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Open-Cycle Vapor Compression Heat Pump System
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In many industrial processes, large quantities of energy are often wasted in the form of low pressure steam and low-grade heat. Economical recovery of these waste energy sources is often difficult due to such factors as low temperature levels and contamination of the steam. In industrial processes that utilize steam directly or as a mode of energy transport, waste energy can be efficiently recovered and upgraded in the form of high-pressure steam by means of an open-cycle steam heat pump system. Recovery and upgrading of these waste steam or heat sources offer a great potential for energy conservation. Thermo Electron has developed, under sponsorship by the Gas Research Institute, Southern California Gas Company, and the Consolidated Natural Gas Service Company, an open-cycle steam heat pump to recover this waste energy in the form of high-pressure process steam. The system utilizes excess low-pressure steam (or that produced from an excess heat source with a waste heat boiler) and compresses this steam to the desired pressure level for process use. The compressor is driven by a gas turbine or gas engine prime mover. To enhance the system performance, the prime mover exhaust and/or cooling jacket heat is recovered to generate additional process steam or hot water. Utilizing the Thermo Electron system, fuel consumption can be 30 percent lower in comparison to a direct-fired boiler. Simple payback periods of 1 to 3 years are generally found for most applications.
Pasquinelli, D. M.; Becker, F. E. (1983). Open-Cycle Vapor Compression Heat Pump System. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from