Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 467–488 | Cite as

Comparative investigation and multi objective design optimization of a cascaded vapor compression absorption refrigeration system operating with different refrigerants in the vapor compression cycle

  • Mert Sinan TurgutEmail author
  • Oguz Emrah Turgut


This study aims to comparatively investigate the performance of a cascaded vapor compression absorption refrigeration system (CVCARS) operated with different refrigerants such as R1234yf, R134a, R717 and R290 in vapor compression cycle. Two design objectives are considered for performance evaluations. Total annual cost is the first design objective which includes investment and operational cost along with the social cost associated with carbon emissions. Exergy efficiency is the second considered objective which is related to thermodynamic issues. These problem objectives are individually and concurrently optimized by means of Artifical Cooperative Search metaheuristic algorithm and best results are compared for each cycle configuration. Single objective optimization results reveal that CVCARS working with R717 in vapor compression cycle has the lowest total annual cost whereas the maximum second law efficiency is obtained by the refrigeration system operated with R290 in vapor compression cycle. Following that, multi objective optimization is applied to acquire the Pareto optimal solutions which are nondominated to each other and no solution between them prevails over the other. Reputed decision making method TOPSIS is applied to choose the final best answer among the Pareto curve. It is seen that solution found by TOPSIS is skewed towards the minimum total annual cost and second law efficiency for each cycle configuration. Sensitivity analysis is then put into practice to observe the influences of variations of decision variables on design objectives as well as performance coefficients of the different cycles in the refrigeration system.

List of symbols


Heat exchanger surface area (m2)


Artificial Cooperative Search


Electricity cost ($/kWh)


Environmental cost ($/year)


Fuel cost ($/kWh)


Investment cost ($)


Operational cost ($)


Specific heat at constant pressure (kJ/kg.K)


Total annual cost ($/year)


Coefficient of performance


Capital recovery factor


Cascaded vapor compression absroption refrigeration system


Tube diameter (m)


Hyrdaulic diameter of annulus (m)


Friction factor


Gravitational acceleration (m/s2)


Total annual operation hours


Entalphy (kj/kg), Convective heat transfer coefficient (W/m2K)


Latent heat of vaporization (kj/kg)


Interest rate


Thermal conductivity (W/m.K)

\( \dot{m} \)

Mass flow rate (kg/s)

\( {\dot{m}}_{CO_2} \)

Amount of carbon dioxide emission (ton/year)


Life time of the refrigeration system (N)


Number of tube in heat exchanger


Number of shell pass in heat exchanger


Pressure (Pa)


Prandtl number

\( \dot{Q},q \)

Heat transfer amount (kW)


Fouling resistance (m2K/W)


Reynolds number


Entropy (kJ/kg.K)


Temperature (°C - K)


Saturation temperature (°C - K)


Wall temperature (°C - K)


Logarithmic mean temperature difference


Overall heat transfer coefficient (W/m2K)


Working fluid velocity (m/s)


Vapor Absorption Refrigeration System


Vapor Compression Refrigeration System

\( \dot{W} \)

Compressor or pump work (kW)


Mass concentration of absorbent in the solution


Capital cost ($)

Greek symbols


Mass flow rate of working unit per wetted length (kg/ms)


Heat exchanger efficiency


Second law efficiency


Mechanical efficiency


Electrical efficiency


Isentropic efficiency

\( {\theta}_{CO_2} \)

Emission conversion factor


Dynamic viscosity (Pa.s)


Kinematic viscosity (m2/s),


Density (kg/m3)


Maintenance cost factor





Cascade condenser












Inlet condition




Outlet condition


Degree of overlap




Regenerative heat exchanger




Solution heat exchanger


Solution pump




Compliance with ethical Standarts

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentEge UniversityBornova/IzmirTurkey

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