22 May 2008

REGIONAL AIR CONDITIONERS: WHAT DOES THE HARDWARE HAVE TO TELL US?


In many parts of the world, the principal form of a heat pump is an air-to-air air conditioner. Alternatively, the principal function of air-to-air heat pumps in many parts of the world is comfort cooling. There is a widely-held opinion that the basic design of an air
conditioner should be tailored to the climate. This notion has considerable support in some quarters in the United States among those who contend that there ought to be different
designs for dry and humid climates. This paper will examine the published performance data for a typical single package air-to-air air conditioner for a range of indoor and outdoor conditions with particular attention to the way in which the performance changes in response to changes in indoor and outdoor relative humidity. The relationships elicited though this investigation will be generalized to demonstrate trends that might be expected in any air-toair air conditioner, and the way in which those trends are influenced by the ambient conditions.