HVAC&R Equipment Laboratories

A wide variety of facilities exist for testing HVAC&R equipment under controlled systems, including two pairs of psychrometric chambers, a compressor calorimeter, a variety of small-scale compressor test stands, a wind tunnel for testing heat exchangers under normal and fouled conditions, geothermal heat exchange, centrifugal chiller for fault testing, an ice storage test facility, etc.

Psychrometric chamber

The two pairs of psychrometric chambers allow testing of primary heating and cooling equipment up to 10 tons from temperatures of -20 to 125 F and over a broad range of humidity conditions.  An active desiccant dehumidification system is employed to improve moisture removal at low ambient temperatures.

Heat exchanger wind tunnel

The heat exchanger facility allows controlled testing of evaporators, condensers, cooling coils, or heating coils over a range of capacities up to around 10 tons.  A dust injector allows evaluation of the impacts of fouling on performance.

Geothermal field test bed

The geothermal field consists of 16 vertical U-tube heat exchangers with bores of 300 feet deep.  The heat exchangers are instrumented to allow determination of ground heat transfer.   One of the bores is instrumented with temperature sensors along its length to allow detailed model validation.  Ground heat exchanger flow rates and inlet temperatures can be continuously varied to enable testing of advance control strategies. There is an opportunity to add up to 8 bore holes for evaluation of new ground-source heat exchanger technologies.

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