The effects of fluid thermodynamic properties on the performance of the theoretical vapour compression cycle are analysed. By investigating in reduced co-ordinates a characteristic refrigerant and deviations from it, virtually all possible fluids are considered. The most important factor in determining performance is critical temperature. Most properties involbe a trade-off between high COP and high heating or cooling capacity, however there is an optimum heat capacity and a high critical pressure increases system capacity with no penalty on COP. The analysis would be useful in finding new fluids for high temperature applications, but reveals that fluids superior to present refrigerants are not likely for lower temperatures. © 1988.
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