Title:
Air or water extracted fluid split cycle heat pump
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention described herein represents a significant improvement in the efficiency of heating and cooling applications such as buildings. An air or water sourced fluid extraction process on the front end of an open loop heat pump system is provided. The extracted fluid is compressed in a heat pump compressor to achieve a heating function but no expansion of the compressed fluid is performed. The compressed fluid is instead stored for a subsequent cooling process or transported to a different location. After storage or transport, the compressed fluid is expanded to achieve a cooling function which requires no energy input other than the transport or storage. Once the fluid is expanded, it can be released back to the environment, can be converted to electricity in the case of hydrogen, or can be transported or stored for a heating application at a different place or time. The decision whether to release the fluid back to the environment is based upon the cheaper of the cost of air extraction compared to the cost of storage and transport.



Inventors:
Alden, Ray M. (Raleigh, NC, US)
Application Number:
12/217575
Publication Date:
01/07/2010
Filing Date:
07/07/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/86
International Classes:
F25B29/00; F25B9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DUKE, EMMANUEL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Rey M. Alden (Raleigh, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A heat transfer process comprising the steps of, Capturing a working fluid from one selected from the group consisting of; air and water, Compressing said working fluid to emit heat to perform a heating function in a first confined space and at a first time, Transporting or storing the compressed working fluid to one selected from the group consisting of; to a second confined space, and to a second time, Expanding said working fluid to absorb heat to perform a cooling function in the selected second confined space or the selected second time, And wherein the expanded working fluid proceeds to a step selected from the group consisting of; the working fluid is exhausted into the environment, the working fluid is stored as a low pressure working fluid for use in a heating application at a third time, the working fluid is transported as a low pressure working fluid for use in a heating application in a third space, and the working fluid is utilized in a process that generates electricity.

2. The heat transfer process of claim 1 wherein said working fluid comprises at least one selected from the group consisting of; air, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, CO2, argon, H2O, and neon.

3. The heat transfer process of claim 1 wherein said working fluid is subjected to a pressure change powered by one selected from the group consisting of; electricity, mechanical energy, energy from wind, and energy from water movement.

4. The heat transfer process of claim 1 wherein said working fluid undergoes a phase change selected from the group consisting of; from gas to liquid during the heating function, and from liquid to gas during the cooling function.

5. The heat transfer process of claim 1 wherein said working fluid capture process includes a heat output that contributes to the heating function of the first confined space at the first time.

6. The heat transfer process of claim 1 wherein said working fluid capture process comprises a step selected from the group consisting of; providing a filter means, electrolysis process, providing a desiccant, exhaust gas elimination, providing a motor, providing a process sensor, providing a compression means, and providing a working fluid storage means.

7. The heat transfer process of claim 1 wherein a single apparatus is provided that integrates the working fluid capture process together with the working fluid compression process such that both processes are performed by the single apparatus.

8. The heat transfer process of claim 7 wherein said single apparatus also integrates the working fluid expansion process together with said working fluid capture process and said working fluid compression process such that all three processes can selectively be performed by the single apparatus.

9. An energy conversion process comprising; a working fluid capture process for collecting a working fluid from one selected from the group consisting of; air, and water, providing an energy input process selected from the group consisting of; electrical energy input to compress the working fluid, wind energy capture and input to compress the working fluid, and water movement energy capture and input to compress a working fluid, wherein the compressed working fluid is expanded to absorb heat in a confined space.

10. The energy conversion process of claim 9 wherein the compressing of the working fluid emits heat that is used to heat a confined space.

11. The energy conversion process of claim 9 wherein the expanded working fluid proceeds to a step selected from the group consisting of; the working fluid is exhausted into the environment, the working fluid is stored as a low pressure working fluid for use in a subsequent heating application at a third time, the working fluid is transported as a low pressure working fluid for use in a heating application in a third space, and the working fluid is utilized in a process that generates electricity.

12. The energy conversion process of claim 9 wherein said working fluid comprises at least one selected from the group consisting of; air, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, CO2, argon, H2O, and neon.

13. The energy conversion process of claim 9 wherein said working fluid undergoes a phase change selected from the group consisting of; from gas to liquid during the compression, and from liquid to gas during the expansion.

14. The energy conversion process of claim 9 wherein said working fluid capture process includes a heat output that contributes to the heating of a confined space.

15. The energy conversion process of claim 9 wherein said working fluid capture process comprises a step selected from the group consisting of; providing a filter means, electrolysis process, providing a desiccant, exhaust gas elimination, providing a motor, providing a process sensor, providing a compression means, and providing a working fluid storage means.

16. The energy conversion process of claim 9 wherein a single apparatus is provided that integrates the working fluid capture process together with the working fluid compression process such that both processes are performed by the single apparatus.

17. The energy conversion process of claim 16 wherein said single apparatus also integrates the working fluid expansion process together with said working fluid capture process and said working fluid compression process such that all three processes can selectively be performed by the single apparatus.

18. A heat absorption process wherein a compressed working fluid is sourced from a supply pipeline, the working fluid is expanded and thereby absorbs heat to cool a confined space, the expanded working fluid is then subject to a process step selected from the group consisting of; subsequently compressed to perform a heating function, expelled into the environment, and converted to electricity.

19. The heat absorption process of claim 18 wherein said working fluid comprises at least one selected from the group consisting of; air, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, CO2, argon, H2O, and neon.

Description:

BACKGROUND FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to heat pumps used in heating and cooling a wide range of applications such as in buildings, refrigeration, or industrial processes for example. More specifically, this invention relates to using an air or water sourced fluid concentrator on the head end the compression side of a heat pump. Wherein the extracted fluid is compressed to achieve a heating application and whereby during the heating application the fluid is only compressed and not expanded but is instead stored or transported for a subsequent cooling function. The compressed fluid is subsequently expanded to achieve a cooling function with no energy input (except for energy required to transport the compressed fluid from the heating application to the cooling application).

BACKGROUND—DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR INVENTION

Heat pumps are well known and have been used for heating and cooling applications for more than 100 years. As practice today, heat pumps se a full refrigeration cycle that comprises both a compression component and an expansion component. When compared to the present system, the prior systems, when used for heating waste a capacity to cool and when used for cooling waste a capacity to heat. By contrast, the present system divides the refrigeration cycle into two separate and distinct operations such that compression only is used for cooling and expansion only is used for heating. Many benefits accrue to such a system. U.S. Pat. No. 6,453,868 Alden, describes a process to divide a heat-pump process into two parts and adds intermediary steps of transporting or storing refrigerant such that energy utilized to compress a refrigerant for a heating function is stored in the form of a compressed fluid to later be expanded for a cooling function. The process in general as closed system where refrigerant is stored and/or transported in a high pressure state and also stored and transported in a low pressure state. By contrast the present invention transports refrigerant in a high pressure state and uses resources from the environment such as air or water as the low pressure inputs. Eliminating the low pressure storage and transportation cost reduces the operational costs for the refrigerant wheeling utility that will distribute stored energy capacity to cool in the form of a compressed fluid.

Air extraction of fluids including nitrogen, and oxygen is widely practiced and CO2 is practiced in some small measure. Electrolysis for extraction of hydrogen from water is known in the prior art.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The present invention integrates an air or water sourced fluid extraction process on the front end of an open loop heat pump system whereby extracted fluid is compressed to achieve a heating application and the compressed fluid is not expanded during the heating operation but is instead stored for later expansion to achieve a cooling function or transported to a different location to achieve a later cooling application at a subsequent time or in a different location. After performing the cooling function, the fluid can be return to the environment such as into the air or into the water.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, several objects and advantages of the present invention are apparent. It is an object of the present invention to provide an energy efficient heating processes. It is an object of the present invention to utilize the energy from a heating function to also achieve a cooling function with no energy input (except that of transporting or storing a compressed fluid). It is an object of the present invention to minimize the cost to store and transport fluid. It is an advantage of the present invention that the low pressure fluid storage means is the air or water. It is an advantage of the present invention that only compressed fluid need be stored or transported. It is an advantage of the present invention that the cost to store and transport an equal mass of low pressure fluid is at least twice as expensive as the cost to transport an equal mass of high pressure fluid due to the significantly lower volumes of the latter. Additional objects and advantages are discussed under FIGS. 6a, 6b, and 6c and are not repeated here to avoid redundancy.

Further objects and advantages will become apparent from the enclosed figures and specifications.

DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 1 illustrates an air separation process at the head end of a split cycle heating and cooling process.

FIG. 2 illustrates the air separation apparatus for the process of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 illustrates an air separation apparatus integrated with an working fluid compression apparatus at the head end of a heating and cooling process/apparatus.

FIG. 4 illustrates a mechanical energy input to power air separation, fluid compression, and fluid transport processes.

FIG. 5 is a mechanical energy capture means harnessed to compress a fluid to achieve air separation, fluid compression, and/or fluid transport processes of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6a is a chart detailing the financial advantage of operating a split cycle refrigerant wheeling utility provider of heating and cooling compared to conventional alternatives.

FIG. 6b illustrates financial advantage to consumers of split cycle refrigerant wheeling for heating and cooling compared to conventional alternatives.

FIG. 6c lists some ancillary environmental advantages of operating a split cycle refrigerant wheeling utility.

FIG. 7 illustrates a compressed gas pipeline at the head end of a split cycle cooling and heating system.

NUMERALS IN FIGURES

  • 21 heating application
  • 23 air separation process
  • 23a gas concentrator apparatus
  • 23b combined gas concentrator/heat pump apparatus
  • 25 air
  • 27 first electricity input
  • 27a first mechanical energy input
  • 29 first exhaust gas
  • 31 first heat output for heating process
  • 31a first waste heat output
  • 33 fluid compression process
  • 33a fluid compression apparatus
  • 35 second heat output for heating process
  • 35a second waste heat output
  • 37 second electricity input
  • 37a second mechanical energy input
  • 39 compressed fluid storage step/apparatus
  • 39a low pressure working fluid storage
  • 41 compressed fluid transport step/apparatus
  • 41a low pressure working fluid transport
  • 43 third electricity input
  • 43a third mechanical energy input
  • 45 cooling application
  • 47 fluid expansion process
  • 47a fluid expansion apparatus
  • 49 heat absorption for cooling process
  • 51 second exhaust gas
  • 53 low pressure gas storage/transport step/apparatus
  • 61 first motor
  • 61a concentrator/heat pump motor
  • 62 separation cylinder
  • 63 filter
  • 64 low pressure storage tank
  • 65 pressure sensor/control
  • 67 first heat diffuser
  • 67a concentrator/heat pump diffuser
  • 71 second motor
  • 73 heat pump cylinder
  • 75 second heat diffuser
  • 77 first fan
  • 78 first thermostat sensor/control
  • 81 second thermostat sensor/control
  • 83 electric valve
  • 85 fluid expander
  • 87 third heat diffuser
  • 89 second fan
  • 91 ocean wave surface
  • 92 second buoyant mass
  • 93 first buoyant mass
  • 94 piston in compression
  • 95 piston in expansion
  • 96 second cylinder
  • 97 first cylinder
  • 98 open exhaust reed valve
  • 99 open intake reed valve
  • 101 expansion apparatus integrated with concentrator/heat pump
  • 103 anchor
  • 201 operational cost advantage table
  • 203 consumer savings advantage table
  • 205 environmental objects table
  • 211 condenser
  • 213 throttle valve
  • 215 evaporator
  • 301 compressed CO2 pipeline
  • 303 compressed hydrogen pipeline
  • 305 conversion of hydrogen to electricity

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an air separation or a working fluid capture process at the head end of a split cycle heating and cooling process. A heating application 21 such as a building requires a heating function to be performed at a first time and at a first confined space in a cold environment. Note, the heating application need not be a building but could instead be heating a space or heating of an industrial process. An air separation process 23 is provided such as are commonly used to extract a gas such as nitrogen, oxygen, or CO2 from air, or hydrogen from water. Examples of a process to separate Nitrogen from air are systems available from Generon in the US including utilization of a membrane filter and whereby pressure on a first side of the filter forces air components through the filter while other air components do not pass through the filter. The desired gas is drawn off from one side of the filter depending upon its pore size and what gas is being collected. Oxygen extraction from air is widely practiced in the form of portable oxygen concentrators used to provide high purity oxygen to patients. Some such systems are of a suitable scale for use herein. CO2 extraction from air has been demonstrated by Global Research Technologies of Tucson, Ariz. which may be suitable for use herein. Hydrogen extraction from water using electrolysis is well known. Factors that determine which gas is selected for use herein include corrosive potential, toxicity, flammability, energy required to extract from air, cost to extract from air, cost of heat output during compression, and ancillary benefits. CO2 has many advantages to be selected as the gas but due to its very low concentration in air, the cost practicability of extracting it from air cheaply may be questioned. Oxygen can be cheaply and reliably extracted from air but it is corrosive and can be explosive. Nitrogen can be cheaply and reliably extracted from air, is inert and can operate through a range of compression pressures. Nitrogen or oxygen or CO2 may be the optimal air extractable working fluid for use herein but is understood other gases or combinations of gases are possible. Combination of elements from air can be used as the working fluid herein or the air itself may be used as the working fluid.

An air 25 is the readily available air supply available in all areas on planet Earth and is used as an input to provide a working fluid for the processes described in an open ended system drawing from the air on one side of a heating and of a cooling process and returning to the air on the other side of a heating and of a cooling process. The air 25 also serves a low pressure storage means from which a working fluid can be extracted, then compressed to achieve a heating function, then stored or transported in a compressed state, then expanded to achieve a cooling function, and then returned again to the air at a low pressure. A first electricity input 27 powers the air separation process as further described in FIG. 2 to separate out the predetermined working fluid from a first exhaust gas 29 which is returned to the air or to the environment. Depending upon the nature of the exhausted gas a diffuser may be provided to facilitate mixing with air thereby ensuring that dangerous gas concentrations do not accumulate at the exhaust. The process of separation as further described in FIG. 2 may have a first heat output for heating process 31 which under the present invention is utilized to assist in warming the heating application 21. It is assumed that roughly 100% of the energy input into the separation process will be converted to heat energy. Once the working fluid is separated from air, it is input into a fluid compression process 33 such as are very commonly used in refrigeration compression/condensation and or cryogenic compression/condensation processes. The compression of the working fluid as further described in FIG. 2 is achieved by a second electricity input 37 and the compression of the working fluid results in a second heat output for heating process 35. The working fluid compression processes referenced in this document may comprise the phase change transition of the working fluid from a gas to a liquid and the working fluid expansion processes referenced in this document may comprise the phase change transition of the working fluid from a liquid to a gas. Whereas the first heat output for heating process 31 is approximately equal to 100% of the first electricity input 27, the second heat output for heating process 35 can be equal to 100% of the second electricity input plus a multiple of the second electricity input 37 according to inherent operational advantages well know in refrigeration and heat pumps. In any case, the total heat applied to the heating application to heat the building equals the energy of the first electricity input 27 plus the second electricity input 37 plus the operational advantage created by the working fluid compression and/or condensation phase change from a gas to a liquid. The present invention differs from the common refrigeration cycle in that only compression and/or condensation of the working fluid is allowed during the heating process, and expansion and/or evaporation of the working fluid is not allowed during the heating process. Thus when the system is operating, a continuous stream of air is being input, separated into a working fluid, which is continually fed as low pressure fluid to the compression process, where it is compressed to become a compressed working fluid to achieve a heating function, and the compressed working fluid is not expanded but instead is passed to a compressed fluid storage step/apparatus 39 or a compressed fluid transport step/apparatus 41. These are provisioned and operate similarly to those in the natural gas utility industry in that a compressed fluid is stored in tanks and transported in pipelines by pumps and valves to a network of users and also similarly to that described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,453,868, Alden, which is owned by the present inventor. Thus whereas the heating function occurred at a first space and time, the compressed working fluid is persevered as a stored capacity to cool as described below at a second space or at a second time. A third electricity input 43 is utilized by pumps within the compressed working fluid storage and transportation infrastructure to power the compressed fluid transport step/apparatus 41. A cooling application 45 is performed within a second building in a hot environment (a second confined space) or at a second time. Note, the cooling application need not be a building but could instead be refrigeration of a space or cooling of an industrial process. A fluid expansion process 47 and/or evaporation common to a cryogenic or refrigeration system forms the basis of a cooling function that absorbs heat in the cooling application 45 which in this case is a building. To achieve the cooling function, no energy is input, instead, the working fluid that was compressed as previously discussed to heat the first application at the first place and time is now expanded to cool the second application at the second place or the second time. Thus a heat absorption for cooling process 49 is performed free of energy input with the exception of energy needed to transport or store the compressed working fluid. If the working fluid is air or an air or water extract, after expansion, it can be release from the system and back into the environment as a second exhaust gas 51 (or liquid in the case of water. In a low pressure gas storage/transport step/apparatus 53, it is also possible to retain the working fluid in a low pressure tank or pipeline for storage or transport to achieve another heating application at a third place and/or third time similarly as is described in networked heat pump system of U.S. Pat. No. 6,453,868, Alden.

The energy efficiency of the present system is determined by comparing the (delivered heat output to the heating application plus the delivered capacity to absorb heat in the cooling application) divided by (the first electricity plus the second electricity plus the third electricity) and calculations (not shown) reveal it is reasonable to assume that the efficiency in many scenarios will be on the order of 3 to 1 or a 300% efficiency or greater. The cost per BTU efficiency of the present system is determined by comparing the (the infrastructure cost of tanks, pipelines, separator, compressor, and expander/evaporator amortized over their useful life plus the first electricity cost plus the second electricity cost plus the third electricity cost) divided by (BTU heat out put to the heating application plus the delivered capacity to absorb BTU heat in the cooling application) and it has been calculated that for transportation distances and storage times similar to those common in natural gas utility industry the cost per BTU is lower than any combination of conventional heating plus conventional cooling systems costs. Efficiency and cost objects and advantages are further described in FIGS. 6a, 6b, and 6c. The net cost savings for the present system is on the order of 25% at current electricity costs and natural gas costs, the savings will be more dramatic if the cost of natural gas rises faster than the cost of electricity.

Virtually any refrigerant or cryogen can be used in the compression, distribution, and storage methods described herein examples including the below. Further details describing heating and cooling potential and specific system design are available from many sources describing refrigeration and cryogenic cooling for each respective working fluid for example in engineering literature the following working fluids are referenced under their associated refrigerant numbers as follows; CO2 is R744, hydrogen is R702, neon is R720, nitrogen is R728, air is R729, argon is R740, and oxygen is R732. Each of these are some examples that can be utilized herein. Also many more complicated working fluid compression and expansion means are know in the prior at that can be utilized herein, one example being a cascade system.

Air is shown as an input fluid to this system with a separation process being provided for selecting one or more components from the air to be the working fluid used in ensuing processes. It is understood that the air itself can be selected to be the working fluid in which case the separation process may be altogether eliminated or it may be otherwise reduced to separating particulate matter from the input air stream or separating water vapor out of the input air stream. Such separation processes being widely practiced in the form of particulate filters and desiccants. Components within water including hydrogen and oxygen for example can be separated out to be utilized as the working fluid herein. In any case, a working fluid extracted from the environment can be return to the environment after use.

FIG. 2 illustrates the air separation apparatus for the process of FIG. 1. Whereas FIG. 1 focuses more on the processes of air separation of working fluid, working fluid compression/condensation, compressed working fluid storage/transport, working fluid expansion/evaporation, working fluid exhaust into the air; FIG. 2 is more focused on describing an apparatus for achieving the processes. A gas concentrator apparatus 23a comprises a mechanism for taking in air and filtering it to provide a selected working fluid for ensuing processes. (Alternately, the apparatus may employ electrolysis to separate hydrogen from water.) The gas concentrator apparatus 23a comprises a first motor 61 which drives a separation cylinder 62 that includes a compression means that forces some air components through a filter 63 whereas other air components do not pass through the filter 63. The desired working fluid is piped into a low pressure storage tank 64. A pressure sensor/control 65 turns on and off the gas concentrator apparatus 23a ensuring that the low pressure storage tank remains filled while working fluid is being drawn into ensuing processes. A first heat diffuser 67 is a metal machine air interface to facilitate heat transfer from the separation process into the heating application. A fluid compression apparatus 33a comprises components common in heat pump refrigeration and cryogenic systems drawn to receiving a working fluid, compressing/condensation of a working fluid, transferring heat from a working fluid to a heating application, and moving working fluid to an ensuing process. It differs from most common heat pump refrigeration and cryogenic systems in that there need not be any expansion/evaporation side to the system since working fluid compressed by the system at a first time and space is saved for use in a subsequent cooling application at a second time or a second space. A second motor 71 powers compression of the working fluid in a heat pump cylinder 73 and heat produced in the compression/condensation is diffused into the heating application by a second heat diffuser 75 for efficient heat transfer and distribution, a first fan 77 is provided. A first thermostat sensor/control 78 senses the temperature in the heating application and controls the operation of the fluid compression apparatus 33a such that it automatically turns on and off to maintain a targeted temperature range within the heating application. As previously described, once the fluid is compressed and heat diffused, the compressed working fluid is stored or transported to be utilized in a cooling process at a subsequent time or in a different space to be cooled. A second thermostat sensor/control 81 senses the temperature within the cooling application and controls the flow of compressed working fluid through a fluid expansion apparatus 47a including a fluid expander 85 and/or evaporator via an electric valve 83 for the purposes of maintaining a desired temperature range within the cooling application. No energy is input to achieve the cooling function since it merely takes a compressed working fluid and expands it to absorb heat from the cooling application. A third heat diffuser 87 provides an efficient air machine interface to ensure heat transfer from the cooling application into the fluid expansion apparatus and this process is facilitated by a second fan 89 that moves air for efficient thermal transfer. The fluid expansion apparatus comprises components common in heat pump refrigeration and cryogenic systems drawn to receiving a compressed working fluid, expanding/evaporating a working fluid, transferring heat from a cooling application into the working fluid, and moving working fluid to an ensuing process. Thus the apparatuses of FIG. 2 provide a means to take in air or water, separate a working fluid from air or water, use the heat from separation of air or water for a heating application, compress/phase change the working fluid, diffuse heat from the compression/phase change to achieve a heating function of a first space at a first time, transport or store the compressed working fluid to a second space or second time, expand the working fluid, diffuse heat from a space to be cooled at a second place and/or time, and then return the working fluid back to the environment such as the air or water. Energy input to achieve the heating function is conserved in the form of a compressed working fluid to be used in a cooling function at a different space or time. Elements illustrated in FIG. 1 and referenced but not illustrated in FIG. 2 include the heating application 21, the air 25 and the cooling application 45. Also, when electrolysis separation of hydrogen is the separation process, elements within the separation process and apparatus are utilized for that purpose.

FIG. 3 illustrates an air separation apparatus integrated with an air compression means at the head end of a heating and cooling process/apparatus. The purpose of FIG. 3 is to illustrate that the apparatuses of FIG. 2 can be integrated together to enhance efficiency and to eliminate some of the common elements to reduce size and cost of a single mass produced unit optimized to deliver the efficiency and environmental benefits to millions of American consumers. A combined gas concentrator/heat pump apparatus 23b fulfills the processes and comprises the elements of both the gas concentrator/separator and the heat pump compressor/condenser of FIGS. 1 and 2 as described above. A single concentrator/heat pump motor 61a drives both the working fluid separation process and the heat pump compression process replacing the two motors of FIGS. 1 and 2. A single concentrator/heat pump diffuser 67a provides the machine air interface to efficiently transfer heat from both the separation and the compression processes replacing two diffusers previously described. Elements that are commonly used in refrigeration, heat pump, cryogenic processes but which were not specifically illustrated in previous Figures include a condenser 211 in which the working fluid transitions through a phase change from gas to liquid, a throttle valve 213 to optimize fluid flow for heat transfer, and an evaporator 215 to optimize fluid low and heat transfer through a phase change from liquid to gas.

An expansion apparatus integrated with concentrator/heat pump 101 integration step can be added such that the fluid expansion apparatus 47a can be physically manufactured to be integrated into the combined gas concentrator/heat pump apparatus 23b such that a unit comprising the functions of working fluid extraction from air or water, heating, and cooling are all included in a single apparatus. Such a unit would provide for the heating and cooling function of a single building year round but operates differently than a conventional heat pump in that the compression of the working fluid is done at a first time for a heating function and the expansion of the working fluid is done at a second time for a cooling application and no energy input is required for the later.

FIG. 4 illustrates a mechanical energy input to power air separation, fluid compression, and fluid transport processes. Whereas the previous descriptions include electricity as the energy input to power working fluid extraction from air, working fluid compression, and working fluid transportation, alternate energy sources are incorporated herein for powering working fluid extraction from air, working fluid compression, and working fluid transportation. For example wind is commonly captured and converted to a rotary force for generating electricity and similar wind powered rotary force is suitable for driving the motors and pumps herein, alternately water wave motion as described in FIG. 5 is directly convertible to compression without electricity being an intermediate step. Thus in FIG. 4, a first mechanical energy input 27a, second mechanical energy input 37a, and a third mechanical energy input 43a are depicted as the input energy to drive the core processes of the present invention. When the ocean is used to power processes, it also serves as a heat sink in which to dump heat. Thus whereas the previous Figures describe heating a heat application, in the embodiment of FIG. 4 the heat output is wasted in a first waste heat output 31a, and second waste heat output 35a. The compressed working fluid is transported from the ocean to the cooling application similarly as previously described.

FIG. 5 is a mechanical energy capture means harnessed to compress a fluid to achieve air separation, fluid compression, and/or fluid transport processes of FIG. 4. An array of fluid compressors is powered by wave energy common to large bodies of water such as oceans and include an ocean wave surface 91. The array of fluid compressors comprise a plurality of wave driven compression cylinders. Provided is a first buoyant mass 93 that is heavy enough to compress a working fluid yet buoyant enough when lifted by a wave to expand a cavity to draw in a fluid. During the expansion phase the first buoyant mass 93 floating upon the wave forces a piston in expansion 95 to pull a vacuum within a first cylinder 97 which causes working fluid to enter the cylinder through an open intake reed valve 99 which is forced to open by the vacuum. As the wave height recedes, the working fluid is compressed similarly as follows. A second buoyant mass 92 is weighty enough to cause a piston in compression 94 to compress within a second cylinder 96 to compress a working fluid therein to a pressure level that causes an open exhaust reed valve 98 to open such that the compressed fluid can exit the second cylinder 96. The plurality of wave driven cylinders is secured to the ocean floor by an anchor 103 and is an example of a mechanical energy capture system for use herein without electricity being an intermediate energy step.

FIG. 6a is a chart detailing the financial advantage of operating a split cycle refrigerant wheeling utility provider of heating and cooling compared to conventional alternatives. An operational cost advantage table 201 depicts some of the operational advantages of the present invention. A refrigerant wheeling utility acting as an intermediary between millions of split cycle heat pump users generates revenue by transporting, storing, and selling compressed working fluid. The refrigerant wheeling utility buys compressed working fluid from a first consumer who compresses it for their heating application, the utility transports the compressed working fluid to a second consumer who has a cooling application, and the utility sells the compressed working fluid to the second consumer. At current price levels of natural gas and electricity, it is estimated that the utility can operate $12.63 cheaper than conventional natural gas heating plus heat pump cooling systems for every 1 million BTUs of heating plus 1 million BTUs of cooling that is delivered by the utility. Moreover, for every 1 million BTUs of heating plus 1 million BTUs of cooling, the refrigerant wheeling utility will generate over $7 in profits while also delivering over $6 in savings to consumers of the services.

FIG. 6b illustrates financial advantage to consumers of split cycle refrigerant wheeling for heating and cooling compared to conventional alternatives. A consumer savings table consumer savings advantage table 203 illustrates the cost savings to consumers of a split cycle refrigerant wheeling utility according to the present invention when compared to convention natural gas heating plus conventional heat pump cooling.

FIG. 6c lists some ancillary environmental advantages of operating a split cycle refrigerant wheeling utility. An environmental objects table 205 comprises some of the environmental advantages of the split cycle heat pump process and apparatus described herein.

As previously discussed CO2 can be utilized herein and can be presently held or sequestered within the network of pipes and tanks described herein. CO2 sequestration can be performed at a building level using air separation or another means, or the CO2 can be supplied by an existent pipeline that serves other purposes.

Depending upon the length of working fluid storage time and transportation distance, the heating and cooling according to the art described herein can be 50% cheaper than the cheapest conventional alternatives which at present are natural gas heating and heat pump cooling.

Similarly, depending upon the length of working fluid transportation distance, the heating and cooling according to the art described herein can require 50% less energy than the most efficient conventional alternatives which at present are natural gas heating and heat pump cooling.

The present system produces approximately 50% less thermal pollution than conventional alternatives mainly due to the fact that when utilizing a conventional heat pump for cooling approximately 100% of the electricity input is converted to heat thus the net thermal environmental effect is to warm up the environment. By contrast, the present system leverages the energy input to compress a working fluid for a heating function to be preserved for use in a cooling function with no energy input except that of transportation. Thus the present invention can eliminate the so called heat island effect now common in many cities by providing a cooling or heat absorbing capacity that does not have a concurrent net heat output.

Presently, in the US, a very high percentage of building heating applications are performed by burning fossil fuels such as natural gas and heating oil. In some embodiments, the present invention relies on electricity for energy input and it is assumed that eventually electricity production will be less based upon fossil fuels and more based upon alternatives including nuclear, solar, and wind for example. To the extent that electricity production migrates away from fossil fuel the present invention replaces fossil fuel for fulfilling a heating application and eliminates the corresponding CO2 emissions thereof. Also, since the present invention requires no electricity to perform the cooling function, fossil fuels that would have been burned to generate electricity to power conventional heat pumps is conserved.

The present invention operates more efficiently than conventional heat pumps for several reasons. The split cycle heat pump can perform heating functions in very cold environments where conventional heat pumps can not operate because the air and environment are too cold to enable efficient operation of the evaporator side of the refrigeration cycle. By contrast, during the heating process, the present invention has no concurrent evaporator side of the cycle. Thus the present split cycle heat pump system can perform heating functions anywhere and is not subject to the operational limitations of conventional heat pump systems.

The present invention operates more efficiently in hot environments as well. Whereas during summer operation, conventional heat pumps, absorb heat from a space such as a building and then dump that heat into a hot environment outside of the building, the present split cycle system does not have the need to concurrently dump absorbed heat into a hot environment. Instead the present system dumps heat in a heating application typically in a cold environment at a prior time and possibly different place.

The largest efficiency lever in the present system is the fact that it eliminates excess work by preserving energy input from a heating application in the form of compressed working fluid and then applies that compressed working fluid to a cooling function. If the storage and transportation costs included zero energy input and zero dollars, this would nearly double the efficiency of the use of the energy input for the heating application since the kilowatts input to heating would perform both heating and cooling.

Entropy is an important consideration especially in times such as these where global warming could have dire consequences. To date, humankind has never produce a cyclical process that has net cooling or heat absorption as an output. All cyclical processes devised by humankind have net heating as an output. For example, even the most efficient cooling processes devised to date include approximately 100% of input energy being converted to be a net heat output. Thus, as is the case with the present invention, when a process to absorb heat is given as a free byproduct of a heating process, it must be leveraged to the utmost as a means to reduce the thermal environmental effects we cause.

FIG. 7 illustrates a compressed gas pipeline at the head end of a split cycle cooling and heating system. Thousands of miles of CO2 pipelines are presently operating within the USA and additional pipelines are planned. The pipelines provide a means to transport CO2 from a generation site such as a fossil fuel fired electricity plant to a sequestering site such as pumping underground into an oil well to increase well production and to keep the CO2 out of the atmosphere. Such CO2 pipelines can be the working fluid input and the working fluid output for the present invention. A compressed CO2 pipeline 301 comprises a CO2 pipeline infrastructure similar to the one the presently runs from west Texas and through southern Colorado. A spur from that pipeline can be built to Denver as a working fluid input into a heating and a cooling infrastructure described herein. CO2 from the compressed CO2 pipeline 301 can be expanded/evaporated as previous described above. The CO2 is then transported or stored as a low pressure fluid in and around Denver for example before it is subsequently used in a compression process for a heating application. The CO2 can then be returned to the CO2 pipeline 301 or utilized in a subsequent cooling process.

Hydrogen is becoming increasingly present as a means to store energy which can readily be converted to electricity with water being the waste product which can readily be utilized or disposed of in the environment. Accordingly, it is predicted by many experts that hydrogen supply channels will develop to make hydrogen a readily available commodity that will be accessible at a vast number of building locations and via a large network of pipelines similar to that which is utilized for natural gas distribution to buildings. The present invention can tap into such hydrogen supply networks such that hydrogen can be the input working fluid into the present invention instead of air. A compressed hydrogen pipeline 303 comprises a hydrogen pipeline infrastructure that carries hydrogen from production sites to distribution points. A spur from that pipeline can be built to utilize hydrogen as a working fluid input into a heating and a cooling infrastructure described herein. Hydrogen from the compressed hydrogen pipeline 303 can be expanded/evaporated as previous described above. The hydrogen is then transported or stored as a low pressure fluid for a subsequent heating application. The hydrogen can then be returned to the hydrogen pipeline or utilized in a subsequent cooling process. Alternately, after the hydrogen is utilized in a cooling process, it can be utilized in a conversion of hydrogen to electricity 305 process/step using well known processes.

As is well known, hydrogen is a component of H2O in the air and in water both of which are abundantly available at most buildings in the US. The separation process described in FIG. 1 can be an electrolysis or other mechanism for separating out hydrogen gas to be used as the working fluid herein. Heat generated during the hydrogen separation process can be transferred to heat the first space at the first time as is described with the heat from the separation processes in FIG. 1 and elsewhere in this application.

Whereas in the Figures prior to FIG. 7, storage and transportation of compressed gas is emphasized, in the case of an existing pressurized pipeline infrastructure such as with CO2 or hydrogen the working fluid wheeling operation infrastructure comprises a low pressure system including a low pressure working fluid storage 391 and a low pressure working fluid transport 41a.

Operation of the Invention

Operation of the invention has been discussed under the above heading and is not repeated here to avoid redundancy.

Conclusion, Ramifications, and Scope

Thus the reader will see that the Wind Air extracted fluid split cycle heat pump of this invention provides an efficient, energy saving, greenhouse gas reducing, thermal pollution reducing, novel, unanticipated, highly functional and reliable means for heating and cooling buildings.

While the above description describes many specifications, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of a preferred embodiment thereof Many other variations are possible.