Experimental Thermodynamic Investigation on the Refrigerant Charge in a Transcritical CO2 Electric Bus Air Conditioning System

Haidan Wang, Shengbo Li, Yulong Song*, Xiang Yin, Feng Cao*, Paride Gullo

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    57 Downloads (Pure)


    Due to its considerable impact on climate, bus air conditioning systems are being pushed to take a new and sustainable path. Electric buses relying on transcritical CO2 air conditioning units are perceived to be eco-friendly and future-proof solutions to achieving such a target. However, in order to have highly efficient air conditioning systems, the CO2 charge needs to be optimized. In this paper the energy and exergy-based analyses were performed to investigate the effect of normalized refrigerant charge on the system performance by using a test rig of a transcritical CO2 air conditioning unit for an 8 m electric bus. Results showed that the normalized refrigerant charge range of 0.248~0.336 was recommended in order to ensure the maximum coefficient of performance (COP). In addition, in sufficient charge conditions, the optimal COP, cooling capacity and exergy efficiency were 1.716, 18.97 kW and 29.79%, respectively, under the standard refrigeration condition of 35 °C/27 °C. As the ambient temperature rose from 35 °C to 40 °C, the COP, cooling capacity and exergy efficiency decreased by 16.03%, 10.90% and 12.22%, respectively. Furthermore, the exergy efficiency was found not to be sensitive to slightly insufficient charge, whereas overcharge was observed to be even beneficial to exergy efficiency under the condition of ensuring the maximum COP. In addition, insufficient refrigerant charging seriously affected the irreversible losses in the indoor and outdoor heat exchangers, whereas slight overcharge had little effect on the component exergy efficiency. Finally, the need to improve the CO2 compressor efficiency to enhance the system performance was revealed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number5614
    JournalApplied Sciences
    Issue number12
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Transcritical CO2 system
    • Electric bus
    • Refrigerant charge
    • Exergy
    • Experimental investigation
    • R744


    Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental Thermodynamic Investigation on the Refrigerant Charge in a Transcritical CO2 Electric Bus Air Conditioning System'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this