An Energy-Conserving Compressor Concept

Two compressor concerns today deal with energy conservation and chemical contamination. With that in mind, Marcel Lamoureux, a retired engineer from AT&T’s Air Conditioning Division, said he has come up with what he believes to be an innovative compressor design “resulting from my more than 40 years’ experience in refrigeration and air conditioning.”

“This design is of a compressor that uses the force of gravity and atmospheric pressure to aid the driving force of the motor,” said Lamoureux. “This achieves a greater energy efficiency rating (EER) over existing cooling systems with minimal motor power.”

According to Lamoureux, this type of compressor could be used in up to a very large system. Since the compressor would run slowly, it would be much quieter than existing systems of equal capacity, he maintained.

“This compressor design could consider water as the refrigerant, which has a deep-vacuum operating range for cooling. Other nontoxic refrigerants could be tried, but the refrigerant must operate in a deep vacuum,” he said.

“The power stroke aspect is when the piston is drawn down by the gravitational force of the weight at the bottom of the connecting shaft. The weight has to be heavy enough to overcome the pull of the vacuum in the low side of the cooling system.”

When the piston is at the bottom of the power stroke, the pull on top of the piston and the pull by weight are in nearly equal balance, he said. The upstroke of the piston is aided by atmospheric air pressure of 14.7 psi at sea level, entering through the vent ports at the bottom of the cylinder. This causes a pushing against a vacuum condensing head pressure of about 26 in. of mercury (in. Hg) and a vacuum head pressure at about 120 degrees F condensing temperature if water is used as the refrigerant, he said.

“The generated power required to raise the piston to the top of the cylinder and overcome the gravitational pull of the weight would be low,” said Lamoureux. “This is because most of the lifting force is done by the 14.7 lb atmospheric pressure (psia) and vacuum head pressure, thus requiring minimal motor force to overcome the minor difference between the suction and discharge pressure.”

According to Lamoureux, the reciprocating wheel is driven by a variable-speed motor, crank, and connecting rod attached to the reciprocating wheel to achieve the reciprocating motion of the wheel. A gearbox may be feasible instead of a crank, he noted. A heat exchanger using a low-side float is conventional technology, he added.

“A small vacuum pump is used to remove noncondensables that may infiltrate the system. The operating temperature can be achieved by controlling the speed of the motor. The cylinders can be of any length. By increasing the length of the cylinders, the cooling capacity would be increased with little additional generated power increase. The counterweights could be fabricated as a tank and use water to fine tune the required weight.”

Lamoureux said his system can also be designed as a one-cylinder system.

“It is true that an equal force is required to raise the piston to the top of the cylinder to overcome the gravitational pull caused by the weight at the bottom of the connecting shaft. This is accomplished by atmospheric pressure through the vent ports at the bottom of the cylinder and vacuum in the cylinder,” he said.

For more information, contact Lamoureux at 978-454-7490; (e-mail).

Publication date: 06/03/2002

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