An experimental investigation on reverse-cycle defrosting performance for an air source heat pump using an electronic expansion valve

Minglu Qu, Liang Xia, Shiming Deng, Yiqiang Jiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


When an air source heat pump (ASHP) operates in heating mode, frost can be accumulated on the surface of its finned outdoor coil. Frosting deteriorates the operation and energy efficiency of the ASHP and periodic defrosting becomes necessary. Currently the most widely used standard defrosting method for ASHPs is reverse cycle defrost. On the other hand, electronic expansion valves (EEVs) are commonly used in heat pump/refrigeration systems, including ASHP units, as throttle regulators of refrigerant flow. This paper reports on an experimental investigation of the performance of a reverse cycle defrost operation for a 6.5. kW experimental heating capacity residential ASHP whose outdoor coil had four-parallel refrigerant circuits, and with an EEV as the refrigerant flow throttle regulator. The detailed descriptions of the experimental ASHP unit and the experimental procedures of ASHP are firstly presented. This is followed by reporting the comparative experiments of two control strategies for the EEV to investigate their effects on defrosting performance: the EEV being fully open and the EEV being regulated by a degree of refrigerant superheat (DS) controller. Experimental results revealed that when the EEV was regulated by the DS controller during defrosting, a higher defrosting efficiency and less heat wastage would be resulted in.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-333
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Air source heat pump
  • EEV
  • Performance
  • Reverse cycle defrost

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Energy(all)

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