Investigation of Refrigerant Distribution in a Household Refrigerator with a Focus on the Role of the Accumulator
Martin, Cara Sanderson
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In order to maximize household refrigerator performance, it is important to understand the basic relationship between each component as well as the relationship between refrigerant and lubricant used in the system. This study examines the particular role of the accumulator in a household refrigeration system as well as the oil and refrigerant distribution within the compressor and accumulator. Data and video images were collected to understand the fluid motion throughout the system, particularly in the compressor shell, accumulator, accumulator outlet, and suction and discharge lines. General trends and relationships between the oil and refrigerant were established and the beneficial use of the accumulator for compressor protection was verified. Testing was also conducted without the accumulator. Removal of the accumulator caused changes in oil and refrigerant flow patterns and presented a danger for the compressor at low ambient temperatures during cycling and defrost periods.