Effect of thermostatic expansion valve tuning on the performance enhancement and environmental impact of a mobile air conditioning system

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In this work, the performance enhancement of a HFO-1234yf mobile air conditioning (MAC) system with a suction/liquid line heat exchanger (SLHX) was carried out experimentally by tuning the thermostatic (constant superheat) expansion valve (TXV) and its impact on the environment was also evaluated. The optimum charge of HFO-1234yf and HFC-134a systems was found to be 670 g and 740 g, respectively. The results showed that the HFO-1234yf system with SLHX had better coefficient of performance (COP) and exergy efficiency when compared to HFC-134a system with SLHX at idling condition, whereas it had reduced performance at other speed conditions. The tuning of the TXV in the HFO-1234yf system had a positive influence on the COP, cooling capacity, and exergy efficiency and those were higher than that of existing HFC-134a system by 4.3–8.6%, 6.5–10.1%, and 3.7–5.1%, respectively, at idling and city speed conditions, whereas those were slightly lower at high-speed conditions. The total CO2 equivalent emission of tuned and un-tuned HFO-1234yf system was 27.98% and 24.64% lower than that of the existing HFC-134a system. The outcome of this study indicated that the SLHX implementation in the HFO-1234yf MAC system with tuned TXV could be a possible option to replace HFC-134a.

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Compressor volumetric capacity (m3 min−1)




Global warming potential








Heating, ventilation and air conditioning


Integrated receiver dryer


Mobile air conditioning


Ozone depleting potential


Revolution per minute


Regulated power supply


Suction line heat exchanger


Total equivalent warming impact


Trifluoroacetic acid


Thermostatic expansion valve


Vapour compression refrigeration


Variable frequency drive


Coefficient of performance


Dry bulb temperature (°C)


Degree of subcooling (°C)


Degree of superheating (°C)

\(\dot{E}\) :

Exergy rate (kW)


Exergy destruction rate (kW)


Exergy destruction ratio

h :

Enthalpy (kJ kg−1)

L :

Average refrigerant leakage (%)

\(\dot{m}\) :

Mass flow rate (kg s−1)

M f :

Mass of fuel used (L)

M s :

Refrigerant charge quantity (g)

N :

System lifetime (years)

P :

Pressure (bar)

Q :

Heat transfer (kW)


Relative humidity (%)

\(\dot{S}\) :

Entropy (kJ kg−1 K−1)

T :

Temperature (°C)

W :

Work consumption (kW)

Y :

Variables that represents COP, cooling capacity or exergy efficiency

α :

Percentage of refrigerant recover (%)

β :

CO2 emission factor

\(\dot{\vartheta }\) :

Specific volume (m3 kg−1)

\(\varepsilon\) :

\(\frac{{Y_{{{\text{HFO}} - 1234{\text{yf}} - }} Y_{{{\text{HFO}} - 134{\text{a}}}} }}{{Y_{{{\text{HFO}} - 134{\text{a}}}} }}\)

η :

Efficiency (%)








Motor electrical power






Expansion device






Liquid side


Dead state






Reference state


Vapour side


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The author acknowledges the Anna University, Centre for Research (Ref.No:CFR/ACRF/2015/4/dated 21.01.15) for providing research fellowship towards conducting this research work. The MAC system components for this research work were provided by Mahindra Research Valley (MRV), Chennai—603204.

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Correspondence to Dhasan Mohan Lal.

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Prabakaran, R., Lal, D.M. & Devotta, S. Effect of thermostatic expansion valve tuning on the performance enhancement and environmental impact of a mobile air conditioning system. J Therm Anal Calorim (2020) doi:10.1007/s10973-019-09224-2

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  • Global warming potential
  • HFO-1234yf
  • Total equivalent warming impact
  • Suction line heat exchanger
  • Thermostatic expansion valve
  • COP