Three-heat-reservoir thermal Brownian refrigerator and its performance limits
Institute of Thermal Science and Power Engineering, Wuhan Institute of Technology, 430205, Wuhan, China
2 Hubei Provincial Engineering Technology Research Center of Green Chemical Equipment, 430205, Wuhan, China
3 School of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering, Wuhan Institute of Technology, 430205, Wuhan, China
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Accepted: 20 October 2022
Published online: 27 October 2022
As to now, all of thermal Brownian cycle models are two-heat-reservoir ones. In macro-thermal cycles, the three-heat-reservoir refrigerator can transfer heat from cold reservoir by employing low-grade heat to replace input work. In this paper, the three-heat-reservoir refrigeration cycle model is extended to thermal Brownian cycle, and an innovative model of three-heat-reservoir thermal Brownian refrigerator is established following macro-three-heat-reservoir thermal cycle model. The model can be regarded as a combined cycle of a thermal Brownian refrigerator driven by a thermal Brownian engine. Based on the first law of thermodynamics and non-equilibrium thermodynamic theory, the energy balance equation and the analytical expressions of performance parameters are derived. The maximum cooling capacity and the corresponding coefficient of performance (COP) are gotten by numerical calculations. The optimal working region and the COP lower limit are obtained. Results show that the innovative model of the three-heat-reservoir thermal Brownian refrigerator can work normally theoretically. The internal parameters determine the cycle performance by affecting the coupling of thermal Brownian engine and refrigerator. The barrier height and external load can be optimized to get maximum cooling capacity. The effective ranges for the values of barrier height and external force are the colored areas. The potential asymmetry affects the heat flows due to external load and the number of moving particles, thereby affecting the cycle performance. The achievement of the new model enriches the application range of three-heat-reservoir refrigeration cycles and provides theoretical guidelines for the design of realistic three-heat-reservoir thermal Brownian refrigerators.
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