Design and Building of a Two-Stage Cascade Refrigeration System for Storage of Blood Plasma
AbstractDaily life-saving transfusions rely on the usage of blood products in clinical and research settings. With its proteins used for replacement treatment, human blood plasma serves as the main source for a variety of therapeutic transfusions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, plasma-based therapy was one of the treatment modalities used to treat infectious infections and as a source of neutralizing antibodies in patients. The specialty of transfusion medicine was adversely impacted and faced a stockpile shortage because plasma must be quickly frozen within six hours of collection in order for its proteins and coagulation components to be of the optimum quality. As a result, the cascade refrigeration system is an innovative technology that can provide the required ultra-low freezing temperature and maintain the same temperature in storage for plasma management. The paper concentrated on the design and construction analysis of a two-stage cascade refrigeration system for quick freezing time, and storing plasma proteins at extremely low temperatures to prolong their limited shelf life in a sensitive, temperature-controlled storage system. The choice of refrigerants R404A and R410A is made for high temperature and low temperature circuits which are carefully selected based on study and analysis of the characteristics of different refrigerants for short-term freezing. The ultra-low temperature evaporator is achieved using a blend of two vapour compression refrigeration cycles thermally connected by a heat exchanger to produce a freezing temperature of -35 0C. For analysis, the system was charged with various weights of plasma weighing between 1 kg and 4 kg for two hours and a half hour and kept at a temperature of -35 0C. The system's dependability and practicality for extending plasma shelf life were assessed. After 72 hours of temperature-controlled storage, the results showed 75% efficiency and a negligible (0.4) plasma quality drop.
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