Thermodynamic Modeling and Mechanical Design of a Liquid Nitrogen Vaporization and Pressure Building Device
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The design of a liquid nitrogen vaporization and pressure building device that has zero product waste while recovering some of its stored energy is of interest for the cost reduction of nitrogen for use in industrial processes. Current devices may waste up to 30% of the gaseous nitrogen product by venting it to atmosphere. Furthermore, no attempt is made to recover the thermal energy available in the coldness of the cryogen. A seven step cycle with changing volumes and ambient heat addition is proposed, eliminating all product waste and providing the means of energy recovery from the nitrogen. This thesis discusses the new thermodynamic cycle and modeling as well as the mechanical design and testing of a prototype device. The prototype was able to achieve liquid nitrogen vaporization and pressurization up to 1000 psi, while full cycle validation is ongoing with promising initial results.