ICA co-sponsored research on heat exchanger coils reveals higher efficiency of small-tube copper coils
The International Copper Association (ICA) has recently announced its research results based on a Chinese small-diameter copper tube research consortium as well as published articles from Chinese OEMs. According to the results revealed in the announcement, air conditioning products that use heat exchanger coils made with small-diameter copper tubes use less material and are more economical and energy efficient than products made with conventional tubes. It also states that OEMs have started adopting small-tube copper to increase efficiency and lower the cost of air conditioning and refrigeration products. The consortium members include the ICA, two universities and at least five air conditioner OEMs.
The announcement elaborated that Wenson Zhang, Frank Gao and Kerry Song from ICA recently co-authored two articles on small tube copper with investigators from Shanghai Jiaotang University and two articles with researchers from Xi’an Jiaotang University, The School of Energy and Power Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotang University, Xi’an, in China. The four papers with ICA co-authors encompass key aspects of coil design and testing, including such subject as tube circuitry, fin design and refrigerant behaviour for heat exchangers coils made with small copper tubes, it added. The research consortium has reportedly been active in bringing the technology into production, and already products featuring small-tube copper have started appearing in the AC&R market.
According to the announcement, the results demonstrate the feasibility of making residential air conditioners with small diameter copper tubes and have set the stage for high-volume production of a new generation of air conditioning products.
The ICA has dubbed this technology “MicroGroove”, as it claims that there is an enhanced inner surface of the copper tubes.