reciprocating compressor, domestic refrigeration, refrigeration system analysis
The design of reciprocating compressors is commonly based on steady-state operating conditions. However, most household refrigerators operate under transient and periodic regimes, characterized by alternate periods in which the compressor is either operating (on) or not operating (off). The result is a decoupled design approach since stabilized conditions not necessarily represent the actual operating conditions of refrigerators. This paper presents a strategy in which a virtual refrigeration system is developed and coupled to an experimental facility in order to test compressors under on-off conditions typical of household refrigerators. The virtual refrigeration system simulates the dynamic behavior of a household refrigerator, except for the compressor, and provides the instantaneous operating condition to the compressor in the test bench. The developed procedure was used to emulate a refrigerator operating at ambient temperature of 32 °C and freezer cut-off temperature of -16 °C. The results were in good agreement with the experimental data, with the system energy consumption and the compressor run time predicted with a maximum deviation of 1.3%. The experimental facility is particularly useful to evaluate the effect that changes in the compressor design may have on the refrigerator energy consumption.