Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

The Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Laboratory is used by students for teaching and research projects for the education and enhancement of knowledge in this industry. The facility is also used by industry, domestically and internationally, for the consultation services provided by the staff in the areas of:

  • Performance and efficiency testing of air conditioners, commercial refrigeration (self-contained and remote) systems, hot water heat pumps and vending machines.
    • AS/NZS 3823, ISO 5151 and ISO 16358 for air conditioning systems
    • AS/NZS 1731 and ISO 23953 for commercial refrigeration systems
    • EN 14511-2 for portable air conditioning systems
    • AS/NZS 4826 for refrigerated vending machines
    • AS/NZS 5125 for hot water heat pump systems
  • Consultation on Australian and International Standards development for the standards above.
  • Computer modelling of refrigeration systems.

The major equipment in the laboratory includes balanced ambient calorimeter rooms (pictured above). The balanced ambient calorimeter has been designed and built to comply with the requirements of AS/NZS 3823 and ISO 5151. It is designed to test split, unitary air conditioners to the Standard up to a cooling capacity of 9kW and reverse cycle heating 8.5 kW. As well as portable type air conditioners to a reverse cycle capacity of 7kW. The room side capacity of larger systems may be tested up to an approximate capacity of 50 kW (where the outdoor unit is mounted in a separate outdoor chamber which is part of a psychrometric loop).

 Since 2000 the Laboratory has held NATA accreditation in the field of air-conditioner testing. The facility was expanded with the addition of another temperature controlled test room built to comply with AS 1731 and ISO 23953. NATA accreditation for the area of commercial refrigeration was gained in 2009.

This test room was further modified in 2010 to test hot water heat pumps to the Standard  AS/NZS 5125 – satisfying all 5 test conditions varying from 2°C to 35°C and their respective humidity levels.

Refrigerated vending machines are also tested to AS/NZS 4826 in this multi-purpose test room.

Students have access to the laboratory in the form of undergraduate and postgraduate courses; namely in the study of thermodynamics and refrigeration courses. Industry funded research has been undertaken in this laboratory for the development of Australian and International standards for performance and efficiency and also recently in the field of energy harvesting through thermo electric sources. Interested parties may contact the associated staff for more information.