An experimental study on the flow characteristics of electronic expansion valves (EEVs) for heat pump system using carbon dioxide as a refrigerant have been carried out in this study. Many researches and efforts have been made to replace chemical refrigerants like Chloro-Fluoro-Carbon (CFC) and Hydro-Chloro-Fluoro-Carbon (HCFC) with natural refrigerants such as carbon dioxide and apply natural refrigerants to chillers or heat pump systems. In this study, we focused on the development of EEV and 4-way valve among the important components of heat pump system using natural refrigerant. The mass flow rate was measured at various EEV inlet temperature and pressure conditions with respect to several EEV openings operated at a heat pump system which has about 10 kW of cooling capacity. The heat pump system consists of a reciprocating compressor, a gas cooler, an evaporator, an EEV, and a 4-way valve which was developed for this study. The inlet temperature and pressure of an EEV was varied from 5°C to 40°C and from 7 MPa to 10 MPa, respectively. The mass flow rate of carbon dioxide through the EEV ranged from 50 g/s to 120 g/s. The mass flow rate of carbon dioxide around the critical point was affected by the inlet temperature and pressure of EEV, valve opening, and density variation. An empirical mass flow rate correlation of carbon dioxide based on the Buckingham π-theorem was developed in this study, and this correlation predicted experimental data within an average absolute deviation of 4.2%. The correlation can be applied to predict the mass flow rate through EEV used in the heat pump system using carbon dioxide as a refrigerant. And the reliability test of developed 4-way valve was conducted. This 4-way valve showed stable operation in the high pressure condition.

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