Evaluation of Nontraditional Refrigeration Cycles

In collaboration with the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), BTC researchers have completed an assessment of more than 25 nontraditional refrigeration cycles (e.g., Brayton, Stirling, Vuilleumier, absorption), comparing their projected performance for building heating and cooling with that of conventional electric and gas systems. None of the electric NIK systems were shown to outperform a standard electric heat pump in this application, but several could show promise in low-temperature refrigeration applications. This will need to be evaluated in a future project. Several of the gas-fired NIK options (GAX absorption, engine-driven, Vuilleumier, duplex Stirling) all appear to be viable alternatives to conventional gas furnace technologies.

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