IIR document

Inherent capacity modulation of a linear refrigeration compressor.

Author(s) : ZHU Z., LIANG K., CHEN H., MENG Z.

Type of article: IJR article


Conventional refrigeration compressors sized for peak cooling load actually operate at partial load mostly which could cause excessive on-off cycling loss. Linear compressor could overcome this challenge by varying the compressor stroke in response to transient cooling load. The present work establishes a numerical model for the capacity modulation of linear compressor using R134a through changing the input voltage to meet the cooling load. The numerical model contains a linear compressor model (including three sub-models describing the in-cylinder thermodynamic process, the piston mechanical dynamic process and the electrical part behaviour, respectively) and an input voltage modulation loop. Experimental data are collected for the validation of the numerical model. The results show that the capacity modulation, aiming to meet the cooling load within the error of 5%, can be achieved through varying the input voltage while fixing temperatures of heat exchangers. An increased voltage brings increased compressor stroke and mass flow rate in a linear trend with the heat exchanger temperature unchanged. Lower input voltage leads to higher motor efficiency due to lower copper loss. At a fixed condenser temperature and cooling load, the inherent capacity modulation can save energy with evaporator temperature increasing as the power consumption decreases. At condenser temperature of 50 °C, 40 °C and 30 °C, the CoP only changes by 1.5%, 0.9% and 2.7% when the cooling load changes from 100 W to 200 W. The inherent capacity modulation will allow the linear compressor to maintain a high annual efficiency for refrigeration.

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Pages: 182-191


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  • Original title: Inherent capacity modulation of a linear refrigeration compressor.
  • Record ID : 30030341
  • Languages: English
  • Subject: Technology
  • Source: International Journal of Refrigeration - Revue Internationale du Froid - vol. 143
  • Publication date: 2022/11
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrefrig.2022.06.032
  • Document available for consultation in the library of the IIR headquarters only.


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