*V. Vakiloroaya, R. Ismail, and Q.P. Ha

School of Electrical, Mechanical and Mechatronic Systems, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

(*Corresponding author:

The paper aims at developing a hybrid solar-assisted air conditioner system for performance enhancement and energy efficiency improvement. To increase sub-cooling of the refrigerant at partial loads, we propose a new discharge bypass line together with an inline solenoid valve, installed after the compressor to regulate the mass flow rate of the refrigerant vapour passing through a hot water storage tank. For control design, a lumped parameter model is first developed to describe the dynamics of the system in an explicit form of input-output relationship. The system has been fully-instrumented to examine its performance under different operation conditions. The system model is then validated by extensive experimental tests. The predictions from the models exhibit a good coincidence with experimental results, judging by an RMS error less than 15%. Based on the obtained dynamic model, a linear quadratic regulator (LQR) is applied to optimize a cost function of the output errors and control efforts. The key challenge is to regulate the refrigerant temperature entering the condenser by controlling the valve opening. The design approach is then tested in a transient simulation tool to predict the system performance in transient conditions. The experimental results obtained from implementation with PLC demonstrate that the proposed system delivers higher system efficiency owing to the higher refrigeration effect in the direct expansion evaporator. Thus, the novel development is promising for improvement of energy efficiency, enhancement of the system performance while fulfilling the cooling demand. Consequently, between 25 and 43% of monthly electricity can be saved on average.
Keywords: Systems; Temperature; Condensers; Compressors; Controls; Control; Performance; energy;
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