EnergyPlus can model refrigerated case equipment consisting of a compressor rack, multiple refrigerated cases and walk-in coolers, secondary loop equipment, and optional heat reclaim air and water heating coils. The refrigerated case equipment models perform four major functions:
- calculate the electric consumption of refrigerated cases and walk-in coolers connected to a compressor rack
- determine the impact of refrigerated cases and walk-in coolers on zone cooling and dehumidification loads (i.e., case credits), including the effects of HVAC duct configuration
- calculate the electric consumption and COP of the compressor rack, and the electric and water (if applicable) consumption related to cooling the compressor rack’s condenser.
- determine the total amount of heat rejected by the compressor rack’s condenser and store this information for use by waste heat recovery models (e.g., using Desuperheater heating coil (object: Coil:Heating:Desuperheater) as an air reheat coil for high humidity control in a supermarket)
The case and walk-in models account for nearly all performance aspects of typical supermarket refrigeration equipment. Refrigerated case and walk-in performance are based on the combined effects of evaporator load, fan operation, lighting, defrost type, and anti-sweat heater operation. Optional air and water heating coils can be modeled to reclaim available waste heat (superheat) from the compressor rack.
The user has two options when describing the balance of the system. Energy used to cool the condenser is simulated in both approaches. The simplest option is to use a compressor rack object, combining the compressors and condenser into a single unit with the performance determined by the heat rejection environment and the total case load. An example schematic of a compressor rack system is shown in Figure 275 below.
A detailed refrigeration system object models compressor and condenser performance separately. The detailed refrigeration system also includes the ability to transfer refrigeration load from one system to another using subcoolers, cascade condensers, and secondary loops. An example schematic of the detailed refrigeration system is shown in Figure 276 below. Subcooler #2 is shown twice on Figure 276 because it represents a liquid suction heat exchanger. This type of subcooler uses the cool suction gas to subcool the warmer condensed liquid. Subcoolers #1 and #3 on Figure 276 represent mechanical subcoolers. These subcoolers are used to subcool the condensate on a lower-temperature system using the cold liquid refrigerant from a higher temperature system. On this example, only subcoolers #1 and #2 would be defined as a part of the refrigeration system. However, subcooler #3 would place a refrigerating load, similar to the load of a refrigerated case, on the system.
Typical Compressor Rack Equipment Schematic
Typical Detailed Refrigeration System Equipment Schematic
Four classes of secondary refrigeration loops can be modeled:
- a separate water loop is used to remove heat rejected by the condenser,
- a lower-temperature refrigeration system rejects heat to a higher-temperature refrigeration system via a cascade condenser,
- a fluid, such as a brine or glycol solution, is cooled in a secondary evaporator and is then circulated to chill the refrigerated cases and walk-ins, and
- a refrigerant, such as CO2, is partially evaporated in the refrigerated cases and walk-ins in a liquid-overfeed circuit, and then condensed in a secondary evaporator.
The first two classes of secondary loops are modeled using Refrigeration:System objects with Refrigeration:Condenser:WaterCooled and Refrigeration:Condenser:Cascade objects, respectively. Figure 276 shows how cascade condensers and secondary evaporators are treated as a refrigeration load on a primary detailed system. The second two classes are modeled with a Refrigeration:SecondarySystem object described later in this section.
The compressor rack, detailed and secondary refrigeration systems, refrigerated case, and other component models are described below. The optional air and water heating coils are described elsewhere in this document (Ref. objects Coil:Heating:Desuperheater and Coil:WaterHeating:Desuperheater).
Refrigeration Compressor Racks[LINK]
The refrigerated case compressor rack object works in conjunction with the refrigerated case and walk-in cooler objects (Refrigeration:Case and Refrigeration:WalkIn) to simulate the performance of a simple supermarket-type refrigeration system. This object (Refrigeration:CompressorRack) models the electric consumption of the rack compressors and the cooling of the compressor rack’s condenser. Heat removed from the refrigerated cases and walk-ins and compressor/condenser fan heat can be rejected either outdoors or to a zone. Compressor rack condenser waste heat can also be reclaimed for use by an optional air heating coil (Ref. object Coil:Heating:Desuperheater) or by a user-defined plant water loop (Ref. object Coil:WaterHeating:Desuperheater).
The performance of the compressor rack is simulated using the sum of the evaporator loads for all refrigerated cases and walk-ins connected to the rack. Whether a single refrigerated case is connected to a rack (e.g., stand-alone refrigerated case, meat cooler, or produce cooler) or several cases are connected to a rack, the rack electric consumption is calculated based on the total evaporator load for the connected cases and walk-ins and the coefficient of performance (COP) for the compressor rack. At least one refrigerated case or walk-in must be connected to the compressor rack. The model assumes the compressor rack has sufficient capacity to meet the connected refrigeration load for any simulation time step. Additionally, the model neglects compressor cycling losses at part-load conditions.
For condenser heat rejection to the outdoors, condenser cooling can be modeled as dry air cooling, wet evaporative cooling, or water loop cooling. Using evaporative cooling rather than dry air cooling will allow for more efficient condenser heat rejection based on the entering air approaching the wet-bulb temperature rather than the dry-bulb temperature. Analyses under the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Heat Pumping Programme Annex 26 indicates that this measure can improve refrigeration system efficiency by up to 10% (IEA 2003). The use of an evaporative-cooled condenser requires a water pump and, optionally, a basin sump water heater (to protect against freezing). Makeup water will also be required to replace that lost by evaporation. In colder climates, some evaporative-cooled condensers are drained for the winter months and run as dry air units. This scenario can be modeled by using an optional evaporative condenser availability schedule.
The simulation of the evaporative cooled condenser utilizes an effective air dry-bulb temperature that is assumed to be the result of evaporation of water in the air stream (similar to object EvaporativeCooler:Direct:CelDekPad). As discussed below, this effective temperature is used by performance curves that are a function of temperature. While some designs of evaporative coolers use water film cascading across the condenser coil for evaporative cooling, the current model uses the effective temperature method as a surrogate for the more complex water film on coil calculations.
If the condenser heat rejection is specified as water cooled, an appropriate plant water loop must be defined by the user (see documentation on Plant/Condenser Loops for additional details about plant loops). This will include defining cooling supply components, such as pumps, water storage tanks, and cooling towers, as well as related branches, nodes, and connectors. The heat rejection from the refrigeration condenser is modeled as a cooling demand, which is satisfied by heat extraction devices (e.g., water tank and cooling tower) on the cooling supply side of a water loop. An example of such an arrangement is shown in Figure 277.
Example Of Condenser Heat Recovery To Water Storage Tank
Compressor Energy Use[LINK]
Calculation of compressor rack electric power uses a simple model based on the total evaporator load (sum of the evaporator loads for all refrigerated cases and walk-ins connected to a rack) and the compressor rack operating COP which accounts for the air temperature entering the condenser:
= compressor coefficient of performance at actual operating conditions (W/W)
= compressor coefficient of performance at design conditions (W/W)
= output of the normalized “Compressor Rack COP as a Function of Temperature Curve” (dimensionless)
Because the COP curve is defined only as a function of the condensing temperature, it is important that this curve definition corresponds to the lowest evaporating temperature served by the compressor rack. The air temperature used to evaluate the “Compressor Rack COP as a Function of Temperature Curve” depends on where the compressor rack’s condenser is located (Heat Rejection Location). When modeling condenser heat rejected directly to a zone (typical of a stand-alone packaged refrigerated case with integral condenser located in a building zone), the zone air dry-bulb temperature is used to calculate the change in compressor COP from the design value. If more than one refrigerated case and no walk-ins are attached to a compressor rack that rejects its condenser heat to a zone, then all cases served by this rack must reside in the same zone. When modeling a compressor rack serving at least one walk-in, OR with condenser heat rejected to outdoors, the refrigerated cases and walk-ins connected to this rack may be located in different zones. If the condenser type is specified as “Air Cooled”, the outdoor air dry-bulb temperature is used to evaluate the “Compressor Rack COP as a Function of Temperature Curve.” If the condenser type is specified as “Evap Cooled”, the air temperature leaving the condenser is related to the effectiveness of the evaporative cooling system. If the evaporative process were 100% effective, the effective temperature of air leaving the evaporative media would equal the air wet-bulb temperature. However, the efficiency of the direct evaporative process is typically less than 100%, and the effective temperature leaving the condenser is determined by:
= effective dry-bulb temperature of air leaving the condenser cooling coil (°C)
= outdoor air wet-bulb temperature (°C)
= outdoor air dry-bulb temperature (°C)
= evaporative condenser effectiveness.
If the user is modeling an evaporative cooled condenser and is using COPfTemp curve data (e.g., manufacturer’s data) based on wet-bulb temperature rather than dry-bulb temperature, the evaporative condenser effectiveness should be set to 1.0 for consistency.
If the condenser is water cooled, the effective temperature experienced by the condenser is based on the return water temperature from the plant loop heat rejection system (e.g., cooling tower) that is defined by the user. This return water temperature is typically related to the outdoor ambient conditions at each time step.
The electric power input to the rack compressor(s) is calculated for each simulation time step as the sum of the connected refrigerated case evaporator loads divided by the operating COP:
= output variable “Refrigeration Compressor Rack Electric Power [W]”, electric power input to the rack compressor(s)
= evaporator load for each refrigerated case connected to the rack (W)
= refrigeration load for each walk-in connected to the rack (W)
Condenser Heat Rejection, Energy Use, and Water Use[LINK]
The compressor rack can reject heat to an air-, water-, or evaporative-cooled condenser. The condenser type determines the heat rejection temperature used for the compressor rack COP calculation. The compressor rack also allows superheat heat reclaim and heat rejection to a conditioned zone.
Condenser Fan Energy Use[LINK]
Condenser fan power for any simulation time step is calculated by multiplying the design fan power by the condenser fan power as a function of temperature curve.
= output variable “Refrigeration Compressor Rack Condenser Fan Electric Energy [W]”
= design condenser fan power (W)
= output of the optional “Condenser Fan Power as a Function of Temperature Curve”
Similar to the compressor rack energy use described above, the air temperature used to evaluate the “Condenser Fan Power as a Function of Temperature Curve” depends on where the condenser rack’s condenser is located (i.e., zone air dry-bulb temperature if the condenser is located in a zone, outdoor air dry-bulb temperature if the condenser is located outdoors and is specified as air cooled, or effective temperature if the condenser is outdoors and is specified as evaporative cooled). If the sum of the evaporator loads for the refrigerated cases connected to the rack is equal to zero, the condenser fan power is set equal to zero. If the user does not provide a “Condenser Fan Power as a Function of Temperature Curve”, then the model assumes the condenser fan power is at the design power level when any of the refrigerated cases connected to this rack are operating.
If the user is modeling an evaporative cooled condenser and is using CondFanfTemp curve data based on wet-bulb temperature rather than dry-bulb temperature, the evaporative condenser effectiveness should be set to 1.0 for consistency.
For a water cooled condenser, there is no fan load at the condenser (i.e., the water/refrigerant heat exchanger). Any fan load would be related to and accounted for at the heat rejection object (e.g., cooling tower).
Superheat Reclaim Heating Coil[LINK]
EnergyPlus can simulate waste heat being reclaimed from a compressor rack for use by a refrigerant-to-air or refrigerant to water heating coil. Heat reclaimed from the compressor rack is assumed to be recovered from the superheated refrigerant gas leaving the compressor(s) and does not directly impact the performance of the compressor rack or refrigerated cases connected to the rack. The total heat rejected by the condenser (in Watts) is calculated each time step as follows:
The heat reclaim heating coil is able to transfer a fixed percentage of this total amount of rejected energy (not to exceed 30%) and use it to heat air and water. Refer to objects Coil:Heating:Desuperheater and Coil:WaterHeating:Desuperheater for a complete description of how these coils are modeled.
NOTE: When modeling a heat reclaim coil, the heat rejection location in the Refrigeration:CompressorRack object must be “Outdoors”. If the compressor rack heat rejection location is “Zone”, the total amount of waste heat available for reclaim (e.g., by a desuperheater heating coil) is set to zero by the compressor rack