Title:
Method for the Operation of Systems Comprising Media Changing their State, Device and Use Thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a method for operating systems comprising media that change their state, such as heat pumps, cooling systems, differential pressure drives in which the change/s of state occur/s in or on heat transfer media in a storage device and changes of state take place in a colder and a warmer zone according to the temperature, said zones being chargeable and dischargeable. Also disclosed are advantageous further developments of such a method. The invention further relates to a device in which heat-exchanging units are composed of two shells that are placed on top of each other and form an interior space. Furthermore, disclosed is the use of the inventive method and device for cooling and heating purposes. The aim of the invention is to improve efficiency while reducing the amount of material used, extending the regenerative use of heat and cold, and increasing the usefulness for users.



Inventors:
Gast, Karl Heinz (Aurachtal, DE)
Application Number:
11/660825
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
08/22/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/235.1, 165/10, 165/110
International Classes:
F28D17/00; F25B27/00; F28B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ZEC, FILIP
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Cozen O'Connor (277 Park Avenue, 20th floor, NEW YORK, NY, 10172, US)
Claims:
1. 1.-32. (canceled)

33. Method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media, such as heat pumps, cooling systems, and differential pressure drives, the method comprising: providing a storage installation having zones containing respective heat transfer media; maintaining the heat transfer media in the zones at different temperature levels by charging and/or discharging the heat transfer medium in at least one of the zones; and circulating an aggregate state-changing medium through said zones, said state-changing medium changing state in said zones as a function of the different temperature levels.

34. The method of claim 33 wherein a pair of heat exchangers are provided adjacent to said heat transfer media in respective said zones, said heat exchangers being connected for circulation of said state-changing medium, said state-changing medium changing state in said heat exchangers.

35. The method of claim 34 wherein the heat exchangers are connected by connecting lines arranged to collect liquid and gas.

36. The method of claim 34 wherein the storage installation comprises an insulated space, said zones being located in said insulated space.

37. The method of claim 34 wherein the storage installation comprises isolated storage areas, said zones being located in respective isolated storage areas.

38. The method of claim 33 wherein the heat transfer medium in one of said zones is one of oil, a water/glycol mixture, and a gas.

39. The method of claim 33 wherein the heat transfer media can be exchanged between said zones.

40. The method of claim 34 wherein at least one of said heat exchangers comprises at least two cascaded units.

41. The method of claim 40 wherein a liquid level is maintained in at least one of said units.

42. The method of claim 40 wherein at least two of said units are at different temperature levels.

43. The method of claim 37 wherein heat at any desired temperature can be removed from and charged into at least one of the heat exchangers and the storage areas.

44. The method of claim 34 wherein at least one of expansion and compression is effected in the heat exchangers as a function of temperature demand.

45. The method of claim 33 wherein one of thermal energy, electrical energy, and mechanical energy is delivered from a system that changes the state of matter.

46. The method of claim 33 wherein the charging and/or discharging of heat transfer medium in the zones is carried out regeneratively with at least one of solar collectors, geothermal heat, geothermal cold, and air.

47. The method of claim 33 wherein the charging and/or discharging of the zones is carried out with a gas, and thermal energy is transferred by conducting the gas to or from a heat storage liquid.

48. The method of claim 46 wherein the regenerative charging and/or discharging utilizes at least one regenerative generator, said method further comprising at least one of increasing the temperature in the regenerative generator and switching to another regenerative generator when there is a danger of freezing.

49. The method of claim 33 comprising expanding the aggregate state-changing medium in one of a heat pump operation and a refrigeration operation to produce mechanical energy, and using said mechanical energy to drive a compressor or to produce electrical energy which is used directly or stored.

50. The method of claim 33 comprising compressing the aggregate state-changing medium to produce heat, and feeding the heat to the storage installation or delivering it to a connected exchange system.

51. A heat exchanger for use in a system with aggregate state changing media, wherein said heat exchanger comprises a pair of shallow shells joined together to form an oblate enclosure with an interior surface defining an interior space having a depth and a diameter which is substantially larger than said depth.

52. The heat exchanger or claim 51 further comprising an interior wall spaced from and supported by said interior surface, said interior wall being liquid and vapor permeable.

53. The heat exchanger of claim 51 further comprising supports extending through said interior and connecting said shells.

Description:

The invention pertains to a method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media, including systems such as heat pumps, cooling systems, and differential pressure drives, and to a device comprising aggregate state-changing units, and to the use of the method and the device.

In the general state of the art, heat exchangers are used in heat pumps or steam-generating plants to evaporate and to condense the heat transfer media. In these systems, two different heat transfer media are conducted past each other in the heat exchangers. Devices of this type require that the heat exchangers be designed to handle the desired peak capacity with the exchange surface or flow velocity required for this and with the amount of material required for this. During operation with media conducted past the heat exchangers, either the heat or the cold cannot be utilized. For example, in a heat pump, the cooled medium, i.e., the cold, is not utilized, and just the opposite is the case in cooling systems.

Proceeding on the basis of a method in accordance with the introductory clause of Claim 1 for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media, including systems such as heat pumps, cooling zones, and differential pressure drives, the objective of the invention is to design the method in such a way that, while avoiding the disadvantages of the known heat transfer in systems of this type, the energy-exchanging units can be designed in such a way that they can be built with less material and operated with better efficiency. In this connection, it is necessary to strive for optimum utilization of the energy required for condensation and evaporation. In addition, the energy necessary for this should be produced regeneratively to the greatest possible extent, and energy that is released should be stored or made available for use elsewhere.

In accordance with the invention, this objective is achieved by the methods specified in the characterizing clause of Claim 1 in that the change or changes in aggregate state occur in a storage device in or on heat-transfer media, in that each of the changes in aggregate state is carried out according to temperature in a colder or a warmer zone, and in that each of the zones can be charged and discharged.

These zones can contain, for example, a condenser or an evaporator or both, depending on which of the types of operation, such as heat pumps, cooling, or differential pressure operation, is used on the basis of the temperature level or the demand. In this way, the resulting temperature level can be stored for further utilization, or an additionally regeneratively produced temperature level can be used for the various types of operation and the supply. Advantageous refinements of the invention are specified in Claims 2 to 24. A further object of the invention is a device for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media primarily in accordance with one or more of Claims 1 to 24. The same objective applies to this object, of the invention as it applies to the method of the invention. This objective is achieved by the features specified in the characterizing clause of Claim 25 in that the heat-exchanging units consist of two shells mounted one upon the other, which form an interior space between them.

This makes it possible for the required pressures to be maintained and for a high heat exchange capacity to be achieved, while reducing the amount of material required and optimizing the shell surface.

Advantageous refinements of this device are specified in Claims 25 to 31. An additional object of the invention is the use of devices and/or methods in the form that they are used for heat-exchanging supply of cold zones and/or warm zones or for heat-exchanging energy absorption and release, and for pressure tanks.

The aforementioned installations and methods lead to the following advantages. The material productivity of the heat-exchanging units is increased, i.e., the units are material-optimized with respect to pressure and heat exchange, so that they achieve high functionality with respect to heat exchange and pressure level with the use of a smaller amount of material. Furthermore, compared to the conventional operation of aggregate state-changing systems, certain parts can be eliminated such as pumps, valves, alternating condensers and/or evaporators, or condensers and/or evaporators that depend on the type of operation.

The use of methods of this type increases the efficiency and the degree of utilization of heating plants and mechanical energy generators for power generation or for compression. Above all, this can be done with regenerative energy.

To this end, however, several refinements of the invention had to be provided for a method of this type to be able to run reliably. For example, various heat-storage fluids which minimize the risk of freezing and boiling were required. It was also necessary to realize heat-exchanging units that guarantee optimum heat exchange at practically all liquid levels. In tube heat exchangers with standard coils, which could be integrated into a storage unit for the change in aggregate state, it is necessary to deal especially with the problem of the reduction of heat-exchange capacity caused by decreasing contact with the heat exchange surface area at reduced liquid levels. Furthermore, stratified refrigeration energy or refrigeration energy stored in a temperature space has not previously been known but is necessary for systems in which such energy must also be used to guarantee economic application. With this and with systems for producing refrigeration, refrigeration of any desired temperature can be made available in a profitable way.

The device and the method are explained in greater detail below with reference to the partial schematic diagrams of an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 1. Storage device with integrated aggregate state-changing units.

FIG. 2. A cascade of aggregate state-changing units.

FIG. 1 shows as an example a system with aggregate state-changing media. This system is realized in accordance with the stated objective of the invention. The drawing shows storage devices (1, 2) containing heat storage/transfer media (17, 24) and integrated aggregate state-changing units (7, 9). The heat storage/transfer medium (17, 24) can be, for example, a fluid, which can be regeneratively heated or filled with heat from a solar collector and/or with geothermal heat through supply lines (5, 20) and discharge lines (29, 21), for example. Stratified-charge and preparation systems (3, 25, 18, 19) are used to introduce a high or low temperature level into the storage device, and at the same time any desired temperature can be made available from the storage device. It is advantageous to insulate (16) the two storage devices thermally from each other.

The aggregate state-changing media are located in the heat-exchanging units (7, 9). In accordance with the invention, these units also store the aggregate state-changing media. These media can be, for example, propane or butane or a mixture of the two. The aggregate state-changing units (7, 9) are connected by lines (11, 12, 13) and can be separated from each other by valves (6, 14). A compressor (8) is located in one connecting line (12, 13), and a small turbine (10) driven by flow is located in the other connecting line (11), and these components are switched with a switching unit (15) according to the desired mode of operation. Depending on the function of the system, the aggregate state-changing units (7, 9) also change their functions according to the invention with respect to condensation and evaporation. In standard heat pumps and refrigeration units, a heat exchanger always has the same function, and these standard units are not designed to store at least the energy state of one side. This is also advantageous for specific pieces of equipment, since the heat transfer media are conducted past the heat exchangers with a large surface area to achieve high exchange efficiency. In a heat pump operation with the storage devices (1, 2) and the aggregate state-changing units (7, 9), however, the energy state of both sides can also be stored in a colder zone and a warmer zone. In this example, the warmer zone is located in the storage device (1), and the colder zone is located in the storage device (2), whereby the thermal energy in a suitable way to the storage device (2), e.g., by liquid from a geothermal stored heat exchanger. The storage device (2) could also be located in a geological substratum for use directly as a stored heat exchanger. This is also more advantageous compared to conventional technology, since excavation work for heat exchangers is facilitated and minimized, especially in geologically poorly accessible substrata or on pieces of land that have already been built up. In addition, the division of the storage devices into an insulated storage device (2) and a heat-exchanging storage device makes it possible to utilize the cold temperature profile which is obtained by evaporation in the aggregate state-changing unit (7) and which can be stored by the stratification and preparation system by circulating the frost-resistant heat storage/transfer medium (17) such as a water/glycol mixture through heat exchangers in rooms or boxes to be cooled. The increased heat is produced by using the compressor (8) to compress the evaporation agent into the heat-exchanging unit (9), the valve (14) being used to allow flow only in the direction toward the heat-exchanging unit (9), and by using the valve (6) and the turbine (10) to expand the compressed gas into the storage device (1 or 2). In the state of the art, the valves have mechanically fixed functions with respect to throttling and preventing backflow. With the aid of the switchable valves (14, 6) and the switching unit (15), the aforementioned functions can be made variable with respect to maintaining the pressure and reducing the pressure, or the prevention of backflow can be discontinued. Variable pressure functions are made possible by pressure sensors (27, 26). In this system, prevention of backflow is realized by measurements of pressure changes and by releasing the valve when flow adjustments (14) are made. Prevention of backflow and exact adjustment of the pressure generation are also possible, however, by additional measurement of the pressure at the compressor outlet.

High efficiency of the heat pump is realized by using a turbine to recover the energy produced during the expansion. In this regard, recovery of energy by the generation of electric power is more advantageous than a mechanically driven precompressor, since electric generators have high degrees of efficiency, and the expansion can be carried out independently of the compression with recovery, and thus this can also be utilized to generate electric power in a differential pressure operation. The switching unit (15) switches the operations as a function of the measured pressures (26, 27), so that a suitable temperature level is produced in the storage installations (1, 2). The stored aggregate state-changing media in the heat-exchanging units (7, 9) allow operation over a wide range of pressures, so that the highly varied temperature levels and thus the charging of an evaporative storage device, so that, besides geothermal heat, waste heat or solar heat can be brought to a useful heat level, and the heat produced from diffuse radiation and lower temperatures from the geothermal heat extraction can be utilized in the same plant with a high degree of efficiency. The refrigeration requirement must also be considered here, but the arrangement of the supply and discharge lines (20, 21) makes this possible, since the cold, for example, can be stored lower down than the point at which the geothermal heat is supplied and removed and can itself be stratified. Heat production or the heat demand can thus be maintained independently of the cold demand, and the refrigeration can be made available at several temperature levels.

Thanks to the storage function, the operating pressure points of evaporation and condensation can lie much farther apart, so that the turbines can be operated optimally, and interplay of compression and expansion can be more independent of each other. This also makes timed operation of a heat pump possible, i.e., operation in phases that are separated with respect to time, so that electric power from solar radiation can also be better utilized for compression, and interruptions of solar radiation can also be at least partially bridged with the turbine. Furthermore, timed operation makes it possible to disconnect the refrigeration demand from the heat demand to a certain extent, so that heat limitations or refrigeration limitations, for example, due to the limited storage capacity, can be bridged.

All together, a device of this type delivers both useful heat and useful refrigeration, so that the efficiency is increased, since, for example, the energy demand for refrigeration is eliminated, and the energy is produced regeneratively or partially regeneratively, so that environmental pollution is reduced. The units are also repeatedly utilized for heat and cold, so that savings can also be realized in this way.

The operation of the refrigeration system differs from that of the heat pump by virtue of the fact that the storage capacity is shifted farther into the colder zone and that the warmer zone is also cooled with geothermal heat, for example, to the extent that the available heat is not needed. This is possible with the storage device (1) of the supply line (5) and the discharge line (29) in the zone of the heat-exchanging unit (9), and regardless of this heat can nevertheless be brought into the upper zone by means of the stratification device (25). In this way, cooling with a high degree of efficiency is possible when there is high cooling demand, and heat can likewise be used.

The installation in FIG. 1 can also be operated in differential pressure mode, i.e. pressure-swing mode. The heat and cold required for this are, for example, also brought into the storage device regeneratively with solar heat or geothermal heat with increased temperature level or direct geothermal refrigeration or cold from the outside air. Evaporation can then occur in the heat-exchanging unit (9), and the condensation can occur by cooling in the heat-exchanging unit (7). The pressure can be adjusted in such a way by the stored media that evaporation and condensation are made possible at the attainable temperature difference between the storage installations. Of course, the liquid would then have to be pumped back. This can be advantageously avoided during a relatively long differential pressure operation or can be avoided altogether by exchanging the stored heat transfer liquids (17, 24) with the charging and preparation systems, so that the higher and lower temperature levels of the storage devices are exchanged. This can also be done during the aggregate state-changing operation.

This allows the generation of mechanical energy by the turbine (10) and thus the generation of electric power by heat, wherein this temperature level is safely converted, and thus good efficiency of power generation at low output and stable operation is ensured, and the additional utilization of the heat is ensured. Additional storage of the electric energy then also allows energy balancing between day and night and possibly other load periods by means of small electrical storage devices. This and the utilization of the installation for heating and refrigeration engineering allow economical use for heating, air conditioning, cooling, freezing, and energy conversion with low environmental pollution.

FIG. 2 shows the heat-exchanging and aggregate state-changing units (7, 9) in an expanded and improved form. The problem during heat exchange consists in the fact that, on the one hand, high pressures must be maintained, whereas the largest possible heat-exchange surface should also be available. This problem is usually solved with tube heat exchangers, but they have the disadvantage that they take up a large amount of space in storage installations and provide little storage volume for the aggregate state-changing media. A spherical shape or even a cylindrical shape would be ideal for maintaining the pressure with the use of a small amount of material. However, the filling of a heat exchanger over a large width of the storage installation would also require a large height, which would be a disadvantage, especially where the storage of gas is concerned, since a large surface could be used for heat exchange only with difficulty. In accordance with the invention, therefore, a solution is proposed in which two shallow shells (33) are installed, one over the other, whose dimensions depend on the shape of the storage device, so that at least the lower shell can directly evaporate the liquid, and the upper shell provides additional heat exchange capacity by heat conduction by a short route. The lesser pressure stability of this shape is compensated by providing connections between the shells (33) at certain distances. These connections can advantageously be sleeves. Such sleeves improve the convection of the heat transfer medium (17, 24). By installing a double wall (36) or bodies (37) with liquid and gas lines to and from the outer wall (33), it is also possible to realize pressure stability and simultaneous heat conduction and also to reduce the wall thickness and thus achieve a high heat-exchange capacity. The shells can have a circular or oblong shape with depressions that form an interior space, which forms short paths from the large exterior surface to the medium located on the inside, so that heat exchange proceeds optimally. By cascading shallow heat exchangers of this type, the storage device can be expanded as desired to arrive at the required heat exchange capacity. In this regard, it is advantageous for at least one of the connections (30) to function in such a way as to maintain the liquid level, so that in the case of heat exchange that involves gas, several stored heat exchangers always have contact with liquid. The realizations of the method and of the device described above make it possible, with a high storage capacity of gas and liquid, to obtain a high heat exchange capacity and high pressure load, while at the same time allowing the heat exchange system to be installed in a wide variety of locations. Stored heat exchangers of the type that has been described can also find practical use as pure additions to other storage devices which work with pressurized industrial water or pressurized heat transfer medium.

The method claimed by the invention for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media such as heat pumps, cooling systems, and differential pressure drives, wherein the change or changes in the aggregate state occur in a storage device (1, 2) in or on heat transfer media (17, 24), and changes in aggregate state are carried out according to the temperature in each case in a colder zone and in a warmer zone, such that the zones can be charged and discharged (5, 29, 9, 7, 20, 21, 22, 23), can be used for heat pumps, cooling systems, or fluid-mechanical drives operated by differential pressure. For this purpose, it also makes sense to combine systems of this type into a heat storage device, especially when this is divided into zones, so that different temperature levels can be usefully produced and transformed. In a useful and advantageous refinement of the method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media, the change in the aggregate state occurs in a heat-exchanging unit (7, 9) adjacent to heat storage media (17, 24), such as a stored heat exchanger or medium collection tank. Since conducting media with heat energy past each other as in the state of the art is avoided for both sides, existing heat exchange systems with solar technology or waste heat can supply heat and cold, and the energy can be transformed independently of time. The storage of aggregate state-changing media in the heat-exchanging units results in new operating methods, including more zone-tolerant control of the energy conversion by the buildup and reduction of gas pressures. Of course, this also requires devices of the types specified in Claims 25 to 31. Also advantageous is the method in which the aggregate state-changing units (7, 9) and/or the connecting lines (11, 12, 13) between them are formed and arranged to collect liquid and gas, so that a natural exchange can take place. This improves efficiency, although it also requires the storing zones to be arranged at different heights. In a further refinement, the aggregate state-changing units (7, 9) and the adjacent heat transfer media (17, 24) are integrated in an insulated space (1, 2) or storage space. This makes it possible for the zones to be set up adjoining one another and to be maintained at their temperature, which in the case of pure stratification cannot occur over an extended period of time without supplying the needed temperature levels. The utilization of storage capacities in earth zones, for example, is also facilitated and made more economical by the integration of such units in the storage spaces.

As a result of the fact that the aggregate state-changing units (7, 9) are located in different insulated spaces (1, 2), high temperature differences can be realized for storage.

The method in which zones (1, 2) at risk of freezing or boiling or connected exchange systems contain oil or a water/glycol mixture or gas as a heat storage medium or heat transfer medium allows operation and exchange especially for the utilization of freezing temperatures or high temperatures. However, heat pump operation that is tolerant with respect to temperature levels and pressure levels is made possible without the danger of freezing with further exchange possibility of the heat storage/transfer medium. Otherwise, additional or other heat transfer or heat storage media or protective media can be contained, such as water, latent heat storage media, and solid storage systems in order, for example, to obtain high storage capacity at low temperatures.

With the method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which heat storage media can be exchanged between zones (1, 2) and/or heat exchange systems, the positions of the temperature zones can be changed. This allows the natural exchange of aggregate state-changing media in multiple operational modes. The method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which aggregate state-changing units (7, 9) and/or the storage devices (1, 2) are cascaded is also advantageous. In this way, different temperature groups can be maintained, above all for the heat pump operation, and the pumping can be carried out in stages, which increases the efficiency.

The heat exchange capacity of the cascaded system can be maintained independently of the level of the liquid by means of the method in which the cascading of aggregate state-changing units takes place by retention of liquid (30).

With the method in which the cascading is accomplished by at least one series arrangement of a colder zone and warmer zone, it is possible, for example, to retain the natural exchange of the aggregate state-changing media or the storage media even in the cascaded system. An operating advantage is also provided by the method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which heat at any desired temperature can be removed from and charged (3, 18, 19, 25) into aggregate state-changing units (7, 9) and/or storage devices (1, 2). This makes it possible, for example, to adapt the storage devices to the specific utilization and heat supply phases, which also increases efficiency. The method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which the expansion and/or compression of the aggregate state-changing units (7, 9) is carried out as a function of the temperature demand is also advantageous for economical operation. An operating advantage is provided by the method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which heat and cold or electric energy (8) or mechanical energy (8) is delivered from an aggregate state-changing unit. This makes it possible, for example, to build large refrigerated rooms, so that, for example, modern cellars for food storage can also be realized. The utilization of heat energy that can be inexpensively stored for the generation of electric power supports the regenerative recovery of this form of energy and helps make it practical.

Especially the method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which the charging and/or discharging (5, 29, 9, 20, 21, 22, 23, 7) of the zones (1, 2) is carried out regeneratively, as with solar collectors, geothermal heat, geothermal cold, and air (37, 38), allows expansion of the operating usefulness or reduction of the cost of energy with respect to the environment, health and finances. However, waste heat can also be better utilized in this way. Even phases with a low energy supply can be inexpensively and very conveniently bridged by feeding them from conventional standby heating systems and thus allow systems that are more reliable with respect to supply.

The method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which the charging and/or discharging of the zones (1, 2) is carried out with gas, such as air or exhaust gas, and the heat or cold is transferred by conducting (37, 38) the gas directly to or from a heat storage liquid, reduces costs. The need for some heat exchangers can be eliminated in this way. However, the pressure conditions must be taken into consideration, so that the conduction of the gas is worthwhile only at similar pressures. A protective liquid (39) protects the heat storage liquid and the storage installation from the entry of oxygen and thus from corrosion.

Another advantageous method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media is one in which, in the case of freezing danger for a regenerative generator due to heat extraction, a switch is made to another generator and/or in the case of a heat surplus, the temperature level in an endangered generator is supplied. For example, the plant efficiency is improved in this way. Due to the fact that with the method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media, the aggregate state-changing media are expanded by heat to assist with the compression, the efficiency of heat pumps can be improved. This can be realized, for example, by installing the above-described heat-exchanging units in a suitable temperature zone of a reservoir or the storage device (1, 2) and by passing the aggregate state-changing medium through it. Here, too, the storage of these media can be utilized for heat exchange, which reduces costs for the heat exchange.

This made possible above all by the method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which the aggregate state-changing media are kept stored. In addition, this allows operation that is tolerant with respect to pressure and temperature and thus also allows optimum adaptation to the heat demand with respect to temperature level or heat volume or the demand for the other forms of energy.

Especially the method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which the aggregate state-changing media are utilized to raise the pressure allows the efficiency of the energy conversions to be improved, since the pressure can be raised with regenerative heat. This is achieved by suitably variably controlled valves that can maintain different pressure differences between heat-exchanging units or by additional tanks that remove aggregate state-changing media from the circuit or add them to the circuit.

An especially advantageous method for economical utilization is the method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which at least two of the following types of operation can be operated in an aggregate state-changing system: heat pump operation, refrigeration operation, and differential pressure drive operation. This makes it possible to generate electric power from heat with the use of units for these operating modes. Another advantageous method is one in which units or reservoirs from a refrigeration system or heat pump system are utilized for differential pressure operation or vice versa. In this way differential pressure operation can be realized more economically, and the heat pump operation and refrigeration operation can profit functionally from this.

The method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which electric power from one of the types of operation is stored makes it possible to produce and use electric power within the systems and to utilize it, for example, for auxiliary energy, and to make electric power available to the outside with greater independence from the rate of energy conversion.

Another advantageous method is one in which, in the case of heat pump operation or refrigeration operation, the energy of expansion is converted to mechanical energy, and this energy is used again, e.g., by mechanically driving a generator to supply the compression drive with power or to drive a precompressor. This improves the efficiency or the working number and helps these units deliver electric power. With the method for the operation of systems with aggregate state-changing media in which the heat produced in the compressor is utilized, e.g., by feeding it to the storage device (1, 2) or by delivering it to a connected exchange system, the energy is optimally utilized, and the efficiency of the plant is improved. The heat can be fed through a housing around which the heat storage/transfer medium or a heat transfer medium flows by means of natural convection or by sending it into the storage device (1, 2) or into an exchange circuit.

An especially advantageous device is one in which the heat-exchanging units (7, 9) are formed by two shells (33) mounted one upon the other. This makes it possible to provide the heat-exchanging units with both pressure stability and storage capacity and to adapt them to the formation of heat zones or cold zones. Stratification within the zones is also made possible despite the compact dimensions. For heat transfer media that rise to a certain level or which change their liquid level, this design is tolerant with respect to the mounting or installation position, since changes in position give rise to only small changes in heat-exchange capacity. In addition, units of this type can be realized with large surface areas, so that use in heat-exchanging exchange systems of a heating system is possible. In uses of this type, the installation position is also independent, and gas pockets can be avoided, so that the heat exchange capacity can be held constant. Other positions than those shown in the drawings can be realized with different arrangement of inlets and outlets and, depending on the use, are feasible and can be provided with advantages with respect to heat conduction by short routes and with storing absorption and release of heat. For example, geothermal heat can be recovered with heat-exchanging units of this type without much earthmoving.

The device is advantageous with respect to the optimum use of construction materials because the units which hold the media can have large surface areas while still being strong enough to resist the pressures at the same time. The heat exchange thus occurs over a larger surface area, and increasing the surface area increases the pressure stability at the same time, which means that thin walls can be realized, and therefore the heat exchange capacity is also improved.

This can be realized especially with an installation in which the pressure is maintained and/or the surface is enlarged by means of surfaces (35) or bodies (36) arranged parallel to the surface. These surfaces or bodies are liquid-permeable and vapor-permeable. This results in high stability and at the same time high heat exchange capacity and high heat conduction into the interior of the unit containing the media.

The stability of thin walls can be increased when enlarging the surface and increasing the pressure resistance by pressing the edges into the walls.

A device in which the pressed-in edges have a half-honeycomb structure provides additional structural stability and surface enlargement.

By constructing the device out of half-honeycomb shapes which are pressed in alternating directions, nearly full honeycomb stability is achieved by offsetting the shapes appropriately with respect to each other, with the advantage that structures of this type can be pressed.

According to other advantageous refinements of the device, pressure stabilization (28) and/or surface enlargement of the units that contain the medium is brought about by the heat storage medium itself, such as when the device is integrated into fluid pressure reservoirs. In this regard, the fluid pressure provides a certain part of the pressure stabilization for safety, and the fluid takes on the heat conduction. The pressure stability is also increased by supporting the device in solid storage media, even if only partial, or by the use of fastening and heat-conducting devices such as screwed joints or clamps and by sleeves. It is also increased by a design in which these means are thermally conducting and are designed in such a way that, in addition, a significant capacity for heat conduction or facilitation of convection is made possible. For example, sleeves can be used as guides for screwed joints, and the sleeves can be made large enough that that convection can occur through the sleeve, as a result of which heat-exchanging units of large surface area are quasi-interrupted, and convection can take shortened routes, and therefore a better natural exchange of media occurs.

It is advantageous with respect to use that devices and methods in accordance with Claims 1 to 29 are used for the heat-exchanging supply of cold zones and/or heat zones or for heat-exchanging energy absorption and release.

In this regard, different degrees of cold and heat can be used in different zones, such as compartments, boxes, and rooms. For example, freezing, cooling, air conditioning, warming, heating, and boiling. Areas distant from the storage device can be supplied with fluid exchange systems and heat-exchanging units of the type specified by the invention.

The use of the inventive heat-exchanging systems and methods is advantageous for any process of thermal energy absorption or release, including that for pressure tanks, for the reasons described above, since the design improves the required characteristics and also reduces the cost of materials and the cost of operation.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS

  • 1 storage device
  • 2 storage device
  • 3 charging and preparation system
  • 4 insulation
  • 5 fluid supply/discharge line
  • 6 expansion valve/sealing valve
  • 7 aggregate state-changing unit
  • 8 compressor/differential pressure drive
  • 9 gas converter
  • 10 turbine
  • 11 line for aggregate state-changing medium
  • 12 line for aggregate state-changing medium
  • 13 line for aggregate state-changing medium
  • 14 sealing valve/expansion valve
  • 15 switching unit
  • 16 insulation
  • 17 heat storage medium
  • 18 charging and production system
  • 19 charging and production system
  • 20 fluid supply/discharge line
  • 21 fluid supply/discharge line
  • 22 fluid supply/discharge line
  • 23 fluid supply/discharge line
  • 24 heat storage medium
  • 25 charging and production system
  • 26 pressure measurement
  • 27 pressure measurement
  • 28 pressure stabilization
  • 29 fluid supply/discharge line
  • 30 line connection for cascading
  • 31 level maintenance
  • 32 line connection
  • 33 shells
  • 34 line connection
  • 35 surface stabilization
  • 36 body stabilization
  • 37 fluid supply/discharge line
  • 38 fluid supply/discharge line
  • 39 protective liquid