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HVAC&R Equipment Performance Group


The HVAC&R Equipment Performance Group expands the scientific knowledge of air-conditioning, heat pumping, and refrigeration technology. The Group’s focus is to improve the energy efficiency of HVAC&R equipment, which is the predominant end-user of energy in buildings. The research activities include innovative and fundamental heat transfer measurements of refrigerants; experimental and analytical studies of systems and components; development of advanced modeling and optimization tools; research of novel applicable technologies; and formulation of test and rating methods for refrigerators and “mixed” air conditioners and heat pumps. The current projects include: 

  • System studies through laboratory measurements and computer simulations
  • Development of Computational Intelligence-based tools for optimization of component and system designs
  • Development of fully automated fault detection and diagnostic methods
  • Fundamental two-phase heat transfer measurements for single-component refrigerants, refrigerant mixtures, and refrigerant/nanolubricant mixtures
  • Development of testing and rating procedures for refrigerators, air conditioners, and heat pumps for the U.S. Department of Energy Appliance Program

The best known contributions of the Group are those related to the research of alternative ozone-safe refrigerants and refrigerant mixtures, the development of advanced simulation tools, and the formulation of the SEER and HSPF performance descriptors for the test procedures of residential air conditioners and heat pumps.


Fault Detection and Diagnosis for Air-Conditioners and Heat Pumps Project—Fault detection and diagnostic (FDD) methods are receiving increasing consideration for application in space-conditioning equipment as a method to reduce energy consumption and refrigerant …

Low-GWP Refrigerants for High-Efficiency HVAC&R Equipment Project—Concerns over global warming and ozone depletion will limit or phase out several refrigerants currently used in commercial and residential cooling and heating equipment. The environmental criteria …

Space-Conditioning Options for Energy-Efficient Buildings Project—Develop and deploy the measurement science to support the development and implementation of the most efficient and cost effective space-conditioning options for energy-efficient buildings. 


Piotr A. Domanski, Leader
HVAC&R Equipment Performance Group
Building and Fire Research Laboratory
(301) 975-5877