RV HVAC and Fridge Freezer on the same coolant loop?

Engineering Asked by John F. Miller on May 8, 2021

Given the space, weight, and power constraints of an RV it is useful to make as much use as possible out of every component. Is there an engineering reason why a refrigerator / freezer and an air conditioner could not share a single compressor and condenser?

2 Answers

To be able to run a freezer, the refrigerant must be colder than the freezer, so at most-10 degrees C or so. Such a temperature on an evaporator coil for regular HVAC would freeze the condensate and result in a non-functioning device (the coil would ice up). Also, a refrigeration cycle turns on and off according to the temperature. Placing two different temperature requirements on the system would result in one or the other not getting enough cooling.

Correct answer by Tiger Guy on May 8, 2021

The refrigerant is chosen to match the internal temperature ie fridge or freezer or cabin and reject to above ambient.

Above ambient is the same for all, but you idea fails as the internal temperature if a freezer at -18 deg C will not work firca fridge at about 4 deg C and do you want your cabin at -18 deg C?

This is why you end up with separate systems and then each can be optimised to perform to a high efficiency. Years ago getting a vapor compression cycle to be 2 or 3 to 1 was considered pretty good, now with optimised control one can get 4 or more to 1...

Answered by Solar Mike on May 8, 2021

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