STEADY STATE MODELING AND OPTIMIZATION FOR PERFORMANCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ADVANCED VAPOR COMPRESSION SYSTEMS
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The use of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) systems is always increasing. This is because the HVACR systems are necessary for food production and ability to inhabit buildings that otherwise would be inhabitable. The basic vapor compression (VC) cycle which is still the main underlying HVACR technology worldwide, has already reached its limits and researchers are investigating more creative and complex cycles to improve capacity and efficiency. This motivates the development of a generalized vapor compression system simulation platform. This thesis presents a comprehensive vapor compression system steady state solver which has several novel features compared to the existing solvers. Firstly, this solver is capable of simulating large number of different vapor compression system designs. This includes system configurations comprising more than 500 components, multiple air and refrigerant paths, and user defined refrigerants. Also, the solver uses a component-based solution scheme in which the component models are treated as black box objects. This allows a system engineer to quickly assemble and simulate a system where-in the component models and performance data comes from disparate sources. This allows different vapor compression systems design engineers, and manufacturers to use the solver without the need to expose the underlying component model complexities. We validate the solver using a residential air source heat pump system, a vapor injection heat pump system with a flash tank, and a CO2 two-stage supermarket refrigeration system with mechanical subcooler. Moreover, designing a HVACR system while primarily considering its environmental impact requires an evaluation of the system's overall environmental impact as a function of its design parameters. The most comprehensive metric proposed for this evaluation is the system's Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP). Hence, this thesis presents an open-source and modular framework for LCCP based design of vapor compression systems. This framework can be used for, not only evaluation, but also LCCP-based design and optimization of vapor compression systems to minimize the environmental impact of such systems. Furthermore, the framework provides insights into various other challenges such as selection of appropriate systems for various climates and the choice of next generation lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants.