Thermoeconomic diagnosis of refrigeration systems is a pioneering approach to the diagnosis of malfunctions, which has been recently proven to achieve good performances for the detection of specific faults. Being an exergy-based diagnostic technique, its performance is influenced by the trends of exergy functions in the "design" and "abnormal" conditions. In this paper the sensitivity of performance of thermoeconomic diagnosis in detecting a fouled direct expansion coil and quantifying the additional consumption it induces is investigated; this fault is critical due to the simultaneous air cooling and dehumidification occurring in the coil, that induce variations in both the chemical and thermal fractions of air exergy. The examined parameters are the temperature and humidity of inlet air, the humidity of reference state and the sensible/latent heat ratio (varied by considering different coil depths). The exergy analysis reveals that due to the more intense dehumidification occurring in presence of fouling, the exergy efficiency of the evaporator coil eventually increases. Once the diagnostic technique is based only on the thermal fraction of air exergy, the results suggest that the performance of the technique increases when inlet air has a lower absolute humidity, as evident from the "optimal performance" regions identified on a psychrometric chart.
Piacentino, A., & Catrini, P. (2016). Assessing the robustness of thermoeconomic diagnosis of fouled evaporators: Sensitivity analysis of the exergetic performance of direct expansion coils. Entropy, 18(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/e18030085