Performance Characteristics of a Mobile Heat Pump System at Low Ambient Temperature
The demand for mobile heat pump systems increases with the growing popularity of electric vehicles. One big challenge of such systems using low pressure refrigerant is the substantial drop of heating capacity at low ambient temperature conditions, when heat is most needed. The low suction density associated with low operating pressure in the evaporator is the major reason for the capacity drop. In extremely low ambient temperature, compressor speed may need to be regulated in order to prevent suction pressure going below atmospheric pressure, hence further reducing heat pumping capability. Other factors like pressure drop induced temperature glide and refrigerant maldistribution in the outdoor evaporator also weakens the system ability to absorb heat from ambient air. This paper presents detailed and in-depth analysis of the performance and limiting factors on low ambient temperature operation of a mobile heat pump system using refrigerant R1234yf.