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Non-intrusive refrigerant charge indicator

United States Patent

6,868,678
March 22, 2005
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
A non-intrusive refrigerant charge level indicator includes a structure for measuring at least one temperature at an outside surface of a two-phase refrigerant line section. The measured temperature can be used to determine the refrigerant charge status of an HVAC system, and can be converted to a pressure of the refrigerant in the line section and compared to a recommended pressure range to determine whether the system is under-charged, properly charged or over-charged. A non-intrusive method for assessing the refrigerant charge level in a system containing a refrigerant fluid includes the step of measuring a temperature at least one outside surface of a two-phase region of a refrigerant containing refrigerant line, wherein the temperature measured can be converted to a refrigerant pressure within the line section.
Mei; Viung C. (Oak Ridge, TN), Chen; Fang C. (Knoxville, TN), Kweller; Esher (Rockville, MD)
Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
10/ 106,556
20030182950
March 26, 2002
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC05-000R22725 between the United States Department of Energy and UT-Battelle, LLC.