanded through an expansion device, such as a thermostatic expansion valve or an electronic expansion valve, prior to entering the flash tank wherein the expanded refrigerant separates into a liquid refrigerant component and a vapor refrigerant component. The vapor component of the refrigerant is thence directed from the flash tank into an intermediate pressure stage of the compression process. The liquid component of the refrigerant is directed from the flash tank through the system's main expansion valve prior to entering the evaporator. U.S. Pat. No. 5,174,123 discloses a suhcritical vapor compression system incorporating a flash tank economizer in the refrigerant circuit between the condenser and the evaporator. U. S. Pat. No. 6,385,980 discloses a transcritical refrigerant vapor compression system incorporating a flash tank economizer in the refrigerant circuit between the gas cooler and the evaporator.

    [0009] A system having the features of the preamble of claim 1 is disclosed in US 3,848,422, whilst other systems are disclosed in US 5,103,652, JP 58049866, JP 1318860 and JP 4263746.

    Summary of the Invention



    [0010] From a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a refrigerant vapor compression system as set forth in claim 1.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0011] For a further understanding of the invention, reference will be made to the following detailed description of the invention which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawing, where:

    FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating a first exemplary embodiment of a refrigerant vapor compression system in accord with the invention; and

    FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating a second exemplary embodiment of a refrigerant vapor compression system in accord with the invention;


    Detailed Description of the Invention



    [0012] Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there are depicted therein exemplary embodiments of a refrigerant vapor compression system 10 suitable for use in a transport refrigeration system for refrigerating the air or other gaseous atmosphere within the temperature controlled cargo space of a truck, trailer, container or the like for transporting perishable/frozen goods. The refrigerant vapor compression system 10 is also suitable for use in conditioning air to be supplied to a climate controlled comfort zone within a residence, office building, hospital, school, restaurant or other facility. The refrigerant vapor compression system could also be employed in refrigerating air supplied to display cases, merchandisers, freezer cabinets, cold rooms or other perishable/frozen product storage areas in commercial establishments.

    [0013] The refrigerant vapor compression system 10 is particularly adapted for operation in a transcritical cycle with a low critical temperature refrigerant, such as for example, but not limited to, carbon dioxide. However, it is to be understood that the refrigerant vapor compression system 10 may also be operated in a subcritical cycle with a higher critical temperature refrigerant such as conventional hydrochlorofluorocarbon and hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants. The refrigerant vapor compression system 10 includes a multi-step compression device 20, a refrigerant heat rejecting heat exchanger 40, a refrigerant heat absorbing heat exchanger 50, also referred to herein as an evaporator, and a primary expansion valve 55, such as for example an electronic expansion valve or a thermostatic expansion valve, operatively associated with the evaporator 50, with refrigerant lines 2, 4 and 6 connecting the aforementioned components in a primary refrigerant circuit.

    [0014] In a refrigerant vapor compression system operating in a transcritical cycle, the refrigerant heat rejecting heat exchanger 40 constitutes a gas cooler through which supercritical refrigerant passes in heat exchange relationship with a cooling medium, such as for example, but not limited to ambient air or water, and may be also be referred to herein as a gas cooler, In a refrigerant vapor compression system operating in a subcritical cycle, the refrigerant heat rejecting heat exchanger 40 would constitute a refrigerant condensing heat exchanger through which hot, high pressure refrigerant passes in heat exchange relationship with the cooling medium. In the depicted embodiments, the refrigerant heat rejecting heat exchanger 40 includes a finned tube heat exchanger 42, such as for example a fin and round tube heat exchange coil or a fin and mini-channel flat tube heat exchanger, through which the refrigerant passes in heat exchange relationship with ambient air being drawn through the finned tube heat exchanger 42 by the fan(s) 44 associated with the gas cooler 40.

    [0015] The refrigerant heat absorption heat exchanger 50 serves an evaporator wherein refrigerant liquid is passed in heat exchange relationship with a fluid to be cooled, most commonly air, drawn from and to be returned to a temperature controlled environment 200, such as the cargo box of a refrigerated transport truck, trailer or container, or a display case, merchandiser, freezer cabinet, cold room or other perishable/frozen product storage area in a commercial establishment, or to a climate controlled comfort zone within a residence, office building, hospital, school, restaurant or other facility. In the depicted embodiments, the refrigerant heat absorbing heat exchanger 50 comprises a finned tube heat exchanger 52 through which refrigerant passes in heat exchange relationship with air drawn from and returned to the refrigerated cargo box 200 by the evaporator fan(s) 54 associated with the evaporator 50. The finned tube heat exchanger 52 may comprise, for example, a fin and round tube heat exchange coil or a fin and mini-channel flat tube heat exchanger.

    [0016] The compression device 20 functions to compress the refrigerant and to circulate refrigerant through the primary refrigerant circuit as will be discussed in further detail hereinafter. The compression device 20 may comprise a single multiple stage refrigerant compressor, such as for example a scroll compressor, a screw compressor or a reciprocating compressor, disposed in the primary refrigerant circuit and having a first compression stage 20a and a second compression stage 20b. The first and second compression stages are disposed in series refrigerant flow relationship with the refrigerant leaving the first compression stage passing directly to the second compression stage for further compression. Alternatively, the compression device 20 may comprise a pair of independent compressors 20a and 20b, connected in series refrigerant flow relationship in the primary refrigerant circuit via a refrigerant line connecting the discharge outlet port of the first compressor 20a in refrigerant flow communication with the suction inlet port of the second compressor 20b. In the independent compressor embodiment, the compressors 20a and 20b may be scroll compressors, screw compressors, reciprocating compressors, rotary compressors or any other type of compressor or a combination of any such compressors. In the exemplary embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, the compressor 20 is a scroll compressor having a suction inlet 22 and discharge outlet 24 and a port 26 opening directly to an intermediate pressure stage of the compression chamber of the compressor.

    [0017] Additionally, the refrigerant vapor compression system 10 of the invention includes a flash tank economizer 70 interdisposed in refrigerant line 4 of the primary refrigerant circuit downstream with respect to refrigerant flow of the gas cooler 40 and upstream with respect to refrigerant flow of the evaporator 50. A secondary expansion device 65 is interdisposed in refrigerant line 4 in operative association with and upstream of the flash tank economizer 70. The secondary expansion device 65 may be an electronic expansion valve, such as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, or a fixed orifice expansion device. Refrigerant traversing the secondary expansion device 65 is expanded to a lower pressure sufficient to establish a mixture of refrigerant in a vapor state and refrigerant in a liquid state. The flash tank economizer 70 defines a separation chamber 72 wherein refrigerant in the liquid state collects in a lower portion of the separation chamber and refrigerant in the vapor state collects in the portion of the separation chamber 72 above the liquid refrigerant.

    [0018] Liquid refrigerant collecting in the lower portion of the flash tank economizer 70 passes therefrom through refrigerant line 4 and traverses the primary refrigerant circuit expansion valve 55 interdisposed in refrigerant line 4 upstream with respect to refrigerant flow of the evaporator 50. As this liquid refrigerant traverses the first expansion device 55, it expands to a lower pressure and temperature before entering the evaporator 50. The evaporator 50 constitutes a refrigerant evaporating heat exchanger through which expanded Tefrigerant passes in heat exchange relationship with the air to be cooled, whereby the refrigerant is vaporized and typically superheated. As in conventional practice, the primary expansion valve 55 meters the refrigerant flow through the refrigerant line 4 to maintain a desired level of superheat in the refrigerant vapor leaving the evaporator 50 to ensure that no liquid is present in the refrigerant leaving the evaporator. The low pressure refrigerant vapor leaving the evaporator 50 returns through refrigerant line 6 to the suction port of the first compression stage or first-compressor 20a of the compression device 20 in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, or to the suction inlet 22 of the scroll compressor 20 in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2.

    [0019] The refrigerant vapor compression system 10 also includes a refrigerant vapor injection line 14 and a refrigerant liquid injection line 18. The refrigerant vapor injection line 14 establishes refrigerant flow communication between an upper portion of the separation chamber 72 of the flash tank economizer 70 and an intermediate stage of the compression process and a suction pressure portion of the refrigerant circuit. The refrigerant liquid injection line 18 establishes refrigerant flow communication between a lower portion of the separation chamber 72 of the flash tank 70, typically via tapping refrigerant line 4 downstream of the flash tank 70 and upstream of the primary expansion valve 55, and an intermediate stage of the compression process and a suction pressure portion of the refrigerant circuit.

    [0020] In the exemplary embodiments of the refrigerant vapor compression system 10 depicted in FIG. 1, injection of refrigerant vapor or refrigeration liquid into the intermediate pressure stage of the compression process would be accomplished by injection of the refrigerant vapor or refrigerant liquid into the refrigerant passing from the first compression stage 20a into the second compression stage 20b of a single compressor or passing from the discharge outlet of the first compressor 20a to the suction inlet of the second compressor 20b. In the exemplary embodiment of the refrigerant vapor compression system 10 depicted in FIG. 2, injection of refrigerant vapor or refrigerant liquid into the intermediate pressure stage of the compression process would be accomplished by injection of the refrigerant vapor or the refrigerant liquid into the compression chamber of the scroll compressor 20 through the intermediate pressure port 26.

    [0021] The refrigerant vapor compression system 10 may also include a compressor unload bypass line 16 that establishes refrigerant flow communication between an intermediate pressure stage of the compression device 20 and the suction pressure portion of said refrigerant circuit, which as noted previously constitutes refrigerant line 6 extending between the outlet of the evaporator 50 and the suction inlet of the compression device 20. In the exemplary embodiments depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, both an upstream portion of the refrigerant vapor injection line 14 and an upstream portion of the refrigerant liquid injection line 18 open in refrigerant flow communication with the compressor unload bypass line 16 and the compressor unload bypass line 16 forms a downstream extension of both the refrigerant vapor injection line 14 and the refrigerant liquid injection line 18.

    [0022] The refrigerant vapor compression system 10 may, as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, include a control system operatively associated therewith for selectively directing refrigerant vapor from the flash tank 70 through refrigerant vapor injection line 14 or refrigerant liquid from the flash tank 70 through refrigerant liquid injection line 18 for injection either into the primary refrigerant circuit at an intermediate pressure stage of the compression process, that is intermediate the first compression stage or the first compressor 20a and the second compression stage or the second compressor 20b, or into refrigerant line 6that forms the suction portion of the primary refrigerant circuit. In an embodiment of the refrigerant vapor compression system 10, the control system includes a controller 100 and a plurality of flow control devices operatively associated with the refrigerant vapor injection line 14 and/or the refrigerant liquid injection line 18. In operation, the controller 100 selectively controls the positioning of each of the plurality of flow control devices between its respective open and closed positions to selectively direct refrigerant flow through the refrigerant vapor injection line 14 and the refrigerant liquid injection line 18.

    [0023] In the embodiments depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, the control includes a first flow control device 73 interdisposed in an upstream portion of refrigerant vapor injection line 14, a second flow control device 93 interdisposed in compressor unload bypass line 16 at a location intermediate the first flow control device and the intermediate pressure stage of the compression process, a third flow control device 53 interdisposed in an upstream portion of refrigerant liquid injection line 18, and a fourth flow control device 83 interdisposed in compressor unload bypass line 16 at a location intermediate the third flow control device and refrigerant line 6. Each of the aforementioned flow control devices 53, 73, 83, 93 may comprise a flow control valve selectively positionable between an open position wherein refrigerant flow may pass through the refrigerant line in which the flow control valve is interdisposed and a closed position wherein refrigerant flow is blocked through the refrigerant line in which the flow control valve is interdisposed. In an embodiment; each of the flow control valves comprises a two-position solenoid valve of the type positionable selectively positionable under the control of the controller 100 between a first open position and a second closed position.

    [0024] The controller 100 not only controls operation of the various flow control valves 53, 73, 83, 93 to selectively direct refrigerant flow through the refrigerant vapor injection line 14 and the refrigerant liquid injection line 18, but also may control operation of the electronic expansion valves 55 and 65, the compression device 20, and the fans 44 and 54. As in conventional practice, in addition to monitoring ambient conditions, the controller 100 also monitors various operating parameters by means of various sensors operatively associated with the controller 100 and disposed at selected locations throughout the system. For example, in the exemplary embodiments depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, a pressure sensor 102 is disposed in operative association with the flash tank 70 to sense the pressure within the flash tank 70, a temperature sensor 103 and a pressure sensor 104 are provided to sense the refrigerant suction temperature and pressure, respectively, and a temperature sensor 105 and a pressure sensor 106 are provided to sense refrigerant discharge temperature and pressure, respectively. The pressure sensors 102, 104, 106 may be conventional pressure sensors, such as for example, pressure transducers, and the temperature sensors 103 and 105 may be conventional temperature sensors, such as for example, thermocouples or thermistors.

    [0025] A suction modulation valve (SMV) 23 may be interdisposed in refrigerant line 6 intermediate the outlet of the evaporator 50 and the suction inlet to the compression device 20. In the exemplary embodiments depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, the suction modulation valve 23 is positioned in refrigerant line 6 between the outlet of the evaporator 50 and the point at which the compressor unload bypass line 16 intersects refrigerant line 6. Like the flow control valves 53, 73, 83, 93, operation of the suction modulation valve 23 is controlled by the controller 100. The controller 100 modulates the suction modulation valve 23 when necessary to increase or decrease the refrigerant flow through refrigerant line 6 to the suction inlet of the compression device 20 to control the cooling capacity of the refrigeration system 10. In an embodiment, the suction modulation valve 23 comprises a pulse width modulated solenoid valve.

    [0026] In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, the refrigerant vapor compression system 10 includes a discharge pressure-to-suction pressure heat exchanger 60. The heat exchanger 60 includes a first pass 62 interdisposed in refrigerant line 4 of the primary refrigerant circuit intermediate the gas cooler 40 and the secondary expansion device 65 and a second pass 64 interdisposed in refrigerant line 6 of the primary circuit downstream of the evaporator 50 and disposed in heat exchange relationship with the first pass 62. High pressure refrigerant vapor having traversed the gas cooler 40 passes through the first pass 62 in heat exchange relationship with suction pressure refrigerant vapor having traversed the evaporator 50. In this manner, the high pressure refrigerant vapor passing through refrigerant line 4 is further cooled and the low pressure refrigerant vapor passing through refrigerant line 6 is thereby heated. This additional cooling lowers the enthalpy of the high pressure refrigerant prior to expansion via the secondary expansion device 65. Therefore, the ratio of refrigerant vapor to refrigerant liquid collecting in the flash tank 70 following expansion is reduced, which results in less refrigerant vapor being injected into the compression chamber of the scroll compressor 20 through injection port 26. This limiting of the quality of the refrigerant collecting in the flash tank 70 lowers the scroll compressor's power requirement. Additionally, the further heating of the low pressure refrigerant vapor ensures that any liquid that may remain therein is evaporated and the refrigerant vapor is superheated before passing into the suction inlet of the first compression stage or first compressor 20a of the compression device 20.

    [0027] The refrigerant vapor compression system 10 may be operated in selected operating modes depending upon load requirements and ambient conditions. The controller 100 determines the desired mode of operation based upon ambient conditions and various sensed system controls and then positions the various flow control valves accordingly. To operate the refrigerant vapor compression system 10 in its standard non-economized mode, i.e. standard cycle, the controller 100 closes each of the flow control valves 53, 73, 83 and 93, whereby the refrigerant circulates through the primary refrigerant circuit only, that is from the discharge outlet of compression device 20a through refrigerant lines 2, 4 and 6 traversing in order the gas cooler 40, the secondary expansion device 65, the flash tank 70, which in this standard mode functions as a receiver only, the primary expansion valve 55, the evaporator 50 and the suction modulation valve 23 and returning to the suction inlet of the compression device 20a.

    [0028] In this non-economized mode, the controller 100 controls the pressure in the flash tank 70 in response to the pressure sensed by the sensor 102 by selectively opening the flow control valves 73 and 83 to direct refrigerant vapor from the flash tank 70 through refrigerant vapor injection line 14 and a portion of the compressor unload bypass line 16 into refrigerant line 6, while keeping flow control valves 53 and 93 closed. Also, in this non-economized mode, the controller 100 responds to a high discharge temperature as sensed by temperature sensor 105 by intermittently opening the valve 53 along with the above valving configuration to direct small amount of liquid through refrigerant line 18 and through a portion of compressor unload bypass line 16 into refrigerant line 6 to desuperheat refrigerant suction flow

    [0029] The controller 100 may operate the refrigerant vapor compression system 10 in an economized mode by closing the flow control valves 53 and 83 and opens the flow control valves 73 and 93, whereby the refrigerant circulates not only through the primary refrigerant circuit, but also through the refrigerant vapor injection line to an intermediate pressure stage of the compression device 20a. The refrigerant passing through the primary refrigerant circuit passes from the discharge outlet of compression device 20a through refrigerant lines 2, 4 and 6 traversing in order the gas cooler 40, the secondary expansion device 65, the flash tank 70, which in this economized mode functions as an economizer and receiver, the primary expansion valve 55, the evaporator 50 and the suction modulation valve 23 and returning to the suction inlet of the compression device 20a. With flow control valves 73 and 93 open, refrigerant vapor passes from the flash tank 70 through refrigerant vapor injection line 14 and a portion of the compressor unload bypass line 16 into an intermediate pressure of the compression device 20, thereby adding an economizer cycle to the standard operating cycle.

    [0030] In this economized cycle, the controller 100 responds to a high discharge temperature, as sensed by temperature sensor 105 or a high discharge pressure as sensed by pressure sensor 106, by selectively opening the flow control valves 53, 73 and 93, while keeping flow control valve 83 closed, to direct refrigerant vapor through refrigerant line 14 and refrigerant liquid through refrigerant line 18 simultaneously into and through a portion of the compressor unload bypass line 16 into an intermediate pressure stage of the compression device 20a.

    [0031] Additionally, the controller 100 can unload the compression device 20 in any operating mode, by closing flow control valve 53 and 73 and opening both flow control valves 83 and 93 in the compressor unload bypass line 16. With both flow control valves 83 and 93 open, the refrigerant flows out of an intermediate stage of the compression process through the compressor unload bypass line into refrigerant line 6 to directly return to the suction side of the compression device, thereby bypassing the second compression stage or second compressor 20a thereby unloading the compression device 20. This unloading of the compressor 20 through the compressor unload bypass line 16 may be implemented in response to a high compressor discharge refrigerant temperature, or for capacity reduction or compressor power reduction. If additional capacity shedding is needed, the controller 100 can also modulate the suction modulation valve 23.

    [0032] Those skilled in the art will recognize that many variations may be made to the particular exemplary embodiments described herein. For example, the refrigerant vapor compression system may also be operated in a subcritical cycle, rather than in a transcritical cycle as described hereinbefore. While the present invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to the exemplary embodiments as illustrated in the drawings, it will be understood by one skilled in the art that various changes in detail may be effected therein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims.


    Claims

    1. A refrigerant vapor compression system (10) comprising:

    a primary refrigerant circuit including a refrigerant compression device (20), a refrigerant heat rejection heat exchanger (40) downstream of said compression device (20), a refrigerant heat absorption heat exchanger (50) downstream of said refrigerant heat rejection heat exchanger (40), and a primary expansion device (55) disposed in the refrigerant circuit downstream of said refrigerant heat rejection heat exchanger (40) and upstream of said refrigerant heat absorption heat exchanger (50);

    a flash tank (70) disposed in the refrigerant circuit downstream of said refrigerant heat rejection heat exchanger (40) and upstream of said primary expansion device (55), said flash tank (70) defining a separation chamber (72) wherein refrigerant in a liquid state collects in a lower portion of said separation chamber (72) and refrigerant in a vapor state in a portion of said separation chamber (72) above the liquid refrigerant;

    a secondary expansion device (65) disposed in the refrigerant circuit in operative association with and upstream of said flash tank (70);

    a refrigerant vapor injection line (14) establishing refrigerant flow communication between an upper portion of said separation chamber (72) and an intermediate pressure stage of said compression device (20) and a suction pressure portion of said primary refrigerant circuit;

    a refrigerant liquid injection line (18) establishing refrigerant flow communication between a lower portion of said separation chamber (72) and an intermediate pressure stage of said compression device (20) and a suction pressure portion of said primary refrigerant circuit; and

    a control system for selectively directing refrigerant vapor from said flash tank (70) through said refrigerant vapor injection line (14) for injection either into the primary refrigerant circuit at an intermediate pressure stage of the compression process or into a suction portion of the primary refrigerant circuit and for selectively directing refrigerant liquid from said flash tank (70) through said refrigerant liquid injection line (18) for injection either into the primary refrigerant circuit at an intermediate pressure stage of the compression process or into a suction portion of the primary refrigerant circuit;

    characterised in that:
    said control system includes a controller (100) and a plurality of flow control valves (53, 73, 83, 93) operatively associated with said refrigerant vapor injection line (14) and said refrigerant liquid injection line (18), said controller (100) selectively controlling the positioning of each of said plurality of flow control valves (53, 73, 83, 93) between its respective open and closed positions, wherein said plurality of flow control valves (53, 73, 83, 93) comprises:

    a first flow control valve (73) interdisposed in an upstream portion of said refrigerant vapor injection line (14);

    a second flow control valve (53) interdisposed in an upstream portion of said refrigerant liquid injection line (18);

    a third flow control valve (93) disposed upstream with respect to refrigerant flow of said intermediate pressure stage of said compression device (20) and downstream with respect to refrigerant flow of both said first flow control valve (73) and said second flow control valve (53); and

    a fourth flow control valve (83) disposed upstream with respect to refrigerant flow of said suction pressure portion of said primary refrigerant circuit and downstream with respect to refrigerant flow of both said first flow control valve (73) and said second flow control valve (53).


     
    2. A transport refrigeration system comprising a refrigerant vapor compression system as claimed in claim 1.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Kältemitteldampfkompressionssystem (10), Folgendes umfassend:

    einen primären Kältemittelkreislauf, einschließlich einer Kältemittelkompressionsvorrichtung (20), eines Kältemittelwärmeabgabewärmetauschers (40), der der Kompressionsvorrichtung (20) nachgeschaltet ist, eines Kältemittelwärmeaufnahmewärmetauschers (50), der dem Kältemittelwärmeabgabewärmetauscher (40) nachgeschaltet ist, und einer primären Expansionsvorrichtung (55), die im Kältemittelkreislauf dem Kältemittelwärmeabgabewärmetauscher (40) nachgeschaltet und dem Kältemittelwärmeaufnahmewärmetauscher (50) vorgeschaltet ist;

    einen Entspannungsbehälter (70), der im Kältemittelkreislauf dem Kältemittelwärmeabgabewärmetauscher (40) nachgeschaltet und der primären Expansionsvorrichtung (55) vorgeschaltet ist, wobei der Entspannungsbehälter (70) eine Separationskammer (72) definiert, worin sich Kältemittel in einem flüssigen Zustand in einem unteren Abschnitt der Separationskammer (72) und Kältemittel in einem gasförmigen Zustand in einem Abschnitt der Separationskammer (72) über dem flüssigen Kältemittel sammelt;

    eine sekundäre Expansionsvorrichtung (65), das im Kältemittelkreislauf in einer operativen Verbindung mit dem Entspannungsbehälter (70) angeordnet und diesem vorgeschaltet ist;

    eine Kältemitteldampfeinspritzleitung (14), die eine Kältemittelflusskommunikation zwischen dem oberen Abschnitt der Separationskammer (72) und einer Zwischendruckstufe der Kompressionsvorrichtung (20) und eines Saugdruckabschnitts des primären Kältemittelkreislaufs herstellt; und

    eine Kältemittelflüssigkeitseinspritzleitung (18), die eine Kältemittelflusskommunikation zwischen dem unteren Abschnitt der Separationskammer (72) und einer Zwischendruckstufe der Kompressionsvorrichtung (20) und eines Saugdruckabschnitts des primären Kältemittelkreislaufs herstellt; und

    ein Steuersystem, um selektiv Kältemitteldampf vom Entspannungsbehälter (70) durch die Kältemitteldampfeinspritzleitung (14) zur Einspritzung entweder in den primären Kältemittelkreislauf bei einer Zwischendruckstufe des Kompressionsprozesses oder in einen Saugdruckabschnitt des primären Kältemittelkreislaufs zu leiten und um selektiv Kältemittelflüssigkeit vom Entspannungsbehälter (70) durch die Kältemittelflüssigkeitseinspritzleitung (18) zur Einspritzung entweder in den primären Kältemittelkreislauf bei einer Zwischendruckstufe des Kompressionsprozesses oder in einen Saugdruckabschnitt des primären Kältemittelkreislaufs zu leiten;

    gekennzeichnet dadurch, dass:
    das Steuersystem Folgendes beinhaltet: eine Steuereinheit (100) und eine Vielzahl an Stromsteuerventilen (53, 73, 83, 93), operativ verbunden mit der Kältemitteldampfeinspritzleitung (14) und der Kältemittelflüssigkeitseinspritzleitung (18), wobei die Steuereinheit (100) die Positionierung jedes der Vielzahl an Stromsteuerventilen (53, 73, 83, 93) zwischen den entsprechenden offenen und geschlossenen Positionen steuert, wobei die Vielzahl an Stromsteuerventilen (53, 73, 83, 93) Folgendes umfasst:

    ein erstes Stromsteuerventil (73), das in einem vorgeschalteten Abschnitt der Kältemitteldampfeinspritzleitung (14) zwischengeordnet ist;

    ein zweites Stromsteuerventil (53), das in einem vorgeschalteten Abschnitt der Kältemittelflüssigkeitseinspritzleitung (18) zwischengeordnet ist;

    ein drittes Stromsteuerventil (93), das bezüglich des Kältemittelflusses der Zwischendruckstufe der Kompressionsvorrichtung (20) vorgeschaltet und bezüglich des Kältemittelflusses sowohl des ersten Stromsteuerventils (73) als auch des zweiten Stromsteuerventils (53) nachgeschaltet ist; und

    ein viertes Stromsteuerventil (83), das bezüglich des Kältemittelflusses des Saugdruckabschnitts des ersten Kältemittelkreislaufs vorgeschaltet und bezüglich des Kältemittelflusses sowohl des ersten Stromsteuerventils (73) als auch des zweiten Stromsteuerventils (53) nachgeschaltet ist.


     
    2. Transportkältemittelsystem, das ein Kältemitteldampfkompressionssystem nach Anspruch 1 umfasst.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système de compression de vapeur de réfrigérant (10) comprenant :

    un circuit de réfrigérant primaire comprenant un dispositif de compression de réfrigérant (20), un échangeur thermique à rejet de chaleur de réfrigérant (40) en aval dudit dispositif de compression (20), un échangeur thermique à absorption de chaleur de réfrigérant (50) en aval dudit échangeur thermique à rejet de chaleur de réfrigérant (40), et une vanne de détente primaire (55) disposée dans le circuit de réfrigérant en aval dudit échangeur thermique à rejet de chaleur de réfrigérant (40) et en amont dudit échangeur thermique à absorption de chaleur de réfrigérant (50) ;

    un ballon de détente (70) disposé dans le circuit de réfrigérant en aval dudit échangeur thermique à rejet de chaleur de réfrigérant (40) et en amont de ladite vanne de détente primaire (55), ledit ballon de détente (70) définissant une chambre de séparation (72) dans lequel du réfrigérant dans un état liquide est collecté dans une partie inférieure de ladite chambre de séparation (72) et du réfrigérant dans un état gazeux dans une partie de ladite chambre de séparation (72) au-dessus du réfrigérant liquide ;

    une vanne de détente secondaire (65) disposée dans le circuit de réfrigérant en association opératoire avec et en amont dudit ballon de détente (70) ;

    une conduite d'injection de réfrigérant gazeux (14) établissant une communication de flux de réfrigérant entre une partie supérieure de ladite chambre de séparation (72) et un étage de pression intermédiaire dudit dispositif de compression (20) et une partie de pression d'aspiration dudit circuit de réfrigérant primaire ;

    une conduite d'injection de réfrigérant liquide (18) établissant une communication de flux de réfrigérant entre une partie inférieure de ladite chambre de séparation (72) et un étage de pression intermédiaire dudit dispositif de compression (20) et une partie de pression d'aspiration dudit circuit de réfrigérant primaire ; et

    un système de commande pour diriger de manière sélective du réfrigérant gazeux dudit ballon de détente (70) à travers ladite conduite d'injection de réfrigérant gazeux (14) pour une injection soit dans le circuit de réfrigérant primaire à un étage de pression intermédiaire du procédé de compression soit dans une partie d'aspiration du circuit de réfrigérant primaire et pour diriger de manière sélective du réfrigérant liquide dudit ballon de détente (70) à travers ladite conduite d'injection de réfrigérant liquide (18) pour une injection soit dans le circuit de réfrigérant primaire à un étage de pression intermédiaire du procédé de compression soit dans une partie d'aspiration du circuit de réfrigérant primaire ;

    caractérisé en ce que

    ledit système de commande comprend un contrôleur (100) et une pluralité de vannes de débit (53, 73, 83, 93) associés de manière opératoire à ladite conduite d'injection de réfrigérant gazeux (14) et à ladite conduite d'injection de réfrigérant liquide (18), ledit contrôleur (100) commandant de manière sélective le positionnement de chacune de ladite pluralité de vannes de débit (53, 73, 83, 93) entre ses positions ouverte et fermée respectives, dans lequel ladite pluralité de vannes de débit (53, 73, 83, 93) comprend :

    une première vanne de débit (73) interposée dans une partie en amont de ladite conduite d'injection de réfrigérant gazeux (14) ;

    une deuxième vanne de débit (53) interposée dans une partie en amont de ladite conduite d'injection de réfrigérant liquide (18) ;

    une troisième vanne de débit (93) disposée en amont par rapport au flux de réfrigérant dudit étage de pression intermédiaire dudit dispositif de compression (20) et en aval par rapport au flux de réfrigérant des deux ladite première vanne de débit (73) et ladite deuxième vanne de débit (53) ; et

    une quatrième vanne de débit (83) disposée en amont par rapport au flux de réfrigérant de ladite partie de pression d'aspiration dudit circuit de compression primaire et en aval par rapport au flux de réfrigérant des deux ladite première vanne de débit (73) et ladite deuxième vanne de débit (53).


     
    2. Système pour transports réfrigérés comprenant un système de compression de vapeur de réfrigérant selon la revendication 1.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description