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A New Air Conditioning Trainer For A Technology Laboratory

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.25.1 - 4.25.6

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Maurice Bluestein

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3548

A New Air Conditioning Trainer for a Technology Laboratory

Maurice Bluestein Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis


This paper describes the features and usage of a self-contained mobile air conditioning trainer. This device resulted from a senior project carried out in the Mechanical Engineering Technology department at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. Two students created the specifications and experiments for the equipment which was fabricated at the Carrier Corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana. The trainer includes a condenser, evaporator, compressor, expansion valve and fan coil unit. All the components as well as a control bank with pressure, temperature and flow measurement devices are mounted on a 6 feet by 3 feet wheeled cart. The system is charged with refrigerant 22 (R-22) and permits a complete analysis of the vapor compression refrigeration cycle. The system is being used in a basic thermodynamics course as well as an HVAC elective.

I. Introduction

All mechanical engineering technology (MET) students, and many electrical engineering technology (EET) students, take one or more courses in thermodynamics, the study of energy and its various forms. Part of any thermodynamics curriculum is the study of refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) whereby heat is transferred from a cooler to a warmer region by the addition of mechanical work. Students at our institution find thermodynamics one of the most difficult subjects. The concepts are difficult to grasp and the problems are hard to solve. By the time the topic of RAC is introduced, the student may be adrift in a sea of enthalpy, entropy, Mollier charts, and the Carnot cycle. Even though the student is exposed to RAC equipment in everyday life, it is difficult to apply thermodynamic principles that were not well-understood to begin with. Thus it was felt that the development of laboratory equipment that was easy to use, provided the necessary data, and permitted the student to see how the components operated would be of significant benefit to students of RAC.

As part of our required capstone course in MET, two senior students developed a test bed for air conditioning with the desired features noted above and with appropriate laboratory experiments. They, with this author as advisor and a team of engineers from Carrier Corporation in Indianapolis, designed and built a self-contained mobile air conditioning system which is now in use in our MET laboratories.

II. System Description

The Air Conditioning Trainer is mounted on a 6 feet by 3 feet wheeled cart. The major components of the system are shown in Figure 1. Room air is taken in at the base of the fan coil unit (position 3). The fan is visible through a window in this unit. The air is cooled as it passes over the evaporator coil (C) and exits through louvers at position 4. The air conditioning unit contains R-22 passing through the evaporator coil. The refrigerant then flows through the suction line G into the

Bluestein, M. (1999, June), A New Air Conditioning Trainer For A Technology Laboratory Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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