(Dr. Samuel Shelton, advisor)
"Optimization of Plate-Fin-and-Tube Condenser Performance and Design for Refrigerant R-410a Air-Conditioner"
Residential air-conditioning equipment currently uses HCFC refrigerant R-22. Production of the refrigerant will be banned in 2010 except to service existing equipment. The refrigerant R-410a is a strong candidate to replace R-22. The available information for R-410a condenser coil design is limited. An air-conditioner system model with focus on the fined-tube condenser design details using R-401a as the working fluid has been previously developed. The model evaluates the system's performance for a specific and detailed condenser design, e.g. frontal area, tube diameter, fin spacing, air velocity, etc. An optimization algorithm for the fin-tube condenser design is needed. Due to computational speed limitations an exhaustive search for the optimal design is not practical. This research developed design search techniques to find the optimal condenser design and operational parameters with various constrains for a given figure of merit. The Simplex Search Method was implemented to search and optimize eight primary condenser design parameters. This study found the optimum condenser design for various frontal area and cost constrains. The software developed is appropriate for design use.