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REFRIGERATION

Refrigeration: is a process in which the temperature of a space


or its contents is reduced to below that of surroundings.
Uses of Refrigeration: Refrigeration is used in the carriage of
some liquefied gases, in air conditioning systems, to preserve
perishable foodstuffs during transport or storage and to cool bulk
CO2 for firefighting systems.
Live & Dead Cargoes: The perishable foodstuffs carried as
refrigerated cargo or as stores on ships can be categorized as
dead produce such as meat and fish or as live produce such as
fruit and vegetables.
Fruit and vegetables are regarded as live cargoes until consumed,
because they continue to ripen though slowly under refrigerated
conditions. Fruit and vegetables continue a separate existence
during which oxygen is absorbed and CO2 is given off, with the
generation of heat.
The purpose of refrigeration in the carriage of perishable
foodstuffs is to prevent or check spoilage, the causes of spoilage
are:
1 excessive growth of micro-organisms, bacterial and fungal;
2 changes due to oxidation, giving poor appearance and flavours;
3 enzymatic or fermentive processes, causing rancidity;
4 drying out (dessication);
5 The metabolism and ripening processes of fruit and vegetables.

Principle of Refrigeration.
When a liquid evaporates a cooling effect is produced. For
example, a few drops of volatile liquid i.e. after shave. Poured on
to the hand gives a cold sensation, as it evaporates rapidly taking
heat out of the skin.

Evaporation of leaked water from porous earthen pot surface


keeps the water inside the pot surface cool.
Similarly if liquid CO2 is made to vaporize at a coil as shown, the
heat to vaporize the liquid CO2 will be taken from the
surrounding i.e. in this case a bottle of water.
The draw back in the example shown is that the cylinder will soon
become empty of liquid CO2 and the cooling effect will stop unless
cylinder is recharged with further liquid CO2.

Vapor Compression System

Vapour compression cycle is the most commonly used system of


refrigeration. In this system a gas called as refrigerant is used as
a medium of heat transfer and is alternately condensed and
evaporated to remove heat from the spaces being cooled.
The system consists of 4 processes namely:
1. Compression: Compression of the gas is carried out in the
compressor, which delivers the gas at high pressure and
temperature.
2. Condensation: The compressed high pressure gas is now
condensed to a high pressure liquid in a condenser.
3. Expansion: The high pressure liquid is then passed through
an expansion valve to reduce its pressure, after passing thru
the expansion valve the refrigerant consists of low

temperature liquid and a small quantity of vapour both at


low pressures.
4. Evaporation: The liquid refrigerant containing small quantity
of vapour is now passed thru an evaporator which is located
in the space required to be cooled. Here the refrigerant
absorbs heat from the objects and the space and
evaporates, due to this heat absorption the objects and the
surrounding space cools. The evaporated liquid (gas) is
passed to the compressor suction for the entire process to
repeat itself.

Vapor absorption cycle


In the early years of the twentieth century, the vapor absorption cycle
using water-ammonia systems was popular and widely used. After the
development of the vapor compression cycle, the vapor absorption cycle
lost much of its importance because of its low coefficient of
performance (about one fifth of that of the vapor compression cycle).
Today, the vapor absorption cycle is used mainly where fuel for heating
is available but electricity is not, such as in recreational vehicles that
carry LP gas. It is also used in industrial environments where plentiful
waste heat overcomes its inefficiency.
The absorption cycle is similar to the compression cycle, except for the
method of raising the pressure of the refrigerant vapor. In the absorption
system, the compressor is replaced by an absorber which dissolves the
refrigerant in a suitable liquid, a liquid pump which raises the pressure
and a generator which, on heat addition, drives off the refrigerant vapor
from the high-pressure liquid. Some work is required by the liquid pump
but, for a given quantity of refrigerant, it is much smaller than needed by
the compressor in the vapor compression cycle. In an absorption
refrigerator, a suitable combination of refrigerant and absorbent is used.
The most common combinations are
1. Ammonia (refrigerant) and water (absorbent),
2. Water (refrigerant) and lithium bromide (absorbent).

Cryogenic technology
In physics, cryogenics is the study of the production of very low
temperature (below 150 C, 238 F or 123 K) and the behavior of
materials at those temperatures.
Liquefied natural gas or LNG is natural gas (predominantly methane,
CH4) that has been converted temporarily to liquid form for ease of
storage or transport.
Liquefied natural gas takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas
in the gaseous state. The LNG is carried on ships in liquefied form at a
temperature of approximately 162 C (260 F).
In many pressure tankers, the tanks weighed as much as the cargo. With
refrigeration equipment onboard, the reduced pressure of the cooler
cargo created savings in the weight of the steel needed in the cargo
tanks, thereby increasing cargo carried.
The solution for larger payloads (cargo carrying capacity) was
refrigeration. By cooling the cargo, the pressure can be reduced and
there is a consequent reduction in the thickness and weight of the cargo
tanks.
What was needed for the vessel design was:
(a) Onboard refrigeration equipment to maintain the cargo within
specified temperature and pressure limits;
(b) Steel in the tanks which would remain ductile at the low
temperatures of LPG and LNG; and
(c) Tank insulation that would protect the hull structure
Tank material for Cryogenic temperatures
Where a tanker has been designed specifically to carry fully refrigerated
ethylene (with a boiling point of -104 deg C at atmospheric pressure ) or
LNG (atmospheric boiling point -162C), nickel-alloyed steels, stainless
steels (such as Invar) must be used for the material of tank construction.

LNG Tank Insulation


Thermal insulation must be fitted to refrigerated cargo tanks for the
following reasons:
To minimize heat flow into cargo tanks, thus reducing boil-off.
To protect the tanker structure around the cargo tanks from the effects
of low temperature.
Insulation materials for use on gas carriers should possess the following
main characteristics:
Low thermal conductivity.
Ability to bear loads.
Ability to withstand mechanical damage.
Light weight.
Unaffected by cargo liquid or vapour.
This insulation panel consists of 2 layers. The low temperature side (tank
side) is the phenolic resin foam (PRF). The normal temperature side
(outer side) is the polyurethane foam (PUF).