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Nickl wins European Natural Refrigeration award

THE brainpower of student Jörg Nickl succeeded in fuelling his path towards claiming the European Natural Refrigeration award.
Students from around the world competed for this year's European Natural Refrigeration award, which recognises the best scientific dissertation or thesis on the topic of natural refrigerants.

Jörg Nickl was crowned with first place for writing his doctorate on 'Development of an expander/compressor for the transcritical refrigeration process with carbon dioxide as refrigerant' at the Technical University of Dresden.

The coefficient of performance (COP) of transcritical refrigeration circuits with carbon dioxide can be improved by 20% by replacing the throttle valve with an expander. Based on this, Nickl designed a low-frequency, three-stage expander directly connected to a compressor. In practical trials, the doctoral student was able to demonstrate the increased efficiency produced by his design.

Organiser Eurammon, a joint European initiative of companies and institutions who advocate the increased use of natural refrigerants, announced the winners in Frankfurt on November 15.

Christine Junior, from the Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina at Brunswick, won second place with her diploma thesis 'Energetic evaluation of different R744 loop concepts'. Arash Soleimani Karimabad, who obtained his MSc from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm came in third with his thesis 'Experimental investigations of an ammonia/carbon dioxide cascade system for supermarket refrigeration'.

The winners presented their work to Eurammon's international members and accepted their awards, with prize money totalling Euro5,000, at Eurammon's AGM.

By awarding this prize, the European initiative for natural refrigerants hopes to encourage young scientists to work on sustainable refrigeration and air-conditioning solutions.

'All three prize winners addressed technical issues relating to the natural refrigerant carbon dioxide', said Thomas Spänich, member of the executive board of eurammon.

'Operators, designers and manufacturers are greatly interested in refrigeration technology using carbon dioxide, as it is an ideal refrigerant in today's energy and environmental situation.

'Carbon dioxide does not affect the ozone layer and, with a reference value of 1, has a low direct global warming potential. The winner's findings all contribute towards making carbon dioxide practical as a refrigerant for an increasing number of applications'.

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