One set of concerns centers on making compressors work with the natural refrigerant. Some studies were reported on at the Inter-national Institute of Refrigeration’s Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids at Purdue University here.
Employees of Sanyo Electric Co. reported on the company’s development of a CO2 hermetic compressor for practical use. They reported that the compressor, with two rolling pistons, operates with two-stage compression and two cylinders for pressure deference.
“In the first stage, the suction gas is raised to about 5 to 6 Mpa (intermediate pressure). And inner pressure of the shell case is intermediate pressure to minimize gas leakage between compressing rooms and the inner space of the shell case.”
The researchers stated that the compressor “achieved high efficiency and high reliability. This could facilitate the development of environmentally friendly home-use refrigerators and air conditioners.”
“However, some leakage flowing backward through the valves existed, and it affected performance of the compressor with a relatively small stroke volume.” So, “some oil was mixed into the suction vapor intentionally. The oil was supplied from an oil reservoir having a function of oil separator in the discharge line of the compressor.”
While such a compressor does work, the researchers said it is necessary “to take great care of the estimation of the clearance volume and the valve leakage.”
The company reduced the “wrap height in proportion to the displacement volume. The volume ratio was modified by changing the number of wrap windings to take into consideration the smaller compression ratio” of CO2 vs. R-410A refrigerant.
A key finding: “The volumetric efficiency and the compressor efficiency were improved as operating speed increased. Although the volumetric efficiency of a CO2 scroll compressor was expected to be substantially lower than that of an R-410A compressor due to the large pressure difference between suction and discharge, the difference in fact remained extremely small.”
According to a report, “Measurements on the two-stage CO2 compressors show that very good efficiencies can be achieved at low-temperature applications compared to a one-stage compressor.
“Using a two-stage compressor also increases the flexibility in the overall system design.”
Publication date: 10/02/2000