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Industrial Heat Pump Case Study
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An open-cycle heat pump was retrofitted to a single-effect, recirculating-type evaporator used for reducing the water content of whey (a liquid by-product from cheese production). The purpose of the retrofit was to reduce the energy costs associated with operating the evaporator. The open-cycle heat pump design uses an electrically driven centrifugal compressor to recover the latent heat of the water vapor generated by the evaporator. (Steam was the original heat source but is now only needed for start-up.) This concept is sometimes called mechanical vapor compression (MVC) or mechanical vapor recompression (MVR). A variety of engineering issues have to be resolved to integrate a heat pump into an evaporator system. This paper identifies key issues and describes how they were resolved for this particular process. Issues include choice of compressor, motor selection, control strategy, impact of heat pump on heat exchanger surface area requirements and related issues, and methods for protecting the compressor from surge, droplet ingestion, and other hazards.
SubjectOpen-Cycle Heat Pump
Mechanical Vapor Compression
Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR)
Wagner, J. R.; Brush, F. C. (1985). Industrial Heat Pump Case Study. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from