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A comparative study of different methods for the generation of tetra-n-butyl ammonium bromide clathrate hydrate slurry in a cold storage air-conditioning system

Shi, X.J., Zhang, P.
Applied energy 2013 v.112 pp. 1393-1402
adhesion, air conditioning, aqueous solutions, cold storage, cooling, crystals, heat exchangers, refrigerators, slurries, supercooling, temperature
A cold storage air-conditioning system using tetra-n-butyl ammonium bromide (TBAB) clathrate hydrate slurry (CHS) as cold storage medium was built to investigate the high-efficiency method of TBAB CHS generation. In the present study, four kinds of different TBAB CHS generation methods were experimentally investigated and compared, and these methods included continuously cooling, turning off refrigerator while crystals appearing, supercooling release and accession of TBAB CHS into supercooled TBAB aqueous solution. The results showed that continuously cooling would lead to severe adhesion of crystal to the heat exchanger wall, and supercooling release took place with a big stochastic characteristic, hence the first and third method were concluded not reliable. Both the second and fourth methods could maintain the temperature of heat exchanger wall at a relatively higher level, therefore the crystal adhesion to the heat exchanger wall would be reduced significantly, which led to higher coefficient of performance (COP). In addition, accession of TBAB CHS into TBAB supercooled solution could shorten the time of supercooling release, resulting in about 21.8–35.4% shorter generation time than other methods. Moreover, the influence of flow rate on the CHS generation process was investigated, and the results showed that higher flow rate generally resulted in higher system COP.