Exergy and structural analysis of an absorption cooling cycle and the effect of efficiency parameters
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Absorption cycles are an alternative to compression cycles in cooling and refrigeration applications. Our analysis of an absorption cycle is based on the exergy and the structural analysis. Once the exergy analysis has been achieved, the coefficients of structural bonds (CSBs) of the main heat and mass
exchangers can be determined by a structural analysis. The CSBs show how the modification of the irreversibility of one component, by means of a variation of its efficiency, affects the whole cycle. It will be wise to put much of the design effort in improving the efficiency of a component, knowing that a slight decrease of the irreversibility of that component, thanks to a higher efficiency, results in an important improvement in the total irreversibility of the cycle. This methodology is applied to a single effect ammonia-water absorption cooling cycle. We also study how the selection of efficiency parameters affects the results comparing CSBs of heat exchangers obtained from the minimum temperature differences or the UA-values. Results show that the UA is a more suitable parameter than the minimum temperature difference. Concerning the CSB values, we obtain very high values for the refrigerant heat exchanger. Values above one are also observed for the absorber, condenser and generator. Lower values are found for the generator and the solution heat exchanger. A more detailed analysis should investigate the dependence of the CSB values on the range of efficiencies. As a further step, these results could be used in the thermoeconomic analysis and economical optimization.