Experimental investigations on the use of capillary tube and thermostatic expansion valve in storage-enhanced heat recovery room air-conditioner

Jie Jia, Wai Ling Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract The use of storage-enhanced heat recovery room air-conditioner (SEHRAC) to supply hot water and provide space cooling for energy saving has been confirmed effective, but the heat recovery process can lead to significant refrigerant pressure fluctuations. Whether an expansion device can function properly despite the fluctuations is decisive to the successful use of SEHRAC. Capillary tube (CT) and thermostatic expansion valve (TEV) are the two most used expansion devices in SEHRAC, but a suitable type has never been identified in extant literature. In this study, laboratory experiments were conducted to enable a side-by-side comparison of the two expansion devices. A prototype SEHRAC, which could be switched between the CT and TEV systems, was designed and setup in a test facility for two identical sets of experiments. For each set of experiments, a series of tests under different outdoor temperatures were conducted. It was found that an overall better performance was achieved by the TEV system. The space cooling and water heating capacities were on average 16.3-19.4% and 18.5-23.4% larger than the CT system. The overall coefficient of performance was also found 12.5-20.9% higher. The results confirmed that TEV is preferred for use in SEHRAC.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5855
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2015


  • Air-conditioner
  • Capillary tube
  • Heat recovery
  • Space cooling
  • Thermostatic expansion valve
  • Water heating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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