Effects of Condenser Air Flow Blockage on Vapor-Compression Refrigerator Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
D. H. Bultman

Engineering Sciences and Applications Division, Design Engineering, ESA-4, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545

L. C. Burmeister

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045-2234

V. Bortone

Energy Analysis and Diagnostic Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045-2222

J. Energy Resour. Technol 117(4), 349-353 (Dec 01, 1995) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2835434 History: Received January 31, 1994; Revised June 05, 1995; Online January 22, 2008


The performance of a nominally 10.5-kW (3-ton) vapor-compression refrigeration system was numerically simulated for air flow rates across the condenser heat exchanger between 60 and 150 percent of the standard value. The results can be used for estimating the energy and cost savings achievable by restoring standard air flow rates across partially blocked condensers of vapor-compression refrigeration systems. The system coefficient of performance was predicted to decrease by 7.6 percent from its value of 2.912 at standard air flow when air flow across the condenser decreased by 40 percent. The associated pressure rise across the compressor increased by 19 percent above its standard value of 1151 kPa, suggesting that reduced compressor life might be the major economic consequence of condenser air flow blockage.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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