Climate Simulation, Environmental Test Chamber, Cascade Cooling System, Heat-pump, energy saving potential
Energy savings become more and more important – also for the rather small industry sector of environmental simulation. So far the technical focus was mainly to realize challenging test cycles which are often gives as temperature profiles. The energy efficiency of the test devices are not specified by any standard. Nevertheless, especially test cycles with intermittent cooling and heating over a wide temperature range need a substantial electrical energy input. As state-of-the-art technology for cooling a vapor compression cycle and for heating an electrical heater is used. In this work a standard temperature test chamber with a specified temperature range from -75 °C to 180 °C using a cascade cooling system and an electric heater is investigated. As a first step the baseline chamber was investigated experimentally and the energy consumption quantified. In the next step the refrigeration cycle was modified with a heat pump capability as well as further cycle modification that indicated energy saving potential in preliminary studies. A comparison to the baseline chamber is carried and reveals substantial energy saving potential.