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Publication numberUS20050279127 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/871,747
Publication dateDec 22, 2005
Filing dateJun 18, 2004
Priority dateJun 18, 2004
Also published asDE112005001236T5, WO2006009790A2, WO2006009790A3
Publication number10871747, 871747, US 2005/0279127 A1, US 2005/279127 A1, US 20050279127 A1, US 20050279127A1, US 2005279127 A1, US 2005279127A1, US-A1-20050279127, US-A1-2005279127, US2005/0279127A1, US2005/279127A1, US20050279127 A1, US20050279127A1, US2005279127 A1, US2005279127A1
InventorsTao Jia, Stephen Memory, Jianmin Yin
Original AssigneeTao Jia, Memory Stephen B, Jianmin Yin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Integrated heat exchanger for use in a refrigeration system
US 20050279127 A1
Abstract
A refrigeration system includes a multiple stage compressor 10 having at least two stages 12,14 for sequentially compressing the refrigerant together with a gas cooler 21 connected to the compressor 10 for receiving compressed refrigerant from the last stage 14 of the compressor to cool the same. An evaporator 18 is connected to the gas cooler 21 via an expansion device to receive cool refrigerant therefrom and cool the fluid stream passing through the evaporator 18. A return passage connects the evaporator 18 to the first stage 12 of the compressor and an intercooler 26 is connected between the first stage 12 and the last stage 14 of the compressor to cool refrigerant compressed by the first stage 12 and direct the refrigerant cooled thereby to the last stage 14 for further compression. The intercooler 26 and the gas cooler 21 are integrated into a single unit 22 and receive a single cooling heat exchange fluid and the gas cooler 21 has a larger heat transfer surface area than the intercooler 26.
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Claims(19)
1. A refrigeration system comprising:
a multistage compressor having at least two stages for sequentially compressing a refrigerant;
a gas cooler connected to the compressor for receiving compressed refrigerant from a last stage of the compressor to cool the same;
an evaporator connected to the gas cooler to receive cooled refrigerant therefrom and cool a fluid stream passing through the evaporator;
a return passage connecting the evaporator to a first stage of the compressor to return refrigerant thereto to be compressed therein; and
an intercooler connected between said first stage and said last stage to cool refrigerant compressed by said first stage and direct the refrigerant cooled thereby to said last stage for further compression thereby;
said intercooler and said gas cooler being integrated into a single unit to receive a single cooling heat exchange fluid, said gas cooler having a larger heat transfer area than said intercooler, said heat transfer area being the area of the respective coolers through which heat transfer between said refrigerant and said single cooling heat exchange fluid occurs.
2. The refrigeration system of claim 1 wherein said gas cooler is a cross-counter flow heat exchanger having plural tube or passage rows through which the refrigerant serially passes from back to front in relation to the direction of flow of said single cooling heat exchange fluid through said gas cooler.
3. The refrigeration system of claim 2 wherein said gas cooler and said intercooler are in side-by-side abutting relation to define a single, split face through which said single cooling heat exchange fluid enters said unit, and include common header assemblies extending between remote sides of said gas cooler and said intercooler, and baffles in said header assemblies isolating refrigerant flow paths in said intercooler from refrigerant flow paths in said gas cooler.
4. The refrigeration system of claim 3 wherein said intercooler has plural tube or passage rows through which the refrigerant serially passes, the number of tube or passage rows in said intercooler being less than the number of tube or passage rows in said gas cooler.
5. The refrigeration system of claim 4 wherein the number of said rows in said gas cooler is at least twice the number of said rows in said gas cooler.
6. The refrigeration system of claim 5 wherein said rows in said gas cooler are defined by aligned runs of serpentine tubes and said rows in said intercooler are defined by U-shaped or serpentine tubes.
7. The refrigeration system of claim 2 wherein said gas cooler and said intercooler are interleaved with said tubes or passages of said gas cooler being located between adjacent tubes or passages of said intercooler.
8. The refrigeration system of claim 7 wherein there are plural rows of tubes and passages in said intercooler and said rows in said gas cooler are defined by aligned runs of serpentine tubes and said rows in said intercooler are defined by aligned runs of U-shaped or serpentine tubes.
9. The refrigeration system of claim 7 wherein said intercooler has plural rows of tubes or passages and there are more tubes or passages in each row of said gas cooler than said intercooler, and the tubes or passages of said intercooler are substantially uniformly distributed between tubers or passages of said gas cooler.
10. The refrigeration system of claim 9 wherein said rows in said gas cooler are defined by aligned runs of serpentine tubes and said rows in said intercooler are defined by aligned runs U-shaped or serpentine tubes.
11. An integrated, interleaved heat exchanger comprising:
a first plurality of tubes bent to define a plurality of aligned, parallel runs;
a second plurality of tubes bent to define a plurality of aligned parallel runs;
first header assemblies connected to ends of the tubes of the first plurality and in fluid communication with the interiors thereof;
second header assemblies connected to the ends of the tubes of the first plurality and in fluid communication with the interiors thereof;
the tubes of the first plurality being located between the tubes of the second plurality in a substantially uniform manner, and in spaced relation to one another;
the parallel runs of the tubes in each plurality defining rows; and
fins extending between adjacent tubes in said rows.
12. The integrated interleaved heat exchanger of claim 11 wherein the tubes of both of said pluralities have the same number of runs.
13. The integrated interleaved heat exchanger of claim 11 wherein the number of runs defined by each tube in said first plurality is greater than the number of runs defined by each tube of said second plurality.
14. The integrated interleaved heat exchanger of claim 13 wherein said first and second plurality of tubes and said fins define a generally rectangular heat exchanger core and said header assemblies are all on one side of said core.
15. The integrated interleaved heat exchanger of claim 11 wherein the tubes of said first plurality are serpentine tubes and the tubes of said second plurality are U-shaped or serpentine tubes.
16. The integrated interleaved heat exchanger of claim 15 wherein the number of runs defined by each tube in said first plurality is greater than the number of runs defined by each tube in said second plurality.
17. The integrated interleaved heat exchanger of claim 14 wherein said first and second plurality of tubes and said fins define a generally rectangular heat exchanger core and said header assemblies are all on one side of said core.
18. The integrated interleaved heat exchanger of claim 13 wherein the second plurality of tubes have corresponding ends located inwardly of the ends of the tubes of said first plurality and said second header assemblies are located between said first header assemblies.
19. The integrated interleaved heat exchanger of claim 13 wherein the second plurality of tubes have corresponding ends located outwardly of the ends of said first plurality and said first header assemblies are located between said second header assemblies.
Description
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    This invention relates to refrigeration systems and to an integrated heat exchanger for use in such systems.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Most refrigeration systems (which term, as used herein, is intended to include air conditioning systems) operate on the vapor compression cycle. In such a cycle, a refrigerant is compressed and then the compressed refrigerant cooled before being expanded in an evaporator to cool a heat exchange fluid. The heat exchange fluid may be used to cool various objects, such as the contents of a refrigerator or the occupants of a space. Until relatively recently, common refrigerants were chloro-fluoro carbons (CFC's) or hydro-chloro-fluoro carbons (HCFC's) because of their non combustibility and relatively easy cycling through the system. However, many such systems have been prone to refrigerant leakage, particularly those in vehicular applications. The escaping refrigerant, depending upon the type, is believed to damage the ozone layer surrounding the earth in varying degrees. Consequently, certain refrigerants such as CFC 12 are no longer manufactured and resort has been made to more environmentally friendly refrigerants such as HFC 134a. The search continues for even more environmentally friendly refrigerants.
  • [0003]
    With the new refrigerants that are being utilized, changes are required in many of the refrigeration systems in which they are used to achieve optimum efficiency. And this is true whether one is employing some of the newer refrigerants which still actually physically condense from the gaseous phase to the liquid phase in the system condenser or whether one is employing a so-called transcritical refrigerant, such as CO2 which does not truly condense during typical system operation but nonetheless requires cooling after compression in a so-called gas cooler.
  • [0004]
    Some of these systems utilize a multiple-stage compressor for increased efficiency, usually a two stage compressor, to compress the expanded refrigerant after it is passed through the evaporator to an elevated pressure at which it enters the system condenser or gas cooler. For brevity, both condensers for true condensing refrigerants and gas coolers used in transcritical refrigerant systems will hereinafter be referred to as gas coolers.
  • [0005]
    In any event, when multiple-stage compressors are utilized, some means of cooling the refrigerant between stages is often needed. This is typically accomplished using an air cooled intercooler.
  • [0006]
    In common refrigeration systems, the gas cooler and intercooler are typically separate components in the system loop. Where there are few space constraints in the system, the use of separate components is not a major concern. However, in applications where space constraints are significant, it would be desirable to have an integrated gas cooler/intercooler component which functions with an efficiency that will match that of a system utilizing separate components.
  • [0007]
    For example, in vehicular applications, available space for air conditioning units is at a premium. Large components limit the ability of the designer of the vehicle to achieve aerodynamic slipperiness which, of course, affects fuel economy as well as the ability to achieve a pleasing appearance. Further, a weight saving may be achieved in an integrated unit over a system utilizing separate components which similarly contributes to the fuel economy. Thus, there is a real need for a refrigeration system employing a multistage compressor that avoids the problems associated with separate gas coolers and intercoolers.
  • [0008]
    The present invention is directed to fulfilling that need.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0009]
    It is the principal object of the invention to provide a new and improved refrigeration system of the multistage compressor type. It is also an object of the invention to provide a new and improved integrated heat exchanger which may find use in such a system as an integrated gas cooler and intercooler.
  • [0010]
    According to one aspect of the invention, a refrigeration system having a multistage compressor with at least two stages for sequentially compressing a refrigerant is provided. A gas cooler is connected to the compressor for receiving compressed refrigerant from the last stage of the compressor to cool the same. After an expansion device, an evaporator is connected to the gas cooler to receive compressed, cooled refrigerant therefrom and expand the same to cool a fluid stream passing through the evaporator. A return passage is provided and connects the evaporator to a first stage of the compressor to return expanded refrigerant thereto to be compressed therein and an intercooler is connected between the first stage and the last stage of the compressor to cool refrigerant compressed by the first stage and direct the refrigerant cooled thereby to the last stage for further compression in the compressor. The intercooler and the gas cooler are integrated into a single unit to receive a single cooling heat exchange fluid. The gas cooler has a larger heat transfer area than that of the intercooler, the heat transfer area being the area of the respective coolers through which heat transfer between the refrigerant and the single cooling heat exchange fluid occurs.
  • [0011]
    In a preferred embodiment, the gas cooler is a cross-counter flow heat exchanger having plural tube or passage rows through which the refrigerant serially passes from back to front in relation to the direction of flow of the single cooling heat exchange fluid through the gas cooler.
  • [0012]
    According to one embodiment of the invention, the gas cooler and the intercooler are in side-by-side abutting relation to define a single, split face through which the single cooling heat exchange fluid enters the unit and includes common header assemblies extending between remote sides of the gas cooler and the intercooler. Baffles are located in the header assemblies to isolate the refrigerant flow paths in the intercooler from refrigerant flow paths in the gas cooler.
  • [0013]
    In the embodiment described in the preceding paragraph, the intercooler has plural tubes or passage rows through which the refrigerant serially passes and the number of tubes or passage rows in the intercooler is less than the number of tubes or passage rows in the gas cooler.
  • [0014]
    Preferably, the number of rows in the gas cooler is at least twice the number of rows in the intercooler.
  • [0015]
    In a highly preferred embodiment, the rows in the gas cooler are defined by aligned runs of serpentine tubes and the rows in the intercooler are defined by U-shaped or serpentine tubes.
  • [0016]
    In another embodiment of the invention, the gas cooler and intercooler are interleaved with the tubes or passages of the gas cooler being located between adjacent tubes or passages of the intercooler.
  • [0017]
    In this embodiment as well, the gas cooler runs are defined by serpentine tubes and the intercooler runs are defined by U-shaped or serpentine tubes.
  • [0018]
    In a preferred embodiment, there are more tubes or passages in each row of the gas cooler than in each row of the intercooler and the tubes or passages of the intercooler are substantially uniformly distributed between tubes or passages of the gas cooler.
  • [0019]
    According to another facet of the invention, an integrated, interleaved heat exchanger is provided which includes a first plurality of tubes bent to define a plurality of parallel runs. A second plurality of tubes bent to define a plurality of parallel runs is also provided. First header assemblies are connected to the ends of the tubes in the first plurality and are in fluid communication with the interiors thereof while second header assemblies are connected to the ends of the tubes of the second plurality and are in fluid communication with the interiors of the second plurality. The tubes of the first plurality are located between the tubes of the second plurality in a substantially uniformed manner and in spaced relation to one another. The parallel runs of the tubes in each plurality defines rows, and fins extend between adjacent tubes in the rows.
  • [0020]
    In one embodiment, the tubes of both of the pluralities have the same number of runs while in another embodiment, the number of runs defined by each tube in the first plurality is greater than the number of runs defined by each tube of the second plurality.
  • [0021]
    In preferred embodiment, the first and second plurality of tubes and the fins define a generally rectangular heat exchanger core and the header assemblies are all on one side of the core.
  • [0022]
    A preferred embodiment again contemplates that the tubes of the first plurality be serpentine tubes and that the tubes of the second plurality be U-shaped or serpentine tubes.
  • [0023]
    In one embodiment of the heat exchanger, the second plurality of tubes have corresponding ends located inwardly of the ends of the first plurality and the second header assemblies are located between the first header assemblies. In another embodiment, the second plurality of tubes have corresponding ends located outwardly of the ends of the first plurality and the first header assemblies are located between the second header assemblies.
  • [0024]
    Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following specification taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0025]
    FIG. 1 is a schematic illustrating a system made according to the invention;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 2 is a front elevation of an integrated gas cooler and intercooler made according to the invention;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but of another embodiment of an integrated gas cooler and intercooler;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 4 is an exploded side elevation of the intercooler and gas cooler components utilized in the integrated gas cooler and intercooler of the embodiment of FIG. 2;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 5 is a somewhat schematic, enlarged, fragmentary view of the arrangement of tubes employed in the embodiment of FIG. 3;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 6 is a side elevation of one embodiment of a header and tube structure utilized in the embodiment of FIG. 3; and
  • [0031]
    FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 but showing a modified header and tube arrangement.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0032]
    Before proceeding to the detailed description of the various embodiments, it is to be understood that the term “refrigeration system” as used herein is used in a broad sense to include any vapor compression based system utilized for cooling other objects. It is intended to include not only refrigeration systems in the narrow sense, such as refrigerators, refrigerated vehicles, etc. but also to include systems utilized for cooling spaces and/or occupants of such spaces, more narrowly understood to refer to air conditioning systems.
  • [0033]
    It is also to be noted that the invention is applicable to systems employed with refrigerants that in fact substantially fully change from the vapor phase to the liquid phase in a heat exchanger typically termed a condenser as well as in the systems utilizing so called transcritical refrigerants, such as carbon dioxide, wherein true condensation does not fully occur but nonetheless require a gas cooler for cooling the refrigerant after it has been compressed. Thus, the term gas cooler, as used herein, and as alluded to previously, is intended to be generic to both gas coolers in transcritical systems as well as to condensers in subcritical systems.
  • [0034]
    It is also to be noted that the integrated gas cooler and intercooler described herein is not restricted to use as an integrated intercooler and gas cooler. It may be utilized in systems wherein a single heat exchange fluid at two different stages in its processing, may be heated or cooled by a single stream of a heat transfer medium or where two different heat exchange fluids can be advantageously heated or cooled by a single stream of a heat transfer medium.
  • [0035]
    Consequently, no restriction to particular types of refrigeration systems is intended except insofar as expressly stated in the appended claims. Similarly, no restriction to a specific use of the embodiments of heat exchanger described herein in refrigeration systems is intended except insofar as specified in the appended claims.
  • [0036]
    With the foregoing in mind, the system in FIG. 1 will now be described.
  • [0037]
    The system is based on a multi-stage compressor, generally designated 10 which typically will be a two stage compressor. Thus, a first stage is shown at 12 and a second stage is shown at 14. An inlet 16 to the compressor is connected to the outlet of an evaporator 18 through which a heat exchange fluid is driven by a fan 19 to be cooled, the heat exchange fluid typically being air but in some instances could be another gas or even a liquid.
  • [0038]
    The compressor 10 includes an outlet 20 from the second stage 14 which is connected to the gas cooler part 21 of an integrated gas cooler, intercooler unit, generally designated 22. The unit 22 is adapted to receive a heat exchange fluid, again typically air, but which could be another gas or even a liquid, driven by a fan 24 in a single stream through the gas cooler part 21 and through an intercooler part 26 of the unit 22.
  • [0039]
    The outlet 28 of the first compressor stage 12 is connected to the intercooler part 26 to provide refrigerant compressed by the first stage to the intercooler part 26. From the intercooler part 26, the refrigerant compressed by the first stage 12 is directed to an inlet 30 to the second stage 14 of the compressor unit 10.
  • [0040]
    Compressed refrigerant cooled in the gas cooler part 21 exits the unit 22 and is directed through an expansion device (EXP DEVICE) and then passed to the evaporator 18 where it cools the heat exchange fluid directed through the evaporator 18 by the fan 19.
  • [0041]
    Other components may optionally be included in the system of FIG. 1. Typically, such components would include an accumulator for the refrigerant and, in large non-transcritical systems or in transcritical systems, a so called suction line heat exchanger (SLHX) as well.
  • [0042]
    Turning now to FIG. 2, one embodiment of an integrated heat exchanger that may be employed as the unit 22 is illustrated. The same includes the gas cooler part 21 located in side-by-side relation with the intercooler part 26 and which abut at a common boundary 31. A remote side of the intercooler is shown at 32 while a remote side of the gas cooler is shown at 34. Refrigerant flow passages 27, and only a few are shown, make up the gas cooler. The flow passages 27 are conventionally tubes or tube runs in spaced relation as shown in FIG. 2 and fins, typically serpentine fins 38, are located between spaced ones of the flow passages 27.
  • [0043]
    The intercooler part 26 includes spaced flow passages 40 also typically tubes or tube runs separated by fins 38 in the usual case. As it will be explained in greater detail hereinafter, in a preferred embodiment, the flow passages 27 and 40 are made up of flattened tubes. However, other types of flow passages could be provided, including those of the so called “drawn-cup” type.
  • [0044]
    Common headers 42 (only one of which is shown) are connected to and in fluid communication with the interior of the flow passages 27 and 40 and extend basically from the remote side 32 of the intercooler to the remote side 34 of the gas cooler. In the ususal case, the headers 42 will be tubes but they could consist of a header plate and attached tank if desired. A baffle 46 is located along the interface 30 in each of the headers 42 to isolate refrigerant flow within the gas cooler from refrigerant flow within the intercooler 26. One of the headers 42 includes an inlet 48 for the gas cooler part 21 and, on the opposite side of the baffle 46, an inlet 50 for the intercooler part 26. Similarly, the other header 42, specifically the header 42, illustrated in FIG. 2, includes an outlet 52 for the gas cooler part 21 while, on the opposite side of the baffle 46, the intercooler 26 includes an outlet 54.
  • [0045]
    In FIG. 2, the front of the unit 22 is illustrated which is to say that gas flow from the fan 24 (FIG. 1) enters through the face side illustrated in FIG. 2 and passes through the fins 38 between the passages 27, 40 and exits through the opposite or back side of the unit 22. Thus, it will be appreciated that in the embodiment illustrated, the inlets 48 and 50 are at the back of the unit 22 while the outlets 52 and 54 are on the front of the unit. Consequently, as will become apparent from the explanation of the passages 27,40 and their structure, the refrigerant enters the rear of the heat exchanger and flows through the passages 27 across a common face forwardly in the unit 22 to exit through the outlets 52, 54 to define a cross-counter flow heat exchanger for maximum efficiency. However, if desired, flow regimes other than cross-counter flow could be used.
  • [0046]
    It will also be appreciated that in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the frontal area of the intercooler 26 is less than the frontal area of the gas cooler 21. Also, different fin densities could be used in the two sections to balance the air flow.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 3 shows an alternate embodiment of the invention wherein the passages 27 and 40 are interleaved in a uniform matter across the entire face of the unit 22. With reference to FIGS. 3 and 5, it will be seen that flow passages 40 for the intercooler are interleaved or interlaced with the flow passages 27 for the gas cooler 21. The flow passages are again spaced and provided with fins 38 which extend between and are typically bonded as by brazing to adjacent ones of the tubes.
  • [0048]
    The ends of the flow passages 27 and 40 end in first and second sets of headers which may be in the form of tubes or in the form of header plates and separate tanks. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, a first set of headers 56 is connected to the ends of the flow passages 40 while a second set of headers 58 is connected to the ends of the flow passages 27. Only one of each of the headers 56 and 58 is illustrated in FIG. 3.
  • [0049]
    The illustration in FIG. 3 views the unit 22 from the front thereof and thus, the forward most header 56 includes an outlet 60 which serves as the outlet for the intercooler passages 40. An inlet 64 to the rearmost one of the headers 56 (not shown in FIG. 3) and the passages 40 are also disposed in such header.
  • [0050]
    The forward most header 58 includes an outlet 66 for the flow paths 27 while an inlet 68 in the rearmost one of the headers 58 provides an inlet for the passages 27.
  • [0051]
    Scrutiny of FIGS. 3 and 5 will illustrate that the passages 27 are located in groups of twos separated by a passage 40 across the entire face of the unit 22. Thus, there are more of the passages 27 for the gas cooler than there are passages 40 for the intercooler 26.
  • [0052]
    Turning now to FIG. 4, the arrangements of the components for the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, specifically, the components including the headers 42, the passages 27 and 40 the fins 38 are illustrated in exploded form. In a preferred embodiment, as mentioned previously, the passages 27 are formed of flattened tubes and as seen in FIG. 4, each flattened tube 27 in the gas cooler part 21 is a serpentine tube bent upon itself to define four straight, parallel runs 70, 72, 74, and 76. The corresponding runs 70, 72, 74, and 76 for each of the passages 27 are aligned with one another in the assembly to provide four rows of the runs 70, 72, 74, and 76. The fins 38 extend from the face of the unit 22, shown at 78 in FIG. 4 and, to the rear 80 thereof.
  • [0053]
    On the other hand, the passages 40 in a highly preferred embodiment, are formed of a flattened tube having a single bend to define a U-shaped tube having two straight, elongated, parallel runs 82 and 84. The runs 82 and 84 are in two rows of runs with individual fins 38 extending just slightly more than the major dimension of the corresponding tube runs 82, 84.
  • [0054]
    Thus, in the embodiment of FIG. 2, the number of runs 70, 72, 74, 76 and the gas cooler part 21 is greater than the number of runs 82, 84 in the intercooler part 26.
  • [0055]
    If desired, the passages 40, rather than being U-shaped as shown in FIG. 4, may be of serpentine form and in the same form as the passages 27.
  • [0056]
    FIGS. 6 and 7 show two alternate structures for use in constructing the embodiment of FIG. 3.
  • [0057]
    In both of the embodiments shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the same configuration of the passages 27 and 40 as described in connection with FIG. 4 may be employed. Of course, if desired, again, the passages 40 could be other than U-shaped as shown in FIG. 4, specifically, they could be serpentine and have the same number of runs as the passages 27.
  • [0058]
    In the embodiments shown in both FIGS. 6 and 7, individual fins 38 as shown in FIG. 4 for the passages 40 are dispensed with in favor of fins 38 that extends through the entire front to back dimension of the core defined by the passages 27 and 40 and the fins 38.
  • [0059]
    Referring specifically to FIG. 6, it will be seen that ends 90 of the passages 40 are bent somewhat inwardly at the location whereat they enter the headers 56 and thus, are disposed inwardly of the tube ends 92 which receive the headers 58 for the passages 27.
  • [0060]
    In both embodiments, the headers 56 and 58 are on the same side of the rectangular core defined by the passages 27, 40 and fins 38 and in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6, the core width at the headers is substantially the same as core width elsewhere on the unit 22. In any event, the structure results in the headers 56 being nested between the headers 58.
  • [0061]
    In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7, the opposite is true, namely, the headers 58 are nested between the headers 56 which are displaced slightly outwardly of respective front and back side 78 and 80 by bends in the tubing ends 92 which flare outwardly.
  • [0062]
    The principal difference between the embodiments of FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 is that the embodiment of FIG. 6, while having a narrow core width, has a slightly greater core height than the embodiment of FIG. 7.
  • [0063]
    Either header arrangement may be employed, depending upon the spacial constraints of any particular system installation.
  • [0064]
    On some instances, the fins 38, where they extend between passages 27 on the one hand and passages 40 on the other may be so called split or slit fins wherein the slits minimize heat conduction through the fins between the passages 27 and the passages 40. Various constructions for achieving this are well known and form no part of the present invention. Alternatively, conventional fins, including louver fins could be used throughout.
  • [0065]
    In the most preferred and optimal embodiment of the invention, of which, is mentioned previously, is a cross-counter flow construction, there can be any number of rows for the gas cooler part 21 as desired. In general, the number of rows in the intercooler part 26 will be less than the number of rows in the gas cooler. This type of arrangement is preferred when the unit is used as a integral gas cooler and intercooler unit. In such a case, the ratio of the heat transfer area of the gas cooler to that of the intercooler is typically somewhat greater than 2:1. By heat transfer area, it is meant that area of each unit which transfers heat from a refrigerant stream, typically the exposed area of the passages 27, 40 and fins 38, to the fluid stream passing through the unit as provided by, for example, the fan 24 shown in FIG. 1. Stated another way, if the total heat transfer area of the integrated unit 22 is one, the optimal ratio will be between 0.65:0.35 ranging to about 0.85: to 0.15.
  • [0066]
    In a refrigeration system, it will be recognized that the mass flow rate through both the gas cooler part 21 and the intercooler part 26 will be the same. If the same size of tubes are used for the passages 27, 40, while maintaining the above mentioned heat transfer surface ratio, the pressure drop of refrigerant could reach excessively high levels in the intercooler part 26. The reason for this is that the number of passages in the intercooler part 26 is relatively small and pressure drop can become too high because of increasing fluid velocity. For gas cooler parts 21 that require four or more rows of runs than the passages 27, the situation intensifies and the intercooler part 26 pressure drop becomes too high.
  • [0067]
    Accordingly, It is desirable that the pressure drop in both parts be at similar levels. To achieve this desire, one embodiment of the invention contemplates the use of fewer of the rows of the flow paths 40 in the intercooler part 26 than the number of rows of the passages 27 and the gas cooler part 21. In the described embodiments, because the length of the flow paths 40 for the intercooler part 26 is approximately half of that of the flow paths 27 for the gas cooler part 21, the pressure drop in the intercooler section 26 will be less in spite of the fact that fewer of the flow paths 40 exists in the intercooler part 26 in comparison to the number of flow paths 27 in the gas cooler 21. That is to say, the reduced intercooler part pressure drop will be directly linked to the reduction in length of the flow paths 40.
  • [0068]
    Another possibility is to increase the number of flow paths 40 in the intercooler part 26. The use of a lesser fin height in the intercooler part 26 will allow the use of more tubes or flow paths 40 in the intercooler part 26, although at the expense of frontal free flow air for the coolant.
  • [0069]
    Alternatively, tubes with different internal cross sectional areas may be employed in making up the flow paths 27 and 40. By using a larger cross sectional area in the tubes making up the flow paths 40, a reduction in pressure drop within the intercooler part 26 will result.
  • [0070]
    Most desirably, however, from the manufacturing standpoint, one would use the same tubes and rely on changes in the number of tubes or the number of runs or both to achieve the desired similarity in pressure drop in both section in the unit 22.
  • [0071]
    From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that the invention provides an improved refrigeration system by integrating an intercooler between the stages of a multi-stage compressor with the system gas cooler to achieve a significant spacial savings. Similarly, a heat exchanger made according to the invention is ideally suited for use in refrigeration systems but may be used with efficacy in other systems where spacial requirements are of concern.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification62/510, 62/513, 62/507
International ClassificationF25B40/00, F28D1/04, F25B9/00, F25B1/10
Cooperative ClassificationF28F2009/0287, F28D2021/0073, F25B1/10, F25B40/00, F25B9/008, F25B2309/061, F28D1/0443, F25B2500/18
European ClassificationF25B1/10, F28D1/04E4D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 30, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: MODINE MANUFACTURING COMPANY, WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:JIA, TAO;MEMORY, STEPHEN;YIN, JIANMIN;REEL/FRAME:017504/0307
Effective date: 20040610