An experimental study of the behavior of a model variable refrigerant flow system with common faults

Zhenxin Zhou, Huanxin Chen*, Lu Xing, Guannan Li, Wei Gou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems faults are inevitable due to installation errors, degradation, and other reasons. It is of great value to quantitatively understand the impact of faults on VRF systems performance and to clarify the changing trends of variables under different types of faults through experiments. In particular, the experimental analysis of simultaneous faults situations is helpful to improve the fault detection and diagnosis technology of VRF systems. There have been some previous experimental studies on the impact of faults, but none of them concerns modern VRF systems and their simultaneous faults. This paper presents results from a laboratory study of a VRF system with different types of faults. It provides the first published results of combinations of triple simultaneous faults, in addition to previously untested types of double simultaneous faults. The quantitative impact of the three crucial performance parameters, e.g. cooling capacity, system power, and COP, of the system under different faults has been analyzed. In addition, the quantitative influence and variation trend of system parameter variables during single fault and simultaneous fault are summarized. Results show that the outdoor fouling fault has the greatest impact, which can cause a 47.6% COP drop and 80.27% cooling capacity reduction. The influence of the simultaneous fault on the variable trend is superimposed and offset, but the trend influence of some faults also has a dominant characteristic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117852
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Early online date26 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2022


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