Research Papers

Investigation of Optimum Refrigerant Charge and Fans' Speed for a Vehicle Air Conditioning System

[+] Author and Article Information
Farshid Bagheri

Laboratory for Alternative Energy
Conversion (LAEC),
School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering,
Simon Fraser University,
Surrey, BC V3T 0A3, Canada
e-mail: fbagheri@sfu.ca

M. Ali Fayazbakhsh

Laboratory for Alternative Energy
Conversion (LAEC),
School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering,
Simon Fraser University,
Surrey, BC V3T 0A3, Canada

Majid Bahrami

Laboratory for Alternative Energy
Conversion (LAEC),
School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering,
Simon Fraser University,
Surrey, BC V3T 0A3, Canada
e-mail: mbahrami@sfu.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received January 7, 2016; final manuscript received August 10, 2016; published online November 8, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Wei Li.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 9(1), 011014 (Nov 08, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: TSEA-16-1003; doi: 10.1115/1.4034852 History: Received January 07, 2016; Revised August 10, 2016

In this study, the performance evaluation and optimization of a recently developed battery-powered vehicle air conditioning (BPVAC) system is investigated. A mathematical model is developed to simulate the thermodynamic and heat transfer characteristics of the BPVAC system and calculate the coefficient of performance (COP). Utilizing environmental chambers and a number of measuring equipment, an experimental setup is built to validate the model accuracy and to conduct performance optimization by changing the charge of refrigerant in the system. The model is validated and employed for performance simulation and optimization in a wide range of speed for the evaporator and condenser fans. The modeling results verify that for any operating condition an optimum performance can be achieved by adjusting the speed of condenser and evaporator fans. The optimum refrigerant charge is obtained, and a potential improvement of 10.5% is calculated for the performance of system under ANSI/AHRI 210/240-2008 specifications.

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Fig. 1

Experimental setup schematic (solid lines = air flow, dashed lines = refrigerant flow, T = temperature sensor, P = pressure sensor, M = mass flow meter, V = velocity meter, and RH = relative humidity sensor)

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Fig. 2

Experimental setup

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Fig. 3

Refrigerant mass flow rate and cycle pressure ratio versus refrigerant charge—experimental data

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Fig. 4

Cooling power and total power consumption versus refrigerant charge—experimental data

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Fig. 5

COP versus refrigerant charge—experimental data

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Fig. 6

Verification of the model results (lines) with experimental data (symbols)

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Fig. 7

Total power consumption versus condenser and evaporator air flow rates (m˙a,cond,m˙a,evap)




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