Dr. William V. (Vance) Payne, II is a mechanical engineer in the HVAC&R Equipment Performance Group of the Energy and Environment Division (EED) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Heat pumps and air conditioners have always been the focus of Dr. Payne's research activities. Recently, his work has focused upon fault detection and diagnostics in residential air conditioning and heat pump systems. The goal has been to develop methods of monitoring residential systems for faults that occur during the initial installation and throughout the life of the equipment all for the purpose of providing home owners with uninterrupted service from their vapor compression systems.
Dr. Payne has worked on an alternative rating method for mixed system air-conditioners or heat pumps operating in the cooling mode. This method is intended to provide accurate rating results for systems consisting of indoor and outdoor components that are not normally tested together during the rating process. The new method seeks to reduce testing requirements while providing accurate rating methods for these mixed systems. In a related effort, he surveyed the cooling mode and heating mode efficiency and capacity ratings of mixed systems listed in the AHRI directory and pointed out trends for use by DOE in their rulemaking deliberations.
Dr. Payne has examined the potential for Micro Electro Mechanical devices (MEM's) to replace traditional refrigerant expansion valves. Dr. Payne has also been involved in the testing of an advanced digital output MEM's technology vibration meter. Laboratory testing of vibration meter sub-components showed that this technique could be applied to monitor vibrations. A commercial transducer manufacturer followed the progress of this research and was very interested in applying the results generated at NIST into further product development.
Dr. Payne has performed studies on residential heat pump and air-conditioning equipment during his Ph.D. program and while here at NIST. This work has involved mass flow correlations for short tube expansion devices and work with HCFC replacement refrigerants. His refrigerant work included examining natural refrigerants such as propane and iso-butane (hydrocarbons) as well as carbon dioxide (CO2). Dr. Payne constructed experimental rigs to verify the performance of hydrocarbon/HFC refrigerant mixtures as replacements for R22 and to study the effects of high ambient temperature (above 35 °C) on the performance of a R410A system.