Environmental Chambers

Inside of Chamber Automobil Chamber
Thirty environmental, calorimetric chambers are currently in use for the investigation of mobile and stationary air-conditioning, refrigeration, and heat pump applications. Each chamber has the ability to maintain independent control over temperature and humidity. In typical experimental arrangements, three independent energy balances are established to compare capacities: refrigerant side, air side, and chamber balance. Chamber losses are carefully measured to provide the highest possible confidence to the energy balances. The cambers are in the range from 12 by 7 by 5.5 m (39 by 23 by 18 ft) to 3 by 3 by 2.5 m (10 by 10 by 8 ft).

A shared glycol loop circulating through the building can be directed to individual chambers or to other test facilities and can provide a total of 350 kW (100 tons) of cooling capacity. The chambers can be easily sustained at test conditions from -20 °C and below to 65 °C and higher. Certain chambers were designed so that the distance between installed test components is equal to that found in the actual system. This allows the test systems to preserve the internal volume and volume distribution as in the real application. Most chambers are situated to provide optical access to integral components for different visualization techniques including infrared thermography and high speed videography. The largest chamber can accommodat full size passenger cars and SUVs for mobile AC unit studies.

Wind tunnels are used within the chambers to provide uniform, metered flow across heat exchangers. The wind tunnels are built according to ASHRAE Standard 41.2-1987, which specifies requirements flow rate and temperature measurements. The individual capabilities of the wind tunnels are as high as 25 m3/s (50,000 scfm), and as low as 0.005 m3/s (10 scfm), across the various chambers. Data collection is performed by high quality data loggers and state-of-the-art data logging software.

Chamber Drawing