The cool industry should conform to the highest quality standards and to the best energy efficiency to be competitive. Energy effficiency for customers is an absolute obligation in most important markets (Japanese, European and USA) and should be guaranteed as a first quality step. Ice has inconvenient properties for the regular working of most cool equipment. If thick layers of ice deposit on the serpentine cooler of the refrigerators the equipment performance decreases. Nowadays the defrosting control is made according to climate and other environment constraints (temperature, humidity, etc) and by human experience on the matter. The main objective of this research project is to develop a innovative sensor to detect ice on the refrigerator circuit and correlate it with environmental variables in order to control the cooler function. The system will be auto parameterised, as it won't need any adjustments depending on the cool equipment destination. The new system will permit to control automatically the defrosting process, thus achieving great energy savings and costs reducing with the process automatization. The new system will also be developed in a way to be economically feasible and adjustable to all kind equipment thus ensuring its market potential. The system development will be based on two important approaches: - A Peltier based process for detecting thin ice slices. The process is based on a precision resistance and a properly matched electronic block for signal processing and output the measuring time needed to heat and cool a body. - An ultrasonic approach based on the measurement of the propagation features of those waves over ice and water. This process is more elaborate than the above one and seems more complex but it should compared with it from the technical and economical points of view. The consortium is composed by SMEs from different EU member states (Portugal, Spain and Germany) sharing the same problems and interests in reaching a technical solution for the defrosting process and control resolution. The variety of countries involved will ensure a faster exploitation of results by the transfer of the new system to other countries in side and out side the European Union.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts