Anthony Delahaye


3 Life Cycle Assessment Applied to Supermarket Refrigeration System: Effects of Location and Choice of Architecture

Authors: Anthony Delahaye, Laurence Fournaison, Yasmine Salehy, Yann Leroy, Francois Cluzel, Hong-Minh Hoang, Bernard Yannou


Taking into consideration all the life cycle of a product is now an important step in the eco-design of a product or a technology. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a standard tool to evaluate the environmental impacts of a system or a process. Despite the improvement in refrigerant regulation through protocols, the environmental damage of refrigeration systems remains important and needs to be improved. In this paper, the environmental impacts of refrigeration systems in a typical supermarket are compared using the LCA methodology under different conditions. The system is used to provide cold at two levels of temperature: medium and low temperature during a life period of 15 years. The most commonly used architectures of supermarket cold production systems are investigated: centralized direct expansion systems and indirect systems using a secondary loop to transport the cold. The variation of power needed during seasonal changes and during the daily opening/closure periods of the supermarket are considered. R134a as the primary refrigerant fluid and two types of secondary fluids are considered. The composition of each system and the leakage rate of the refrigerant through its life cycle are taken from the literature and industrial data. Twelve scenarios are examined. They are based on the variation of three parameters, 1. location: France (Paris), Spain (Toledo) and Sweden (Stockholm), 2. different sources of electric consumption: photovoltaic panels and low voltage electric network and 3. architecture: direct and indirect refrigeration systems. OpenLCA, SimaPro softwares, and different impact assessment methods were compared; CML method is used to evaluate the midpoint environmental indicators. This study highlights the significant contribution of electric consumption in environmental damages compared to the impacts of refrigerant leakage. The secondary loop allows lowering the refrigerant amount in the primary loop which results in a decrease in the climate change indicators compared to the centralized direct systems. However, an exhaustive cost evaluation (CAPEX and OPEX) of both systems shows more important costs related to the indirect systems. A significant difference between the countries has been noticed, mostly due to the difference in electric production. In Spain, using photovoltaic panels helps to reduce efficiently the environmental impacts and the related costs. This scenario is the best alternative compared to the other scenarios. Sweden is a country with less environmental impacts. For both France and Sweden, the use of photovoltaic panels does not bring a significant difference, due to a less sunlight exposition than in Spain. Alternative solutions exist to reduce the impact of refrigerating systems, and a brief introduction is presented.

Keywords: Industrial Engineering, eco-design, LCA, refrigeration system

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2 Energy Efficiency of Secondary Refrigeration with Phase Change Materials and Impact on Greenhouse Gases Emissions

Authors: Anthony Delahaye, Laurence Fournaison, Michel Pons


Secondary refrigeration consists of splitting large-size direct-cooling units into volume-limited primary cooling units complemented by secondary loops for transporting and distributing cold. Such a design reduces the refrigerant leaks, which represents a source of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. However, inserting the secondary circuit between the primary unit and the ‘users’ heat exchangers (UHX) increases the energy consumption of the whole process, which induces an indirect emission of greenhouse gases. It is thus important to check whether that efficiency loss is sufficiently limited for the change to be globally beneficial to the environment. Among the likely secondary fluids, phase change slurries offer several advantages: they transport latent heat, they stabilize the heat exchange temperature, and the formerly evaporators still can be used as UHX. The temperature level can also be adapted to the desired cooling application. Herein, the slurry {ice in mono-propylene-glycol solution} (melting temperature Tₘ of 6°C) is considered for food preservation, and the slurry {mixed hydrate of CO₂ + tetra-n-butyl-phosphonium-bromide in aqueous solution of this salt + CO₂} (melting temperature Tₘ of 13°C) is considered for air conditioning. For the sake of thermodynamic consistency, the analysis encompasses the whole process, primary cooling unit plus secondary slurry loop, and the various properties of the slurries, including their non-Newtonian viscosity. The design of the whole process is optimized according to the properties of the chosen slurry and under explicit constraints. As a first constraint, all the units must deliver the same cooling power to the user. The other constraints concern the heat exchanges areas, which are prescribed, and the flow conditions, which prevent deposition of the solid particles transported in the slurry, and their agglomeration. Minimization of the total energy consumption leads to the optimal design. In addition, the results are analyzed in terms of exergy losses, which allows highlighting the couplings between the primary unit and the secondary loop. One important difference between the ice-slurry and the mixed-hydrate one is the presence of gaseous carbon dioxide in the latter case. When the mixed-hydrate crystals melt in the UHX, CO₂ vapor is generated at a rate that depends on the phase change kinetics. The flow in the UHX, and its heat and mass transfer properties are significantly modified. This effect has never been investigated before. Lastly, inserting the secondary loop between the primary unit and the users increases the temperature difference between the refrigerated space and the evaporator. This results in a loss of global energy efficiency, and therefore in an increased energy consumption. The analysis shows that this loss of efficiency is not critical in the first case (Tₘ = 6°C), while the second case leads to more ambiguous results, partially because of the higher melting temperature.The consequences in terms of greenhouse gases emissions are also analyzed.

Keywords: Thermodynamics, Optimization, Exergy, phase change material, hydrates

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1 Experimental Quantification and Modeling of Dissolved Gas during Hydrate Crystallization: CO₂ Hydrate Case

Authors: Amokrane Boufares, Elise Provost, Veronique Osswald, Pascal Clain, Anthony Delahaye, Laurence Fournaison, Didier Dalmazzone


Gas hydrates have long been considered as problematic for flow assurance in natural gas and oil transportation. On the other hand, they are now seen as future promising materials for various applications (i.e. desalination of seawater, natural gas and hydrogen storage, gas sequestration, gas combustion separation and cold storage and transport). Nonetheless, a better understanding of the crystallization mechanism of gas hydrate and of their formation kinetics is still needed for a better comprehension and control of the process. To that purpose, measuring the real-time evolution of the dissolved gas concentration in the aqueous phase during hydrate formation is required. In this work, CO₂ hydrates were formed in a stirred reactor equipped with an Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) probe coupled to a Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectroscopy analyzer. A method was first developed to continuously measure in-situ the CO₂ concentration in the liquid phase during solubilization, supersaturation, hydrate crystallization and dissociation steps. Thereafter, the measured concentration data were compared with those of equilibrium concentrations. It was observed that the equilibrium is instantly reached in the liquid phase due to the fast consumption of dissolved gas by the hydrate crystallization. Consequently, it was shown that hydrate crystallization kinetics is limited by the gas transfer at the gas-liquid interface. Finally, we noticed that the liquid-hydrate equilibrium during the hydrate crystallization is governed by the temperature of the experiment under the tested conditions.

Keywords: Crystallization, Infrared spectroscopy, gas hydrate, dissolved gas

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