Impacts of common faults on an air conditioner with a microtube condenser and analysis of fault characteristic features

Yifeng Hu, David P. Yuill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Split system air conditioners are widely used to cool residential buildings, because of their low cost and simplicity. However, their efficiency is impacted by installation faults, which include: improper refrigerant charge (undercharge or overcharge), improper evaporator airflow, liquid line restrictions (LL), and the presence of non-condensable gas (NC) in the refrigerant. No known previously published research has studied the effect of these four faults on a system equipped with a microtube condenser, which has smaller tube size than a traditional condenser and therefore holds less refrigerant charge, but has a different configuration than a microchannel. Furthermore, very few have studied the impacts of LL and NC. This paper describes laboratory fault tests of a microtube-equipped system, compares the fault impacts with those of a traditional system, and considers the characteristic fault features. The tested system uses R-410A refrigerant and has a scroll compressor, a fixed orifice expansion device, and two fin-tube heat exchangers. The tests were carried out under steady operation with a range of fault intensities and operating conditions. The microtube system's performance degradation from faults is similar to systems with traditional heat exchangers, despite the reduced capacity to hold refrigerant charge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111630
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COP
  • Cooling capacity
  • Fault characteristic features
  • Fault impacts
  • Microtube condenser
  • Residential air conditioner

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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