Design optimisation of CO2 gas cooler/condenser in a refrigeration system

Y. T. Ge*, S. A. Tassou, I. D. Santosa, K. Tsamos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


As a natural working fluid, CO2 has been widely applied in refrigeration and heat pump systems where heat is conventionally rereleased to ambient through external airflow. Owing to extraordinary thermophysical properties, especially its low critical temperature, the CO2 heat release through a highpressure side heat exchanger will inevitably undergo either supercritical or subcritical processes, depending on ambient air temperatures and head pressure controls. Correspondingly, the heat exchanger will act intermittently as either a gas cooler or condenser within the system during an annual operation. Such evidence should therefore be taken into account for an optimal design of the heat exchanger and head pressure controls in order to significantly enhance the performance of both components and the associated system. To achieve these targets, two CO2 finned-T ube gas coolers/condensers with different structural designs and controls have been purposely built, instrumented and connected with an existing test rig of a CO2 booster refrigeration system. Consequently, the performance of the CO2 gas coolers/condensers with different structure designs, controls and system integration at different operating conditions can be thoroughly investigated through experimentation. In the meantime, models of the finned-T ube CO2 gas coolers/condensers have been developed using both the distributed (detailed model) and lumped (simple model) methods. The former is employed to give a detailed prediction of the working fluid temperature profiles, localized heat transfer rates and effects of pipe circuitry arrangements, while the latter is suitable for the simulation and optimisation of system integration with less computation time. Both models have been validated with measurements, and moreover the simple model has been integrated with other component models so as to create a system model. The effects of the CO2 gas cooler/condenser sizes and controls on the system performance can thus be compared and analysed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2311-2314
Number of pages4
JournalEnergy procedia
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Conference on Applied Energy, ICAE 2014 - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: 30 May 20142 Jun 2014


  • CO gas cooler or condenser
  • Experiment and modelling
  • Heat exchanger sizes and controls
  • Refrigeration system
  • Test facilities


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