A DDC-based capacity controller of a direct expansion (DX) air conditioning (A/C) unit for simultaneous indoor air temperature and humidity control - Part I: Control algorithms and preliminary controllability tests

Zheng Li, Shiming Deng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


For residential buildings located in the subtropics, direct expansion (DX) air conditioning (A/C) units are commonly used. Most DX A/C units are currently equipped with single-speed compressors and supply fans, relying on on-off cycling compressors as a low-cost approach to maintain only indoor air dry-bulb temperature, resulting in either space overcooling or an uncontrolled equilibrium indoor relative humidity (RH) level. With the rapid development of A/C industry, the use of variable-speed compressor and supply fan has become more and more prevalent and practical. This paper, the first part of a two-part series, reports on the development of a novel direct digital control (DDC)-based capacity controller for a DX A/C unit having variable-speed compressor and supply fan to simultaneously control indoor air temperature and RH in a conditioned space served by the DX A/C unit. The controller is the first of its kind as a composite parameter, sensible heat ratio (SHR), is used as a controlled parameter. The core element of the capacity controller, a numerical calculation algorithm (NCA) is firstly presented. This is followed by reporting the results of preliminary controllability tests of the DDC-based capacity controller, which suggested that the controller developed could achieve a reasonable control accuracy, but with room for improvement with respect to control sensitivity. Part II of the two-part series reports on the further development of the controller to improve its control sensitivity, and the results of associated controllability tests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-123
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Refrigeration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Air conditioning
  • Capacity reduction
  • Compression system
  • Design
  • Experiment
  • Improvement
  • Refrigeration system
  • Regulation
  • Variable speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this