Influence of operating parameters on the COP of an R600 high-temperature heat pump

Manuel Verdnik*, René Rieberer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Process heat supply by high-temperature heat pumps exploiting waste heat is an effective method for enabling the decarbonisation of industrial processes. Key aspects for the application of this technology are the supply temperature levels and efficiencies that can be achieved. This work investigates an R600 (n-butane) high-temperature vapour compression heat pump (HTHP) capable of utilizing waste heat at temperature levels between 40 and 60°C and lifting it to supply temperatures between 110°C in sub-critical and 160°C in trans-critical operation. The HTHP prototype is designed as a single-stage cycle, comprising an inverter-driven suction-gas-cooled reciprocating compressor, low-pressure accumulator and internal heat exchanger (IHX) for suction gas superheating. The influence of the operating parameters high pressure and suction gas superheat (“internal parameters”) plus the heat source temperature, the heat sink inlet and outlet temperatures and the compressor speed (“external parameters”) on the COP and heating capacity are studied using data from both the prototype and the simulation model. The optimum high pressure depends on the operating conditions, an increase of suction gas superheat increases the COP. In sub-critical operation, a heating capacity of 30.7 kW at a COP of 4.4 is reached at a source inlet temperature of 60°C heating the sink from 80 to 110°C. Trans-critical operation enables a heat sink outlet temperature of 160°C, offering a heating capacity of 24.2 kW at a COP of 3.1.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
JournalInternational Journal of Refrigeration
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2022

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems


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