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with Ambient Temperature Effects

Saad N. Shehab

Mechanical Engineering Department

College of Engineering Al-Mustansiriya

University

Abstract:

Theoretical and experimental studies were conducted to

analyze and simulate the performance of instrumented automobile

air-conditioner , using R134a as a working refrigerant . The

experimental work was carried out on an available automobile airconditioner unit with ambient temperature effects on the cycle

performance .

A computer program is constructed to analyze , and simulate

the working and performance of instrumented automobile airconditioner with the effect of ambient temperature on the

performance of compressor , condenser , condensing unit ,

evaporator , and complete refrigeration cycle . The experimental

performance equations of the compressor , condenser , and

evaporator are used in the mathematical simulation .

The comparison between the mathematical model and

experimental results of refrigeration load , compressor work ,

condenser load , and coefficient of performance for different ambient

temperatures showed a good agreement .

.

/

:

. R134a

.

.

.

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1. Introduction

Refrigeration cycles transfer thermal energy from a region of

low temperature to one of higher temperature , usually the higher

temperature heat sink is the ambient air or cooling water [1] .

The refrigeration system components may be classified into

two groups , the first is hard parts , and the second is transmitted

medium (refrigerant) . The hard parts consist of major components:

compressor , condenser , evaporator or cooling coils , and expansion

valve or capillary tube , and accessories parts such as liquid receiver ,

check valve ,etc. Refrigerants are the working fluid in refrigeration ,

air-conditioning , and heat pumping systems . They absorb heat from

one area , such as an air-conditioned space , and reject it into another

, such as outdoor , usually through evaporation and condensation ,

respectively .

Hamilton and Miller (1990) [2] presented a general steadystate model for simulating components of an air conditioning system .

The model depends on functional fit of manufactures performance

catalogue data of the individual components , along with the

thermodynamics relationships used for modeling of the airconditioning cycle . Hussain (1998) [3] developed a computational

model for vapor compression cycle of a simple refrigeration cycle

that could yield accurate prediction using chlorofluorocarbons and

hydrocarbons refrigerants . Hazim (2000) [4] theoretically studied the

component matching of the mixed vapor-compression cycle .

SANDEN compressors corporation [5] , tested different sizes of

automotive compressors using R134a with varying speeds (from 1000

to 3000 rpm) . Many other researches dealt with the prediction of

thermal design of the refrigeration cycle such as Sadler (2000) [6] ,

Mustafa (2006) [7] , and Saeed (2006) [8] .

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Fig. (1) uses a refrigerant to absorb and reject heat energy . The

energy transfer allows the vaporcompression cycle to cool a closed

environment . The actual refrigeration cycle deviates from the ideal

cycle primarily because of pressure drops associated with fluid flow

and heat transfers occur between the refrigerant and its environment

in all components .

Performance of a refrigeration cycle is usually described by a

coefficient of performance (COP).Coefficient of performance is

defined as the benefit of the cycle or amount of heat removed, divided

by the required energy input to operate the cycle [1] . Applying the

energy equation on the theoretical cycle shown in Fig.(1) for a mass

of refrigerant yields :

.

q r m(h1 h4 )

.

Win m(h2 h1 )

.

qc m(h2 h3 )

h3= h4

.(1a)

...(1b)

.(1c)

.(1d)

COP

qr

h h4

1

Win h2 h1

......(2)

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air-conditioner system , as shown in Fig.(2) . The test apparatus has

been designed with the operating principle of an automobile airconditioner uses R134a . This unit was suitable for altering the

thermal load by controlling the electrical resistances (from 0 to 10 A)

, air temperature entering evaporator by controlling the evaporator

air cycle from closed to open gradually , and compressor speed (

1450 or 2900 rpm) . An air duct is used to the input of condenser to

control the ambient air temperature (temperature of air input to

condenser) by using two heaters of 3 kW each installed inside the

duct.

The practical (actual) refrigeration capacity (qract) can be

determined by :

qract = vaev a cpa (t)ev ......(3)

and the practical heat rejection from condenser (qcact) can be

determined by :

qcact = vac a cpa (t)c

...(4)

The actual power consumption in the compressor can be calculated

by :

Winact = V I cos

..(5)

Air-Conditioner [9]

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refrigeration cycle analysis which performed by mathematical rather

than graphical analysis and finding balance points from intersection

of two curves .

4.1 Performance of Reciprocating Compressor

Fig. (3a) illustrates experimental results of the compressor for

the test apparatus at different evaporating temperatures for each

curve which is obtained at constant condensing temperature , the

refrigeration capacity (qract) calculated at an experimental measured

of air flow rate on evaporator (vaev) , and entering and leaving air

temperature from evaporator . Curves are shown in Fig.(3b) which

displays actual compressor work (Winact) calculated at measured

voltage and current of compressor motor via varying evaporating

temperatures at different condensing temperatures . Fig.(3c) shows

the experimental data of the varying heat rejection rate for

compressor versus the

condensing temperature at different

evaporating temperatures of the test apparatus .

(a)

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(b)

(c)

Fig. (3) Experimental data of a SANDEN Hermetic Reciprocating

R134a/1450 rpm / 87 c.c. displacement / 5 cylinders ) Compressor

from a Tested Automobile Air-Conditioner Unit

4.2 Performance of Condenser

Compressor performance is the result of design compromises

involving physical limitations of the refrigerant , compressor , and

motor [10] . Two useful measures of compressor performance are the

coefficient of performance and the measure of power required per

unit of refrigerating capacity .

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refrigerant to the outside ambient . A cross-flow air-cooled plate fin

and tube condenser type used in the automobile air-conditioner .

Refrigerant flows through the tubes , and a fan force air between fins

and over tubes .The refrigerant enters the condenser at superheated

state it will be divided into superheated , saturated , and sub-cooled

portion [6,10] . Practical performance curves of the condenser in Fig.

(4) , show the actual heat rejection rate from condenser (qcact) which

is calculated at a measured air flow rate over condenser (vac) , and

entering and leaving air temperatures from condenser via varying

condensing temperature with ambient temperature effects .

The condensing unit sub-system consists of a compressor and

condenser and performs the function of drawing low pressure vapor

from evaporator , compressing and condensing the refrigerant and

supplying high pressure liquid to the expansion valve . The behavior

of the condensing unit performance can be formed by combination of

Figs.(3c) and (4) as shown in Fig.(5) which illustrates the balancing

points of condensing unit at ambient air temperatures of 25 o C and

45 oC .

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Automobile Air-Conditioner (Experimental Results)

A finned tube type forced convection evaporator (cooling coil)

is used in automobile air-conditioner to transfer heat from the car

cabinet air in order to lower its temperature and humidity .The

evaporator performance effected by air heat transfer coefficient , air

flow rate through evaporator , and refrigerant boiling coefficient flow

into evaporator . The refrigerant enters the evaporator as a liquid

vapor mixture , it is divided into saturated and superheated portions .

The experimentally overall performance of the evaporator in

instrumented automobile air-conditioner is shown in Fig. (6) that

clarifies the actual refrigeration capacity (qract)

via varying

evaporator temperature with entering air of evaporator temperature

(ten) effects .

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Automobile Air-Conditioner

The simulation of complete unit involves the compressor ,

condenser , evaporator , and condensing unit . Performance of

complete cycle for instrumented automobile air-conditioner is found

by determining the balancing points of condensing unit (Fig. 5) and

an evaporator at varying entering air temperatures (Fig. 6) as shown

in Fig. (7) .

(Experimental Results)

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An expansion valve is used to control the refrigerant flow rate

through the evaporator , the refrigerant transformed from saturated

liquid to a mixture of vapor and liquid by throttling process. The

consequence for cycle performance of the expansion valve suffering

(not getting enough of refrigerant) the evaporator .When the

evaporator suffers , the overall heat transfers coefficient of the

evaporator drops and the balance point shifts to a lower evaporator

temperature and refrigeration capacity .

When the first law of thermodynamics is applied between inlet

and outlet of expansion valve , the enthalpy is constant across the

expansion valve (h3 = h4). The constant enthalpy throttling process

assumes no heat transfer or change in potential or kinetic energy

through the expansion valve [1,11,12] .

5. Mathematical Simulation

The method of least squares and polynomial regression

equation are applied on the compressor performance curves that are

experimentally obtained shown in previous Figs.(2a), and (2b) to

develop mathematical equations for refrigerating capacity , and

compressor work respectively that represent compressor

performance for instrumented automobile air-conditioner as follows :

qr ao a1t ev a2 t ev2 a3t c a4 t c2 a5t ev t c a6 t ev2 t c a7 t ev t c2 a8t ev2 t c2 .(6)

and

Win bo b1t ev b2 t ev2 b3t c b4 t c2 b5t ev t c b6 t ev2 t c b7 t ev t c2 b8t ev2 t c2 .(7)

A subroutine to determine the coefficients (a0,a1,,a8), and

(b0,b1,b8) is achieved by fit the equations (6) and (7) connected

with the main simulation program of the cycle .

The heat rejection from condenser is the sum of the

refrigerating capacity and compressor work , then :

qc = qr + Win

...(8)

condensing , and subcooling . The liquid and vapor portion changes

constantly through the condenser . A suitable representation instead

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of exact representation of the heat transfer performance of an aircooled condenser type is used for most calculations is available,

however , through an assumption of a constant heat exchanger

effectiveness , the condenser heat rejected can be represented by :

qc = c (tc ta) ..(9)

or

tc = (qc / c) + ta ......(10)

If the overall heat transfer coefficient of evaporator remains

constant over the operation shown in previous Fig. (6) , the lines

representing a given temperature of entering air (ten) would be

straight . An equation is needed in the mathematical model to

express the refrigeration :

qr = p (ten tev) .....(11)

or

tev = ten (qr / p) ......(12)

The average values of (c) and (p) are found from Figs. (4) and (6)

respectively to enter in the main program as an input data .

5.1 Simulation of Condensing Unit

At an ambient temperature of 25 oC and an evaporating

temperature of -2 oC , a trail value of condensing temperature of 45

o

C is arbitrary selected to be entered into the calculations loop of

condensing unit simulation in order to get started .The values of q r ,

Win , and qc are computed from Eqs.(6) , (7) , and (8) respectively

and then a new value of tc is computed from Eq. (10) and again loop

until converged with selected (tc) . A similar procedure is used for

other values of evaporating temperatures (tev = 0, 2, 3.5, 5 oC) .

Repeated steps are used for ambient temperature of 45 oC .

5.2 Simulation of Complete cycle

The trail values of tev= -0.13 oC and tc= 46 oC which are

obtained graphically at ambient temperature (ta= 25 oC) and an

entering air temperature is entered into a simulation program for

the complete cycle in order to get started . Similar calculations are

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performed for other value of ten=25 oC. Repeated steps are used for

ta= 45 oC .

The main computer program is constructed using Quick

BASIC language to simulate a performance of automobile airconditioner cycle with trail values of evaporating and condensing

temperatures , as the following steps :

Enter trail values of evaporating temperature (tev) and

condensing temperature (tc) which are obtained from preceding

Fig. (7) .

Compute the refrigerating capacity (qr) and the compressor

work (Win) .

Compute of the condenser heat rejected (qc) .

Compute the coefficient of performance (COP)

Correct and compar evaporating and condensing temperatures

with the trail values until converged by calculating evaporating

and condensing temperatures from Eqs.(10) and (12)

respectively .

6. Results

The balancing points obtained from the mathematical simulation of

condensing unit are shown in Fig. (8a) .A performance of complete

cycle reveals the balancing points which are obtained from

simulation program shown in Fig.(8b) .

(a)

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(b)

Fig. (8) Performance of Condensing Unit and Complete Cycle for

Instrumented Automobile Air-Conditioner (Mathematical Results)

actual refrigeration capacity (qract) and compressor work (Winact) ,

and actual coefficient of performance (COP) with varying ambient

air temperature .

(a)

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(b)

(c)

Fig. (9) Effect of Ambient Temperature on Cycle Parameters and

Performance

7. Conclusion

The direct ambient temperature effects on the heat

rejection from a condenser appears on the refrigeration capacity and

the power consumption . The refrigeration capacity increase as

ambient temperature decreases , maximum value of refrigeration

capacity of 2.85 kW is obtained at 25 oC ambient temperature . The

compressor work decreases as ambient temperature decreases ,

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ambient temperature . The COP increase as the

ambient

temperature decreases , maximum value of COP of 2.167 is obtained

at 25 oC ambient temperature . The corresponding deviation

percentage ( %) of condenser load (qc) between the experimental

and theoretical results of the balancing points for condensing unit

performance are 2.5% and 9% ,while ( %) are 2.2% and 5% for

experimental and theoretical cooling load (qr) which are obtained

from balancing points of complete cycle performance .

Nomenclature

Symbol

ao , a1 ,,a8

bo , b1 ,,b8

c

cpa

cos

h

I

m

p

qc

qr

ta

tc

ten

tev

(t)c

(t)ev

vac

vaev

V

Win

a

Meaning

Coefficients

Coefficients

Capacity per Unit Temperature Difference

Air Specific Heat at Constant Pressure

Power Factor

Enthalpy

Current of compressor motor

Mass Flow Rate of Refrigerant

Proportionality Factor

Condenser Heat Rejected

Refrigerating Capacity

Ambient Temperature

Condensing Temperature

Air Temperature Entering Evaporator

Evaporating Temperature

Unit

----kW/K

kJ/kg.K

--kJ/kg

A

kg/s

kW/K

kW

kW

o

C

o

C

o

C

o

C

o

Difference of Entering and Leaving Air Temperatures

C

from Condenser

o

Difference of Entering and Leaving Air Temperatures

C

from Evaporator

Air Flow Rate on Condenser

m3/s

Air Flow Rate on Evaporator

m3/s

Voltage of Compressor Motor

V

Compressor Work

kW

Air Density

kg/m3

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References

- ASHRAE Handbook-1997 , " Fundamentals ", ASHRAE , 1997.

- Hamilton , J. F. , and Miller , J. L. , " A Simulation Program for

Modeling an Air-Conditioner System " , ASHRAE Transactions ,

Vol.96 , Part 2 , P. 213-221, 1990 .

- Hussain , R. A. , "A numerical Simulation of Vapor Compression

Refrigeration Cycle Using Alternative Refrigerants", Ph.D. Thesis

, Baghdad University ,1998.

- Hazim , H. N. ," Component Matching of a Simple Vapor

Compression Refrigeration System " , M.Sc. Thesis , University of

Baghdad , 2000 .

- " SANDEN Compressors Catalogue " , SANDEN Corporation .

- Sadler ,E. M.," Design Analysis of a Finned-Tube Condenser

for a Resdentail Air-Conditioner Using R-22" , M.Sc. Thesis ,

Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S.A. , 2000 .

- Mustafa , A.T. , " Analysis of a Vapor-Compression Refrigeration

System with Outdoor Air Temperature Effects" , M.Sc. Thesis ,

Technology University,2006.

- Saeed , R. S. ,"A Study on Design Parameter of PlateFin and Tube

Condenser and Direct Expansion Evaporator ", M.Sc. Thesis

,Technology University ,2006.

- " PRODIT Instruction Manual : Instrumented Automobile AirConditioner Unit", PRODIT Engineering company , Italy , 2003 .

- ASHRAE Handbook-2000 ," HVAC System and Equipment",

ASHRAE , 2000.

- Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute," Refrigeration

and Air- Conditioning " , Prentice-Hall Inc. , U.S.A. , 1998 .

- Cengel , Y. A. , " Thermodynamics : An Engineering Approach " ,

McGraw- Hill Inc. , U.S.A. , 1994 .

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