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Application of a Variable Speed Compressor to a Residential No-Frost Freezer Seminar 41 January 27, 2004 John Dieckmann, Member, TIAX LLC, Detlef Westphalen,

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Presentation on theme: "Application of a Variable Speed Compressor to a Residential No-Frost Freezer Seminar 41 January 27, 2004 John Dieckmann, Member, TIAX LLC, Detlef Westphalen,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Application of a Variable Speed Compressor to a Residential No-Frost Freezer Seminar 41 January 27, 2004 John Dieckmann, Member, TIAX LLC, Detlef Westphalen, Member, TIAX LLC, William Murphy, TIAX LLC, Paul Sikir, Member, Sub-Zero Freezer Company, Christopher Rieger, Sub-Zero Freezer Company

2 1 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 Continuously variable capacity modulation has significant advantages over on-off capacity control in many refrigeration and air conditioning applications. u Energy efficiency ä Maximize HX utilization, minimize temperature lift ä Flow rate cubed fan power law u Temperature control u Humidity control u Noise Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation General Discussion

3 2 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 Maximum capacity vs. design load and part load. u Refrigeration and air conditioning systems need to have enough capacity to maintain the desired temperature at a worst-case, design load operating condition u For example, residential air conditioning systems face a worst-case load when the outdoor temperature and humidity and insolation are high and indoor heat generation levels (from people, lights, appliances, etc.) are high. Often conditions are much more moderate and less capacity is required u Home refrigerators face maximum loads when door openings are frequent, warm items have been placed in the interior, and when the indoor temperature is high. When the refrigerator is left undisturbed for an extended period of time, the cooling load is much less Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation General Discussion

4 3 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 The energy efficiency benefits of continuously variable capacity modulation are attributable to three main factors. Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation General Discussion 5oF5oF 90 o F Ambient - DOE energy test procedure Freezer temperature - DOE energy test procedure Time In addition, continuous capacity modulation eliminates losses associated with on-off cycling. Reduced Temperature LiftReduced Air Moving Power On Off Variable Air moving power into a fixed system = flow rate cubed

5 4 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 Energy efficient caveats – home refrigeration scale. u The method used to continuously modulate capacity must be efficient ä Throttle valves, like a suction pressure regulator are very inefficient ä Hot gas bypass is very inefficient ä Variable speed compressor operation can be a highly efficient means of capacity modulation u Variable speed compressor - energy pluses and minuses: ä Losses in electronic drive ä ECM motor efficiency > induction motor efficiency for fractional horsepower motors ä Compressor speed range u Refrigerant flow control u Fan efficiency and speed modulation efficiency Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation General Discussion

6 5 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 High compressor efficiency must be maintained at part load. Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation General Discussion The turndown range should be wide enough to allow steady state operation at DOE test conditions. Inadequate Lubrication

7 6 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 Cost-effectiveness of variable speed drive in home refrigerators and freezers. u There are many options for reducing the energy consumption of a home refrigerator ä Thicker foam insulated walls ä Increased thermal resistance of door perimeter thermal break and door gasket ä More efficient evaporator fan ä More efficient condenser fan ä Vacuum panel insulation ä Variable speed compressor u A basic market issue remains - if the efficiency advantage and energy cost savings are not recognized by the buyer, no market pull ä With home refrigerators, annual electric energy cost savings ~$ /year ä Appliance stores display many brands, sizes, colors, features no room for premium efficiency ä Energy savings are significant on a national basis, hence standards Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation General Discussion

8 7 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 More energy efficiency caveats - component availability. Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation General Discussion u ECM fans u 2-speed ECM fans u Variable speed ECM fans u Small thermostatic expansion valves u GRAPH Global Production of Variable speed Refrigerant Compressors for Home Refrigerators Data?? Source???

9 8 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 NAECA - Energy efficiency standards and the energy test procedure (10 CFR 430 etc). u Many (18) product classes (top mount, side by side, with through the door ice dispenser, manual defrost, automatic defrost, freezers, etc.) ä Efficiency requirement for each product class is expressed in terms of maximum allowable annual energy consumption (as determined by the DOE energy test procedure 10 CFR 430 subpt B, App A1 and B1) vs. interior volume: E max = a(AV) + b u The current requirements (in effect since July, 2001) for the upright freezer with automatic defrost product class (Class 9) are particularly stringent ä E max = AV (AV in cubic feet) ä For freezer, AV = 1.73 x actual interior volume ä For the 700 TF, AV = 1.73 x = cubic feet ä For the 700 TF, maximum annual energy under the current standard is 655 kWh/year (1.795 kWh/day), 17% less than under the previous standard (in effect from 1/1/93 through 6/30/01 Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation Application to 700 TF

10 9 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 The efficiency standard for Class 9, upright freezer with automatic defrost is plotted here. Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation Application to 700 TF Previous Standard 1/1/93 Current Standard in Effect Since 7/1/ TF

11 10 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 The 700 TF (tall freezer) is a Euro-styled upright freezer designed to be built into kitchen cabinets. Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation General Discussion

12 11 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 The 700 TF (tall freezer) is a Euro-styled upright freezer designed to be built into kitchen cabinets. Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation 700 TF Product Description u Thin walls to maximize internal volume u Upper half accessible by opening door u Lower half has two pull- out drawers u Significant door/drawer perimeter requiring gaskets and thermal breaks

13 12 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 The basic factors influencing refrigerator/freezer energy consumption. Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation 700 TF Evaporator Fan 0oF0oF90 o F Heat Leak into Cabinet Electric Energy Input Refrigeration System COP u Compressor COP u Condenser Fan Energy Evaporator + condenser Ts Input to Defrost Heater Input to Fan Input to Antisweat Heaters Heat Leak into Cabinet Total Thermal Load to Refrigeration System

14 13 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 The cabinet heat load was measured by the reverse heat leak method. Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation 700 TF Cabinet Heat Leak 90 o F Watts to Defrost u Set up in a 0 o F chamber u Electric energy input is easily measured u Wattage is adjusted until cabinet steady-state interior temperature is 90 o F u Average temperature of the insulation is approximately the same as it would be at DOE test conditions Watts to Fan 0oF0oF Vari ac The measured cabinet heat leak of the 700 TF was ~420 Btu/hr.

15 14 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 There are a range of options for reducing energy use. Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation 700 TF Energy Design Option Option for Reducing Energy Use 700 TF Pre-July 2001 Thicker walls, conventional foam insulationNot compatible with overall design goals Good evaporator fan motor (PSC) Best evaporator fan motor (ECM or equivalent) Good condenser fan motor Best condenser fan motor Large evaporator (low T) Large condenser (low T) High EER compressor Demand defrost/adaptive defrost Improved door/drawer thermal break Refrigerant waste heat for antisweat heaters Vacuum panel insulation Relatively few options that havent already been used were available to reduce energy use by 17% to meet July, 2001 standards level. Variable speed compressor

16 15 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 The key component is the variable speed compressors. u Variable speed compressors were nominally available from approximately five compressor manufacturers ä Full capacity EERs varied from ~6 Btu/watt-hr to low 5s ä Speed turndown ranges varied from 2 to 1 to 2 1/2 to 1 u Final selection for production was strongly influenced by strength of manufacturers commitment to supply compressors reliably Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation Implementation in 700 TF Compressor

17 16 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 Other important components needed to implement variable speed. Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation Implementation in 700 TF u Speed control for temperature control ä 700 TF was already electronically controlled (microprocessor based), with thermistors used for temperature sensing, display, and control ä The existing microprocessor had ample under used capacity to implement a set of speed control algorithms, new software was needed ä Control board hardware modifications were needed to provide the speed control signal to the compressor drive electronics u Evaporator fan - ideally variable speed, but only commercially realistic alternatives were single speed u Expansion device - capillary was found to be adequate u Evaporator and condenser sizes were maintained at previous sizes (might be some potential to cost-optimize by down-sizing)

18 17 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 Performance Test Data Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation General Discussion

19 18 JD/db/armyD00154/4-03 Conclusions/Observations/Acknowledgements Continuously Variable Capacity Modulation General Discussion u Capacity modulation in a home refrigerator or freezer can reduce the annual energy consumption by 15% to 25% (as measured by the DOE Test Procedure) u The costs of variable speed compressors and the electronic, microprocessor- based control system needed to control the speed have been decreasing, increasing the potential for cost effective applications. u Beyond energy savings, advantages include quiet part load operation, better, steadier temperature control and better food preservation u Acknowledgement: Subzero and the Technology and Innovation Group of Arthur D. Little (since spun off as TIAX LLC) collaborated on this project


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