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Helium process cycle

United States Patent

August 12, 2008
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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A unique process cycle and apparatus design separates the consumer (cryogenic) load return flow from most of the recycle return flow of a refrigerator and/or liquefier process cycle. The refrigerator and/or liquefier process recycle return flow is recompressed by a multi-stage compressor set and the consumer load return flow is recompressed by an independent consumer load compressor set that maintains a desirable constant suction pressure using a consumer load bypass control valve and the consumer load return pressure control valve that controls the consumer load compressor's suction pressure. The discharge pressure of this consumer load compressor is thereby allowed to float at the intermediate pressure in between the first and second stage recycle compressor sets. Utilizing the unique gas management valve regulation, the unique process cycle and apparatus design in which the consumer load return flow is separate from the recycle return flow, the pressure ratios of each recycle compressor stage and all main pressures associated with the recycle return flow are allowed to vary naturally, thus providing a naturally regulated and balanced floating pressure process cycle that maintains optimal efficiency at design and off-design process cycle capacity and conditions automatically.
Ganni; Venkatarao (Yorktown, VA)
Jefferson Science Associates LLC (Newport News, VA)
11/ 267,730
November 4, 2005
The United States of America may have certain rights to this invention under Management and Operating Contract No. DE-AC05-84ER 40150 from the Department of Energy.