Effect of short-tube orifice size on the performance of an air source heat pump during the reverse-cycle defrost Academic Article uri icon


  • Many air source heat pumps use the reverse-cycle defrost to eliminate frost that forms on the outdoor heat exchanger during normal winter operation. During the defrost, the heat pump is switched from the heating to the cooling mode to provide heat to the outdoor heat exchanger to melt the frost. Once the frost is melted and drained from the heat exchanger, the unit is switched back to the heating mode. The objective of this research was to characterize the effect of short-tube orifice diameter on the response of a heat pump during the reverse-cycle defrost. An experimental apparatus was constructed containing a nominal 3 ton (cooling capacity) residential air source heat pump. A manifold was constructed which allowed for the switching of different sized orifices by turning a shut-off valve. Refrigerant temperature and pressure measurements were made throughout the system as well as refrigerant flow-rates, air-side capacity, compressor/outdoor fan power and refrigerant level in the accumulator. A detailed comparison of the effect on defrost performance is provided. © 1991.

author list (cited authors)

  • O'Neal, D. L., Peterson, K., & Anand, N. K.

citation count

  • 41

publication date

  • January 1991