Performance Enhancement of Air Conditioner Unit Based on Phase Change Material Application


Ahmed A. Raheem*, Ahmed J. Hamad, Abdul Hadi N. Khalifa


Engineering Technical College, Middle Technical University, Baghdad, Iraq

Corresponding Author Email: [email protected]

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

There is an increasing need to reduce the power consumption of the air conditioning field in the extreme hot regions, particularly during the peak cooling load period. One of the potential solutions of this problem is by integrating phase change materials (PCM) as thermal energy storage with conventional air conditioning system for energy saving to improve this system performance and minimizing the power consumption. A new PCM arrangement integrated with the evaporator of the conventional air conditioner unit for air cooling purposes was used to investigate its impact on the system thermal performance and energy saving in the present work. Three cases of experimental tests were conducted to investigate the performance of air conditioning system. In case 1, the performance of conventional air conditioning unit (without PCM) was investigated. In the case 2, the PCM was integrated with air conditioning system and charged by the cold air passing through the bypass duct. While in the case 3, the PCM was integrated with air conditioning system and charged by the cold refrigerant passing through returned line from the evaporator. The results revealed that, a significant decrease of about 14% can be observed in PCM temperature at case 3 compared with case 2 during the discharging cycle. A reduction of about 4% and 6% in room air temperature was achieved at cases 2 and 3 compared with case 1. The reduction in system compressor work was about 4.6% and 17.4% for the test cases 2 and 3 respectively compared with case 1. The improvement in COP of the modified air conditioning system with PCM was about 9.5% and 28.5% for test cases 2 and 3 respectively compared with the conventional air conditioner unit. During the charging cycle of PCM, the maximum energy saved as a cold storage was 2940 kJ and 3280 kJ for cases 2 and 3 respectively. The energy saved by PCM in the case 3 was greater than that at case 2 by about 14.3% during discharging process.