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10-9

10-9

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Thermostatic Expansion Valves 
June 2001
/ BULLETIN 10-9
Theory of Operation 
Application 
Selection 
 ® 
 
Page 2
 / BULLETIN 10-9
THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVES
OutstandingFeatures &Benefitsof SporlanThermostaticExpansionValves
Refer to Bulletin 10-10 for complete specifications of
Thermostatic Expansion Valves,with Selective Thermostatic Charges.
Refer to Bulletin 10-11 for a complete discussion on
Installing and Servicing Thermostatic Expansion Valves.FOR USE ON REFRIGERATION and/or AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS ONLY 
Bulletin 10-9, June 2001 supersedes Bulletin 10-9 dated October 1995 and all prior publications.©Copyright 2001 By Sporlan Valve Company, Washington, MO 
10
The Refrigeration System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3Types of Expansion Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3How the Thermostatic Expansion Valve Works . . . .3Basic Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3Effect of Pressure Drop Across the Valve Port . .4Balanced Port TEVs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5Equalization Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5Thermostatic Charges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6Sporlan Thermostatic Expansion Valves . . . . . . . . . . .7Alternative Refrigerants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Sporlan Selective Charges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Applications . .7Refrigeration Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8Special Selective Thermostatic Charges andElements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9Thermostatic Expansion Valve Applications . . . . . .9System Design Factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9Balanced Port TEVs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10System Design For Part-Load Conditions . . . . .11Two or more evaporators sectionshandling the same load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11Single evaporator controlled by two TEVs . . . . . . .11Hot gas bypass and desuperheating TEVs . . . .12Off-Cycle Pressure Equalization . . . . . . . . . . . .12R-717 (Ammonia) Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . .13Thermostatic Charges for Ammonia Valves . . .14Factors Affecting TEV Operation and Performance14Superheat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14Valve Setting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15Evaporator Temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15Subcooling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15Refrigerant Liquid Temperature and PressureDrop Across TEV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16Thermostatic Charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16Selection Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16Recommended Thermostatic Charges . . . . . . . . .18
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SELECTIVE THERMOSTATIC CHARGES
Designed to provide optimum performance for all applications—air conditioningand heat pump, medium and low temperature refrigeration.
THERMOSTATIC ELEMENT DESIGN
Long lasting and field proven stainless steel diaphragm and welded elementconstruction.
DIAPHRAGM DESIGN
Large flat diaphragm permits precise valve control.
REPLACEABLE THERMOSTATIC ELEMENTS
Field replaceable elements on all standard valves.
BALANCED PORT DESIGN [TYPES (E)BF,EBS & O]
Provides perfect pin and port alignment, and prevents changes in pressure dropacross the valve from influencing valve operation. Provides excellent control onapplications having widely varying operating conditions.
PIN CARRIER DESIGN (CONVENTIONAL VALVES)
Provides precise pin and port alignment, and better seating.
ACCESSIBLE INTERNAL PARTS
Durable, leakproof body joint construction allows the valve to be disassembled,and the internal parts cleaned and inspected.
MATERIALS OF CONSTRUCTION
Pin and port materials offer maximum protection against corrosion and erosion.
SILVER SOLDERED CONNECTIONS
For leakproof, high strength connection-to-body joints.
ADJUSTABLE SUPERHEAT DESIGN
All standard valves are externally adjustable except the Type Nl, which isinternally adjustable through its outlet connection.
 
BULLETIN 10-9 / 
Page 3
THE REFRIGERATION SYSTEM
To understand the function of the thermostatic expansionvalve, a short discussion of the refrigeration system is nec-essary. The refrigeration system can be defined as a closedsystem in which the process of absorbing and rejecting heatis performed by flowing a refrigerant in a vapor compressioncycle. In its simplest form, the refrigeration system consistsof five components: the compressor, condenser, evaporator,expansion device, and interconnecting piping.The heart of the system is the compressor since it causes therefrigerant flow. Its function is simply to receive low pres-sure (and temperature) refrigerant vapor from the evapora-tor and compress it into high pressure (and temperature)refrigerant vapor. The high pressure vapor is then con-verted to a liquid phase in the condenser. The condenserperforms this function by removing heat from the vapor andrejecting the heat to the air, or to water in the case of awater cooled condenser. The liquid, which remains at a highpressure, passes through the expansion device and becomesa low pressure two phase (liquid and vapor) mixture. Thisrefrigerant mixture returns to its vapor phase in the evapo-rator by absorbing heat from the medium being cooled.The selection of the expansion device is of particular impor-tance to the operation of the refrigeration system because itregulates refrigerant flow into the evaporator. An expansiondevice which is misapplied or incorrectly sized will ordinar-ily result in operational difficulties and poor system perfor-mance. For example, an undersized expansion device willprevent sufficient refrigerant from flowing into the evapora-tor causing a reduction in the design cooling capability of the system. An oversized expansion device may allow toomuch refrigerant into the evaporator causing liquid refrig-erant to flow back to the compressor. The latter condition isreferred to as
floodback
. Both conditions will invariablyresult in compressor damage if not quickly remedied.Therefore, the expansion device requires attention to itsselection and application.
TYPESOFEXPANSIONDEVICES
Expansion devices can be divided into four general categories:the fixed area restrictor, the automatic (constant pressure)expansion valve, the thermostatic expansion valve, and the elec-tric expansion valve. The fixed area restrictor expansion deviceis simply a precisely formed restriction through which liquidrefrigerant flows. Two common examples of this type of deviceare the capillary tube, or
cap tube
, and the short tube restrictor,or plug orifice. These devices are typically used on certain smallair conditioning and refrigeration systems where operating con-ditions permit moderately constant evaporator loading and con-stant condenser pressures. The drawback associated with thesedevices is their limited ability to efficiently regulate refrigerantflow in response to changes in system operating conditions,since they are sized based on one set of conditions.Like the fixed area restrictor, the automatic expansionvalve (AEV) is best suited for applications having moder-ately constant evaporator loading. The AEV regulatesrefrigerant flow by simply maintaining a constant evapora-tor or valve outlet pressure. As the heat load on the evapo-rator rises, the AEV decreases refrigerant flow to maintainevaporator pressure at the valve's setting. Conversely, the AEV increases refrigerant flow when the evaporator heatload decreases to maintain evaporator pressure at thevalve's setting. As a result, the AEV starves the evaporatorat high load conditions, and overfeeds it at low load condi-tions.The thermostatic expansion valve provides an excellentsolution to regulating refrigerant flow into a direct expan-sion type evaporator. The TEV regulates refrigerant flowby maintaining a nearly constant superheat at the evapo-rator outlet. As superheat at the evaporator outlet risesdue to increased heat load on the evaporator, the TEVincreases refrigerant flow until superheat returns to thevalve's setting. Conversely, the TEV will decrease refriger-ant flow when superheat lowers as a result of a decreasedheat load on the evaporator. The effect of this type of reg-ulation is it allows the evaporator to remain as nearly fullyactive as possible under all load conditions. The concept of superheat, and the proper method of measuring it is fur-ther explained on Page 14,
TEV Operation and Performance.
The thermostatic expansion valve provides an additionalbenefit when charging the system with refrigerant. When aTEV is used, the system refrigerant charge is usually not ascritical as with the other expansion devices. The properoperation of a fixed restriction and, to a lesser extent, anautomatic expansion valve depends on having an exactamount of refrigerant in the system.The electric expansion valve (EEV) provides a means bywhich applications can be designed with sophisticated sys-tem control functions. This type of valve is controlled by anelectronic circuit which is often designed to allow the valveto control some aspect of system operation in addition tosuperheat at the outlet of the evaporator. For example,evaporator discharge air temperature or water tempera-ture from a chiller could be monitored by the EEV's con-troller. See Bulletin 100-9 for details on electric valves forrefrigerant control or contact Sporlan Valve Company foradditional information.
HOW THE THERMOSTATIC EXPANSIONVALVE WORKS
Basic Operation
In order to understand the principles of thermostatic expansionvalve operation, a review of its major components is necessary. A 
sensing bulb
is connected to the TEV by a length of cap-
The thermostatic expansion valve (TEV) controls the flow ofliquid refrigerant entering the direct expansion (DX) evapora-tor by maintaining a constant
superheat
of the refrigerantvapor at the outlet of the evaporator.
Superheat is the differ-ence between the refrigerant vapor temperature and itssaturation temperature
. To measure the superheat the TEVcontrols, the difference between the actual temperature at thesensing bulb and the saturation temperature correspondingto the suction pressure at the sensing bulb location is deter-mined. By controlling superheat, the TEV keeps nearly theentire evaporator surface active while not permitting liquidrefrigerant to return to the compressor. The ability of the TEVto match refrigerant flow to the rate at which refrigerant canbe vaporized in the evaporator makes the TEV the idealexpansion device for most air conditioning and refrigerationapplications.
SPORLAN THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVES

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