Compressors are parts of air-conditioners that compress a liquid to cool down and draw moisture from the air. Each one must work in the weather where it will be used. Our goal was to design an air control system that attaches to a plastic chamber to test compressors at different temperatures and humidity levels. The main issues when testing are air leaks and heat loss through the testing cell. Our design addresses this problem by putting the air control unit right next to the chamber. This reduces the amount of duct needed, which lessens air leaks and heat transfer. All cracks and holes seal tightly to create a closed volume of air, as well. These choices allow for accurate control of inner conditions within 15 minutes. The design also stops condensed water from building up by collecting and returning it to the humidifier.
We improved an existing design by increasing the range of cooling, humidity and mobility, decreasing heat loss to the surrounding air. Our design has a more powerful air chiller, humidifier and two more heaters. Ducts attach to the chamber’s sidewalls and are easily removable. Installing the unit on the floor instead of a wall is another improvement. Sensors check the inner temperature and humidity levels, allowing adjustment to the user’s desired values. This design achieves hands-free testing in harsh and mild weather, allowing the user to discover its abilities before selling or using it. In many ways our project has wide applications across many industries.
Nicholas Blenker, Tucker Hall & David Wilson
Keith Larson, Ph.D.