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Thermodynamics applied to reverse cycle machines, a review

Michel Feidt*
Henri Poincare University, ENSEM e LEMTA 2, avenue de la Foret de Haye 54516 Vandoeuvre-Les-Nancy, France

Dedicated to Professor Dr.-Ing. Dr.h.c.mult. Karl Stephan on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

article info abstract

Article history: A review of reverse cycle machines thermodynamics is proposed. It is shown how starting
Received 19 April 2010 from equilibrium thermodynamics at the beginning, a new appraisal was proposed since
Received in revised form 1980, and developed until now. Particular emphasis is put on vapour compression reverse
14 July 2010 machines (mainly refrigerating machines and heat pumps), but also on three or quad-
Accepted 15 July 2010 rithermal configurations, that appear as the most promising alternative to vapour
Available online 29 July 2010 compression machines today. However other machines alternatives are considered
shortly. The main features of this review are: the usefulness of thermodynamics to develop
Keywords: more significant upperbounds for various optimization criterions concerning reverse cycle
Modelling machines and their possible interrelation. The importance of irreversibilities in charac-
Optimisation terization of reverse cycle machines is enlighten too. Complementary studies are proposed
Thermodynamics in the field of exergoeconomy and environmental concern.
Reverse cycle 2010 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.

La thermodynamique appliquee aux syste`mes a` cycle inverse:

Mots cles : Modelisation ; Optimisation ; Thermodynamique ; Cycle inverse ; Synthe`se

1. Introduction Carnot developments relative to engine. However the energy

efficiency introduced by Carnot is slightly different from the
The Thermodynamics is traditionally a useful tool for engine one. It is named Coefficient of Performance (COP), and
modelling reverse cycle machines. The first attempt is related in many cases, it is greater than 1: if the Carnot reverse cycle is
to equilibrium thermodynamics, and corresponds to the considered, it comes in the equilibrium conditions, where the

* Tel.: 33 03 83 59 57 34; fax: 33 03 83 59 55 70.

E-mail address: michel.feidt@ensem.inpl-nancy.fr.
0140-7007/$ e see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.
1328 i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2

Nomenclature PAT process average temperature (K)

RF refrigerator
3 heat exchanger effectiveness
S (s) source, sink, entropy (reduced)
q reduced temperature gradient
t time
D increment
T (t) temperature (reduced) (K)
b intermediate variable
TEWI total equivalent global warming potential
a intermediate variable
_ Cp) (W K1) Ue useful effect
c_ heat rate (M
w0 auxiliary reduced power
Q_ (q) heat flux (reduced) (W)
X (x) temperature gradient (reduced)
w _ (w) mechanical power (reduced) (W)
z intermediate variable
A (a) area (reduced) (m2)
COP coefficient of performance Index
E efficiency 0 constant or imposed
EC energy consumption C cold
ECOP ecological criterion H hot
F, G mathematical function i irreversible, or dummy index (Eqs. (30, 31))
GWP greenhouse warming potential L loss
h heat transfer coefficient ratio min minimum
K (k) heat transfer conductance (reduced) (W K1) opt optimum
HP heat pump s superheating
I, 4 irreversibility ratio, index T total
LCA life cycle analysis U useful
m constant MAX maximum
n constant, isentropic efficiency lim limit
NTU number heat transfer unit ex exergy
ODP ozone depletion potential th thermodynamics
OF objective function rev reversible

cycled fluid is in contact with two infinite heat source (TSH) with Dt gDtH DtC , DtH DtC heat transfer duration at hot
and sink (TSC): source (cold sink)
For the refrigerating machine, RF: The second paper (Goth and Feidt, 1986) too was devoted to
optimal conditions relative to a heat pump or a refrigerating
TSC machine associated to an endoreversible Carnot reverse
lim COPRF (1)
TSH  TSC machine: the useful hot heat flux q_ H being fixed for steady
state conditions, the minimum electrical power to furnish is
for the heat pump, HP:
seeked for from a thermal point of view (jXH j TH  TSH ;
TSH XC TSC  TC , corresponding to optimum pinches in the two
lim COPHP (2)
TSH  TSC heat exchangers). It was also seeked for optimal area alloca-
During the year 1975, Curzon and Ahlborn have proposed tion in the same conditions, knowing that dimension of the
a new appraisal of Carnot engine, taking into account of the machine is finite (AT AH AC).
necessary finite duration of each thermodynamics trans- At the optimum conditions, we get:
formation in a cycle, inducing a non-equilibrium situation, as
AH 1
expected in the real engines; this gives the signal for a renewal aH p (3)
AT 1 h
of thermodynamic modelling, even if it was discovered
previously by Chambadal (1957) and Novikov (1957). The main
result of the funding paper (Curzon and Ahlborn, 1975) was to
xH qH h (4)
give the way to obtain maximum power of an engine, and the TSH
corresponding energy efficiency.
p p
The same demarch for reverse cycle machine was initiated TSC  TC qH h 1 h
shortly after by Blanchard (1980). He considers an heat pump, xC  p2 (5)
and gives the conditions to fulfill for the minimum of w, _ at 1 qh 1 h
given useful heat flux
q_ H qH =Dt Dt; cycle duration q_ H
h hH =hC ; qH
It results at the optimum:
Details of the model and results are available in (Feidt, 1996,
1 " r# 1st edition).
COP KH gq_
TSH 1  H To these endoreversible case studies have been added
(Bejan, 1989), internal heat transfer irreversibility for
i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2 1329

refrigeration plants represented by q_ i Ki TSH  TSC , with Ki

heat leak conductance between ambiance and the refrigerated
volume (essentially thermal insulation). It results, with the
three heat transfer irreversibilities, an equipartition of external
conductance inventory at the optimum seeked: KH KC KT/2.
This study is completed by a simple thermoeconomics
The previous calculation has been pursued (Bejan, 1993) for
minimizing heat exchanger inventory in a power or refriger-
ation plants.
Agrawal and Menon (1990, 1993) have given an extended
finite time thermodynamics analysis, altering the cycle
duration to consider the two isentropic arms in the cycle,
again at maximum cooling power. Consequently, it appears Fig. 1 e Comparison of endoreversible case without and
that during the first years of research in this new appraisal, with heat losses evolution of COP with useful heat rate.
the focus was on two reservoirs reverse machines, and that
the optimization situations are numerous.
We intent to consider and summarize the following works and a Brayton endoreversible reverse cycle machine: consid-
on the same subject, and to extent it to other reverse cycle ering four cases (combining with or without heat loss; with or
machine configurations, namely three and four reservoir without finite capacity reservoirs), they conclude that finite
machines (Section 3). The same will be proposed for less capacity and heat loss have a strong influence on COP.
developed configurations (Ranque Hilsch tube; Joule reverse This was previously approached by Klein (1992) through
cycle; Stirling machines and also Thermoelectric and Ther- heat exchanger effectiveness and costs.
momagnetic capabilities), Section 4. The group of Chinese authors publishes numerous papers
It will be showed that, two main modelling directions exist with slightly different refrigerator models (Wu et al., 1996;
in the literature: the first related to time and cycle duration; Chen et al., 1996a, b) and also to heat pump models (Sun et al.,
the second one relative to steady state analysis. A discussion 1997; Chen et al., 1997c). The remark is that the message
of similarities and differences between these approaches is seems extremely diluted, due to strong formal similarity
given (Section 2). A tentative synthesis of the various possible between refrigerator and heat pump. The main conclusion is
optimizations is proposed on a practical basis. that these authors pursue the analysis of heat transfer law
Section 5 is devoted to remaining researches, with some effect on the performance of a two heat sources cycle as was
preliminary results relative to cascade, or multiobjective first proposed by Chen and Yan (1989a, b), but for various
machines. The incidence of refrigerant fluid properties is cases and objective functions.
a main task, and it appears that it influences on the questions A first tentative of unified description of endoreversible
to solve with the model (environment considerations mainly): cycles was proposed by Chen and Yan (1989a), and completed
this problem is considered. precisely for Carnot refrigeration cycles, with general heat
transfer law by Yan and Chen (1990). We note here that the most
commonly used heat transfer law is the linear one according to:
2. Vapour compression reverse machine
q_ KTS  T KDT (6)
2.1. Historical evolution of works (period 1990e2000) K, heat transfer conductance; TS source or sink temperature; T
refrigerant fluid temperature; this corresponds to Onsager
After the pioneering period described in Section 1 (between approximation, and relates the heat flux, to the thermal force
1980 and 1990), was developed a second research period, with DT. Obviously, heat transfer is not necessarily linear, and two
more dedicated works; the present section reports works other different heat transfer laws are of importance, the
relative to two heat reservoirs machines. We note that during convective heat transfer law
the first period the main focus of all studies was on endor-
eversible machines (Wu, 1993), with sometimes new objective q_ KDT n (7)
function such as specific heat load, q_ 00 q_ H =AH AC , or an
and the radiative heat transfer law
unified description of endoreversible cycles (Chen, 1989; Feidt,
1988; Philippi, 1991; Feidt and Philippi, 1992). For this new q_ K TSn  T n (8)
research period Chen et al. have proposed studies on heat
pump (Chen et al., 1997) or refrigerator (Chen et al., 1998a) A particular case named the phenomenological law is
taking into account of internal heat leak between the hot (TSH) deduced from Eq. (8), when n 1. Recently the Chinese group
and cold (TSC) isothermal reservoirs: it appears that the has proposed a generalized form for the heat transfer law as:
evolution of the maximum COP for the two cases in function  m
of the useful effect (respectively q_ H ; q_ C ) differs completely q_ K TSn  T n (9)
from the endoreversible case (Fig. 1).
Afterwards, the same team of authors extends the model From a more general point of view, we suggest to develop
to finite capacity reservoirs (Wu, 1998) and compare a Carnot the model according to a heat transfer function depending on
1330 i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2

the two variables TS and T, and eventually some parameters


q_ Kf TS ; T (10)

Among the papers of this second period, we note that one of

them is related, to transient temperature condition and finite
source size (heat capacity) (Chen et al., 1998a).
One of the most important results from the Chinese group
papers is the existence of a relation between the optimal COP
corresponding to a given area allocation, circulating fluid
temperatures, and the cooling capacity (or heating capacity)
(Chen et al., 1997c), f q_ C or q_ H ; COP:
h   i h 
COP q_ C TSC  q_ L B  Bq_ 2C = fTSH  TSC q_ L B q_ L
fTSH  TSC  2q_ L B R Bq_ 2C (11)

where q_ C , cooling load; q_ L , heat loss flux

Fig. 2 e Experimental confirmation of COP with cold heat
(  1=2 )2 rate for a refrigerating machine.
B 1 =KH AT

This relation has been given for the various cited heat transfer results obtained for reciprocating chillers (Gordon and Ng,
laws. From these results, it is deduced, the maximum e 1993). This work was followed by complementary ones
maximorum COP, with respect to q_ C q_ H . For example for the (Gordon and Ng, 1995a, b) in direction of predictive and diag-
case of a Carnot refrigerator, with irreversibility ratio 4, linear nosis aspects of chillers: the main feature is the observed rela-
heat transfer laws, refer to Chen et al. (1997a). tion between 1/COP versus 1=q_ C . Authors interpret the
A different way to model irreversible refrigerators with minimum of the curve as a compromise between losses that
isothermal heat exchanges has been used by Grazzini (1993); disfavour high cooling rates (finite rate heat transfer), and losses
this model considers for the cycle, C, a heat exchange over that disfavour low cooling rates (fluid friction, throttling) (Fig. 2).
a temperature difference (that is not a measurable quantity), The authors examplify the universal aspects of chillers not
and the entropy DS produced over the cycle, in the circulated only for reciprocating and centrifugal chillers, but also
fluid. This model was reconsidered from a steady state point absorption chillers, and evenly for less conventional cooling
of view (Grazzini and Rinaldi, 2001), and a numerical optimi- devices, such as thermoacoustic and thermoelectric chillers.
zation of refrigerator COP is given for a Rankine cycle relative Following papers (Chua et al., 1996; Gordon et al., 1997a,b)
to R134a refrigerant: the announced results are disappointing confirm that the endoreversible models are not consistent
(KC > KH at the optimum; COP decreasing with increasing heat with the experimental results due to dissipation (mainly fluid
exchanger efficiency, 3). friction in the compressor, and finite rate heat transfer at the
Some kind of steady state model has been developed for heat exchangers); the constraint of heat exchanger size (and
refrigerating machine and heat pump (Grosu et al., 2002a). The cost) is essential for optimal design of chillers. The interest of
study has been proposed for three refrigerants (R22; R134a; such modelling has been confirmed showing how varying
R717); a detailed exergy analysis has been reported. It appears condenser coolant flow rate affects chiller performance
that for the three refrigerants the exergetic efficiency is around (Gordon et al., 2000).
0.5, with the upper value for R717. The thermodynamic opti- The work of the Gordon team has been confirmed by Khan
mization has been compared to economic optimization: and Zubair (1999) but for a variable speed refrigeration system:
operating cost is determinant. Accordingly exergoeconomic the evaporator capacity is varied by changing the mass flow
performance could be checked (Chen et al., 2001a, b). rate of refrigerant. The effect of subcooling and superheating
The same authors (Grosu et al., 2002b) propose a comple- is also investigated, and in accordance to total heat exchanger
mentary study based on the fact that the two main irrevers- area the optimum area allocation is seeked for. Khan and
ibilities are located in the expansion valve, and the compressor Zubair (2001) extend the optimization of the COP to various
(Grosu et al., 2002a); the performed optimization remains the compression refrigeration systems: Two Stage vapour
_ but the considered variables are now representative
min of jwj, compression System (TSS), a Dedicated Mechanical Subcool-
of pressure losses at the entrance and exit of the compressor. ing vapour compression System (DMSS), and an Integrated
During the same period, an original study has been Mechanical Subcooling vapour compression System (IMSS).
proposed by Petrescu et al. (1993). The originality is mainly due
to considering finite speed of the machine, seeking for the
optimum frequency corresponding to maximum useful effect; 2.2. Tentative synthesis and evolution over the period
however this Carnot machine is based on a perfect gas (2000e2010)
hypothesis for the refrigerating fluid.
During the same decade appears some work intending to use At the beginning of the century, it appears that the subject of
and relate thermodynamic modelling to lumped experimental thermodynamics appraisal for reverse cycle machines was
i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2 1331

mature. The publication of books (Gordon and Ng, 2000) and of

dedicated review (Feidt, 1999a, b) attests this opinion.
In the first review a general formulation of the optimiza-
tion is given relevant of the general heat transfer law (10)
according to:

q_ FTS ; T (12)

For generality too, the heat leak between source and sink
q_ L > 0 is represented by a lumped heat leak between the
source and the sink:

q_ L GTSH ; TSC (13)

The model proposed for two heat thermostats (TSH, TSC)

machines is valid for Carnot, Stirling or Ericsson reverse
cycles. We consider the cycled fluid according to Fig. 3.
The first law of thermodynamics is expressed as:

q_ H q_ C w
_ 0 (14)
Fig. 4 e Variation of optimal reduced cold heat transfer
The second law of thermodynamics applied to the cycled conductance k0 with useful reduced heat rate q0.
fluid (or the machine) is preferred as:

q_ H q_ C _ hot sink (TSH 298 K), constant temperature heat source

Si 0 (15)
TH TC (TSC 273 K), a vapour superheating of 5 K and an isentropic
compression efficiency of 0,80 (t 298/273; tS 5/273;
We precise here that in ref. (Feidt, 1999a), two particular
nC 0.80). The corresponding non-dimensional useful refrig-
cases of objective function have been proposed for refrigerator
erant effect q0 Q CU =KT TSC , and reduced temperature pinch
and heat pump. To examplify, the objective function for
in evaporator q0 TSC  TC =TSC ; qH TH  TSH =TSH .
a refrigerating machine can be (1) the minimum of the
We see on these figures the evolutions of optimum
consumed energy w _ (case R1) or (2) the maximum of the useful
k0 Ko =KT ; kH ; q0 ; qH , the state variables at the optimum, when
heat coming out of the cold source, q_ CU > 0 (case R2) with:
q0 is varied for three refrigerants (R22, R134a, R717).
q_ C q_ CU q_ L (16) The linear heat transfer law, appears here as a limit case
that will be used in the practical case reported hereafter.
Corresponding results are given in (Feidt, 1999a), as well as A remark remains to do here, relative to the fact that very
optimal allocation of heat transfer conductances, or time few studies consider the case of mixed heat transfer laws
durations, or areas, for the two heat transfer main laws (non-similarity between the heat transfer laws at the hot and
(conductive, and radiative ones); cold sides: see Zhu et al., 2002).
Figs. 4e6, illustrate the practical results (Metrot, 1996) for We prefer to focus hereafter on steady state modelling,
a vapour compression machine with constant temperature rather than on cycle modelling with durations as variables.
Equivalence exists between the two approaches, if we note

Fig. 3 e T.S. diagram of an irreversible refrigerating

machine in contact with two thermostats (TH, hot side; TC, Fig. 5 e Variation of optimal reduced cold pinch q0, with
cold side). useful reduced heat rate q0.
1332 i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2

A T AH AC (19)

Let us now precise the definition of the most common effi-

ciency criterion for a refrigerating machine, the COP coeffi-
cient of performance of a real machine:

q_ C
COPRF (20)
Similar definition
exists for heat pump
q_ H

COPHP (21)

Optimization of a refrigerating machine is based on six

equations (the two symmetrical heat transfer laws; energy
balance, Eq. (14); entropy balance, Eq. (15); finite size
constraint, for example, Eq. (19); COP definition, Eq. (20))
containing nine eventual variables: q_ H ; q_ C ; w; _ COP; TH ; TC ;
AH ; AC ; AT and six parameters kH ; kC ; n; s_ i ; TSH ; TSC . If we
Fig. 6 e Variation of optimal reduced hot pinch qH, with consider two constraints (general case), we get two parame-
useful reduced heat rate q0. ters more and only one independent variable (one degree of
freedom); so we can seek for an eventual corresponding
Dq Dt Table 1 extends the design and functioning options, with
q_ KDT K0 DT (17)
Dtcycle Dtcycle the corresponding Objective Function OF and the associated
constraint (or constraints, if they are two). For simplicity
This consideration has never been precised in the past, but is
purpose, it is to be noted that the finite size constraint has
fundamental, because the K conductance is accessible
been moved from area, to heat transfer conductance; the
through K kA, with k global heat transfer coefficient
other constraints (or objective functions) relate to efficiency of
obtainable through available heat transfer correlations and
the machine through COP, or EC Energy Consumption through
classical heat exchanger calculation. On the other hand K0
w, or UE Useful Effect through q_ C for a refrigerating machine
appears as a heat transfer conductance related to a specific
(q_ H , for a heat pump).
heat exchange during the considered cycle; the heat transfer
To these three main possibilities for the physicist or engi-
duration is Dt (generally not given). So the only way to calcu-
neer, corresponds a fourth one in which the three possible
late K0 comes from Eq. (17) as:
constraints are respectively efficiency; energy consumption;
Dtcycle useful effect, and the objective function represents a size (or
K0 K (18)
Dt investment cost) minimization: design optimization.
Another important preconisation is the use of S_ i , created Two other cases merit consideration, the first one is related
entropy flux in (Eq. (15)), instead of the irreversibility ratio to the total entropy flux created in the system s_ T : the system is
concept mainly used; created entropy flux is a function the machine related to its environment, via source and sink.
directly related to entropy analysis, and we dispose today of Writing the corresponding entropy balance for the system it
a very good basis since the pioneering work of Bejan (1994). comes easily:
This point will be developed in following sections. q_ H q_
Coming back to the heat transfer conductance previously C s_ T 0 (22)
given K kA, we see that in fact the reverse machine appears
as a finite size system (Finite Size Heat Exchangers): the total
Combining Eq. (15) and Eq. (22), we get:
area AT to be allocated to the two heat exchangers is limited
due to size and cost, and we have to distribute it optimally,

1 1 1 1
according to various criterions to be given hereafter, and to s_ T s_ I q_ H  q_ C  (23)
the constraint:

Table 1 e Synthesis of various objective functions and constraints encountered in optimization of reverse cycle machines.
Constraint OF Without _0
w q_ 0 COP0 < COPlim s_ T s_ 0 KT K0 Others: economy environ.

w _ min min min min min min

q_ C and jq_ H j MAX MAX MAX MAX MAX MAX
s_ T min min min min min min
KT min min min min min min
Others: economy environ. min min min min min min
i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2 1333

On can notice that the total entropy generation of the with

system is a sum of three positive terms, first the internal b z20 IH KC =KH n1 .
irreversibility, and the last two related to external irrevers- For the radiative heat transfer law:
ibilities due to finite temperature heat transfer processes  
between the heat reservoirs and working fluid. Generally, it is AT b z0 IH n 1 z0
MAX q_ C n = (26)
difficult to establish a variation law for the internal entropy TSC z0 IH zlim KC KH

generation. We propose to follow the few existing approaches p

with b zn1 IH KC =KH .
(Gordon and Ng, 2000; Wijeysundera, 1997).
The approach with the entropy function s_ i , is slightly more
Some simple variation law have been proposed and tested
complicated and must be solved numerically in the case of
(Feidt et al., 2006):
non linear heat transfer laws (Bellorini, 2007). However orig-
inal analytical results have been deduced from the model for
(a) s_ i cte (to be identified through experiments)
the case of linear heat transfer law; they are summarized in
(b) s_ i si TH  TC (linear case)
Table 2 for the refrigerating machine (RF) or heat pump (HP)
(c) s_ i ci lnTTH (logarithmic case)
where there is only one constraint (two degrees of freedom).
All physical quantities have been non dimensionalised with
Validations of these proposal have been engaged and
respect to ambient temperature T0, and KT (when KT is the
promising results have been obtained recently.
objective function a unitary heat transfer conductance is
It appears in Table 1 a new important category of OF or
chosen as reference).
constraint, related to environment (see Feidt, 2002a, b).
When a second physical constraint is added, as explained
To illustrate the results we compare hereafter the optimum
previously, it remains only, one independent variable; the
condition for a refrigerating machine subject to imposed COP,
constraint is repaired according to Tables 3 and 4. These two
COP0 and convective or radiative heat transfer law.
tables give the analytical formula for a refrigerating machine,
The irreversibility ratio method with IH  1 gives:
the added constraint corresponding to the one indicated in
TH z0 IH TC (24) Table 1.
The same formally symmetrical results relative to heat
with z0 (1 COP0)/COP0; COP0 < lim COPRF implies z0  zlim. pump are available near of the author. To conclude about this
For the convective heat transfer law: systematic study we summarize the main results hereafter.
MAX q_ C AT =  n (a) When only finite size constraint is imposed, some optimum
KC 1bzb0 TH z0 IH TSC  TSH n
exists but only for irreversible machine namely COP and UE
1 of heat pump for a given reduced pinch parameter.
KH (25)
z I T  TSH n (b) When a supplementary constraint is added some theo-
1bz0 IH n 0 H SC
rems appear:

Table 2 e Optimization results for an RF (HP) machine with linear heat transfer law, and without supplementary constraint.
OF Optimum
COPRF tsH tsC tsH 1 si 2
tH p; t p; COPRF 1= p  1
1  si C 1  si tsC 1  si
p p p
1p 1  si p 1 si 1  si
qC s tsC p; w w0  12 si tsH p  tsC p
2 i 1 si 1  si 1 si
p kT p kT p
Remark: q si ; kH 1 si ; kC 1  si
2 2
p p
1p 1 si tsC 1  si 2
qH  si tsH p; COPHP 1=1  p 
2 1  si tsH 1 si
w w0 No optimum for RF and HP
qC No optimum for RF e one optimum for HP
tsc q0 tsc
for q0 imposed: xC tsc  tc , tc , parameter
1 q0 1 q0
p p p
qH q0 tsH  q0 si q0  s i tsH q0 si tsH q0 kT si tsC q0 kT q0  si
xH  p; k p; k p; q  ; w w0   p ;
1  q 0 H q0 q0 C q0 q0 H 1  q0 1  q0 1 q0 1 q0
p p p p
1 q0  si q0 1  q0 tsC q0  si ptC
1 1 q0
COPHP q0 si 1 q0 tsH q0 s i tH
ST q2 si
ST, monotonous with q, sT
1  q2
(exoreversibility), sT si ; Si 0 (endoreversibility)
KT tsH  tH tC tC
kT kH 1   si
tH tsC  tC tsC  tC
Remark : tC ; tH ; si ; kH with kH  si parameters
tH  tsH
1334 i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2

Table 3 e Optimization with linear heat transfer law and supplementary constraint.
OF COPRF COP0 imposed
qC 1 si z0  zH  D
q ; D z0  zH 2 1 si 2  4z0 zH 2 si
W W0 2z0 zH
ST 1 q  s i  1 s 1 s
qC tsC ; k 1  i ; kH 1 i
2 1 q C 2 q 2 q
Remark: c case; kC and kH are given by the preceding formula
qC q qC 
w w0  and sT 
COP0 tsH tsC
Remark: D gives the condition to satisfy by COP0 relatively to COPlim and si; z 1 1=COP
z0  zH  1  zH 
-endoreversible case (si 0), q ; q tsC 1  if z0 /zH ; q /0 (equilibrium thermodynamics)
z0 zH C 4 z0

(w w0 ) w0 imposed (w0 > 0)

qC ; 1 si tsH  tsC D
q ; D 1 si 2 tsH  tsC 2 4tsH tsC 2w0 2w0  si tsH tsC ;
COP 2tsH tsC 2w0
ST tsC q  si q tsC q  si
qC ; COP C
2 q 1 w0 2w0 q 1
Remark : endoreversible limit (si 0)
lim  tsC
If w0 /0; q y
w0 /0 C;endo tsH  tsC

qC qC0 imposed

WW si 2qC0 =tsC qC0 tsH  tsC 1  si  si tH tC  4q2Co
q ; w w0  
COP 1  2qf0 =tsC tsC 1  si  4qCo
ST  qC0 tsC 1  si  4qC0
w w0  s tsH tsf
tsH  tsC 1  si i 4qC0
qCo tsH  tsC 4q2Co tsf  4qfo
Endoreversible limit: w w0 endo  ; COPendo
tsC  4qCo tsc  tsf 4qfo

Table 4 e Optimization with linear heat transfer law and supplementary constraint.
OF ST ST0 imposed
qC and KT p tsC ST0  Si  Si
q ST0  Si with ST0 > Si donc qC p
(W W0 ) 2 ST0  Si 1
w w  tsH  tsC ST0  Si 1 Si tsH tsC ST0 
21  ST0 Si
p p
tsC ST0  Si  Si 1  ST0  Si
tsH  tsC 1 Si ST0  Si tsH tsC ST0
Remark : endoreversible limit
1 tsf 1  ST0
w w0 endo  tsc  tsf tsc tsf ST0 ; COPendo p
21  ST0 tsc  tsf tsc tsf ST0

COPRF COP0 imposed

p p
p p 2
z0  zH z0 zH
q p p and kT Si p p
z0 zH z0  zH
p p p p
p z0 zH p z0 zH
kC si zH p p 2 and kH si z0 p p 2
z0  zH z0  zH
p p p
si tsC zC z0 zH 0 

qC p p p  w w z0  1qC gfunctions of z0
2 z0 z0  zH

(W W0 ) W0 imposed

tsH tsC
2w0  si
1q 1q
tH, tC or q parameters : kT

tsH tsC
1q 1q
Remark : kTendo, decreasing of q
qC qC0 imposed  
1 2qCO 1 q
Decreasing function of tH or q (parameter) kT si
q tsC
ST ST0 imposed
1 2
Decreasing function of tH or q and si (parameter) kT sT0 1 q  si
i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2 1335

- for a refrigerating machine (or an heat pump) with Consequently the finite source and sink dimensions
imposed COP, the optimum of useful effect corresponds (through external heat rates c_ C ; c_ H ) affect, the optimal effi-
to an optimum of energy consumption and an optimum ciency allocation in a coupled way with internal irreversibil-
of total energy dissipation (s_ T ). ities (IH ratio). Even if we simplify to the endoreversible case
- for a refrigerating machine (or an heat pump) with (IH 1); the equipartition of efficiency does not hold, due to the
imposed energy consumption, the optimum of useful fact that generally the two heat rates c_ C ; c_ H differ.
effect corresponds to the maximum of COP, and the This confirms that equipartition theorem does not hold, for
minimum of total energy dissipation. reverse cycle real machines, as was seen for the heat transfer
- for a refrigerating machine (or an heat pump) with conductance modelling, and presently confirmed for the effi-
imposed useful effect, the minimum of energy ciency e NTU modelling.
consumption corresponds to the maximum of COP and More sophisticated models are under developments taking
the minimum of the total energy dissipation. This was into account that the heat exchanger effectiveness is related
reported for endoreversible situations (Ionita and Grosu, to the NTU according to:
3i 1  expNTUi (30)
(c) Extension of these results from the constant temperature
source and sink, to finite source and sink has been recog- This relation is valid using isothermal boiling and condensing
nized as a challenge many years before the present paper hypothesis.
(Feidt et al., 1996), and confirmed experimentally more From a methodological point of view, we see that heat
recently (Gordon, 2000). exchanger effectiveness is related to NTU, through a know
function (Brown and Bansal, 2001); NTU being defined as:
The main modification of the model is concerned with the
heat transfer model that moves from Eq. (6) to: Ki
NTUi (31)
c_ min i
q_ 3c_ min TS  T (27)
c_ min i , limiting heat rate at the i reservoir heat transfer.
with 3, effectiveness of the considered heat exchanger (see
The constraint of finite effectiveness 3T could be moved to
Fig. 7).
finite NTU constraint NTUT, or finite heat transfer conduc-
In case of isothermal heat transfer process from the cycled
tance KT. Remembering that heat transfer conductance Ki is
fluid point of view (pure boiling and condensation), we note
related to area Ai through Ki ki  Ai, the finite NTU constraint
that the limiting fluid is the external one (c_ min c_ H external
could be moved to finite area AT, as explained previously.
hot fluid at the condenser, and c_ min c_ C external cold fluid at
But it appears a new challenge, that corresponds to the best
the evaporator); even in the real operating machine, this
allocation of heat rates between the hot and cold side if c_ H ; c_ C
condition holds, according to Fig. 7 (with TSH TSHi, TSC TSCi).
are considered variables but suffering too to finite dimension
To illustrate the results, we report here the case where we
constraint: c_ T c_ H c_ C . This challenge appears as a new one,
impose 3T 3H 3C , total HEX effectiveness to be allocated,
that we propose to develop (research are in progress in this
when the COP is imposed through z0. Using the entropy ratio
method IH, it comes after some algebra, the following
analytical results (Sublon, 2005) for the effectiveness optimal
2.3. What else concerning two reservoirs machines
allocation corresponding to optimal useful effect MAX q_ C :
IH From the preceding sections, it comes that irreversibilities
3C opt =3T p p (28)
c_ C =c_ H IH analysis is not a new tool applied to mechanical compression
machines (Liang and Kuehn, 1991), but the thermodynamic
p framework has been improved for understanding time
c_ C =c_ H
3H opt =3T p p (29) invariant description of thermodynamic reverse cycles,
c_ C =c_ H IH
through the privileged temperatureeentropy diagram, and
also pursued in direction of controlling the refrigeration or
heat pump system: here we move from steady state to tran-
sient conditions (Koury et al., 2001). Generally numerical
simulation are used, and variable speed seems the most
important parameter to control.
The irreversibility analysis could be performed using
entropy analysis method, but also exergy analysis method; the
second one considers the studied system in its environment,
the surrounding mainly represented by the ambient temper-
ature, T0 (the reference): this reference temperature consti-
tutes the connection between the two proposed methods. The
only care is to clearly identify the concerned extensive quantity
representing the studied irreversibility through entropy (for
example the entropy flux s, _ for steady state conditions).
With the recent interest of environmental concern, it
Fig. 7 e Finite heat reservoirs Carnot machine. appears, that exergy becomes an important tool, even if it is
1336 i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2

not a new tool (Auracher, 1984; Soulas and Hladik, 1984). method named exergoeconomic approach (Wu et al, 1998;
These studies are continued during the following decade: Dentice dAccadia et al., 2002). This approach relates the
Benelmir and Grosu (2001) compare exergy versus entropy exergy analysis to economy; the main difficulty of this method
analysis. The basement of exergy analysis using finite time has been pointed out in the thesis of L. Grosu and is due to the
thermodynamics has been examined in Radcenco et al. (2001). lack of available exergoeconomic correlations for the reverse
Relation of component efficiencies to exergy losses (and cycle machines components (some have been proposed in the
entropy increase) is reported in (Szargut, 2002), as well as cited thesis). Efforts to continue to develop exergoeconomic
exergy analysis of vapour compression refrigeration systems method applied to reverse cycle machines must be encour-
(Yumrutas, 2002; Karkri et al, 2007), or heat pump more aged as well as efforts to have a better appraisal of environ-
recently (Canhoto et al., 2006). During the last decade, mental concern; a possible response to these two aspects
coupling of exergy and efficiency concepts appears too (Su and could be in (LCA) Life Cycle Analysis, combining Life Cycle
Chen, 2006, 2007). But also new thermo ecological criterion Cost, to environmental concern.
has been proposed (Ust and Sahin, 2007) named the ECOP. It is
defined as:
q_ C 3. Three and quadrithermal reverse
ECOP (32)
T0 s_ T
In practice, today ecological criterions used for refrigerators
and heat pump are ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential), GWP As was seen in the preceding section, some papers refer also
(Greenhouse Warming Potential) and more recently TEWI to configurations of reverse machines that are different from
(Total Equivalent Global Warming) due to the fact that it two reservoirs one (namely vapour compression one). Among
combines direct and indirect emission of CO2. them the most important and promising are the sorption
In parallel to the environmental aspect, is developed the machines; the corresponding modelling is associated to three
economical concern. The classical thermoeconomical study is or four heat reservoirs (Fig. 8).
well known, and constitutes an important tool for the engi- One of the first paper was published by Yan and Chen
neer. L. Grosu in his PhD thesis (Grosu, 2000) reports exten- (1989) describing an optimal endoreversible three heat sour-
sively on the classical thermoeconomical method applied to ces refrigerator as a combined cycle of a two heat sources
two or three heat reservoirs reverse machines. But this engine driving a two heat sources refrigerator; a second paper
attempt has been pursued too in a more novel and promising (Chen and Yan, 1989a) extends the description of

Fig. 8 e Geothermal absorption refrigeration cycle, or waste heat refrigeration cycle.

i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2 1337

endoreversible cycles, adding the effect of finite heat source phenomenological heat transfer law. More recently Qin et al.
capacity on the performance of the considered cycles. A third (2007) give the corresponding results with a radiative heat
one (Chen and Yan, 1989b) discusses the equivalent system of transfer law. In any case the same form of non dimensional
three heat sources heat pump: it results three main ways, curve was obtained (Fig. 9).
according to COP value that could be more or less than 1. This Finite time analysis are numerous relative to absorption
was again considered by Jernqvist (1992), Abrahamson and systems: Agnew et al. paper (2002) is relative to refrigeration
Jernqvist (1993): the concern was with the general criterions system; Bhardway et al. (2003, 2005) papers are relative to heat
representing efficiencies of absorption heat transformers pump and refrigeration system too, but these authors intro-
(COP, or Eth thermodynamic efficiency as COP/COPrev, or Eex duce two irreversibility ratios. Snoussi and Bellagi (2007)
exergetic efficiency, or exergy index Iex). confirm recently the form of curves obtained Fig. 9.
Authors mention that the absorption heat cycles must be In the present period, the last studies developed extend the
considered under the same conditions when they are model from three to four heat reservoirs. Hellmann (2002)
compared. A new definition of exergy efficiency for two types of analyzes the influence of a complementary constraint, or of
sorption heat pumps (type I, conventional heat pump, and type an additional operating parameter needed.
II, heat transformer) was proposed just after, using the concept As for two heat reservoirs Gordon and Ng (1995a, b) use
of transiting exergy (Sorin et al., 1994). Wu presents in two thermodynamic model to check from a lumped analysis point
subsequent papers two refrigeration cycles (see Fig. 8) corre- of view available performance data. The same group of
sponding to cooling capacity optimization (Wu, 1992, 1993a) of research (Chua et al., 1993) applies entropy production anal-
absorption refrigeration cycle. The two approach are finite time ysis with a reduced analytic irreversible thermodynamic
endoreversible thermodynamical models corresponding in fact model to capture the essential of the physical problem: the
to three reservoirs machine, only the hot source differs representative curve is again inverse of COP versus inverse of
(geothermal for the first one, waste heat for the second one). cooling load; the modelling is reported in Ng, Chua and Han
The paper of Krakow (1994), completes the two preceding ones, (1997). In a following paper (Ng et al., 1998) use thermody-
because, taking into account of finite heat capacity rates of the namic analysis applied to absorption chillers; they show that
reservoirs, and indicating that maximum system capacity may taking account of internal dissipation is mandatory, and
not correspond to maximum system efficiency or COP. introduce the concept of refrigerant Process Average
The optimal allocation of heat transfer area has been Temperature (PAT). This concept was extended further, and is
proposed for the endoreversible type II absorption heat pump closed to the one of equivalent Carnot cycles introduced by
and maximum rate of heat pumping (Chen and Andresen, Meunier et al. (1998) for sorption refrigeration.
1995). This was confirmed through reference (Martinez and Feidt and Vasilescu (2006a) have optimized the COP, for
Pinazo, 2002). various cases (q_ H or q_ C imposed namely) and using the (3, NTU)
This was first explored by Boussehain and Feidt (1984) in method. Zheng et al. (2004) have done similar study but with
a form relative to durations allocation for three reservoirs phenomenological heat transfer law, Qin et al. (2008) with radi-
machines; it is to note that the corresponding solution is ative heat transfer law; they propose also the optimal heat
formally identical to the one with area allocation (Feidt, 1987). transfer area distribution. A last paper (Hwang et al., 2008) treats
The relation between optimal performance coefficient and the same irreversible temperature level absorption heat pump,
cooling load for a three heat reservoirs refrigerator was but with minimum total heat transfer area as objective function.
developed by Chen et al. (1997) in the endoreversible case, and As a partial conclusion it appears that the three reservoirs
the irreversible case (Chen et al., 2002) but with the is relatively well covered, but it probably remains to do the

Fig. 9 e The q_ C -COP characteristic of an irreversible two reservoirs refrigerator.

1338 i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2

same synthesis as was done for two reservoirs machines. seeking for the optimum operative temperature at the
However, the works devoted to four reservoirs machines are collector for system maximum possible COP or the system
not complete today : development of complementary works maximum possible cooling load (Wu et al., 1996b, 1997).
are necessary, before a tentative synthesis could be done. More recently, this methodology was again reconsidered
for endoreversible solar absorption refrigeration cycle by
Fellah et al. (2006). Accordingly, a solar powered cogeneration
4. Survey of other related researches system for air conditioning and refrigeration thermodynam-
ical modelling has been reported (Gotkun, 1999): this approach
4.1. Other machines relative to a cold CHP system seems a very promising use of
renewable solar energy, to assess in the future.
In Sections 2 and 3 focus has been put on reverse machine that Due to lack of place we limit here our purpose, noting only
are the most common, but thermodynamics, and more that it exists other ways to explore for refrigeration and heat
particularly finite time thermodynamics is not limited to these pump applications ; for example we cite two main forms of
machines. Some insight could be put to Joule reverse cycle actually studied hybrid systems, consisting of ejector-
machine, Ericsson and Stirling reverse cycle machines too, absorption configuration, or compression-absorption system
that are permanent gas machines (Feidt, 2003a, b). Some (Minea and Chiriac, 2006) ; this last category of hybrid systems
works have been published that are relevant of thermo- seems to be more investigated. A recent thesis (Haj Taleb,
electrical, thermomagnetic, or thermoacoustic configurations 2004) reports on thermodynamical and thermoeconomic
of reverse machines. This could be the subject of another optimization of hybrid compressioneabsorption refrigeration
review in the future (work is in progress), the most recent ones systems. To conclude this section, the thermodynamical
being the ones cited just before. modelling must consider the reverse machine in the related
system and environment in order to optimize it accordingly to
4.2. Particular configurations of 2T to 4T machines well chosen criterions.

We remain here with the examined basis of Sections 2 and 3,

but the reverse machine could be developed with a great
variety of more sophisticated configurations. It appears today, 5. Conclusions
that some of them have been envisaged.
The most developed study is relative to combined refriger- All along this review, the focus has been put on thermody-
ation cycles (Chen, 1995, Chen et al., 1997). This study first namics applied to modelling and characterization of reverse
devoted to two endoreversible combined cycles, has been cycle machines, mainly refrigerators and heat pumps.
generalized to a n-stages combined heat pump (Chen and Wu, It has been shown that if the main concepts (COP, coeffi-
1995; Chen et al., 1999). The optimization criterions are always cient of performance, and cycles) are present since the
numerous, from specific rate, to rate of exergy output (Chen beginning, all the works done remain in the field of equilib-
et al., 2001). rium thermodynamics until recently. It is only in the eighties,
Peculiar case of two reservoirs reverse machines could be with the pioneering work of Blanchard (1980), that the
related to the engine moving the machine. This was consid- modelling takes into account the necessary relation between
ered by Wu (1993), who seeks for maximum cooling load for fluxes and forces, as was proposed earlier by Onsager.
a heat engine driven refrigerator. This system configuration is Since that time a great variety of papers has been pre-
also possible coupling an engine with absorption cycle ; this sented ; this review proposes a list of approximately 160
was the case considered in the paper of Mostafain and Agnew papers analyzed. The author apologizes for papers not
(1996) with a diesel engine. The review paper of Tozer and included (the authors that detect some missing one are
James (1998) extends the preceding cited paper, and encouraged to transmit information to him, in order to correct
considers more complex and integrated systems as CHP this omission in the future).
systems (Combined Heat and Power). Nevertheless the main features of this review are :
Interest of various renewable heat sources appears in the
literature since the 1990 period; Wu (1993a) proposes a solar (a) The usefulness of thermodynamics tool starting from
engine driven-air conditioning system model; Davis and Wu concepts and criterions to go to lumped models that could
(1994) report on optimal performance of a geothermal heat give through quasi analytical results upperbounds or
engine driven heat pump. It remains certainly to explore more optima existence. The sensitivity of these optima to main
in details, all possible alternatives of systems configurations, parameters and constraints has been reported, and
but also other possible driving forces. a tentative synthesis done.
Integration of system is not well developed, and generally (b) Entropy and exergy analysis have shown that irrevers-
hot CHP systems are mainly considered ; it seems important ibility play a major role in understanding the functioning
to study more deeply cold CHP systems and trigeneration of reverse cycle machine, and cannot be ignored: endor-
systems: hot and cold. eversible model are not representative of real machines.
For these studies the performance criterions take again (c) Starting from lumped analytical model is a good guide, to go
a great place. First the maximum overall coefficient of to more sophisticated numerical models (1D or more), and
performance of a solar driven heat pump system was studied after to complete simulation e optimization procedures. By
(Yan and Chen, 1994). Wu et al. complete the preceding work the way lumped analytical models furnish robust and
i n t e r n a t i o n a l j o u r n a l o f r e f r i g e r a t i o n 3 3 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 1 3 2 7 e1 3 4 2 1339

physical model that are necessary for control e command Boussehain, R., Feidt, M. ,1984. Cycle optimisation for
purposes (this way seems insufficiently explored) a refrigeration system, with three heat reservoirs. French and
(d) The present state of the art has to be completed in some German seminar, 1e4 Oct. 1984, Kasel, Germany.
Brown, M.W., Bansal, P.K., 2001. An elemental NTU-3 model for
particular directions, to say:
vapour-compression liquid chillers. Int. J. Refrigeration 24,
e more sophisticated configurations of reverse machines 612e627.
including secondary loop, isothermal vapour Canhoto, P., Reis, H.H., Miguel, A.F., Rosa, R., 2006. Utilisation of
compression (new cycle) as proposed recently, and also air ground water exergy potential for improvement of the
hybrid machines (compression e absorption or ejec- performance of heat pump systems. Int. J. Exergy 3 (1), 1e14.
tion e absorption mainly). Chambadal, P., 1957. Les centrales nucleaires. Armand Colin,
Paris, France, pp. 41e58.
e Including system approach (systemic study)
Chen, J., Yan, Z., 1989a. Unified endoreversible cycles. Phys. Rev.
(e) Other reverse machines configurations are also to be
A 39 (8), 4140e4147.
considered more in detail for thermodynamic comparison, Chen, J., Chen, X., Wu, C., 2001. Optimization of the rate of exergy
particularly thermoelectric, thermomagnetic, Stirling and output of a multistage endoreversible combined system.
Ericsson configurations, as well as thermoacoustic and Exergy Int. J. 1 (2), 100e106.
Ranque Hilsch permanent gas systems. Chen, J., Wu, C., 1995. Performance of a cascade endoreversible
(f) Thermoeconomics evaluation has been well considered in heat pump system. J. Int. Energy 476, 137e141.
Chen, J., Yan, Z., 1989b. Equivalent combined systems of three-
the past, and is now moving to a new form named exer-
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Chen, J., 1995. Optimal choice of the performance parameters of
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optimization of a quadrithermal solid sorption system. vol. B.E.1 (BE8096) (chapitre de livre, 14 pp.).
ECOS2002, July 3e5, Berlin, Germany.
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Feidt, M., 1987. Thermodynamique et optimisation energetique Petrescu, S., Costea, M., Feidt, M., 2001. Les cycles des machines a`
des syste`mes et procedes. Tec et Doc. Editeurs, Paris, France, froid et des pompes a` chaleur de Stirling avec vitesse finie.
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Feidt, M., Vasilescu, E., 2006b. Etude damelioration du coefficient Philippi, I., Feidt, M., 1991. Optimisation des machines
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