A nondimensional cycling model for estimating the seasonal performance of conventional air conditioners and heat pumps was developed. Starting with a simple time-constant model of the startup of an air conditioner, a nondimensional time variable was developed which captures three important influences of on-off cycling performance degradation: response of the system, fraction on-time of the system, and cycling rate. Experimental data from three air conditioners and one heat pump provided excellent agreement with the model. The model should be applicable to any cooling technology that has similar on-off characteristics to conventional air conditioners and heat pumps.

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