“Create the Future” Sustainable

Technologies Category Winner

The 2008 NASA Tech Briefs “Create the Future Design Contest,” presented by SolidWorks, recognized innovation in product design in six categories: Consumer Products, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Technologies, and Transportation. Here is the winner of the Sustainable Technologies category, along with the two honorable mentions.

Efficient Air Conditioner

Lindsay Meek
Perth, Australia

efficient-air-conditioner-circuit

altThis design improves the energy efficiency of a residential air conditioner by replacing the traditional reciprocating compressor (bore and stroke) with a higher efficiency permanent magnet motor coupled to a scroll compressor. Recent advances in permanent magnet motors used in modern hybrid car electric drives and wind turbine generation have seen the incorporation of strong NdFeB magnets into the rotor, which greatly improves the motor efficiency. The compressor motor is then driven by a compact IGBT inverter stage with a motor controller, so motor current consumption can be optimized at the different operating speeds.

The other improvement that can be made is to replace the traditional refrigerant expansion valve with a similar scroll expander turbine coupled to a second permanent magnet generator. The decompression of the refrigerant gas through the turbine on its way to the condenser allows some of the work used to compress the gas to be recovered and converted back into electrical energy. The generator is connected to a second compact IGBT inverter stage with a motor controller, and can be controlled in conjunction with the compressor motor controller to regulate the pressure and flow rate of the gas through the system.

The two inverters are connected together via a common, high-voltage DC bus, so the electrical energy recovered from the decompression state can be reused by the compression stage, improving the overall efficiency of the refrigeration cycle. Finally, an AC-DC rectifier power supply is needed to provide the main work energy for the DC bus to keep the cycle operating. The above improvements should lower the power consumption by at least 30%.

For more information, contact the inventor at lindsaymeek@hotmail.com

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 8th Sept 2009

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3 Responses to “NEWER MORE EFFICIENT AIR CONDITIONER SYSTEM”

  1. Emmanuel Zacek Says:

    Extremely interesting post thank you for writing it I just added your blog to my bookmarks and will be back.

  2. Editor Says:

    Thanks for the positive comments
    Regards
    Henry Sapiecha
    PH-0741290152
    M-0411896524

    Director
    Wide Bay District Developments Pty Ltd
    Mearcon Developments Pty Ltd
    QHL Queensland House and Land

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