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Thermodynamic Analysis of a Waste Heat Driven Vuilleumier Cycle Heat Pump

Department of Power Engineering, North China Electric Power University, Baoding 07100, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Entropy 2015, 17(3), 1452-1465;
Received: 29 January 2015 / Revised: 13 March 2015 / Accepted: 17 March 2015 / Published: 20 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exergy: Analysis and Applications)
PDF [768 KB, uploaded 20 March 2015]


A Vuilleumier (VM) cycle heat pump is a closed gas cycle driven by heat energy. It has the highest performance among all known heat driven technologies. In this paper, two thermodynamic analyses, including energy and exergy analysis, are carried out to evaluate the application of a VM cycle heat pump for waste heat utilization. For a prototype VM cycle heat pump, equations for theoretical and actual cycles are established. Under the given conditions, the exergy efficiency for the theoretical cycle is 0.23 compared to 0.15 for the actual cycle. This is due to losses taking place in the actual cycle. Reheat losses and flow friction losses account for almost 83% of the total losses. Investigation of the effect of heat source temperature, cycle pressure and speed on the exergy efficiency indicate that the low temperature waste heat is a suitable heat source for a VM cycle heat pump. The selected cycle pressure should be higher than 100 MPa, and 200–300 rpm is the optimum speed. View Full-Text
Keywords: VM cycle heat pump; thermodynamic calculation; exergy efficiency analysis VM cycle heat pump; thermodynamic calculation; exergy efficiency analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Xie, Y.; Sun, X. Thermodynamic Analysis of a Waste Heat Driven Vuilleumier Cycle Heat Pump. Entropy 2015, 17, 1452-1465.

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