Electronic expansion valves have been used to replace conventional expansion devices in many refrigeration systems. Electronically controlled valves respond more rapidly to changes in operating conditions and improve the steady-state superheating. These valves are usually used with an automatic controller that regulates the superheating at the evaporator outlet. The controller gains (K p , T i , and T d ) must be properly tuned for efficient operation. However, these controllers can result in poor performance because they have been poorly tuned or put into operation using factory tuning. For refrigeration systems that are subject to large changes in operating conditions, the controller gains should be adjusted for each change to improve the system performance. Within this context, we developed an adaptive Proportional-Integral-Derivative controller (PID controller) in this study to regulate the degree of superheating. A dynamic model obtained from experimental tests was used in the controller design. The controller effectiveness was evaluated using computer simulations and experimental tests. In comparison to a nonadaptive PID controller, the adaptive controller provided better disturbance rejection and set-point tracking and was able to control the superheating more efficiently, demanding less servomotor effort. Copyright © 2014 ASHRAE.
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