The conventional TXV is controlled by springs, bellows, and push rods. (See Figure 1.) The spring force is a closing force on the TXV. The evaporator pressure, which acts under the thermostatic element's diaphragm, is also a closing force. An opening force is the remote bulb force, which acts on top of the thermostatic element's diaphragm.
There is also a liquid force from the liquid line, which acts on the face of the needle valve and has a tendency to open the valve. However, this force is cancelled out when using a balanced port TXV. Working together, these forces maintain a constant evaporator superheat in a refrigeration system. There are no electronic devices associated with a conventional TXV.
Step motors can run at 200 steps per second and can return to their exact position very quickly. The controller remembers the number of step signals sent by the controller. This makes it possible for the controller to return the valve to any previous position at any time. This gives the valve very accurate control of refrigerant that flows through it. Most of these EEVs have 1,596 steps of control and each step is 0.0000783 inches.
Pressure transducers can also be wired to the controller for pressure/temperature and superheat control. Pressure transducers generally have three wires. Two wires supply power and the third is an output signal. Generally, as system pressure increases, the voltage sent out by the signal wire will increase. The controller uses this voltage to calculate the temperature of the refrigerant with the use of a pressure/temperature table programmed into the controller.
A combination of compressor floodback protection and the ability to maintain refrigerator case discharge air temperature set point control makes the EEV useful in many diverse applications. Some EEV controllers can also be programmed for custom control applications.
Next month: Advanced aspects of EEVs will be covered in the Sept. 6 issue of The News.
John Tomczyk is a professor of HVACR at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Mich., and the author of Troubleshooting and Servicing Modern Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Systems, published by ESCO Press. To order, call 800-726-9696. Tomczyk can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Publication date: 08/02/2004