Designing efficient cooling systems for the dog days of summer

June 24, 2003

New software developed by NIST can help cooling system manufacturers meet Department of Energy goals calling for a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency of residential air conditioners by 2006. Manufacturing engineers can use the software, called EVAP-COND, to improve evaporators and condensers, two types of heat exchangers that are essential components of every air conditioner. Improved heat exchangers mean increased energy efficiency.

The software simulations depict the performance of evaporators and condensers working with any one of 10 cooling agents, including new generation atmospheric ozone-safe hydrofluorocarbon fluids and "natural refrigerants," such as carbon dioxide or propane. The software's computer graphics package enables engineers to observe and to understand refrigerant behavior throughout the simulated heat exchanger. Different designs can be tested to achieve desired environmental results.

According to software developer Piotr Domanski, "EVAP-COND can increase design engineer productivity and can reduce laboratory testing, thus shortening design-to-production time. This software can save manufacturers time and money, while it is helping to conserve energy."
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NIST developed the software with funds from the 21st Century Research Program of the Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy. The Windows-based program can be downloaded from http://www2.bfrl.nist.gov/software/evap-cond/.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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