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Title:
CO-FLUID REFRIGERATION SYSTEM AND METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/189889
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A climate-control system can be used to heat or cool a space. The climate-control system may include first and second vessels between which refrigerant and co-fluid may be circulated. The refrigerant may be absorbed into the co-fluid within the first vessel at a first rate. The refrigerant may desorb from the co-fluid within the second vessel at a second rate. Ultrasonic energy may be used to adjust the second rate to substantially match the first rate.

Inventors:
SCANCARELLO, Marc J. (1675 W. Campbell Road, P.O. Box 0669Sidney, Ohio, 45365, US)
WYNN, Kyaw (1675 W. Campbell Road, P.O. Box 0669Sidney, Ohio, 45365, US)
REBROVIC, Louis (1675 W. Campbell Road, P.O. Box 0669Sidney, Ohio, 45365, US)
Application Number:
US2017/029915
Publication Date:
November 02, 2017
Filing Date:
April 27, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
EMERSON CLIMATE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. (1675 W. Campbell Road, Sidney, Ohio, 45365, US)
International Classes:
F25B15/16; F25B41/00; F25B49/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015034418A12015-03-12
Foreign References:
US6112547A2000-09-05
CN101603746A2009-12-16
US4724679A1988-02-16
US20090032222A12009-02-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MALINZAK, Michael et al. (HARNESS, DICKEY & PIERCE P.L.C.,P.O. Box 82, Bloomfield Hills Michigan, 48303, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1 . A climate-control system comprising:

a compressor compressing a refrigerant;

an absorber disposed downstream of the compressor and receiving a mixture of the refrigerant and a co-fluid;

an expansion device in fluid communication with the absorber and disposed downstream of the absorber;

a desorber in fluid communication with the expansion device and disposed downstream of the expansion device; and

an ultrasonic transducer exciting the refrigerant and co-fluid at a location downstream of the expansion device and upstream of the compressor.

2. The climate-control system of Claim 1 , wherein the ultrasonic transducer is attached to the desorber and excites the refrigerant and co-fluid within the desorber.

3. The climate-control system of Claim 2, wherein the ultrasonic transducer is disposed within the desorber. 4. The climate-control system of Claim 3, wherein the ultrasonic transducer is in contact with the refrigerant and co-fluid within the desorber.

5. The climate-control system of Claim 2, wherein the ultrasonic transducer is mounted to an exterior surface of the desorber.

6. The climate-control system of Claim 1 , further comprising a control module in communication with the ultrasonic transducer and controlling operation of the ultrasonic transducer based on a rate of absorption of the refrigerant into the co- fluid.

7. The climate-control system of Claim 6, further comprising a first sensor measuring a first parameter of the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid within the absorber and a second sensor measuring a second parameter of the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid within the desorber, the first and second sensors communicating with the control module. 8. The climate-control system of Claim 7, wherein the control module determines the rate of absorption based on data received from the first sensor and determines a rate of desorption based on data received from the second sensor, and wherein the control module controls operation of the ultrasonic transducer based on a difference between the rate of absorption and the rate of desorption.

9. The climate-control system of Claim 8, wherein the control module controls operation of the ultrasonic transducer to match the rate of desorption with the rate of absorption. 10. The climate-control system of Claim 1 , further comprising a pump and a receiver, the receiver disposed downstream of the desorber and having an inlet, a first outlet and a second outlet, the inlet receiving the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid from the desorber, the first outlet is fluidly coupled with the compressor and provides refrigerant from the mixture to the compressor, the second outlet is fluidly coupled with the pump and provides co-fluid from the mixture to the pump, and wherein the absorber receives the refrigerant and co-fluid from the compressor and the pump.

1 1 . The climate-control system of Claim 1 , further comprising a heat exchanger having a first coil and a second coil, the first coil receiving the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid from the absorber, the second coil receiving the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid from the desorber, wherein the mixture of refrigerant and co- fluid within the second coil absorbs heat from the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid within the first coil. 12. The climate-control system of Claim 1 , wherein a liquid-vapor separator and an agitation vessel are disposed between and in fluid communication with the compressor and the absorber.

13. A climate-control system comprising:

a vessel in which a refrigerant is separated from a co-fluid in response to heat being applied to the vessel, the vessel including a first inlet, a first outlet and a second outlet;

a first heat exchanger in fluid communication with the first outlet and receiving the refrigerant from the first outlet;

a second heat exchanger in fluid communication with the first heat exchanger and receiving the refrigerant from the first heat exchanger;

an expansion device disposed between and in fluid communication with the first and second heat exchangers;

an absorber having a second inlet, a third inlet and a third outlet, the second inlet in fluid communication with the second heat exchanger and receiving the refrigerant from the second heat exchanger, the third inlet in fluid communication with the second outlet of the vessel and receiving the co-fluid from the second outlet of the vessel;

a pump in fluid communication with the third outlet and receiving a mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid from the third outlet; and

an ultrasonic transducer attached to the vessel and exciting the mixture within the vessel.

14. The climate-control system of Claim 13, wherein the ultrasonic transducer is disposed within the vessel.

15. The climate-control system of Claim 14, wherein the ultrasonic transducer is in contact with the mixture within the vessel.

16. The climate-control system of Claim 13, wherein the ultrasonic transducer is mounted to an exterior surface of the vessel. 17. The climate-control system of Claim 13, further comprising a control module in communication with the ultrasonic transducer and controlling operation of the ultrasonic transducer based on a rate of absorption of the refrigerant into the co- fluid.

18. The climate-control system of Claim 17, further comprising a first sensor measuring a first parameter of the mixture within the absorber and a second sensor measuring a second parameter of the mixture within the vessel, the first and second sensors communicating with the control module.

19. The climate-control system of Claim 18, wherein the control module determines the rate of absorption based on data received from the first sensor and determines a rate of desorption based on data received from the second sensor, and wherein the control module controls operation of the ultrasonic transducer based on a difference between the rate of absorption and the rate of desorption.

20. The climate-control system of Claim 19, wherein the control module controls operation of the ultrasonic transducer to match the rate of desorption with the rate of absorption.

21 . The climate-control system of Claim 13, further comprising a third heat exchanger including a first coil and a second coil, the first coil in fluid communication with the second outlet of the vessel and receiving the co-fluid from the second outlet of the vessel, the second coil in fluid communication with the third outlet of the absorber and the first inlet of the vessel and receiving the mixture from the third outlet, the mixture in the second coil absorbing heat from the co-fluid in the first coil.

22. The climate-control system of Claim 13, further comprising another expansion device disposed downstream of the second outlet of the vessel and the third inlet of the absorber.

23. A method of operating a climate-control system comprising:

circulating refrigerant and co-fluid between a first vessel and a second vessel; absorbing the refrigerant into the co-fluid within the first vessel at a first rate; desorbing the refrigerant from the co-fluid within the second vessel at a second rate; and

adjusting the second rate to substantially match the first rate.

24. The method of Claim 23, wherein adjusting the second rate includes applying ultrasonic vibration to a mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid.

25. The method of Claim 24, wherein the ultrasonic vibration is applied to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid in the second vessel.

26. The method of Claim 25, wherein the ultrasonic vibration is applied to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid using an ultrasonic transducer attached to an exterior surface of the second vessel.

27. The method of Claim 25, wherein the ultrasonic vibration is applied to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid using an ultrasonic transducer that is disposed within the second vessel and in contact with the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid. 28. The method of Claim 23, further comprising expanding a mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid between the first vessel and the second vessel.

29. The method of Claim 23, wherein circulating the refrigerant and co-fluid between the first and second vessels includes compressing the refrigerant using a compressor.

30. The method of Claim 29, further comprising adjusting the first and second rates by controlling operation of the compressor. 31 . The method of Claim 30, wherein adjusting the first rate further comprises controlling operation of an agitator.

32. The method of Claim 23, wherein the first vessel is an absorber, and the second vessel is a desorber.

33. The method of Claim 23, wherein the first vessel is an absorber, and the second vessel is a generator.

34. The method of Claim 33, wherein the refrigerant is circulated between the first and second vessels by applying heat to the first vessel.

Description:
CO-FLUID REFRIGERATION SYSTEM AND METHOD

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Utility Patent Application No. 15/496,237, filed on April 25, 2017 and U.S. Utility Patent Application No. 15/496,268, filed on April 25, 2017 and also claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/329,535, filed on April 29, 2016, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/329,586, filed on April 29, 2016. The entire disclosures of the applications referenced above are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates to a climate-control system, and more particularly, to a co-fluid refrigeration system and method.

BACKGROUND

[0003] This section provides background information related to the present disclosure and is not necessarily prior art.

[0004] A climate-control system such as, for example, a heat-pump system, a refrigeration system, or an air conditioning system, may be used to heat and/or cool a space for human comfort, product preservation, making ice, etc. In absorption-cycle climate-control systems and binary-cycle climate-control systems, refrigerant is absorbed into and desorbed out of a co-fluid. In an absorption-cycle system, heat is applied to the refrigerant to separate (desorb) the refrigerant from the co-fluid. Desorbing the refrigerant from the co-fluid eliminates the need for a compressor to compress and circulate the refrigerant throughout the system. In a binary-cycle system, refrigerant dissolves (absorbs) into the co-fluid under relatively high pressure and heat generated from compression of the refrigerant and co-fluid in a compressor. The absorption of the refrigerant into the co-fluid reduces the head pressure (i.e., compressor discharge pressure) relative to vapor-compression systems using refrigerant alone. SUMMARY

[0005] This section provides a general summary of the disclosure, and is not a comprehensive disclosure of its full scope or all of its features.

[0006] One aspect of the present disclosure provides a climate-control system that may include a compressor, an absorber, an expansion device, a desorber, and one or more vibration transducers. The compressor compresses a refrigerant. The absorber is disposed downstream of the compressor and receives a mixture of the refrigerant and a co-fluid. The expansion device is in fluid communication with the absorber and may be disposed downstream of the absorber. The desorber is in fluid communication with the expansion device and may be disposed downstream of the expansion device. The vibration transducer may be an ultrasonic transducer. The vibration transducer excites the refrigerant and co-fluid at a location downstream of the expansion device and upstream of the compressor.

[0007] In some configurations, the ultrasonic transducer is attached to the desorber and excites the refrigerant and co-fluid within the desorber.

[0008] In some configurations, the ultrasonic transducer is disposed within the desorber.

[0009] In some configurations, the ultrasonic transducer is in contact with the refrigerant and co-fluid within the desorber.

[0010] In some configurations, the ultrasonic transducer is mounted to an exterior surface of the desorber.

[0011] In some configurations, the climate-control system includes a control module in communication with the ultrasonic transducer and controlling operation of the ultrasonic transducer based on a rate of absorption of the refrigerant into the co- fluid.

[0012] In some configurations, the climate-control system includes a first sensor measuring a first parameter of the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid within the absorber and a second sensor measuring a second parameter of the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid within the desorber. The first and second sensors may communicate with the control module.

[0013] In some configurations, the control module determines the rate of absorption based on data received from the first sensor and determines a rate of desorption based on data received from the second sensor. The control module may control operation of the ultrasonic transducer based on a difference between the rate of absorption and the rate of desorption.

[0014] In some configurations, the control module controls operation of the ultrasonic transducer to substantially match the rate of desorption with the rate of absorption.

[0015] In some configurations, the climate-control system includes a pump and a receiver. The receiver may be disposed downstream of the desorber and may include an inlet, a first outlet and a second outlet. The inlet may receive the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid from the desorber. The first outlet may be fluidly coupled with the compressor to provide refrigerant from the mixture to the compressor. The second outlet may be fluidly coupled with the pump and to provide co-fluid from the mixture to the pump. The absorber may receive the refrigerant and co-fluid from the compressor and the pump.

[0016] In some configurations, the climate-control system includes a heat exchanger having a first coil and a second coil. The first coil may receive the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid from the absorber. The second coil may receive the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid from the desorber. The mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid within the second coil may absorb heat from the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid within the first coil.

[0017] In some configurations, the absorber includes a heat exchanger.

[0018] In some configurations, a liquid-vapor separator and an agitation vessel are disposed between and in fluid communication with the compressor and the heat exchanger.

[0019] Another aspect of the present disclosure provides a climate-control system that may include a vessel (e.g., a generator), a first heat exchanger, a second heat exchanger, an expansion device, an absorber, a pump, and one or more vibration transducers. A refrigerant may be separated from a co-fluid in the vessel in response to heat being applied to the vessel. The vessel may include a first inlet, a first outlet and a second outlet. The first heat exchanger may be in fluid communication with the first outlet and may receive the refrigerant from the first outlet. The second heat exchanger may be in fluid communication with the first heat exchanger and may receive the refrigerant from the first heat exchanger. The expansion device may be disposed between and in fluid communication with the first and second heat exchangers. The absorber may include a second inlet, a third inlet and a third outlet. The second inlet may be in fluid communication with the second heat exchanger and may receive the refrigerant from the second heat exchanger. The third inlet may be in fluid communication with the second outlet of the vessel and may receive the co-fluid from the second outlet of the vessel. The pump may be in fluid communication with the third outlet and may receive a mixture of refrigerant and co- fluid from the third outlet. The vibration transducer may be an ultrasonic transducer. The vibration transducer may be attached to the vessel and may excite the mixture within the vessel.

[0020] In some configurations, the ultrasonic transducer is disposed within the vessel.

[0021] In some configurations, the ultrasonic transducer is in contact with the mixture within the vessel.

[0022] In some configurations, the ultrasonic transducer is mounted to an exterior surface of the vessel.

[0023] In some configurations, the climate-control system includes a control module in communication with the ultrasonic transducer. The control module may control operation of the ultrasonic transducer based on a rate of absorption of the refrigerant into the co-fluid.

[0024] In some configurations, the climate-control system includes a first sensor measuring a first parameter of the mixture within the absorber and a second sensor measuring a second parameter of the mixture within the vessel. The first and second sensors may be in communication with the control module.

[0025] In some configurations, the control module determines the rate of absorption based on data received from the first sensor and determines a rate of desorption based on data received from the second sensor. The control module may control operation of the ultrasonic transducer based on a difference between the rate of absorption and the rate of desorption.

[0026] In some configurations, the control module controls operation of the ultrasonic transducer to match the rate of desorption with the rate of absorption.

[0027] In some configurations, the climate-control system includes a third heat exchanger including a first coil and a second coil. The first coil may be in fluid communication with the second outlet of the vessel and may receive the co-fluid from the second outlet of the vessel. The second coil may be in fluid communication with the third outlet of the absorber and the first inlet of the vessel and may receive the mixture from the third outlet. The mixture in the second coil may absorb heat from the co-fluid in the first coil.

[0028] In some configurations, the climate-control system includes another expansion device disposed downstream of the second outlet of the vessel and the third inlet of the absorber.

[0029] Another aspect of the present disclosure provides a method of operating a climate-control system. The method may include circulating refrigerant and co-fluid between a first vessel and a second vessel; absorbing the refrigerant into the co-fluid within the first vessel at a first rate; desorbing the refrigerant from the co-fluid within the second vessel at a second rate; and adjusting the second rate to substantially match the first rate.

[0030] In some configurations, adjusting the second rate includes applying ultrasonic vibration to a mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid.

[0031] In some configurations, the ultrasonic vibration is applied to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid in the second vessel.

[0032] In some configurations, the ultrasonic vibration is applied to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid using an ultrasonic transducer attached to an exterior surface of the second vessel.

[0033] In some configurations, the ultrasonic vibration is applied to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid using an ultrasonic transducer that is disposed within the second vessel and in contact with the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid.

[0034] In some configurations, the method includes expanding a mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid between the first vessel and the second vessel.

[0035] In some configurations, circulating the refrigerant and co-fluid between the first and second vessels includes compressing the refrigerant using a compressor.

[0036] In some configurations, the method includes adjusting the first and second rates by controlling operation of the compressor.

[0037] In some configurations, adjusting the first rate further comprises controlling operation of an agitator.

[0038] In some configurations, the first vessel is an absorber, and the second vessel is a desorber.

[0039] In some configurations, the first vessel is an absorber, and the second vessel is a generator. [0040] In some configurations, the refrigerant is circulated between the first and second vessels without a compressor. For example, the refrigerant may be circulated between the first and second vessels by applying heat to the first vessel.

[0041] Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. The description and specific examples in this summary are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

DRAWINGS

[0042] The drawings described herein are for illustrative purposes only of selected embodiments and not all possible implementations, and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

[0043] Figure 1 is a schematic representation of a climate-control system according to the principles of the present disclosure;

[0044] Figure 2 is a schematic representation of an exemplary desorber that can be incorporated into the system of Figure 1 ;

[0045] Figure 3 is a schematic representation of another climate-control system according to the principles of the present disclosure;

[0046] Figure 4 is a schematic representation of yet another climate-control system according to the principles of the present disclosure; and

[0047] Figure 5 is a schematic representation of a generator that can be incorporated into the system of Figure 4.

[0048] Corresponding reference numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0049] Example embodiments will now be described more fully with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0050] Example embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough, and will fully convey the scope to those who are skilled in the art. Numerous specific details are set forth such as examples of specific components, devices, and methods, to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the present disclosure. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that specific details need not be employed, that example embodiments may be embodied in many different forms and that neither should be construed to limit the scope of the disclosure. In some example embodiments, well-known processes, well-known device structures, and well-known technologies are not described in detail.

[0051] The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular example embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting. As used herein, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" may be intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. The terms "comprises," "comprising," "including," and "having," are inclusive and therefore specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. The method steps, processes, and operations described herein are not to be construed as necessarily requiring their performance in the particular order discussed or illustrated, unless specifically identified as an order of performance. It is also to be understood that additional or alternative steps may be employed.

[0052] When an element or layer is referred to as being "on," "engaged to," "connected to," or "coupled to" another element or layer, it may be directly on, engaged, connected or coupled to the other element or layer, or intervening elements or layers may be present. In contrast, when an element is referred to as being "directly on," "directly engaged to," "directly connected to," or "directly coupled to" another element or layer, there may be no intervening elements or layers present. Other words used to describe the relationship between elements should be interpreted in a like fashion (e.g., "between" versus "directly between," "adjacent" versus "directly adjacent," etc.). As used herein, the term "and/or" includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items.

[0053] Although the terms first, second, third, etc. may be used herein to describe various elements, components, regions, layers and/or sections, these elements, components, regions, layers and/or sections should not be limited by these terms. These terms may be only used to distinguish one element, component, region, layer or section from another region, layer or section. Terms such as "first," "second," and other numerical terms when used herein do not imply a sequence or order unless clearly indicated by the context. Thus, a first element, component, region, layer or section discussed below could be termed a second element, component, region, layer or section without departing from the teachings of the example embodiments.

[0054] Spatially relative terms, such as "inner," "outer," "beneath," "below," "lower," "above," "upper," and the like, may be used herein for ease of description to describe one element or feature's relationship to another element(s) or feature(s) as illustrated in the figures. Spatially relative terms may be intended to encompass different orientations of the device in use or operation in addition to the orientation depicted in the figures. For example, if the device in the figures is turned over, elements described as "below" or "beneath" other elements or features would then be oriented "above" the other elements or features. Thus, the example term "below" can encompass both an orientation of above and below. The device may be otherwise oriented (rotated 90 degrees or at other orientations) and the spatially relative descriptors used herein interpreted accordingly.

[0055] With reference to Figure 1 , a binary-cycle climate-control system 10 is provided that may include a compressor 12, a liquid-vapor separator 13, an agitation vessel (e.g., a stirring and/or shaking vessel) 15, an absorber (or resorber) 14, an internal heat exchanger 16, an expansion device 18, and a desorber 20. The compressor 12 can be any suitable type of compressor, such as a scroll, rotary or reciprocating compressor, for example. The compressor 12 may include a shell 22, a compression mechanism 24 disposed within the shell 22, and a motor 26 (e.g., a fixed-speed or variable-speed motor) that drives the compression mechanism 24 via a crankshaft 28. The compressor 12 can be a fixed-capacity or variable-capacity compressor. The compressor 12 may compress a mixture of a refrigerant (e.g., carbon dioxide, hydrofluorocarbons, ammonia, bromide, etc.) and a co-fluid (e.g., oil, water, polyalkylene glycol, polyol ester, polyvinyl ether, etc.) and circulate the mixture throughout the system 10. The co-fluid may be an absorbent capable of absorbing a refrigerant. Compressing the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid raises the pressure and temperature of the mixture and causes some refrigerant to be absorbed into the co-fluid.

[0056] The liquid-vapor separator 13 may include an inlet 17, a first outlet (e.g., a gas outlet) 19, and a second outlet (e.g., a liquid outlet) 21 . The inlet 17 may be fluidly coupled with an outlet 34 of the compressor 12 such that the liquid-vapor separator 13 receives the compressed mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid (e.g., the compressed mixture of refrigerant vapor and liquid co-fluid containing some dissolved refrigerant gas) from the compressor 12. The liquid co-fluid (which may contain some dissolved refrigerant gas) may settle to the bottom of the liquid-vapor separator 13, and the undissolved refrigerant vapor may remain at the top (or rise to the top) of the liquid-vapor separator 13 (i.e., above the surface of the liquid co-fluid). The liquid co- fluid may exit the liquid-vapor separator 13 through the second outlet 21 (which may be located below the surface of the liquid in the separator 13), and the refrigerant vapor may exit the liquid-vapor separator 13 through the first outlet 19 (which may be located above the surface of the liquid in the separator 13).

[0057] The agitation vessel 15 may include a first inlet 23, a second inlet 25, a first outlet 27, a second outlet 29, and an agitator 31 . The first inlet 23 may be disposed at or generally near a top end of the vessel 15 and may be fluidly coupled with the second outlet 21 of the separator 13 such that liquid co-fluid from the separator 13 enters the vessel 15 through the first inlet 23. The liquid co-fluid entering the separator 13 through the first inlet 23 may fall to the bottom of the vessel 15. The second inlet 25 may be below the surface of the liquid co-fluid in the vessel 15 and may be fluidly coupled with the first outlet 19 of the separator 13 such that refrigerant vapor from the separator 13 enters the vessel 15 through the second inlet 25. In this manner, the refrigerant vapor enters the vessel 15 below the surface of the liquid co- fluid, which causes some of the refrigerant vapor entering the vessel 15 to be absorbed (or dissolved) into the liquid co-fluid.

[0058] The agitator 31 can be or include an impeller (e.g., one or rotating paddles or blades) and/or a shaker, for example, disposed below the surface of the liquid co-fluid in the vessel 15. The agitator 31 may be driven by a motor 33 and may stir or agitate the liquid co-fluid in the vessel 1 5 to further promote absorption of the refrigerant vapor into the liquid co-fluid.

[0059] The first outlet 27 of the vessel 15 may be disposed below the surface of the liquid co-fluid such that refrigerant vapor exits the vessel 15 through the first outlet 27. The second outlet 29 of the vessel 15 may be disposed above the surface of the liquid co-fluid such that liquid co-fluid (with refrigerant vapor dissolved therein) exits the vessel 15 through the second outlet 29. The first and second outlets 27, 29 may both be in communication with a conduit 35 such that the liquid co-fluid from the first outlet 27 and refrigerant vapor from the second outlet 29 are combined and mix with each other (further promoting absorption of the refrigerant vapor into the liquid co- fluid) in the conduit 35. [0060] The absorber 14 may be a heat exchanger that may be fluidly coupled with the conduit 35 and may receive the compressed mixture of the refrigerant and co- fluid from the conduit 35. In configurations of the system 10 that do not include the separator 13 and vessel 15, the absorber 14 may receive the compressed mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid directly from the compressor 12. Within the absorber 14, heat from the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid may be rejected to air or water for example, or some other medium. In the particular configuration shown in Figure 1 , a fan 36 may force air across the absorber 14 to cool the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid within the absorber 14. As the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid cools within the absorber 14, more refrigerant is absorbed into the co-fluid.

[0061] The internal heat exchanger 16 may include a first coil 38 and a second coil 40. The first and second coils 38, 40 are in a heat transfer relationship with each other. The first coil 38 may be fluidly coupled with the outlet 32 of the absorber 14 such that the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid may flow from the outlet 32 of the absorber 14 to the first coil 38. Heat from the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid flowing through the first coil 38 may be transferred to the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid flowing through the second coil 40. More refrigerant may be absorbed into the co-fluid as the mixture flows through the first coil 38.

[0062] The expansion device 18 may be an expansion valve (e.g., a thermal expansion valve or an electronic expansion valve) or a capillary tube, for example. The expansion device 18 may be in fluid communication with the first coil 38 and the desorber 20. That is, the expansion device 18 may receive the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid that has exited downstream of the first coil 38 and upstream of the desorber 20. As the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid flows through the expansion device 18, the temperature and pressure of the mixture decreases.

[0063] The desorber 20 may be a heat exchanger that receives the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid from the expansion device 18. Within the desorber 20, the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid may absorb heat from air or water, for example. In the particular configuration shown in Figure 1 , a fan 42 may force air from a space (i.e., a room or space to be cooled by the system 10) across the desorber 20 to cool the air. As the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid is heated within the desorber 20, refrigerant is desorbed from the co-fluid. From an outlet 53 of the desorber 20, the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid may flow through the second coil 40 and back to the compressor 12 to complete the cycle. [0064] One or more ultrasonic transducers (i.e., vibration transducers) 44 may be attached to the desorber 20. As shown in Figure 1 , the ultrasonic transducers 44 may be mounted to an exterior surface 46 of the desorber 20. In some configurations, the ultrasonic transducers 44 are disposed inside of the desorber 20 and in contact with the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid (as shown in Figure 2). The ultrasonic transducers 44 can be any suitable type of transducer that produces vibrations (e.g., ultrasonic vibrations) in response to receipt of electrical current. For example, the ultrasonic transducers 44 could be piezoelectric transducers, capacitive transducers, or magnetorestrictive transducers. For example, the ultrasonic transducers 44 may have an output frequency in the range of about 20-1 50 kHz (kilohertz). The ultrasonic transducers 44 may (directly or indirectly) apply or transmit vibration to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid flowing through the desorber 20 to increase a rate of desorption of the refrigerant from the co-fluid.

[0065] The ultrasonic transducers 44 can have any suitable shape or design. For example, the ultrasonic transducers 44 may have a long and narrow shape, a flat disc shape, etc., and can be flexible or rigid. In configurations in which the ultrasonic transducers 44 are mounted to the exterior surface 46 of the desorber 20, it may be beneficial for the desorber 20 to have a minimal wall thickness at the location at which the ultrasonic transducers 44 are mounted in order to minimize attenuation of the ultrasonic vibration. Furthermore, it may be beneficial to apply the ultrasonic vibration to the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid at a location at which the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid is static or at a location of reduced or minimal flow rate of the mixture of the refrigerant and co-fluid, because fluids flowing at high rates can be more difficult to excite with ultrasonic energy.

[0066] A control module (or controller) 48 may be in communication (e.g., wired or wireless communication) with the ultrasonic transducers 44 and may control operation of the ultrasonic transducers 44. The control module 48 can control the frequency and amplitude of electrical current supplied to the ultrasonic transducers 44 (e.g., electrical current supplied to the ultrasonic transducers 44 by a battery and/or other electrical power source) to control the frequency and amplitude of the vibration that the ultrasonic transducers 44 produce. The control module 48 may also be in communication with and control operation of the motor 26 of the compressor 12, the expansion device 18, the motor 33 of the agitator 31 , the fans 36, 42, and/or other components or subsystems. [0067] As described above, applying ultrasonic vibration to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid increases the desorption rate. The control module 48 may control operation of the ultrasonic transducers 44 to control the desorption rate. For example, the control module 48 may control the frequency, amplitude, runtime (e.g., pulse-width-modulation cycle time), etc. of the motor 33, fans 36, 42, and/or the ultrasonic transducers 44 such that the desorption rate matches or nearly matches a rate of absorption of the refrigerant into the co-fluid that occurs upstream of the expansion device 18 (e.g., in the absorber 14 and vessel 15).

[0068] Without any excitation of the mixture of refrigeration and co-fluid, the absorption rate may be substantially greater than the desorption rate. The absorption rate may vary depending on a variety of operating parameters of the system 10 (e.g., pressure, compressor capacity, fan speed, thermal load on the system 10, type of refrigerant, type of co-fluid, etc.). In some configurations, a first sensor 50 and a second sensor 52 may be in communication with the control module 48 and may measure parameters that are indicative of absorption rate and desorption rate. For example, the first sensor 50 can be a pressure or temperature sensor that measures the pressure or temperature of the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid within the absorber 14, and the second sensor 52 can be a pressure or temperature sensor that measures the pressure or temperature of the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid within the desorber 20. The pressures and/or temperatures measured by the sensors 50, 52 may be indicative of absorption rate and desorption rate.

[0069] The sensors 50, 52 may communicate the pressure or temperature data to the control module 48, and the control module 48 may determine a concentration of refrigerant in the co-fluid based on the pressure or temperature data (e.g., using a lookup table or equations). The control module 48 can include an internal clock (or be in communication with an external clock) and can determine the absorption rate and desorption rate based on changes in the concentration of refrigerant in the co-fluid over a period of time. The control module 48 may control operation of the ultrasonic transducers 44 based on the absorption rate and/or the desorption rate. The control module 48 may also control operation of the compressor 12, the fans 36, 42 and/or the expansion device 18 based on the absorption and/or desorption rates and/or to control the absorption and/or desorption rates. In some configurations, the control module 48 may control the ultrasonic transducers 44 based on data from additional or alternative sensors and/or additional or alternative operating parameters. [0070] Because the absorption rate of many refrigerants into many co-fluids is significantly faster than the desorption rate, the rate of desorption may substantially limit the capacity of the system 10. Applying ultrasonic energy (e.g., via the ultrasonic transducers 44) to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid unexpectedly solves the problem of slow desorption rates. It can be shown that desorption rates may increase by about 100% - 900% (depending on the refrigerant type and co-fluid type) by exciting the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid with ultrasonic energy (e.g., using one or more ultrasonic transducers 44) as compared to stirring the mixture with a propeller at 400 revolutions per minute. This increase in the desorption rate surpassed reasonable expectations of success.

[0071] Referring now to Figure 3, another binary-cycle climate-control system 100 is provided that may include a compressor 1 12, a pump 1 1 1 , a liquid-vapor separator 1 13, an agitation vessel (e.g., a stirring and/or shaking vessel) 1 15, an absorber 1 14, an internal heat exchanger 1 16, an expansion device 1 18, a desorber 120, a receiver 121 , one or more ultrasonic transducers 144 and a control module 148. The structure and function of the compressor 1 12, liquid-vapor separator 1 13, agitation vessel 1 15, absorber 1 14, internal heat exchanger 1 16, expansion device 1 18, desorber 120, ultrasonic transducers 144 and control module 148 may be similar or identical to that of the compressor 12, liquid-vapor separator 13, agitation vessel 15, absorber 14, internal heat exchanger 16, expansion device 18, desorber 20, ultrasonic transducers 44 and control module 48 described above (apart from any exceptions described below). Therefore, similar features may not be described again in detail.

[0072] The receiver 121 may be fluidly coupled with the internal heat exchanger 1 16 (e.g., a second coil 140 of the internal heat exchanger 1 16), the compressor 1 12, and the pump 1 1 1 . The receiver 121 may include an inlet 154, a refrigerant outlet 156, and a co-fluid outlet 158. The inlet 154 may receive the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid from the second coil 140. Inside of the receiver 121 , gaseous refrigerant may be separated from liquid co-fluid. That is, the co-fluid accumulates in a lower portion 162 of the receiver 121 , and the refrigerant may accumulate in an upper portion 160 of the receiver 121 . The refrigerant may exit the receiver 121 through the refrigerant outlet 156, and the co-fluid may exit the receiver 121 through the co-fluid outlet 158. The refrigerant outlet 156 may be fluidly coupled with a suction fitting 164 of the compressor 1 12 such that refrigerant is drawn into the compressor 1 12 for compression therein. The co-fluid outlet 158 may be fluidly coupled with an inlet 166 of the pump 1 1 1 so that the co-fluid is drawn into the pump 1 1 1 . Outlets 168, 170 of the compressor 1 12 and pump 1 1 1 , respectively, are fluidly coupled with an inlet 1 17 of the separator 1 13 via a conduit 172 or with an inlet of the absorber 1 14 such that refrigerant discharged from the compressor 1 12 and co-fluid discharged from the pump 1 1 1 can be recombine in the vessel 1 15, in the absorber 1 14 and/or in the conduit 172 that feeds the separator 1 13 or the absorber 1 14.

[0073] With reference to Figure 4, an absorption-cycle climate-control system 200 is provided that may include a vessel 212 (e.g., a generator), a condenser 214, a first expansion device 216, an evaporator 218, an absorber 220, an internal heat exchanger 222, a second expansion device 224, and a pump 226. The vessel 212 may include an inlet 228, a refrigerant outlet 230, and a co-fluid outlet 232. The inlet 228 may receive a mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid (i.e., with the refrigerant absorbed into the co-fluid).

[0074] The vessel 212 may be heated by any available heat source (e.g., a burner, boiler or waste heat from another system or machine)(not shown). In some configurations, the vessel 212 may absorb heat from a space to be cooled (e.g., the space to be cooled within a refrigerator, freezer, etc.). As heat is transferred to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid within the vessel 212, the vapor refrigerant desorbs from the co-fluid so that the refrigerant can separate from the co-fluid. The refrigerant may exit the vessel 212 through the refrigerant outlet 230, and the co-fluid may exit the vessel 212 through the co-fluid outlet 232.

[0075] One or more ultrasonic transducers 244 may be attached to the vessel 212. As shown in Figure 4, the ultrasonic transducers 244 may be mounted to an exterior surface 234 of the vessel 212. In some configurations, the ultrasonic transducers 244 are disposed inside of the vessel 212 and in contact with the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid (as shown in Figure 5). The structure and function of the ultrasonic transducers 244 may be similar or identical to that of the ultrasonic transducers 44 described above. As described above, the ultrasonic transducers 244 produce ultrasonic vibration that is transmitted to the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid to increase the desorption rate of the refrigerant from the co-fluid. In some configurations, ultrasonic vibration may be used to produce a desired amount of desorption without adding heat from another source. In some configurations, ultrasonic vibration and the addition of heat may further accelerate the desorption rate. [0076] As described above, a control module 248 may be in communication with and control operation of the ultrasonic transducers 244 to increase the desorption rate to a desired level (e.g., to a level matching a rate of absorption). The structure and function of the control module 248 may be similar or identical to that of the control module 48. The control module 248 may be in communication with sensors 250, 252 and may control operation of the ultrasonic transducers 244 based on pressure and/or temperature data received from the sensors 250, 252. The sensor 250 may be disposed within the vessel 212 and may measure a pressure or temperature of the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid therein. The sensor 252 may be disposed within the absorber 220 and may measure a pressure or temperature of the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid therein. The control module 248 may also be in communication with and control operation of the pump 226, the expansion devices 216, 224 and/or fans 254, 256, 257.

[0077] The condenser 214 is a heat exchanger that receives refrigerant from the refrigerant outlet 230 of the vessel 212. Within the condenser 214, heat from the refrigerant may be rejected to air or water for example, or some other medium. In the particular configuration shown in Figure 4, the fan 254 may force air across the condenser 214 to cool the refrigerant within the condenser 214.

[0078] The expansion devices 216, 224 may be expansion valves (e.g., thermal expansion valves or electronic expansion valves) or capillary tubes, for example. The first expansion device 216 may be in fluid communication with the condenser 214 and the evaporator 218. The evaporator 218 may receive expanded refrigerant from the expansion device 216. Within the evaporator 218, the refrigerant may absorb heat from air or water, for example. In the particular configuration shown in Figure 4, the fan 256 may force air from a space (i.e., a room or space to be cooled by the system 200) across the evaporator 218 to cool the air.

[0079] The absorber 220 may include a refrigerant inlet 258, a co-fluid inlet 260, and an outlet 262. The refrigerant inlet 258 may receive refrigerant from the evaporator 218. The co-fluid inlet 260 may receive co-fluid from the second expansion device 224. Refrigerant may absorb into the co-fluid within the absorber 220. The fan 257 may force air across the absorber 220 to cool the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid and facilitate absorption.

[0080] Like the internal heat exchanger 16, the internal heat exchanger 222 may include a first coil 264 and a second coil 266. The first coil 264 may receive co- fluid from the co-fluid outlet 232 of the vessel 21 2. The co-fluid may flow from the first coil 264 through the second expansion device 224 and then into the absorber 220 through the co-fluid inlet 260.

[0081] The mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid may exit the absorber 220 through the outlet 262, and the pump 226 may pump the mixture through the second coil 266. The mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid flowing through the second coil 266 may absorb heat from the co-fluid flowing through the first coil 264. From the second coil 266, the mixture of refrigerant and co-fluid may flow back into the vessel 212 through the inlet 228.

[0082] It will be appreciated that the climate-control systems 10, 100, 200 can be used to perform a cooling function (e.g., refrigeration or air conditioning) or a heating function (e.g., heat pump).

[0083] In any of the climate-control systems 10, 100, 200, the co-fluid could be selected from fluids with the following generic formulae:

where m is 1 to 10; R is alkyl, alkenyl, or aryl with 1 to 26 carbon atoms; R' is H or optionally substituted C1-6 alkyl; R" is H, methyl, or ethyl; R'" is H, methyl, or ethyl; and at least one of R" and R'" is H;

where m is 1 to 10; p is 1 to 3; R is alkyl, alkenyl, or aryl with 1 to 26 carbon atoms; R' is H or optionally substituted C1-6 alkyl; R" is H, methyl, or ethyl; R'" is H, methyl, or ethyl; and at least one of R" and R'" is H;

where x is 1 to 4; n is 1 to 10; R' is H or optionally substituted C1-6 alkyl; R" is H, methyl, or ethyl; FT is H, methyl, or ethyl; and at least one of R" and FT is H;

where y is 1 to 4; n is 1 to 10; p is 1 to 3; R' is H or optionally substituted C1-6 alkyl; R" is H, methyl, or ethyl; '" is H, methyl, or ethyl; and at least one of R" and R'" is H;

where z is 1 to 4; n is 1 to 10; R' is H or optionally substituted C1-6 alkyl; R" is H, methyl, or ethyl; R'" is H, methyl, or ethyl; and at least one of R" and R'" is H;

where z is 1 to 4; n is 1 to 10; p is 1 to 3; R' is H or optionally substituted Ci -6 alkyl; R" is H, methyl, or ethyl; R'" is H, methyl, or ethyl; and at least one of R" and R'" is H.

[0084] Although the principles of the present disclosure are not to be limited by any scientific hypothesis or theory of operation, the compounds of formulae (I) - (VI) share chemical features that may contribute to their general usefulness as co-fluids for use with carbon dioxide refrigerant. The carboxylic amide (cyclic or open chain) and the polyoxyalkylene moiety may combine to provide compositions that desorb carbon dioxide at a high rate, a rate that is higher than homologous compounds without those features, even though the homologous compounds are considered part of the described invention to the extent they have not yet been disclosed as co-fluids. Generally speaking, species with high desorption rates may be beneficial as co-fluids in carbon dioxide refrigeration systems, because of the operational advantages expected to flow from having high desorption. [0085] The compounds of formulae (I) - (VI) are characterized by a "side chain" that has a polyoxyalkylene structure denoted by the repeat units of m or n in the formulae. If both of R" and R'" are hydrogen (H), the chain is polyoxyethylene; if one of them is methyl (the other being H), the chain is polyoxypropylene; if one of them is ethyl, the chain is polyoxybutylene. Because the repeat units m and n range from 1 to 10, it is also possible to provide so-called heteric polyoxyalkylene chains containing a combination of polyoxyethylene, polyoxypropylene, and polyoxybutylene. That is to say, the formulae should be interpreted as permitting up to 10 repeat units, where each repeat unit is independently based on ethylene-, propylene-, or butylene oxide.

[0086] The non-cyclic amide "alkoxylates" of formulae (I) and (II) are based on carboxylic amides with at least two and up to 27 carbon atoms (since R has 1 to 26 carbon atoms). The nature of the R group (size, level of branching, presence or not of unsaturation) is expected to affect the equivalent weight of and the viscosity of the co- fluid. These are design factors than can be taken into account.

[0087] In all formulae, the terminal hydroxyl of the polyoxyalkylene chain is in the alternative capped with an alkyl group (preferably methyl for ease of synthesis) that is optionally substituted. The hydroxyl compounds (R' = H) may be less preferred in some embodiments because the hydroxyl could contribute to undesirable reactivity, high viscosity, or even corrosion. Capping takes the hydroxyl group out of play. Substitutions on R' are allowed to the extent they do not spoil the operation of the compound as a co-fluid. In a particular embodiment, the alkyl group R' is substituted with a carboxylic amide group as shown in the description below and in the examples. Thus, R' in any of the above can be C1 -6 alkyl substituted with alkylcarbamido or alkenylcarbamido, represented by the following structures where R is alkyl or alkenyl:

[0088] The compounds of formulae (I) - (VI) are formally alkoxylates of the carboxylic amide or -imide shown. The compounds of (I), (III), and (V) can be synthesized by direct alkoxylation of the amide/imide starting group, because the amide/imide group is reactive and can open the oxirane ring of the corresponding alkylene oxides. The compounds of (II), (IV), and (VI) on the other hand, can be made by alkoxylating the free hydroxyl group of a starting material that contains an alkylol moiety attached to the amide or imide. Depending on whether p in the formulae is 1 , 2, or 3, the group is a methylol, ethylol, or propylol group.

[0089] Compounds with n (or m) from 1 to 10 can be made by reacting the starting material with n or m equivalents of oxide and reacting to a polydisperse mixture containing an average of n oxide units per amide group. Alternatively, they can be synthesized with a goal of producing a molecular weight distribution where the peak is at a species with n oxide units. Various fractions can be physically separated to provide other distributions of alkoxylation.

[0090] But especially for the lower molecular weight compounds, it can be simpler not to form the compounds by alkoxylation, but instead by reacting a preformed monodisperse compound containing n repeat units with the reactive amide nitrogen (or with the hydroxyl of an alkylol group added to the amide, for example by reaction with formaldehyde). This is illustrated by reacting a starting material N- methylolpyrrolidone (N-hydroxymethyl-2-pyrrolidone) with triethylene glycol monomethyl ether in a conventional Williamson ether synthesis.

[0091] In various embodiments, the co-fluids of formulae (I) - (VI) are further characterized by one or any combination of the following: the parameters x and y have a value of either 2 or 4; the parameter z has a value of 2 (meaning the structure is based on a succinimide derivative); the variables n and m are 1 to 4; R' is methyl; R" and R'" are both H; R' is C1 -3 alkyl substituted with alkylcarbamido. Particular embodiments include the following:

[0092] In operation, the co-fluid acts as lubricant as well a carrier fluid for the refrigerant carbon dioxide. The compressor 12, 1 12 described herein may contain any of the described co-fluids as a lubricant. [0093] In operation, the co-fluids absorb (resorb) and desorb refrigerant carbon dioxide as they circulate around a refrigeration or cooling circuit. At various points in the circuit, a cooling composition comprises from 50% to 99% by weight co-fluid and 1 % to 50% by weight carbon dioxide.

[0094] In various embodiments, performance also relies on a co-fluid having advantageous physical properties as well. Naturally, preferred co-fluids readily absorb and desorb carbon dioxide used as refrigerant. An instantaneous rate (rate essentially at time zero) as well as amount desorbed at 1 minute and at 2 minutes are measured. The results can be used to screen potential candidates.

[0095] In various embodiments, viscosity of the co-fluid may be in the range of 1 to 50 centistokes (cSt); 1 to 20 cSt; 3 to 20 cSt; 5 to 20 cSt; 1 to 10 cSt; 3 to 10 cSt. In some embodiments, the co-fluid may have a viscosity of approximately 10 cSt. The viscosity may be in a range of 5 to 15 CSt, 8 to 12 cSt, or 9 to 1 1 cSt, in various embodiments. Too high a viscosity may impede fluid flow around the cooling circuit. If the viscosity is too low, there could be leakage past seals in the system.

[0096] It will be appreciated that other co-fluids could be used in the systems 10, 1 10, 210.

[0097] In this application, including the definitions below, the term "module" or the term "controller" may be replaced with the term "circuit." The term "module" may refer to, be part of, or include: an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC); a digital, analog, or mixed analog/digital discrete circuit; a digital, analog, or mixed analog/digital integrated circuit; a combinational logic circuit; a field programmable gate array (FPGA); a processor circuit (shared, dedicated, or group) that executes code; a memory circuit (shared, dedicated, or group) that stores code executed by the processor circuit; other suitable hardware components that provide the described functionality; or a combination of some or all of the above, such as in a system-on- chip.

[0098] The module may include one or more interface circuits. In some examples, the interface circuits may include wired or wireless interfaces that are connected to a local area network (LAN), the Internet, a wide area network (WAN), or combinations thereof. The functionality of any given module of the present disclosure may be distributed among multiple modules that are connected via interface circuits. For example, multiple modules may allow load balancing. In a further example, a server (also known as remote, or cloud) module may accomplish some functionality on behalf of a client module.

[0099] The term code, as used above, may include software, firmware, and/or microcode, and may refer to programs, routines, functions, classes, data structures, and/or objects. The term shared processor circuit encompasses a single processor circuit that executes some or all code from multiple modules. The term group processor circuit encompasses a processor circuit that, in combination with additional processor circuits, executes some or all code from one or more modules. References to multiple processor circuits encompass multiple processor circuits on discrete dies, multiple processor circuits on a single die, multiple cores of a single processor circuit, multiple threads of a single processor circuit, or a combination of the above. The term shared memory circuit encompasses a single memory circuit that stores some or all code from multiple modules. The term group memory circuit encompasses a memory circuit that, in combination with additional memories, stores some or all code from one or more modules.

[0100] The term memory circuit is a subset of the term computer-readable medium. The term computer-readable medium, as used herein, does not encompass transitory electrical or electromagnetic signals propagating through a medium (such as on a carrier wave); the term computer-readable medium may therefore be considered tangible and non-transitory. Non-limiting examples of a non-transitory, tangible computer-readable medium are nonvolatile memory circuits (such as a flash memory circuit, an erasable programmable read-only memory circuit, or a mask read-only memory circuit), volatile memory circuits (such as a static random access memory circuit or a dynamic random access memory circuit), magnetic storage media (such as an analog or digital magnetic tape or a hard disk drive), and optical storage media (such as a CD, a DVD, or a Blu-ray Disc).

[0101] The apparatuses and methods described in this application may be partially or fully implemented by a special purpose computer created by configuring a general purpose computer to execute one or more particular functions embodied in computer programs. The functional blocks, flowchart components, and other elements described above serve as software specifications, which can be translated into the computer programs by the routine work of a skilled technician or programmer.

[0102] The computer programs include processor-executable instructions that are stored on at least one non-transitory, tangible computer-readable medium. The computer programs may also include or rely on stored data. The computer programs may encompass a basic input/output system (BIOS) that interacts with hardware of the special purpose computer, device drivers that interact with particular devices of the special purpose computer, one or more operating systems, user applications, background services, background applications, etc.

[0103] The computer programs may include: (i) descriptive text to be parsed, such as HTML (hypertext markup language) or XML (extensible markup language), (ii) assembly code, (iii) object code generated from source code by a compiler, (iv) source code for execution by an interpreter, (v) source code for compilation and execution by a just-in-time compiler, etc. As examples only, source code may be written using syntax from languages including C, C++, C#, Objective C, Haskell, Go, SQL, R, Lisp, Java®, Fortran, Perl, Pascal, Curl, OCaml, Javascript®, HTML5, Ada, ASP (active server pages), PHP, Scala, Eiffel, Smalltalk, Erlang, Ruby, Flash®, Visual Basic®, Lua, and Python®.

[0104] None of the elements recited in the claims are intended to be a means- plus-function element within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. §1 12(f) unless an element is expressly recited using the phrase "means for," or in the case of a method claim using the phrases "operation for" or "step for."

[0105] The foregoing description of the embodiments has been provided for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the disclosure. Individual elements or features of a particular embodiment are generally not limited to that particular embodiment, but, where applicable, are interchangeable and can be used in a selected embodiment, even if not specifically shown or described. The same may also be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the disclosure, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the disclosure.