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This paper proposes a novel method for superheat control using only a single temperature sensor at the outlet of the evaporator, while eliminating the need for a pressure sensor. An inner loop controls the outlet temperature and an outer control loop provides a reference set point, which is based on estimation of the evaporation pressure and suitable reference logic. The pressure is approximated as being linear and proportional to the opening degree of the expansion valve. This gain and the reference logic is based on calculation of the variance in the outlet temperature, which have shown to increase at low superheat. The parameters in the proposed controller structure can automatically be chosen based on two open loop tests. Results from tests on two different refrigeration systems indicate that the proposed controller can control the evaporator superheat to a low level giving close to optimal filling of the evaporator, with only one temperature sensor. No a priori model knowledge was used and it is anticipated that the method is applicable on a wide variety of refrigeration systems.
American Control Conference (ACC), 2012
Date of Conference: 27-29 June 2012