M.S. Thesis Presentation by Emma May Sadler
Summer 2000 semester

(Dr. Sam Shelton, advisor)

"Detailed Condenser Design Optimization for a Residential Air Conditioner"


 The purpose of this study is to develop an optimization methodology and software for the detailed design of finned-tube condenser heat exchanger coil in a residential air-conditioning unit using available equation solver and refrigerant property data software.  The superheat, saturated, and subcool portions of the heat exchanger will be modeled separately and in detail.  The study will use accurate refrigerant property data and appropriate pressure drop and heat transfer fundamental equations for both the air-side and refrigerant-side of the condenser.  The cooling output and electrical input for the compressor and fans will be calculated for various ambient temperature conditions.

The compressor, condenser fan, and evaporator components of the cycle will also be modeled but in a more global manner.  Using thermal science laws, accurate models will be developed with experimental factors that can match manufacturer’s performance data for selected compressor, condenser fan, and evaporator components.  These selected components will be specific manufacturer’s models, but will be selected to be representative of the current residential air conditioning products.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) will be calculated using the appropriate ambient temperature weighting factors.  This SEER will be the figure-of-merit to optimize the condenser design parameters such as; 1) air volume flow rate, 2) coil air inlet face area, 3) coil depth, 4) refrigerant tube diameter, 5) refrigerant tube circuiting, 6) tube spacing, and 7) fin spacing.  A condenser coil cost parameter constraint will be included.