Date of this Version
International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference. Paper 918.
This paper presents a thorough evaluation of a method for determining refrigerant charge that employs low-cost, non-invasive measurements (i.e., surface mounted temperature measurements). The method could be used as part of a protocol for verified service providers (VSPs) in AC diagnostic tune-up or refrigerant charge, air flow (RCA) verification programs. Ultimately, the method could be embedded within a portable virtual refrigerant charge gauge for a technician’s use or permanently installed on the AC unit. The accuracy of the virtual refrigerant charge sensor method is evaluated in this paper using laboratory data for a number of different systems and over a wide range of operating conditions. The systems include residential split systems and light commercial packaged systems employing either fixed capillary tubes, thermostatic expansion valves or electronics expansion valve, and R-22 as the refrigerant. The virtual refrigerant charge sensor is shown to have good performance in terms of accuracy and robustness and has the potential to be easily implemented and installed.