Critical analysis of conventional thermoeconomic approaches to the diagnosis of multiple faults in air conditioning units:Capabilities, drawbacks and improvement directions. A case study for an air-cooled system with 120 kW capacity

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Faults diagnosis in air conditioning systems is a crucial activity, since malfunctions may induce heavy degradation of performance. Among the available techniques, thermoeconomicdiagnosis has played a marginal role due to the difficulties encountered whenapplying the methodology to refrigeration plants. In this paper a critical analysis on capabilities and limits of thermoeconomic diagnosis is proposed. The reference plant isa 120 kWc air-cooled air conditioning system; a simulator is used to evaluate thermodynamic data under normal and faulty conditions, setting up “virtual experiments” to simulate each fault. Five malfunctions are imposed, either individually or simultaneously:fouling at condenser and evaporator, refrigerant undercharge, compressor valve leakage and extra-superheating along suction line. From a qualitative viewpoint, the examined approach resulted efficient in identifying some faults, although false fault signals eventually emerged. Methodological improvements were suggested, to make thermoeconomic diagnosis capable of quantifying the additional energy consumption provoked by anyspecific fault.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)24-44
Numero di pagine21
RivistaInternational Journal of Refrigeration
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering

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