Author(s): Haslinda Mohamed Kamar, Mohd Yusoff Senawi
A semi-empirical model for simulating thermal and energy performance of an automotive air-conditioning (AAC) system in passenger vehicles has been developed. The model consists of two sections, namely empirical evaporator correlations and dynamic load simulation. The correlations used consider sensible and latent heat transfer performance of the evaporator coil. The correlations were obtained from the experimental data of actual air conditioning system for a compact size passenger car. The sensible heat transfer correlation relates the evaporator air off drybulb temperature to inlet air dry-bulb temperature, humidity ratio, evaporator air velocity, condenser inlet air dry-bulb temperature, condenser air velocity and compressor speed. The latent heat transfer correlation relates the coil air-off humidity ratio to the same six independent variables. The dynamic load simulation model was developed based on the z-transfer function method with a one-minute time step. The cooling load calculations were performed using heat gain weighting factors. Heat extraction rate and cabin air dry-bulb temperature calculations were carried out using air temperature weighting factors. The empirical evaporator sensible and latent heat transfer correlations were embedded in the loads calculation program to enable the determination of evaporator inlet and outlet air conditions, the cabin air temperature and relative humidity. Comparisons with road test data indicated that the program was capable of predicting the performance of the automotive air-conditioning system with reasonable accuracy.