(19)
(11)EP 2 808 626 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
22.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/30

(21)Application number: 12866723.5

(22)Date of filing:  24.01.2012
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F24F 11/30  (2018.01)
F25B 47/02  (2006.01)
F25B 13/00  (2006.01)
F24F 7/06  (2006.01)
F25B 5/00  (2006.01)
F24F 11/00  (2018.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2012/000409
(87)International publication number:
WO 2013/111177 (01.08.2013 Gazette  2013/31)

(54)

AIR-CONDITIONING UNIT

KLIMAANLAGENEINHEIT

UNITÉ DE CLIMATISATION


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
03.12.2014 Bulletin 2014/49

(73)Proprietor: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Tokyo 100-8310 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • WAKAMOTO, Shinichi
    Tokyo 100-8310 (JP)
  • TAKENAKA, Naofumi
    Tokyo 100-8310 (JP)
  • YAMASHITA, Koji
    Tokyo 100-8310 (JP)
  • MORIMOTO, Osamu
    Tokyo 100-8310 (JP)
  • KOGE, Hirofumi
    Tokyo 100-8310 (JP)

(74)Representative: Sajda, Wolf E. et al
Meissner Bolte Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB Postfach 86 06 24
81633 München
81633 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 892 486
JP-A- H06 241 623
JP-A- 2006 322 586
JP-A- 2008 249 236
JP-A- 2011 099 572
US-A1- 2006 266 063
WO-A1-2011/064928
JP-A- S61 235 644
JP-A- 2008 249 236
JP-A- 2010 271 011
JP-U- S60 116 163
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical Field



    [0001] The present invention relates to an air-conditioning apparatus.

    Background Art



    [0002] Conventional air-conditioning apparatuses perform defrosting operation by inverting a refrigerant cycle to remove frost in an outdoor heat exchanger acting as an evaporator in a heating operation. However, in that defrosting operation, indoor comfort decreases because heating is halted in the defrosting operation.

    [0003] One example of a technique capable of performing a heating operation and a defrosting operation at a time is a heat pump including an outdoor heat exchanger divided into a plurality of parallel heat exchangers, a bypass that bypasses gas discharged from an injection compressor for each of the divided heat exchangers, and an electromagnetic on-off valve that controls a bypass state (see, for example, Patent Literature 1). Moreover, Patent Literature JP 2008 249236 A discloses an air-conditioning apparatus according to the preamble of claim 1.

    [0004] That heat pump includes an outdoor unit, indoor units, and a main pipe connecting them such that a refrigerant circulates therethrough and is a multi-type air-conditioning apparatus in which two indoor units are connected to one outdoor unit.

    [0005] The outdoor unit includes an injection compressor, a four-way valve for switching between a cooling operation and a heating operation, outdoor heat exchangers connected in parallel, a first bypass pipes having a first end connected between the injection compressor and the four-way valve and a second end split and connected in parallel to the pipes connected to the outdoor heat exchangers, a second flow switching device for switching the flow of the refrigerant to either one of the main pipe and the first bypass pipe, and a third flow control valve for controlling the flow rate of the refrigerant flowing in the first bypass pipe.

    [0006] That enables continuous heating without inverting the refrigeration cycle by causing part of the refrigerant from the injection compressor to alternately enter each of the bypasses and by alternately defrosting each of the parallel heat exchangers.

    [0007] There is a refrigeration machine that includes a plurality of parallel heat exchangers, a plurality of main compressors, and a sub compressor and that injects a refrigerant used in deicing for the heat exchanger into the sub compressor (see, for example, Patent Literature 2).

    Citation List


    Patent Literature



    [0008] 

    Patent Literature 1: Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication JP 2009-85 484 A (Abstract)

    Patent Literature 2: Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication JP 2007-225 271 A.


    Summary of the Invention


    Technical Problem



    [0009] However, in the technique in Patent Literature 1, during simultaneous operation of heating operation and defrosting operation, a refrigerant in two-phase gas-liquid state exiting the outdoor heat exchanger targeting for defrosting and a gas refrigerant exiting the outdoor heat exchanger performing heating action are mixed, and the mixture is sucked into the injection compressor.

    [0010] Accordingly, the injection compressor needs to raise not only the pressure of the refrigerant for heating but also that for defrosting from low to high, and thus the efficiency of the air-conditioning apparatus decreases.

    [0011] Enthalpy usable in defrosting is only sensible heat of the gas, and it is necessary to make a large amount of a high-temperature and high-pressure refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor flow into the first bypass pipes in order to melt frost. That reduces the flow rate of the refrigerant flowing through the outdoor heat exchanger transferring heat to outside the room to perform heating, and thus the heating capacity decreases.

    [0012] The technique in Patent Literature 2 needs the sub compressor, and is a technique relating to a refrigeration machine capable of performing only refrigeration and freezing, and does not include means for switching the direction of the flow of the refrigerant. Thus it cannot perform heating and cooling required as an air-conditioning apparatus.

    [0013] The present invention has been made to solve the above-described conventional problems. It is an object of the present invention to provide an air-conditioning apparatus capable of improving its energy efficiency and improving its heating capacity during simultaneous operation of heating operation and defrosting operation using a main compressor.

    Solution to the Problem



    [0014] According to the invention, the problem is solved by means of an air-conditioning apparatus as defined in independent claim 1. Advantageous further developments of the air-conditioning apparatus according to the invention are set forth in the dependent claims.

    Advantageous Effects of the Invention



    [0015] According to the present invention, there is no need to lower the pressure of the refrigerant for defrosting to a suction pressure. Accordingly, the injection compressor needs to raise only the pressure of the refrigerant circulating through the main circuit to perform heating from low to high, and needs to raise the pressure of the injected intermediate-pressure two-phase gas-liquid refrigerant only from intermediate to high. Thus, the advantageous effects of reducing the workload of the injection compressor 1 and improving the efficiency of the heat pump and the heating capacity are obtainable.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0016] 
    FIG. 1
    illustrates a refrigerant circuit in an air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention.
    FIG. 2
    illustrates a refrigerant flow in a cooling only operation in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention.
    FIG. 3
    illustrates a refrigerant flow in a heating only operation in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention.
    FIG. 4
    illustrates a refrigerant flow in a heating and defrosting simultaneous operation in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention.
    FIG. 5
    illustrates a structure and actions of a two-way valve included in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention.
    FIG. 6
    illustrates a configuration of outdoor heat exchangers included in the air-conditioning apparatus and a refrigerant flow according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention.
    FIG. 7
    illustrates a relationship between the pressure of the refrigerant and the enthalpy in the cooling only operation in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention.
    FIG. 8
    illustrates a relationship between the pressure of the refrigerant and the enthalpy in the heating only operation in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention.
    FIG. 9
    illustrates a relationship between the pressure of the refrigerant and the enthalpy in the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation in a heat pump according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention.
    FIG. 10
    illustrates a refrigerant circuit in an air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 2 of the present invention.
    FIG. 11
    illustrates a refrigerant flow in a heating and defrosting simultaneous operation in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 2 of the present invention.
    FIG. 12
    illustrates a relationship between the pressure of the refrigerant and the enthalpy in the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation in a heat pump according to Embodiment 2 of the present invention.

    Description of Embodiments


    Embodiment 1



    [0017] Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention is described below with reference to FIGS. 1 to 9. The same reference numerals are used in the same parts. FIG. 1 illustrates a refrigerant circuit in an air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention. An air-conditioning apparatus 1000 is described below with reference to FIG. 1.

    [0018] The air-conditioning apparatus 1000 includes an outdoor unit 100, indoor units 200a and 200b, and a main pipe connecting them such that a refrigerant circulates therethrough. The air-conditioning apparatus 1000 is a multi-type air-conditioning apparatus in which two indoor units are connected to one outdoor unit.

    [0019] The outdoor unit 100 includes an injection compressor 1, a temperature sensor 2, a four-way valve 3, a refrigerant heat exchanger 6, a second flow control valve 7 (corresponding to an outdoor flow control valve in the present invention), two-way valves 8a and 8b, outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b, two-way valves 10a and 10b, a first bypass pipe 21, two-way valves 22a and 22b, a second bypass pipe 31, third flow control valves 32a and 32b (corresponding to a second bypass flow control valve in the present invention), a third bypass pipe 41, a fourth flow control valve 42 (corresponding to an injection flow control valve in the present invention), a first flow switching device A, and a second flow switching device B.

    [0020] The indoor unit 200a includes an indoor heat exchanger 4a and a first flow control valve 5a (corresponding to a flow control valve in the present invention). The indoor unit 200b includes an indoor heat exchanger 4b and a first flow control valve 5b (corresponding to the flow control valve in the present invention).

    [0021] The injection compressor 1 is a compressor capable of injecting a refrigerant into a refrigerant undergoing compression. The temperature sensor 2 measures the temperature of a refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor 1. The four-way valve 3 switches between a cooling operation and a heating operation and corresponds to a refrigerant flow switching device in the present invention. The refrigerant heat exchanger 6 exchanges heat between a refrigerant flowing in the main pipe and a refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe 41 (described below).

    [0022] The first bypass pipe 21 has a first end connected between the injection compressor 1 and the four-way valve 3 and a second end split and connected in parallel to the pipes connected to the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b. The second bypass pipe 31 has a first end connected to the third bypass pipe 41 and a second end connected in parallel to the pipe different from the pipes connected to the first bypass pipe 21 for the two outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b.

    [0023] The third bypass pipe 41 has a first end connected between the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b and the main pipe connected to the indoor units 200a and 200b and a second end connected to an injection port of the injection compressor 1.

    [0024] The first flow control valves 5a and 5b control the flow rate of the refrigerant flowing through the indoor units 200a and 200b. The second flow control valve 7 controls the flow rate of the refrigerant flowing between the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 and the two-way valves 8a and 8b. The third flow control valves 32a and 32b control the flow rate of the refrigerant flowing from the second flow switching device B to the second bypass pipe 31. The fourth flow control valve 42 adjusts the flow rate of the refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe 41.

    [0025] The first flow switching device A is made up of the two-way valves 8a, 8b, 22a, and 22b. The second flow switching device B is made up of the two-way valves 10a and 10b and the third flow control valves 32a and 32b. Each of the two-way valves 8a, 8b, 10a, 10b, 22a, and 22b is openable and closable independently of the magnitude of a pressure at each of an inlet and an outlet of the valve and switches the flow of the refrigerant.

    [0026] FIG. 5 illustrates one example of a structure of each of the two-way valves 8a, 8b, 10a, 10b, 22a, and 22b and actions. That two-way valve structure is the one in which the valve is openable and closable independently of the magnitude of a pressure at each of an inlet and an outlet of the valve and the valve can stop the refrigerant in only one direction.

    [0027] That two-way valve includes a valve body V to which a main pipe M1 and a main pipe M2 are connected, a pressure adjusting device X for adjusting the pressure in each of pressure chambers P1 and P2 in the valve body V, and pipes T1, T2, T3, and T4 connected to the valve body V and the pressure adjusting device X or the refrigerant pipe.

    [0028] The valve body V includes movable walls W1 and W2 moving rightward or leftward in accordance with the pressure in each of the pressure chambers P1 and P2 and a small slide valve S. The small slide valve S is attached to the movable walls W1 and W2, moves rightward or leftward on a valve seat U, and opens and closes the valve. The pressure adjusting device X includes the small slide valve S and a small slide valve driving device Y driving the small slide valve S.

    [0029] The small slide valve S is used to selectively switch to either one of the case where the pipes T1 and T3 are connected and the pipes T2 and T4 are connected (valve is opened) and the case where the pipes T1 and T2 are connected and the pipes T3 and T4 are connected (valve is closed).

    [0030] The pipe T1 is attached to the pressure adjusting device X at a first end and to the main pipe M1 at a second end. The pipe T2 is attached to the pressure adjusting device X at a first end and to the pressure chamber P1 at a second end. The pipe T3 is attached to the pressure adjusting device X at a first end and to the pressure chamber P2 at a second end. The pipe T4 is connected to a location where the pressure is always low in the air-conditioning apparatus, for example, to a low-pressure pipe, a suction pipe of the injection compressor 1, or an accumulator.

    [0031] In the two-way valve with the above-described structure, when the small slide valve driving device Y moves the small slide valve S leftward, as illustrated in FIG. 5(a), the pipe T1 and the pipe T3 are connected and the pipe T2 and the pipe T4 are connected. With this, the pressure in the pressure chamber P1 becomes smaller than the pressure in the pressure chamber P2, the small slide valve S moves leftward, and the valve is opened.

    [0032] When the small slide valve driving device Y moves the small slide valve S rightward, as illustrated in FIG. 5(b), the pipe T1 and the pipe T2 are connected and the pipe T3 and the pipe T4 are connected. With this, the pressure in the pressure chamber P1 becomes larger than the pressure in the pressure chamber P2, the small slide valve S moves rightward, and the valve is closed.

    [0033] In Embodiment 1, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the two-way valves 10a and 10b stop the refrigerant in only the direction from the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b toward the four-way valve 3 (upward in FIG. 1), and the two-way valves 8a and 8b stop the refrigerant in only the direction from the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b toward outside the outdoor unit 100 through the main pipe (downward in FIG. 1). The arrow on the side of each of the valves in FIG. 1 indicates the direction of the refrigerant that the valve can stop.

    [0034] Next, the description is provided with reference to FIGS. 2 to 4, which illustrate flows of the refrigerant in the apparatus and FIGS. 7 to 9, which are p-h diagrams (diagrams each illustrating a relationship between the pressure of the refrigerant and enthalpy). In FIGS. 2 to 4, the thick solid lines indicate flows of the refrigerant in operation, and the numbers in brackets, [i] (i = 1, 2, ...), indicate pipe portions corresponding to points i (states of the refrigerant) in the diagrams of FIGS. 7 to 9.

    [0035] FIG. 2 illustrates a flow occurring when cooling is performed by cooling the air inside a room using each of the indoor heat exchangers and transferring heat to the outside air using the outdoor heat exchangers (hereinafter referred to as cooling only operation).

    [0036] FIG. 3 illustrates a flow occurring when heating is performed by heating the air in a room using each of the indoor heat exchangers and removing receiving heat from the outside air using the outdoor heat exchangers (hereinafter referred to as heating only operation).

    [0037] FIG. 4 illustrates a flow occurring when a first one (outdoor heat exchanger 9a in FIG. 1) of parallel heat exchangers constituting the outdoor heat exchangers causes the refrigerant to evaporate and receives heat from the outside air and a second one (outdoor heat exchanger 9b in FIG. 1) of the parallel heat exchangers heats frost in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b to melt it (hereinafter referred to as heating and defrosting simultaneous operation). During the above heating operations, the indoor heat exchangers function as condensers, and the outdoor heat exchangers function as evaporators. The same applies to following Embodiment.

    Cooling Only Operation



    [0038] FIG. 2 illustrates a refrigerant flow in a cooling only operation in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention. FIG. 7 illustrates a relationship between the pressure of the refrigerant and the enthalpy in the cooling only operation of the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention. The flow in the cooling only operation is described below with reference to FIGS. 2 and 7.

    [0039] In the cooling only operation, the four-way valve 3 is switched to the state indicated by the broken lines in FIG. 2. The second flow switching device B is switched such that the refrigerant exiting the four-way valve 3 is split into both the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b and the refrigerant exiting each of the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b flows through the main pipe and is supplied to the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 and the indoor units 200a and 200b.

    [0040] First, a low-temperature and low-pressure gas refrigerant is compressed by the injection compressor 1. Changes in the refrigerant in the injection compressor 1 are represented by an oblique line where the enthalpy slightly increases (points [1] - [2]) in consideration of the efficiency of the injection compressor 1.

    [0041] Then, the refrigerant undergoing compression and the refrigerant flowing from the third bypass pipe 41 join together. Changes in the refrigerant in the joining are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a horizontal line (points [2] - [3], points [9] - [3]). The refrigerant is further compressed and is discharged as the high-temperature and high-pressure gas refrigerant.

    [0042] Changes in the refrigerant in the injection compressor 1 are represented by an oblique line where the enthalpy slightly increases (points [3] - [4]) in consideration of the efficiency of the injection compressor 1.

    [0043] The high-temperature and high-pressure gas refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor 1 passes through the four-way valve 3 and is split, and then the split refrigerants pass through the second flow switching device B. The refrigerants enter the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b, exchange heat with the outside air outside a room, condense and liquefy, and transfer heat to outside the room.

    [0044] Changes in the refrigerant in the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [4] → point [5]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure losses in the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b.

    [0045] The liquid refrigerants pass through the first flow switching device A and then join together. The joined refrigerant flows in the main pipe and is cooled in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 by the refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe 41, and its temperature decreases. Changes in the refrigerant in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [5] → point [6]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6.

    [0046] The refrigerant exiting the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 partially enters the third bypass pipe 41, and the remaining thereof enters the indoor units 200a and 200b. The refrigerant entering the indoor units 200a and 200b is split, and the refrigerants enter the first flow control valves 5a and 5b, respectively.

    [0047] The refrigerants are decompressed into a low-pressure two-phase gas-liquid state. Changes in the refrigerant in the first flow control valves 5a and 5b are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [6] → point [7]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0048] The refrigerants decompressed to low pressure enter the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b, respectively. Each of the refrigerants exchanges heat with the air inside a room, evaporates, and cools the inside of the room. Changes in the refrigerant in the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [7] → point [1]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure losses in the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b.

    [0049] The low-temperature and low-pressure gas refrigerants exiting the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b join together. The joined refrigerant exits the indoor units 200a and 200b, enters the outdoor unit 100 through the main pipe, passes through the four-way valve 3 again, and is sucked into the injection compressor 1. The cooling operation is performed by circulation of the refrigerant through the main circuit in the above-described way.

    [0050] The refrigerant entering the third bypass pipe 41 is decompressed by the fourth flow control valve 42 and changes into a low-temperature two-phase gas-liquid state. Changes in the refrigerant in the fourth flow control valve 42 are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [6] → point [8]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0051] The refrigerant entering the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 is heated by the refrigerant flowing in the main pipe and evaporates. Changes in the refrigerant in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [8] → point [9]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6.

    Heating Only Operation



    [0052] FIG. 3 illustrates a refrigerant flow in a heating only operation in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention. FIG. 8 illustrates a relationship between the pressure of the refrigerant and the enthalpy in the heating only operation in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 1 not forming part of the present invention. The flow in the heating only operation is described below with reference to FIGS. 3 and 8.

    [0053] In the heating only operation, the four-way valve 3 is switched to the state indicated by the solid lines in FIG. 3. The first flow switching device A and the second flow switching device B are switched such that the refrigerant entering the outdoor unit 100 from the indoor units 200a and 200b is split, the split refrigerants are sent to both the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b and join together, and the joined refrigerant passes through the four-way valve 3 and is sucked into the injection compressor 1.

    [0054] First, a low-temperature and low-pressure gas refrigerant is compressed by the injection compressor 1. Changes in the refrigerant in the injection compressor 1 are represented by an oblique line where the enthalpy slightly increases (points [1] - [2]) in consideration of the efficiency of the injection compressor 1.

    [0055] Then, the refrigerant undergoing compression and the refrigerant flowing from the third bypass pipe 41 join together. Changes in the refrigerant in the joining are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a horizontal line (points [2] - [3], points [10] - [3]). The refrigerant is further compressed and is discharged as the high-temperature and high-pressure gas refrigerant.

    [0056] Changes in the refrigerant in the injection compressor 1 are represented by an oblique line where the enthalpy slightly increases (points [3] - [4]) in consideration of the efficiency of the injection compressor 1. The high-temperature and high-pressure gas refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor 1 passes through the four-way valve 3 and is split. The split refrigerants enter the indoor units 200a and 200b through the main pipe, and each of the refrigerants exchanges heat with the air inside a room, condenses and liquefies, and heats on the inside of the room.

    [0057] Changes in the refrigerant in the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [4] → point [5]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure losses in the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b.

    [0058] The liquid refrigerants are decompressed by the first flow control valves 5a and 5b. Changes in the refrigerant in the first flow control valves 5a and 5b are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [5] → point [6]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0059] The decompressed refrigerants join together. The joined refrigerant flows through the main pipe and partially enters the third bypass pipe 41, and the remaining thereof enters the refrigerant heat exchanger 6. The refrigerant entering the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 is cooled by the refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe 41, and its temperature decreases. Changes in the refrigerant in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [6] → point [7]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6.

    [0060] The refrigerant exiting the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 enters the second flow control valve 7 and is decompressed into a low-pressure two-phase gas-liquid state. Changes in the refrigerant in the second flow control valve 7 are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [7] → point [8]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0061] The refrigerant decompressed to low pressure is split, and the split refrigerants enter the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b, exchange heat with the outside air outside a room, evaporate, and transfer heat to outside the room. Changes in the refrigerant in the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [8] → point [1]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure losses in the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b.

    [0062] The low-temperature and low-pressure gas refrigerants exiting the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b join together, and the joined refrigerant passes through the four-way valve 3 again and is sucked into the injection compressor 1. The heating operation is performed by circulation of the refrigerant through the main circuit in the above-described way.

    [0063] The refrigerant entering the third bypass pipe 41 is decompressed by the fourth flow control valve 42 and changes into a low-temperature two-phase gas-liquid state. Changes in the refrigerant in the fourth flow control valve 42 are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [5] → point [9]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0064] The refrigerant entering the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 is heated by the refrigerant flowing in the main pipe and evaporates. Changes in the refrigerant in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [9] → point [10]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6.

    [0065] In that operation, when the temperature of the air outside the room is low, frost occurs in the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b, continuous operation increases the frost, and the amount of heat exchanged decreases.

    Heating and Defrosting Simultaneous Operation



    [0066] Next, the flow in a heating and defrosting simultaneous operation (in a heating operation at which the outdoor heat exchanger 9b is targeting for defrosting) is described with reference to FIGS. 4 and 9. In the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation, the four-way valve 3 is switched to the state indicated by the solid lines in FIG. 4, as in the state in the heating only operation.

    [0067] The first flow switching device A is switched such that the refrigerant flowing from the indoor units 200a and 200b into the outdoor unit 100 is sent to only the outdoor heat exchanger 9a, passes through the four-way valve 3, and is sucked into the injection compressor 1.

    [0068] It is switched such that the refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor 1 partially flows through the first bypass pipe 21, passes through the first flow switching device A, enters the outdoor heat exchanger 9b, flows through the second bypass pipe 31, and joins with the refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe 41.

    [0069] First, the low-temperature and low-pressure gas refrigerant is compressed by the injection compressor 1. Changes in the refrigerant in the injection compressor 1 are represented by an oblique line where the enthalpy slightly increases (points [1] - [2]) in consideration of the efficiency of the injection compressor 1.

    [0070] Then, the refrigerant undergoing compression and the refrigerant flowing from the third bypass pipe 41 join together. Changes in the refrigerant in the joining are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a horizontal line (points [2] - [3], points [11] - [3]).

    [0071] The refrigerant is further compressed and is discharged as the high-temperature and high-pressure gas refrigerant. Changes in the refrigerant in the injection compressor 1 are represented by an oblique line where the enthalpy slightly increases (points [3] - [4]) in consideration of the efficiency of the injection compressor 1.

    [0072] The high-temperature and high-pressure refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor 1 partially enters the first bypass pipe 21. The remaining thereof passes through the four-way valve 3, flows through the main pipe, enters each of the indoor units 200a and 200b, exchanges heat with the air inside a room, condenses and liquefies, and heats the inside of the room.

    [0073] Changes in the refrigerant in the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [4] → point [5]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure losses in the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b.

    [0074] Then, the liquid refrigerants pass through the first flow control valves 5a and 5b and are decompressed. Changes in the refrigerant in the first flow control valves 5a and 5b are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [5] → point [6]) in the p-h diagram. The decompressed refrigerants join together, and the joined refrigerant flows through the main pipe and partially enters the third bypass pipe 41. The remaining thereof enters the refrigerant heat exchanger 6.

    [0075] The refrigerant entering the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 is cooled by the refrigerant flowing through the third bypass pipe 41, and its temperature decreases. Changes in the refrigerant in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [6] → point [7]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6.

    [0076] The refrigerant exiting the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 enters the second flow control valve 7 and is decompressed into a low-pressure two-phase gas-liquid state. Changes in the refrigerant in the second flow control valve 7 are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [7] → point [8]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0077] The refrigerant decompressed to low pressure passes through the first flow switching device A, enters the outdoor heat exchanger 9a, exchanges heat with the outside air outside a room, evaporates, and transfers heat to outside the room. Changes in the refrigerant in the outdoor heat exchanger 9a are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [8] → point [1]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the outdoor heat exchanger 9a.

    [0078] The low-temperature and low-pressure gas refrigerant exiting the outdoor heat exchanger 9a passes through the four-way valve 3 again and is sucked into the injection compressor 1. The heating operation is performed by circulation of the refrigerant through the main circuit in the above-described way.

    [0079] The refrigerant entering the third bypass pipe 41 is decompressed by the fourth flow control valve 42 and changes into a low-temperature two-phase gas-liquid state. Changes in the refrigerant in the fourth flow control valve 42 are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [6] → point [9]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0080] Then, the refrigerant passing through the fourth flow control valve 42 joins with the refrigerant flowing from the second bypass pipe 31. Changes in the refrigerant in the joining are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a horizontal line (point [9] - point [10], point [13] - point [10]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0081] The joined refrigerant enters the refrigerant heat exchanger 6, is heated by the refrigerant flowing in the main pipe, and evaporates. Changes in the refrigerant in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [10] → point [11]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the refrigerant heat exchanger.

    [0082] The refrigerant entering the first bypass pipe 21 passes through the first flow switching device A and condenses while melting frost occurring in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b. Changes in the refrigerant in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [4] → point [12]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b.

    [0083] The condensed refrigerant is decompressed by the third flow control valve 32b and changes into the two-phase gas-liquid refrigerant. Changes in the refrigerant in the third flow control valve 32b are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [12] → point [13]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0084] The decompressed refrigerant flows through the second bypass pipe 31 and joins with the refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe 41.

    [0085] In the above-described way, in this operation mode, frost in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b can be melted while the inside of a room is heated. In the heating operation at which the outdoor heat exchanger 9a is targeting for defrosting, the first flow switching device A and the second flow switching device B are switched, and an operation of melting frost in the outdoor heat exchanger 9a and of transferring heat to outside the room in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b is performed.

    Method of Adjusting Discharge Temperature of Refrigerant from Injection Compressor 1



    [0086] Next, a method of adjusting the discharge temperature of the refrigerant from the injection compressor 1 is described. When the discharge temperature of the refrigerant from the injection compressor 1 measured by the temperature sensor 2 is equal to or higher than an upper limit temperature for securing reliability of the injection compressor 1, the opening degree of the fourth flow control valve 42 is increased. When that temperature is lower than the upper limit, the opening degree of the fourth flow control valve 42 is reduced.

    [0087] In the heating operation at a low outside temperature, because the discharge temperature of the refrigerant from the injection compressor 1 increases, monitoring the discharge temperature of the refrigerant from the injection compressor 1 prevents abnormal increase in the discharge temperature of the refrigerant exiting the injection compressor 1.

    [0088] As described above, the air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 1 is operable in three modes of the cooling only operation, the heating only operation, and the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation and can continuously heat the inside of a room by the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation if frost occurs in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b and the performance starts decreasing because of a decrease in the volume of air or a decrease in the evaporating temperature.

    [0089] In the air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 1, the refrigerant for defrosting is injected not into the suction side but in the course of a compression process in the injection compressor 1. Thus, it is not necessary to lower the pressure of the refrigerant for defrosting to a suction pressure.

    [0090] Accordingly, the injection compressor 1 needs to raise only the pressure of the refrigerant circulating through the main circuit from low to high, and needs to raise the pressure of the injected intermediate-pressure two-phase gas-liquid refrigerant only from intermediate to high. Consequently, the workload of the injection compressor 1 is reduced, and the efficiency of the heat pump (heating capacity/workload of the injection compressor 1) is improved. That also contributes to energy saving.

    [0091] In the air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 1, the two-phase gas-liquid refrigerant entering the injection compressor 1 through the injection port is heated by the intermediate-pressure gas refrigerant undergoing compression and changes into the gas state inside the injection compressor 1. Thus, the reliability of the heat pump is improved.

    [0092] In Embodiment 1 described above, the difference of enthalpies of the refrigerant used in defrosting (length of the segment from point [4] to point [12] in FIG. 9) can be larger than that in a conventional air-conditioning apparatus (length of the segment from point [6] to point [7] in FIG. 8), and defrosting can be performed with a low flow rate of the refrigerant and thus heating capacity is improved.

    [0093] In addition, the air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 1 includes the temperature sensor 2 for measuring the discharge temperature of the refrigerant from the injection compressor 1 and controls the fourth flow control valve 42 in accordance with the discharge temperature. Accordingly, an increase in the discharge temperature under a low outside air temperature condition can be suppressed, and the reliability of the injection compressor 1 is enhanced.

    [0094] Additionally, in the heating operation in the air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 1, the outdoor heat exchanger 9b targeting for defrosting exchanges heat while the refrigerant flows in a direction parallel to the direction in which the outside air flows, whereas the outdoor heat exchanger 9a not targeting for defrosting exchanges heat while the refrigerant flows in a direction opposite to the direction of the outside air flows. The flow of the refrigerant in the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation is described below with reference to FIG. 6.

    [0095] The outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b illustrated in FIG. 6 are fin-tube heat exchangers in which a plurality of heat transfer tubes extend through a plurality of fins along a direction perpendicular to the plurality of fins and are configured such that two rows of the heat exchangers are arranged in the air flow direction, and the two rows are horizontally divided into two parts.

    [0096] In the outdoor heat exchanger 9a, a low-temperature and low-pressure two-phase gas-liquid refrigerant flows from the downstream row with respect to the air flow direction, evaporates while transferring heat to the air, moves to the upstream row, further evaporates, and flows out of the outdoor heat exchanger 9a.

    [0097] In contrast, in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b, which is performing defrosting, a high-temperature and high-pressure refrigerant flows from the row upstream in the air flow, condenses while heating and melting frost, moves to the downstream row, further condenses, and flows out of the outdoor heat exchanger 9b.

    [0098] In the outdoor heat exchanger 9a, which is not targeting for defrosting, the difference between the temperature of the air and that of the refrigerant can be large, operation can be efficient. In the outdoor heat exchanger 9b, which is targeting for defrosting, a higher-temperature refrigerant can be supplied to the upstream side in the air flow direction on which the amount of frost is largest, and the frost can be melted efficiently.

    [0099] Two-way valves each capable of being opened and closed independently of the magnitude of the pressure at each of the inlet and outlet of the valve and capable of stopping a refrigerant in only one direction are used in the air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 1. Accordingly, two-way valves each having a simple internal structure capable of stopping the refrigerant in only one direction can be used.

    [0100] The air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 1 includes the first flow switching device A and the second flow switching device B for each of the plurality of outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b such that the direction of the refrigerant flowing from each of the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b to the main pipe coincides with the direction in which the two-way valve can stop the refrigerant. In all of the operation modes, the refrigerant in the first flow switching device A and the second flow switching device B can be stopped without leakage.

    [0101] The air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 1 is described as the configuration in which the second bypass pipe 31 is provided with the third flow control valves 32a and 32b. The configuration may be used in which each of the two pipes into which the second bypass pipe 31 is split is provided with two two-way valves and the single pipe after joining is provided with one flow control valve.

    [0102] With that configuration, the temperature of the refrigerant entering the outdoor heat exchanger 9b targeting for defrosting can decrease and a change in the refrigerant inside the outdoor heat exchanger 9b targeting for defrosting can be reduced, unevenness of deicing can be reduced, and thus the efficiency of deicing can be enhanced.

    [0103] The air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 1 includes the third bypass pipe 41 having the first end connected between the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b and the first flow control valve 5 and the second end connected to the injection port of the injection compressor 1, the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 for exchanging heat between the refrigerant flowing between the first flow control valve 5 and the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b and the refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe 41, and the fourth flow control valve 42 for controlling the flow rate of the refrigerant flowing through the third bypass pipe 41.

    [0104] The first end of the second bypass pipe 31 is connected to the third bypass pipe 41 ahead of the refrigerant heat exchanger 6. Thus the refrigerant exiting the outdoor heat exchanger 9b targeting for defrosting and the refrigerant flowing in the main pipe can exchange heat with each other in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6, and the efficiency can be enhanced.

    [0105] The order of defrosting in the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation is not described in the air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 1. In the case of the heat exchanger illustrated in FIG. 6, the outdoor heat exchanger 9b may be defrosted after the upper outdoor heat exchanger 9a is defrosted.

    [0106] With that configuration, even if water after deicing in the upper outdoor heat exchanger (outdoor heat exchanger 9a in FIG. 6) freezes in the lower outdoor heat exchanger (outdoor heat exchanger 9b in FIG. 6) again, the frost can be fully removed by the defrosting operation, and the reliability of the air-conditioning apparatus can be enhanced.

    Embodiment 2



    [0107] Embodiment 2 of the present invention is described below with reference to FIGS. 10 to 12. The same reference numerals are used in the same parts. FIG. 10 illustrates a refrigerant circuit in an air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 2 of the present invention. FIG. 11 illustrates a refrigerant flow in the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation in the air-conditioning apparatus according to Embodiment 2 of the present invention.

    [0108] FIG. 12 illustrates a relationship between the pressure of the refrigerant and the enthalpy in the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation of a heat pump according to Embodiment 2 of the present invention. The air-conditioning apparatus 1000 is described below with reference to FIG. 10.

    [0109] The air-conditioning apparatus 1000 includes the outdoor unit 100, the indoor units 200a and 200b, and the main pipe connecting them such that a refrigerant circulates therethrough. The air-conditioning apparatus 1000 is a multi-type air-conditioning apparatus in which two indoor units are connected to one outdoor unit.

    [0110] The outdoor unit 100 includes two-way valves 51a and 51b connected to the second bypass pipe 31 and a fifth flow control valve 50 (corresponding to a first bypass flow control valve in the present invention) disposed on the first bypass pipe 21. The outdoor unit 100 further includes a second pressure sensor 56 on the discharge side of the injection compressor 1 and a first pressure sensor 55 between the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 and the first flow control valves 5a and 5b (between the branch point to the third bypass pipe 41 and the first flow control valves 5a and 5b).

    [0111] Each of the two-way valves 22a, 22b, 51a, and 51b is configured as a valve substantially the same as in Embodiment 1 illustrated in FIG. 5 or an electromagnetic valve openable and closable by a motor.

    [0112] In Embodiment 2, each of the two-way valves 8a, 8b, 10a, 10b, 22a, 22b, 51a, and 51b can stop a refrigerant in only the direction indicated by the arrow in FIGS. 10 and 11, as in Embodiment 1.

    [0113] A check valve 52 is disposed between the portion where the two-way valves 51a and 51b are disposed and the portion where the second bypass pipe 31 and the third bypass pipe 41 are connected. The check valve 52 is used to prevent a refrigerant from flowing from the portion where the second bypass pipe 31 and the third bypass pipe 41 are connected toward the direction of the two-way valves 51a and 51b. The second pressure sensor 56 measures the discharge pressure of the refrigerant from the injection compressor 1.

    [0114] The first pressure sensor 55 measures the pressure at a location between the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 and the first flow control valves 5a and 5b (between the branch point to the third bypass pipe 41 and the first flow control valves 5a and 5b).

    [0115] The other configuration is substantially the same as in Embodiment 1, and the description thereof is omitted here.

    [0116] Next, the description is provided with reference to FIG. 11, which illustrates a refrigerant flow in the above-described apparatus, and FIG. 12, which is a p-h diagram (diagram illustrating a relationship between the pressure of the refrigerant and the enthalpy). In FIG. 11, the thick solid lines indicate flows of the refrigerant in operation, and the numbers in brackets, [i] (i = 1, 2, ...), indicate pipe portions corresponding to points i (states of the refrigerant) in the diagram of FIG. 12.

    [0117] FIG. 11 illustrates a flow occurring when the air inside a room is heated by each of the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b, a first one (outdoor heat exchanger 9a in FIG. 11) of parallel heat exchangers constituting the outdoor heat exchangers causes the refrigerant to evaporate and receives heat from the outside air and a second one (outdoor heat exchanger 9b in FIG. 11) of the parallel heat exchangers heats frost in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b to melt it (hereinafter referred to as heating and defrosting simultaneous operation).

    [0118] During the heating operation, the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b function as condensers, and the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b function as evaporators. The same applies to Embodiment below.

    [0119] The other operation modes, the cooling operation and the heating operation, are substantially the same as in Embodiment 1, and the description thereof is omitted here.

    Heating and Defrosting Simultaneous Operation



    [0120] Next, a flow in a heating and defrosting simultaneous operation (in the heating operation at which the outdoor heat exchanger 9b is targeting for defrosting) is described with reference to FIGS. 11 and 12. In the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation, the four-way valve 3 is switched to the state indicated by the solid lines in FIG. 11, as in the state in the heating only operation.

    [0121] The first flow switching device A is switched such that the refrigerant entering the outdoor unit 100 from the indoor units 200a and 200b is sent to only the outdoor heat exchanger 9a, passes through the four-way valve 3, and is sucked into the injection compressor 1.

    [0122] It is switched such that the refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor 1 partially flows through the first bypass pipe 21, passes through the first flow switching device A, enters the outdoor heat exchanger 9b, flows through the second bypass pipe 31, and joins with the refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe 41.

    [0123] First, a low-temperature and low-pressure gas refrigerant is compressed by the injection compressor 1. Changes in the refrigerant in the injection compressor 1 are represented by an oblique line where the enthalpy slightly increases (points [1] - [2]) in consideration of the efficiency of the injection compressor 1.

    [0124] Then, the refrigerant undergoing compression and the refrigerant flowing from the third bypass pipe 41 join together. Changes in the refrigerant in the joining are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a horizontal line (points [2] - [3], points [11] - [3]).

    [0125] The refrigerant is further compressed and is discharged as the high-temperature and high-pressure gas refrigerant. Changes in the refrigerant in the injection compressor 1 are represented by an oblique line where the enthalpy slightly increases (points [3] - [4]) in consideration of the efficiency of the injection compressor 1.

    [0126] The high-temperature and high-pressure refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor 1 partially enters the first bypass pipe 21, and the remaining thereof passes through the four-way valve 3, flows through the main pipe, enters each of the indoor units 200a and 200b, exchanges heat with the air inside a room, condenses and liquefies, and heats the inside of the room.

    [0127] Changes in the refrigerant in the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [4] → point [5]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure losses in the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b.

    [0128] Then, the liquid refrigerants pass through the first flow control valves 5a and 5b and are decompressed. Changes in the refrigerant in the first flow control valves 5a and 5b are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [5] → point [6]) in the p-h diagram. The decompressed refrigerants join together, and the joined refrigerant flows through the main pipe and partially enters the third bypass pipe 41. The remaining thereof enters the refrigerant heat exchanger 6.

    [0129] The refrigerant entering the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 is cooled by the refrigerant flowing through the third bypass pipe 41, and its temperature decreases. Changes in the refrigerant in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [6] → point [7]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6.

    [0130] The refrigerant exiting the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 enters the second flow control valve 7 and is decompressed into a low-pressure two-phase gas-liquid state. Changes in the refrigerant in the second flow control valve 7 are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [7] → point [8]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0131] The refrigerant decompressed to low pressure, passes through the first flow switching device A, enters the outdoor heat exchanger 9a, exchanges heat with the outside air outside a room, evaporates, and transfers heat to outside the room. Changes in the refrigerant in the outdoor heat exchanger 9a are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [8] → point [1]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the outdoor heat exchanger 9a.

    [0132] The low-temperature and low-pressure gas refrigerant exiting the outdoor heat exchanger 9a passes through the four-way valve 3 again and is sucked into the injection compressor 1. The heating operation is performed by circulation of the refrigerant through the main circuit in the above-described way.

    [0133] The refrigerant entering the third bypass pipe 41 is decompressed by the fourth flow control valve 42 and changes into a low-temperature two-phase gas-liquid state. Changes in the refrigerant in the fourth flow control valve 42 are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [6] → point [9]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0134] Then, the refrigerant passing through the fourth flow control valve 42 joins with the refrigerant flowing from the second bypass pipe 31. Changes in the refrigerant in the joining are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a horizontal line (point [9] - point [10], point [13] - point [10]) in the p-h diagram.

    [0135] The joined refrigerant enters the refrigerant heat exchanger 6, is heated by the refrigerant flowing in the main pipe, and evaporates. Changes in the refrigerant in the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [10] → point [11]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the refrigerant heat exchanger.

    [0136] The refrigerant entering the first bypass pipe 21 is decompressed by the fifth flow control valve 50. Changes in the refrigerant in the fifth flow control valve 50 are made under the state where the enthalpy is constant and are represented by a vertical line (point [4] → point [12]) in the p-h diagram. The decompressed refrigerant passes through the first flow switching device A and condenses while melting frost occurring in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b.

    [0137] Changes in the refrigerant in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b are made under the state where the pressure is substantially constant and are represented by a slightly oblique nearly horizontal line (point [12] → point [13]) in the p-h diagram in consideration of the pressure loss in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b.

    [0138] The decompressed refrigerant flows through the second bypass pipe 31 and joins with the refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe 41.

    [0139] In the above-described way, in this operation mode, frost in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b can be melted while the inside of a room is heated. In the heating operation at which the outdoor heat exchanger 9a is targeting for defrosting, the first flow switching device A and the second flow switching device B are switched, and an operation of melting frost in the outdoor heat exchanger 9a and of transferring heat to outside the room in the outdoor heat exchanger 9b is performed.

    [0140] The method of adjusting the discharge temperature of the refrigerant from the injection compressor 1 is substantially the same as in Embodiment 1, and the description thereof is omitted here.

    [0141] As described above, the air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 2 can reduce the temperature of the refrigerant entering the outdoor heat exchanger 9b targeting for defrosting and changes in the temperature, can reduce unevenness of deicing, and can enhance the efficiency of deicing, in addition to achieving substantially the same advantageous effects as in Embodiment 1.

    [0142] Additionally, the air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 2 includes the second pressure sensor 56 for measuring the discharge temperature of the refrigerant from the injection compressor 1 and controls the fifth flow control valve 50 such that the refrigerant is at a predetermined discharge pressure in the heating and defrosting simultaneous operation, and thus heating capacity of each of the indoor heat exchangers 4a and 4b can be maintained.

    [0143] Specifically, when the discharge pressure is lower than the predetermined pressure, the opening degree of the fifth flow control valve 50 is reduced. When the discharge pressure is higher than the predetermined pressure, the opening degree of the fifth flow control valve 50 is increased.

    [0144] In addition, the air-conditioning apparatus 1000 according to Embodiment 2 includes the first pressure sensor 55 for measuring the pressure at a location between the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 and the first flow control valves 5a and 5b (between the branch point to the third bypass pipe 41 and the first flow control valves 5a and 5b) and controls the second flow control valve 7 in accordance with the measured pressure.

    [0145] Thus, the pressure of the refrigerant entering the fourth flow control valve 42 and the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 can be controlled to a predetermined value, the amount of heat exchanged in each of the refrigerant heat exchanger 6 and the outdoor heat exchangers 9a and 9b can be controlled, and operation is stabilized.

    [0146] Specifically, when the pressure is lower than the predetermined pressure, the opening degree of the second flow control valve 7 is increased. When the pressure is higher than the predetermined pressure, the opening degree of the second flow control valve 7 is reduced.

    List of Reference Signs



    [0147] 
    1
    injection compressor
    2
    temperature sensor
    3
    four-way valve
    4a, 4b
    indoor heat exchanger
    5a, 5b
    first flow control valve
    6
    refrigerant heat exchanger
    7
    second flow control valve
    8a, 8b
    two-way valve
    9a, 9b
    outdoor heat exchanger
    10a, 10b
    two-way valve
    21
    first bypass pipe
    22a, 22b
    two-way valve
    31
    second bypass pipe
    32a, 32b
    third flow control valve
    41
    third bypass pipe
    42
    fourth flow control valve
    50
    fifth flow control valve
    51a, 51b
    two-way valve
    52
    check valve
    55
    first pressure sensor
    56
    second pressure sensor
    100
    outdoor unit
    200a, 200b
    indoor unit
    1000
    air-conditioning apparatus
    A
    first flow switching device
    B
    second flow switching device
    M1, M2
    main pipe
    P1, P2
    pressure chamber
    S
    small slide valve
    T1, T2, T3, T4
    pipe
    U
    valve seat
    V
    valve body
    W1, W2
    movable wall
    X
    pressure adjusting device
    Y
    small slide valve driving device.



    Claims

    1. An air-conditioning apparatus (1000) including at least one indoor unit (200a, 200b), and outdoor unit (100) and a main pipe that connects the at least one indoor unit (200a, 200b) and the outdoor unit (100) such that a refrigerant is adapted to circulate therethrough, the at least one indoor unit (200a, 200b) comprising:

    - an indoor heat exchanger (4a, 4b); and

    - a first flow control valve (5a, 5b) configured to control a flow rate of the refrigerant entering the indoor heat exchanger (4a, 4b); and

    the outdoor unit (100) comprising:

    - an injection compressor (1) including an injection port allowing part of the refrigerant circulating to be injected therethrough into the refrigerant undergoing compression;

    - a refrigerant flow switching device (3) configured to switch between a cooling operation and a heating operation;

    - an outdoor heat exchanger (9a, 9b) including a plurality of outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b) connected in parallel;

    - a first bypass pipe (21) having a first end connected between the injection compressor (1) and the refrigerant flow switching device (3) and a second end connected to a first one of inlet and outlet sides of the plurality of outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b); and

    - a first flow switching device (A) configured to switch a flow of the refrigerant to the main pipe or the first bypass pipe (21), characterized in that the outdoor unit further comprises:

    - a first bypass flow control valve (50) provided to the first bypass pipe (21) and configured to control a flow rate of the refrigerant;

    - a second bypass pipe (31) having a first end connected to the injection port or a pipe connected to the injection port and a second end connected to a second one of the inlet and outlet sides of the plurality of outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b);

    - and

    - a second flow switching device (B) configured to switch the flow of the refrigerant to the main pipe or the second bypass pipe (31),

    - wherein in a defrosting operation of removing frost in any of the plurality of outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b),

    - the first flow switching device (A) is adapted to cause part of the refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor (1) to flow through the first bypass pipe (21) and decompress thereof by the first bypass flow control valve (50), and the refrigerant is adapted to be supplied to the outdoor heat exchanger (9a, 9b) comprising the plurality of outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b) and targeted for defrosting, and

    the second flow switching device (B) is adapted to cause part of the refrigerant supplied to the outdoor heat exchanger (9a, 9b) targeted for defrosting to enter the second bypass pipe (31).
     
    2. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of claim 1,
    wherein the refrigerant that passes through the first bypass pipe (21) is decompressed so that the temperature of the refrigerant decreases to a low temperature and supplied to the outdoor heat exchanger (9b) targeted for defrosting.
     
    3. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of any one of claims 1 to 2,
    wherein the refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor (1) partially passes the first bypass pipe (21) and the rest of the discharged refrigerant enters the indoor heat exchanger (4a, 4b) through the refrigerant flow switching device (3) and the main pipe, thereby preforming the defrosting operation and the heating operation simultaneously.
     
    4. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of any one of claims 1 to 3,
    wherein in the heating operation,
    the outdoor heat exchanger (9a, 9b) comprising the plurality of outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b) and targeted for defrosting is adapted to exchange heat while the refrigerant flows in a direction parallel to a direction in which outside air flows, and
    an outdoor heat exchanger (9a, 9b) comprising the plurality of outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b) and not targeted for defrosting is adapted to exchange heat while the refrigerant flows in a direction opposite to the direction in which the outside air flows.
     
    5. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of any one of claims 1 to 4,
    wherein each of the first flow switching device (A) and the second flow switching device (B) includes a two-way valve (10a, 10b) openable and closable independently of a magnitude of a pressure at each of an inlet and an outlet of the valve.
     
    6. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of claim 5,
    wherein each of the first flow switching device (A) and the second flow switching device (B) is configured to stop the flow of the refrigerant in only one direction.
     
    7. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of claim 6,
    wherein each of the first flow switching device (A) and the second flow switching device (B) is configured to stop the flow in a direction in which the refrigerant flows from the outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b) toward the main pipe.
     
    8. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of any one of claims 1 to 7,
    further comprising a second bypass flow control valve (32a, 32b) disposed on the second bypass pipe (31) and configured to control the flow rate of the refrigerant.
     
    9. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of any one of claims 1 to 8,
    further comprising:

    - a third bypass pipe (41) having a first end connected between the outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b) and the first flow control valve (5a, 5b) and a second end connected to the injection port;

    - a refrigerant heat exchanger (6) configured to exchange heat between the refrigerant flowing between the outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b) and the first flow control valve (5a, 5b) and the refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe (41); and

    - an injection flow control valve (42) configured to control the flow rate of the refrigerant flowing in the third bypass pipe (41),

    - wherein the first end of the second bypass pipe (31) is connected to the third bypass pipe (41).


     
    10. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of claim 9,
    wherein the first end of the second bypass pipe (31) is connected to the third bypass pipe (41) ahead of the refrigerant heat exchanger (6).
     
    11. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of any one of claims 9 to 10, further comprising:

    - a temperature sensor (2) configured to measure a temperature of the refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor (1),

    - wherein when a value measured by the temperature sensor (2) is equal to or higher than a predetermined temperature, an opening degree of the injection flow control valve (42) is adapted to be increased, and

    - when the value measured by the temperature sensor (2) is lower than the predetermined temperature, the opening degree of the injection flow control valve (42) is adapted to be reduced.


     
    12. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of any one of claims 9 to 11, further comprising:

    - an outdoor flow control valve (7) disposed between the refrigerant heat exchanger (6) and the first flow switching device (A) and configured to control the flow rate of the refrigerant; and

    - a first pressure sensor (55) configured to sense a pressure at a location between the first flow control valve (5a, 5b) and the refrigerant heat exchanger (6) and between a branch point to the third bypass pipe (41) and the first flow control valve (5a, 5b),

    - wherein an opening degree of the outdoor flow control valve (7) is adapted to be controlled on a basis of a value detected by the first pressure sensor (55).


     
    13. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of any one of claims 1 to 12,
    further comprising:

    - a second pressure sensor (56) configured to sense a pressure of the refrigerant discharged from the injection compressor (1),

    - wherein an opening degree of the first bypass flow control valve (50) is adapted to be controlled on a basis of a value detected by the second pressure sensor (56).


     
    14. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of any one of claims 1 to 13,
    wherein each of the plurality of outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b) are divided into upper and lower outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b),
    after the defrosting operation has been performed on the upper outdoor heat exchanger (9a) out of the divided outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b), the defrosting operation is adapted to be performed on the lower outdoor heat exchanger (9b) out of the divided outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b).
     
    15. The air-conditioning apparatus (1000) of any one of claims 1 to 14,
    wherein the indoor heat exchanger (4a, 4b) and the first flow control valve (5a, 5b) are accommodated in each indoor unit (200a, 200b),
    the injection compressor (1), the refrigerant flow switching device (3), the plurality of outdoor heat exchangers (9a, 9b), the first bypass pipe (21), the second bypass pipe (31), the first flow switching device (A), and the second flow switching device (B) are accommodated in the outdoor unit (100), and the outdoor unit (100) is connected to the at least one indoor unit (200a, 200b).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Klimagerät (1000) einschließlich mindestens einer Inneneinheit (200a, 200b), einer Außeneinheit (100) und einer Hauptleitung, welche die mindestens eine Inneneinheit (200a, 200b) mit der Außeneinheit (100) verbindet, so dass ein Kältemittel dazu geeignet ist, dort hindurch zu zirkulieren, wobei die mindestens eine Inneneinheit (200a, 200b) Folgendes aufweist:

    - einen Innenwärmetauscher (4a, 4b); und ein

    - erstes Strömungsregelventil (5a, 5b), welches dazu konfiguriert ist, eine Strömungsrate des in den Innenwärmetauscher (4a, 4b) eintretenden Kältemittels zu regeln; und

    die Außeneinheit (100) Folgendes aufweist:

    - einen Einspritzkompressor (1) einschließlich einer Einspritzöffnung, durch die ein Teil des zirkulierenden Kältemittels in das kompriminierte Kältemittel eingespritzt werden kann;

    - eine Kältemittelströmungs-Schaltvorrichtung (3), welche dazu konfiguriert ist, zwischen einem Kühlbetrieb und einem Heizbetrieb hin und her zu schalten;

    - einen Außenwärmetauscher (9a, 9b) einschließlich einer Vielzahl parallel geschalteter Außenwärmetauscher (9a, 9b);

    - eine erste Bypassleitung (21), von welcher ein erstes Ende zwischen dem Einspritzkompressor (1) und der Kältemittelströmungs-Schaltvorrighung (3) und ein zweites Ende an eine erste von Eintritts- und Austrittsseiten der Vielzahl von Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b) angeschlossen sind; und

    - eine erste Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (A), welche dazu konfiguriert ist, eine Strömung des Kältemittels hin zur Hauptleitung oder zur ersten Bypassleitung (21) umzuschalten, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Außeneinheit darüber hinaus Folgendes aufweist:

    - ein erstes Bypass-Strömungsregelventil (50), mit dem die erste Bypassleitung (21) versehen ist und das dazu konfiguriert ist, eine Strömungsrate des Kältemittels zu regeln;

    - eine zweite Bypassleitung (31), von der ein erstes Ende mit der Einspritzöffnung oder einer mit der Einspritzöffnung verbundenen Leitung verbunden ist, und ein zweites Ende mit einer zweiten der Eintritts- und Austrittsseiten der Vielzahl von Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b) verbunden ist;

    - und

    - eine zweite Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (B), welche dazu konfiguriert ist, die Strömung des Kältemittels hin zur Hauptleitung oder zur zweiten Bypassleitung (31) umzuschalten,

    - wobei in einem Entfrostungsvorgang zur Entfernung von Frost in einem der Außenwärmetauscher (9a, 9b) aus der Vielzahl derselben

    - die erste Strömung-Schaltvorrichtung (A) dazu geeignet ist, zu veranlassen, dass ein Teil des aus dem Einspritzkompressor (1) abgelassenen Kältemittels durch die erste Bypassleitung (21) strömt und davon durch das erste Bypass-Strömungsregelventil (50) dekompriminiert wird, und das Kältemittel dazu geeignet ist, dem Außenwärmetauscher (9a, 9b), welcher die Vielzahl von Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b) aufweist und zur Entfrostung vorgesehen ist, zugeführt zu werden, und

    die zweite Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (B) dazu geeignet ist, zu veranlassen, dass ein Teil des Kältemittels, das dem zur Entfrostung bestimmten Außenwärmetauscher (9a, 9b) zugeführt wird, in die zweite Bypassleitung (31) eintritt.
     
    2. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Kältemittel, welches durch die erste Bypassleitung (21) strömt, dekomprimiert wird, so dass die Temperatur des Kältemittels auf eine niedrige Temperatur sinkt, und dem zur Entfrostung bestimmten Außenwärmetauscher (9b) zugeführt wird.
     
    3. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 2, wobei das aus dem Einspritzkompressor (1) abgelassene Kältemittel die erste Bypassleitung (21) teilweise passiert, und der Rest des abgelassenen Kältemittels durch die Kältemittelströmungs-Schaltvorrichtung (3) und die Hauptleitung in den Innenwärmetauscher (4a, 4b) eintritt, und dadurch den Entfrostungsvorgang und den Heizvorgang gleichzeitig ausführt.
     
    4. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei beim Heizvorgang der Außenwärmetauscher (9a, 9b), welcher die Vielzahl von Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b) aufweist und zur Entfrostung bestimmt ist, dazu geeignet ist, Wärme auszutauschen, während das Kältemittel in einer parallel zur Außenluftströmungsrichtung verlaufenden Richtung strömt, und
    ein Außenwärmetauscher (9a, 9b), welcher die Vielzahl von Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b) aufweist und nicht zur Entfrostung bestimmt ist, dazu geeignet ist, Wärme auszutauschen, während das Kältemittel in einer zur Außenluftströmungsrichtung entgegengesetzten Richtung strömt.
     
    5. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei jeweils die erste Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (A) und die zweite Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (B) eine Zweiwegeventil (10a, 10b) aufweist, welches unabhängig von einer Größenordnung eines Drucks an jeweils einem Eintritt und einem Austritt des Ventils geöffnet und geschlossen werden kann.
     
    6. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß Anspruch 5, wobei die erste Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (A) und die zweite Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (B) jeweils dazu konfiguriert sind, die Kältemittelströmung in nur einer Richtung anzuhalten.
     
    7. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß Anspruch 6, wobei die erste Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (A) und die zweite Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (B) jeweils dazu konfiguriert sind, die Strömung in einer Richtung anzuhalten, in der das Kältemittel von den Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b) zur Hauptleitung hin strömt.
     
    8. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, welches darüber hinaus ein zweites Bypass-Strömungsregelventil (32a, 32b) aufweist, das auf der zweiten Bypassleitung (31) angeordnet und dazu konfiguriert ist, die Strömungsrate des Kältemittels zu regeln.
     
    9. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 8, welches darüber hinaus Folgendes aufweist:

    - eine dritte Bypassleitung (41), von der ein erstes Ende zwischen den Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b) und dem ersten Strömungsregelventil (5a, 5b) und ein zweites Ende an die Einspritzöffnung angeschlossen ist;

    - einen Kältemittel-Wärmetauscher (6), welcher dazu konfiguriert ist, Wärme zwischem dem Kältemittel, das zwischen den Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b) und dem ersten Strömungsregelventil (5a, 5b) strömt, und dem Kältemittel, das in die dritte Bypassleitung (41) fließt, auszutauschen; und

    - ein Einspritz-Strömungsregelventil (42), welches dazu konfiguriert ist, die Strömungsrate des Kältemittels in der dritten Bypassleitung (41) zu regeln,

    - wobei das erste Ende der zweiten Bypassleitung (31) an die dritte Bypassleitung (41) angeschlossen ist.


     
    10. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß Anspruch 9, wobei das erste Ende der zweiten Bypassleitung (31) vor dem Kältemittel-Wärmetauscher (6) an die dritte Bypassleitung (41) angeschlossen ist.
     
    11. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 9 bis 10, welches darüber hinaus Folgendes aufweist:

    - einen Temperatursensor (2), welcher dazu konfiguriert ist, eine Temperatur des aus dem Einspritzkompressor (1) abgelassenen Kältemittels zu messen,

    - wobei, wenn ein vom Temperatursensor (2) gemessener Wert gleich oder größer als eine vorbestimmte Temperatur ist, ein Öffnungsgrad des Einspritz-Strömungsregelventils (42) dazu geeignet ist, erhöht zu werden, und

    - wenn der vom Temperatursensor (2) gemessene Wert niedriger als die vorbestimmte Temperatur ist, der Öffnungsgrad des Einspritz-Strömungsregelventils (42) dazu geeignet ist, reduziert zu werden.


     
    12. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 9 bis 11, welches darüber hinaus Folgendes aufweist:

    - ein Außenströmungsregelventil (7), welches zwischen dem Kältemittel-Wärmetauscher (6) und der ersten Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (A) angeordnet und dazu geeignet ist, die Strömungsrate des Kältemittels zu regeln; und

    - einen ersten Drucksensor (55), welcher dazu geeignet ist, einen Druck an einer Stelle zwischen dem ersten Strömungsregelventil (5a, 5b) und dem Kältemittel-Wärmetauscher (6) und zwischen einem Abzweigungspunkt zur dritten Bypassleitung (41) und dem ersten Strömungsregelventil (5a, 5b) zu erfassen,

    - wobei ein Öffnungsgrad des Außenströmungsregelventils (7) dazu geeignet ist, auf der Grundlage eines vom ersten Drucksensor (55) gemessenen Werts geregelt zu werden.


     
    13. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 12, welches darüber hinaus Folgendes aufweist:

    - einen zweiten Drucksensor (56), welcher dazu geeignet ist, einen Druck des aus dem Einspritzkompressor (1) abgelassenen Kältemittels zu erfassen,

    - wobei ein Öffnungsgrad des ersten Bypass-Strömungsregelventils (50) dazu geeignet ist, auf der Grundlage eines vom zweiten Drucksensor (56) gemessenen Werts geregelt zu werden.


     
    14. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 13, wobei die Vielzahl von Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b) jeweils in obere und untere Außenwärmetauscher (9a, 9b) unterteilt sind,
    nach Ausführung des Entfrostungsvorgangs auf dem oberen Außenwärmetauscher (9a) der Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b), dieser dazu geeignet ist, auf dem unteren Wärmetauscher (9b) der unterteilten Außenwärmetauscher (9a, 9b) ausgeführt zu werden.
     
    15. Klimagerät (1000) gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 14, wobei der Innenwärmetauscher (4a, 4b) und das erste Strömungsregelventil (5a, 5b) in jeder Inneneinheit (200a, 200b) aufgenommen sind,
    der Einspritzkompressor (1), die Kältemittelströmungs-Schaltvorrichtung (3), die Vielzahl von Außenwärmetauschern (9a, 9b), die erste Bypassleitung (21), die zweite Bypassleitung (31), die erste Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (A) und die zweite Strömungs-Schaltvorrichtung (B) in der Außeneinheit (100) aufgenommen sind, und die Außeneinheit (100) an mindestens eine Inneneinheit (200a, 200b) angeschlossen ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) incluant au moins unité interne (200a, 200b), une unité externe (100) et un tube principal qui connecte ladite au moins une unité interne (200a, 200b) et l'unité externe (100) de telle façon qu'un réfrigérant est adapté à circuler à travers celles-ci, ladite au moins une unité interne (200a, 200b) comprenant :

    - un échangeur de chaleur interne (4a, 4b) ; et

    - une première vanne de commande d'écoulement (5a, 5b) configurée pour commander un débit du réfrigérant qui entre dans l'échangeur de chaleur interne (4a, 4b) ; et

    l'unité externe (100) comprenant :

    - un compresseur d'injection (1) incluant un orifice d'injection permettant à une partie du réfrigérant en circulation d'être injectée à travers celui-ci jusque dans le réfrigérant qui subit une compression ;

    - un dispositif de commutation de flux de réfrigérant (3) configuré pour commuter entre une opération de refroidissement et une opération de chauffage;

    - un échangeur de chaleur externe (9a, 9b) incluant une pluralité d'échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) connectés en parallèle ;

    - un premier tube de by-pass (21) ayant une première extrémité connectée entre le compresseur d'injection (1) et le dispositif de commutation de flux de réfrigérant (3) et une seconde extrémité connectée à un premier côté parmi le côté d'entrée et le côté de sortie de la pluralité d'échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) ; et

    - un premier dispositif de commutation de flux (A) configuré pour commuter un flux du réfrigérant vers le tube principal ou vers le premier tube de by-pass (21),

    caractérisé en ce que l'unité externe comprend en outre :

    - une première vanne de commande de flux de by-pass (50) prévue sur le premier tube de by-pass (21) et configurée pour commander un débit du réfrigérant ;

    - un second tube de by-pass (31) ayant une première extrémité connectée à l'orifice d'injection ou à un tube connecté à l'orifice d'injection, et une seconde extrémité connectée à un second côté parmi le côté d'entrée et le côté de sortie de la pluralité d'échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) ;

    et

    - un second dispositif de commutation de flux (B) configuré pour commuter le flux du réfrigérant vers le tube principal ou vers le second tube de by-pass (31),

    - dans lequel, dans un fonctionnement en dégivrage consistant à supprimer le givre dans l'un quelconque de la pluralité d'échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) :

    le premier dispositif de commutation de flux (A) est adapté pour amener une partie du réfrigérant refoulée depuis le compresseur d'injection (1) à s'écouler à travers le premier tube de by-pass (21) et à se détendre par la première vanne de commande d'écoulement de by-pass (50), et le réfrigérant est adapté à être fourni à l'échangeur de chaleur externe (9a, 9b) comprenant la pluralité d'échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) et destiné au dégivrage, et

    le second dispositif de commutation de flux (B) est adapté à amener une partie du réfrigérant fourni à l'échangeur de chaleur externe (9a, 9b) destiné au dégivrage à entrer dans le second tube de by-pass (31).


     
    2. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon la revendication 1,
    dans lequel le réfrigérant qui passe à travers le premier tube de by-pass (21) est décomprimé de sorte que la température du réfrigérant diminue jusqu'à une basse température et est fourni à l'échangeur de chaleur externe (9b) destiné au dégivrage.
     
    3. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 2,
    dans lequel le réfrigérant refoulé depuis le compresseur d'injection (1) passe partiellement par le premier tube de by-pass (21) et le reste du réfrigérant refoulé entre dans l'échangeur de chaleur interne (4a, 4b) grâce au dispositif de commutation d'écoulement de réfrigérant (3) et le tube principal, en effectuant ainsi l'opération de dégivrage et l'opération de chauffage simultanément.
     
    4. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans lequel
    dans l'opération de chauffage :

    l'échangeur de chaleur externe (9a, 9b), qui comprend la pluralité d'échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) et qui est destiné au dégivrage, est adapté à échanger de la chaleur tandis que le réfrigérant s'écoule dans une direction parallèle à une direction dans laquelle s'écoule l'air extérieur, et

    un échangeur de chaleur externe (9a, 9b), qui comprend la pluralité d'échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) et qui n'est pas destiné au dégivrage, est adapté à échanger de la chaleur tandis que le réfrigérant s'écoule dans une direction opposée à la direction dans laquelle s'écoule l'air extérieur.


     
    5. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4,
    dans lequel chacun du premier dispositif de commutation d'écoulement (A) et du second dispositif de commutation d'écoulement (B) inclut une vanne à deux voies (10a, 10b) capable d'être ouverte et fermée indépendamment d'une intensité d'une pression au niveau de chacune d'une entrée et d'une sortie de la vanne.
     
    6. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon la revendication 5,
    dans lequel chacun du premier dispositif de commutation d'écoulement (A) et du second dispositif de commutation d'écoulement (B) est configuré pour arrêter l'écoulement du réfrigérant dans seulement une direction.
     
    7. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon la revendication 6,
    dans lequel chacun du premier dispositif de commutation d'écoulement (A) et du second dispositif de commutation d'écoulement (B) est configuré pour arrêter l'écoulement dans une direction dans laquelle le réfrigérant s'écoule depuis les échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) vers le tube principal.
     
    8. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7,
    comprenant en outre une seconde vanne de commande d'écoulement de by-pass (32a, 32b) disposée sur le second tube de by-pass (31) et configurée pour commander le débit du réfrigérant.
     
    9. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 8, comprenant en outre :

    - un troisième tube de by-pass (41) ayant une première extrémité connectée entre les échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) et la première vanne de commande d'écoulement (5a, 5b) et une seconde extrémité connectée à l'orifice d'injection ;

    - un échangeur de chaleur de réfrigérant (6) configuré pour échanger de la chaleur entre le réfrigérant qui s'écoule entre les échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) et la première vanne de commande d'écoulement (5a, 5b) et le réfrigérant qui s'écoule dans le troisième tube de by-pass (41) ; et

    - une vanne de commande d'écoulement d'injection (42) configurée pour commander le débit du réfrigérant qui s'écoule dans le troisième tube de by-pass (41),

    - dans lequel la première extrémité du second tube de by-pass (31) est connectée au troisième tube de by-pass (41).


     
    10. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon la revendication 9,
    dans lequel la première extrémité du second tube de by-pass (31) est connectée au troisième tube de by-pass (41) en avant de l'échangeur de chaleur de réfrigérant (6).
     
    11. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 et 10, comprenant en outre :

    - un capteur de température (2) configuré pour mesurer une température du réfrigérant refoulé depuis le compresseur d'injection (1),

    - dans lequel, quand une valeur mesurée par le capteur de température (2) est égale ou supérieure à une température prédéterminée, un degré d'ouverture de la vanne de commande d'écoulement d'injection (42) est adapté pour être augmenté, et

    - quand la valeur mesurée par le capteur de température (2) est inférieure à la température prédéterminée, le degré d'ouverture de la vanne de commande d'écoulement d'injection (42) est adapté pour être réduit.


     
    12. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 à 11, comprenant en outre :

    - une vanne de commande d'écoulement externe (7) disposée entre l'échangeur de chaleur de réfrigérant (6) et le premier dispositif de commutation d'écoulement (A) et configurée pour commander le débit du réfrigérant ; et

    - un premier capteur de pression (55) configuré pour détecter une pression à un emplacement entre la première vanne de commande d'écoulement (5a, 5b) et l'échangeur de chaleur de réfrigérant (6) et entre un point de ramification vers le troisième tube de by-pass (41) et la première vanne de commande d'écoulement (5a, 5b),

    dans lequel un degré d'ouverture de la vanne de commande d'écoulement externe (7) est adapté pour être commandé sur la base d'une valeur détectée par le premier capteur de pression (55).
     
    13. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 12, comprenant en outre :

    - un second capteur de pression (56) configuré pour détecter une pression du réfrigérant refoulé depuis le compresseur d'injection (1),

    - dans lequel un degré d'ouverture de la première vanne de commande d'écoulement de by-pass (50) est adapté pour être commandé sur la base d'une valeur détectée par le second capteur de pression (56).


     
    14. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 13,
    dans lequel chacun de la pluralité d'échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b) est divisé en un échangeur de chaleur externe supérieur et un échangeur de chaleur externe inférieur (9a, 9b),
    après que l'opération de dégivrage a été effectuée sur l'échangeur de chaleur externe supérieur (9a) parmi les échangeurs de chaleur externes divisés (9a, 9b), l'opération de dégivrage est adaptée à être effectuée sur l'échangeur de chaleur externe inférieur (9b) parmi les échangeurs de chaleur externes divisés (9a, 9b).
     
    15. Appareil de conditionnement d'air (1000) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 14,
    dans lequel l'échangeur de chaleur interne (4a, 4b) et la première vanne de commande d'écoulement (5a, 5b) sont reçus dans chaque unité interne (200a, 200b),
    le compresseur d'injection (1), le dispositif de commutation d'écoulement de réfrigérant (3), la pluralité d'échangeurs de chaleur externes (9a, 9b), le premier tube de by-pass (21), le second tube de by-pass (31), le premier dispositif de commutation d'écoulement (A) et le second dispositif de commutation d'écoulement (B) sont reçus dans l'unité externe (100), et l'unité externe (100) est connectée à ladite au moins une unité interne (200a, 200b).
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description