A Real-Time Computer System for the Control of Refrigerant Flow
This paper presents a real-time computer system for the control of refrigerant flow in an automotive air conditioning system. This is an experimental system used to investigate the potential advantages of electronic flow control over conventional flow control (using an orifice tube or thermal expansion valve). Two features of this system are presented. First, the system organization is described. Second, the control and interface software are presented. The emphasis is on the software. The system is organized as a closed loop control system. The inputs to the controller are measurements of the refrigerant system. In particular, thermocouples are used to measure the refrigerant temperature before and after the evaporator. The analog thermocouple signals are converted to digital form by an off-the-shelf, portable, data acquisition system (DAQ). Via a parallel port link, these digital measurements are transfered to a laptop computer.