Dew point cooling (DPC) is a novel indirect evaporative cooling concept capable of delivering air temperatures approaching the dew point. Coupling this technology with CO2
refrigeration is well suited to minimising transcritical operation when the coefficient of performance (COP) is dramatically reduced in hot climates. A substantial experimental program was conducted to characterise this combination by testing a 20 kW CO2
refrigeration system subject to ambient temperatures above 40 °C. It was demonstrated that DPC operation not only avoided transcritical operation during such weather conditions, but also increased the COP by up to 140% compared to the conventional system. The combination of these technologies was successfully mathematically modelled, from which the optimum condenser inlet air temperature was identified for each condenser temperature. Using this optimum condition, it was possible to maximise the COP for a range of conditions applicable to the psychometric chart. An annual case study for Adelaide, Australia was conducted which demonstrated that optimally coupling DPC with CO2
refrigeration can reduce the annual energy consumption and peak demand by 16% and 47%, respectively, compared to a conventional CO2
booster system. Furthermore, the number of hours of transcritical operation was reduced from 3278 to 27.
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