(19)
(11)EP 2 917 583 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
01.05.2019 Bulletin 2019/18

(21)Application number: 13843672.0

(22)Date of filing:  01.10.2013
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F04B 49/00  (2006.01)
F04C 18/02  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2013/062877
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/055524 (10.04.2014 Gazette  2014/15)

(54)

METHODS AND SYSTEMS TO DETECT AN OPERATION CONDITION OF A COMPRESSOR

VERFAHREN UND SYSTEME ZUR ERKENNUNG EINES BETRIEBSZUSTANDS EINES KOMPRESSORS

PROCÉDÉS ET SYSTÈMES PERMETTANT DE DÉTECTER UNE CONDITION DE FONCTIONNEMENT D'UN COMPRESSEUR


(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

(30)Priority: 01.10.2012 US 201261708338 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
16.09.2015 Bulletin 2015/38

(73)Proprietor: Thermo King Corporation
Minneapolis, MN 55420 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • BURNHAM, Randy, Scott
    Maple Grove, MN 55369 (US)
  • RENKEN, David, Jon
    Prior Lake, MN 55372 (US)
  • LUCHT, Erich, Albert
    Arden Hills, MN 55112 (US)
  • HALL, Cullen, Evan
    Savage, MN 55378 (US)

(74)Representative: Haseltine Lake LLP 
Redcliff Quay 120 Redcliff Street
Bristol BS1 6HU
Bristol BS1 6HU (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 790 921
US-A1- 2008 087 029
US-A1- 2009 299 534
US-B1- 6 226 998
EP-A1- 1 790 921
US-A1- 2008 087 029
US-A1- 2011 110 791
  
      
    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

    FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY



    [0001] The embodiments disclosed here generally relate to a transport refrigeration system (TRS). More specifically, the embodiments disclosed here relate to methods and systems to detect operation conditions of a compressor of the TRS so as to control operation of a generator set (genset) configured to provide power to the compressor, based on the operation condition of the compressor.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Existing TRSs are used to cool containers, trailers, railway cars and other similar transport units. When cargo in the container includes perishable products (e.g., food product, flowers, etc.), the temperature of the container may be controlled to limit loss of the cargo during shipment.

    [0003] The TRS generally includes a transport refrigeration unit (TRU), which typically includes a compressor, a condenser, an evaporator and an expansion device. Some existing transport containers may also include a genset that supplies power to the TRU. These gensets typically include a prime mover to drive a generator so as to provide electrical power to the TRU. Operating the prime mover generally requires fuel and can produce noise.

    [0004] The gensets may operate at a single, relatively constant speed to produce a relatively constant output frequency and/or output voltage (e.g., ∼230/460 VAC, etc.). Some gensets may be configured to be operated at different speeds so as to provide a variable output frequency and/or voltage, and the operation speeds of the gensets may be chosen during the operation of the TRS.

    [0005] US 2008/087029 discloses a generator set for a transport refrigeration unit that is operable at a first frequency and a second frequency. The generator set includes a generator and a prime mover coupled to the generator. The prime mover selectively drives the generator in least at a first non-zero speed and a second non-zero speed. A sensor is in electrical communication with the generator to sense a load of the generator and to deliver a signal indicative of the generator load. A controller is in electrical communication with the generator, the prime mover, and the sensor, and receives the signal indicative of the generator load. The controller selectively operates the generator at one of the first speed and the second speed in response to the signal indicative of the generator load.

    [0006] EP 1 790 921 discloses a transportation refrigeration system comprising an electrically driven refrigeration unit and a generator set. The refrigeration unit has a mixed electrical load including a motor driven compressor. The generator set comprises a variable speed engine, a generator driven by the engine to produce an ac output for powering the refrigeration unit, and a control unit for varying the speed of the engine in dependence on a change in state of the compressor. This can allow the engine to be run efficiently. The control unit may be arranged to anticipate a change in state of the compressor, and to change an operating parameter of the generator set before the change in state of the compressor.

    SUMMARY



    [0007] Embodiments of a TRS that help detect an operation condition of a compressor (or a motor of the compressor) of the TRS based on an operation parameter pattern of a genset of the TRS configured to provide power to the compressor are disclosed.

    [0008] The genset generally includes a prime mover and a generator that is coupled to the prime mover. The operation condition of the compressor (or the motor of the compressor) may be determined based on an operation parameter pattern of the genset. The operation condition of the compressor of the TRS can be used to control the operation of the genset, such as determining an operation speed of a prime mover.

    [0009] In some embodiments, a method to detect operation conditions of a compressor of the TRS may include obtaining a measured operation parameter of the genset. The measured operation parameter of the genset may be measured, for example, in real time. The method also includes determining an operation parameter pattern based on the measured operation parameter over a period of time. The method may also include matching the operation parameter pattern to an association between an operation condition of the compressor and a corresponding operation parameter pattern of the genset to obtain the operation condition of the compressor. Generally, the association between a genset parameter pattern and a compressor operation condition can be established, for example, in a laboratory setting.

    [0010] In some embodiments, the operation parameters of the genset may include a RPM (revolutions per minute), a horse power, a torque, fuel consumption, and/or an exhaust temperature of the prime mover, and/or a current drawn from the generator.

    [0011] In some embodiments, the prime mover may be controlled by an electronic control unit, and the operation parameter of the genset may be obtained from the electronic control unit. In some embodiments, the prime mover may be equipped with a RPMRPM sensor that is configured to monitor a RPMRPM of the prime mover, and the operation parameter can be the RPM of the prime mover. In some embodiments, the genset may be equipped with a current meter that is configured to measure a current drawn from the generator of the genset, and the operation parameter is the current drawn from the generator.

    [0012] In some embodiments, the compressor may be a scroll compressor, which starts a load/unload duty cycle when the TRS reaches a temperature setpoint. The genset operation parameter(s) has a corresponding periodically fluctuating pattern when the transport refrigeration unit approaches or reaches the temperature setpoint.

    [0013] In some embodiments, a method to control an operation of a prime mover of a TRS may include determining an operation condition of a compressor of the TRS based on an operation parameter pattern of a genset that is configured to supply power to the compressor, and control the operation of the genset.

    [0014] In some embodiments, an operation speed of the prime mover of the genset can be determined based on the operation condition of the compressor. In some embodiments, the operation speed of the prime mover may include a high operation speed and a low operation speed. When the TRS has not reached a temperature setpoint, the prime mover may be operated at the high operation speed. When the TRS has reached a temperature setpoint, the prime mover may be operated at the low operation speed.

    [0015] In some embodiments, the TRS may include a scroll compressor, and when the operation parameter of the genset has a periodically fluctuating pattern that indicates a periodical load/unload duty cycle of the compressor, the operation speed of the prime mover may be switched to or maintained at the low operation speed.

    [0016] In some embodiments, a TRS may include a compressor, a genset configured to provide electrical power to the compressor, and a controller of the genset configured to monitor an operation parameter pattern of the genset to determine an operation condition of the compressor.

    [0017] In some embodiments, the genset of the TRS may include a prime mover coupled to a generator, and the controller is configured to monitor the operation parameter pattern of a RPM, a horse power, a torque, fuel consumption, and/or an exhaust temperature of the prime mover, and/or a current drawn from the generator.

    [0018] In some embodiments, the genset of the TRS may include a current meter configured to measure current drawn from the genset.

    [0019] Other aspects of the invention will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0020] 

    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a temperature controlled container unit.

    FIG. 2 illustrates a block diagram of a transport refrigeration system, according to one embodiment.

    FIG. 3 illustrates a flow chart of a method to control a prime mover of a transport refrigeration system, according to one embodiment.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0021] Some transport units, e.g. a container unit, may include a genset to supply power to a TRU. The genset generally includes a prime mover that consumes fuel and a generator driven by the prime mover to provide electrical power to, for example, a compressor of the TRU. Methods and systems that help increase a fuel efficiency of the prime mover can reduce fuel consumption and/or an environment impact (e.g. noise, carbon footprint, etc.) of the prime mover, as well as help extend the service lives of the prime mover and the TRS.

    [0022] In the following description of the illustrated embodiments, embodiments to help detect operation conditions of a compressor of the TRU (such as the operation condition of the compressor when the TRU reaches a temperature setpoint) by the genset are disclosed. In some embodiments, the detection of the operation conditions of the compressor can be in real time during operation. The operation conditions of the compressor can be used to control the operations of the prime mover (e.g. operation speeds of the prime mover).

    [0023] In some embodiments, when the prime mover is controlled by an electronic control unit (ECU), the operation conditions of the compressor may result in corresponding ECU parameter patterns of the prime mover. The ECU parameter patterns are referred to as patterns of parameter value changes of ECU, such as horsepower, torque, exhaust temperatures, and/or RPM of the prime mover, etc. over a period of time, which may occur due to operation conditions of the compressor change. It is to be appreciated that the ECU parameters are not limited to the parameters as listed herein. The ECU parameter patterns can be, for example, monitored by an electronic control unit (ECU) and/or a genset controller.

    [0024] In one embodiment, when a scroll compressor is used in the TRU, the scroll compressor may start a periodical load/unload duty cycle when the TRU reaches its setpoint. The periodical load/unload duty cycle of the scroll compressor can be detected by the ECU and/or a genset controller based on a corresponding periodically fluctuating pattern in ECU parameters such as horsepower, torque, exhaust temperatures, and/or RPM of the prime mover. The periodical load/unload duty cycle of the scroll compressor can also be detected based on a periodically fluctuating current drawn pattern from the generator. A method to control the compressor may include when this periodically fluctuating pattern of ECU parameters and/or current drawn is detected, which generally indicates that the temperature setpoint of TRU is reached, the prime mover can be switched to a low operation speed.

    [0025] References are made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration of the embodiments in which the embodiments may be practiced. The use of "including," "comprising," or "having" and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items. Unless specified or limited otherwise, the terms "mounted," "connected," "supported," and "coupled" and variations thereof are used broadly and encompass both direct and indirect mountings, connections, supports, and couplings. Further, "connected" and "coupled" are not restricted to physical, mechanical or electrical connections or couplings. It is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

    [0026] Fig. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a temperature controlled container unit 100 with a TRU 110. The TRU 110 is disposed at an end wall of the container unit 100, and is configured to transfer heat between a cargo space 120 within the container unit 100 and the outside environment so as to control a temperature within the cargo space 120 of the container unit 100. It is to be appreciated that the TRU 110 may also be disposed at outer walls of the container unit 100.

    [0027] The TRU 110 of the container unit 100 can be configured to draw power from a genset 130. The genset 130 includes a prime mover 133, which can be, for example, a diesel engine. It is to be appreciated that the TRU 110 can also be configured to draw power from other suitable power sources, such as an auxiliary power unit, an electric outlet, etc.

    [0028] It will be appreciated that the embodiments described herein are not limited to container units. The embodiments described herein may be used in any other suitable temperature controlled transport unit such as, for example, a truck trailer, a ship board container, an air cargo cabin, an over the road truck cabin, etc.

    [0029] Fig. 2 illustrates a block diagram of a TRS 200 according to one embodiment. The TRS 200 includes a TRU 210 and a genset 230, which can be, for example, electrically coupled together by a power receptacle 231. The TRU 210 generally has a TRS controller 221 that is configured to control a compressor 223 and/or a motor 225 mechanically coupled to the compressor 223. The compressor 223 can form a refrigeration circuit with a condenser 222, an expansion device 224 and an evaporator 226, which can be used to regulate a temperature of a cargo space (e.g. the cargo space 120 in Fig.1). The motor 225 can drive the compressor 223 to compress refrigerant.

    [0030] The motor 225 is electronically powered by the genset 230. The genset 230 includes a prime mover 233 and a generator 235 driven by the prime mover 233. The prime mover 233 is configured to be controlled by an ECU 237, and the generator 235 is configured to be controlled by a generator regulator 238. The ECU 237 and/or the generator 235 can be configured to communicate with and/or be controlled by a genset controller 239. The ECU 237 and/or the generator regulator 238 may also be configured to communicate with each other. The genset 230 can also optionally include a current meter 236 configured to measure a current output of the generator 235.

    [0031] It is to be appreciated that in some embodiments, a prime mover can be mechanically controlled, and the mechanically controlled prime mover may not include an ECU.

    [0032] In operation, the TRS controller 221 is configured to have a temperature setpoint for the cargo space (e.g. the cargo space 120 in Fig. 1). In some embodiments, the temperature setpoint of the cargo space can be set to a value between about -40° Celsius to about 20° Celsius or warmer. Generally, when a temperature of the cargo space has not reached the temperature setpoint, the TRS controller 221 is configured to operate the motor 225 at about a full power (such as over 90% capacity of the motor 225), so that the compressor 223 is operated at about a full capacity accordingly. When the temperature of the cargo space is close to (such as within 2 degrees Celsius) or at the temperature setpoint, the controller 221 is configured to operate the motor 225 so that the compressor 223 can maintain the temperature of the cargo space at about the temperature setpoint, for example, 0.5 to several degrees Celsius within the temperature setpoint. Generally, the motor 225 does not have to be operated at the full power and the compressor 223 does not have to be operated at the full capacity to maintain the temperature setpoint in the cargo space.

    [0033] In some embodiments, the prime mover 233 may be a diesel engine and can be configured to have two operation speeds: a high operation speed and a low operation speed. In one embodiment, the high operation speed is about 1800 RPM and the low operation speed is about 1500 RPM. The high operation speed of the prime mover 233 is generally associated with a high power output of the generator 235, and the low operation speed of the prime mover 233 is generally associated with a low power output of the generator 233.

    [0034] When the motor 225 of the TRU 221 is operated, for example, at the full power (such as when the temperature of the cargo space has not reached the temperature setpoint), it is generally desired to operate the prime mover 233 at the high operation speed so that the generator 235 can provide the high power output to meet the demand of the motor 225. When the temperature at the cargo space approaches the temperature setpoint, the motor 225 generally does not have to be operated at the full power. Accordingly, it is generally desired to operate the prime mover 233 at the low operation speed for the benefit of, for example, better fuel economy, lower operation noise and/or a longer prime mover service life in comparison to the fuel economy, the operation noise and/or the service life obtained when the prime mover 233 is operated at the high operation speed.

    [0035] It is to be appreciated that the embodiment as illustrated in Fig. 2 is exemplary, and only illustrated some exemplary operation conditions of the motor of the TRU (i.e. at about full power and when the temperature setpoint has been reached). The operation conditions of the TRU can vary. Generally, for the benefit of, for example, better fuel economy, lower operation noise and/or longer service life, it is desired to change the operations of the prime mover according to operation conditions of the motor, for example, in real time. By doing so, the efficiency of the prime mover can be matched to the operation conditions of the motor, for example, in real time, so as to keep the prime mover being operated at a relative high efficiency.

    [0036] Fig. 3 illustrates a flow chart of an embodiment of a method 300 to detect an operation condition of a motor (e.g. the motor 225 in Fig. 2) by a genset (e.g. the genset 230 in Fig. 2), for example, in real time during operation, so that the operation speeds of the genset can be changed according to the operation condition of the motor (or the compressor driven by the motor), for example, in real time during operation.

    [0037] At 310, a TRS including the genset (e.g. the genset 230 in Fig. 2) and a TRU (e.g. TRU 221 in Fig. 2) starts. Generally, when the TRS starts, the power demand of a motor (e.g. the motor 225 in Fig. 2) of the TRU is generally at about the full power so that a temperature of a cargo space can be cooled down fast. Accordingly, at 320, a prime mover (e.g. the prime mover 220 in Fig. 2) generally starts at a high operation speed (e.g. 1800 RPM) to meet the power demand of the motor.

    [0038] At 330, ECU parameter patterns from an ECU (e.g. the ECU 237 in Fig. 2), such as, for example, patterns of parameter value changes in such as RPM, horse power of the prime mover, torque of the prime mover, fuel consumption, and/or a temperature of exhaust gas over a period of time, are monitored/detected. The ECU parameter patterns can be monitored/detected, for example, in real time or close to in real time during operation. The monitoring/detecting of the ECU parameter patterns can be performed, for example, by a genset controller (e.g. the genset controller 239 in Fig. 2) of the genset, with the appreciation that the ECU parameter patterns can also be obtained by other devices such as the ECU (e.g. the ECU 237 in Fig. 2) or a generator regulator (e.g. the generator regulator 238 in Fig. 2) of the genset.

    [0039] At 340, the ECU parameter patterns obtained from the ECU are used to determine whether a preset operation condition of the motor has been met, such as whether the temperature in the cargo space has reached the temperature setpoint and the motor therefore no long needs full power from the prime mover, for example, in real time during operation. This can be accomplished by establishing a match between the ECU parameter patterns obtained when the TRS is in operation, for example, in real time, and a pre-determined ECU parameter pattern associated with the operation condition that the temperature in the cargo space has reached the temperature setpoint.

    [0040] For example, when a scroll compressor is used as the compressor in the TRU, the motor drives an orbiting scroll against a fixed scroll. Before the temperature setpoint has been reached, refrigerant is generally constantly compressed by the relative motions of the orbiting and fixed scrolls, which requires a relatively high power demand from the motor. However, when the temperature setpoint is approached or reached, the scroll compressor starts a periodical load/unload duty cycle. In the periodical load/unload duty cycle, the motor drives the orbiting scroll in a relatively constant orbiting rate. But in each load/unload duty cycle, the orbiting scroll may engage the fixed scroll for a period of time, such as about 6 to 10 seconds, to compress the refrigerant (i.e. the scroll compressor is loaded), then disengage from the fixed scroll for a period of time, such as about 6 to 10 seconds, so that virtually no refrigerant is compressed by the scrolls (i.e. the scroll compressor is unloaded). When the scroll compressor is used in the TRU, this load/unload duty cycle can be configured to, for example, maintain the temperature inside the cargo space at about the temperature setpoint. Generally, during the load/unload duty cycle, an average power demand of the motor is relatively low.

    [0041] When the scroll compressor is loaded, the power demand of the motor is relatively high; while when the scroll is unloaded, the power demand of the motor is relatively low. The operation condition of the load/unload duty cycle of the motor can result in a periodically fluctuating power demand from the motor. This periodical fluctuating power demand can cause periodically fluctuating power output from the generator, which in turn results in a pattern of periodically fluctuating ECU parameters. As a result, the values of RPM, horse power of the prime mover, torque of the prime mover, fuel consumption, and/or a temperature of exhaust gas changes over a period of time can have a periodically fluctuating pattern that, for example, can have a frequency that is similar to the power output fluctuation of the generator and/or the load/unload duty cycle of the compressor. Therefore, when this periodically fluctuating pattern of the ECU parameters is detected, it generally indicates that the temperature setpoint has been reached in the TRU with the scroll compressor.

    [0042] It is to be appreciated that the ECU parameters are not limited to the parameters, such as RPM, horse power of the prime mover, etc., as listed herein. Generally, any ECU parameters that may have a periodically fluctuating pattern that can be affected by the operation conditions of the compressor may be used.

    [0043] At 340, if the periodically fluctuating pattern is detected, which generally indicates that the temperature setpoint is reached and the motor does not require the high power, the method 300 goes to 350, at which time the prime mover is switched to a low operation speed (e.g. 1500 RPM). The method 300 then goes back to 330 to keep monitoring the ECU parameter patterns.

    [0044] At 340, if the periodically fluctuating pattern in ECU parameters is not detected, which generally indicates that the temperature setpoint has not reached, the method 300 goes back to 330 to keep monitoring the ECU parameter patterns. The prime mover is kept at (or switched to) the high operation speed so as to meet the high power demand by the motor.

    [0045] It is to be noted that parameter patterns other than ECU parameter patterns can be used in 340. For example, an operational current meter (e.g. the current meter 236 in Fig. 2) can be coupled to an output wire of the generator (e.g. the generator 235 in Fig. 2). The current meter can measure a current output, for example in real time, by the generator and the values measured by the current meter can be received by, for example, the genset controller. When the temperature setpoint has been reached, which results in, for example, the scroll compressor to enter the periodical load/unload duty cycle, the genset controller in communicating with the current meter can detect that the output current from the generator fluctuates periodically in a frequency that is similar to the load/unload duty cycle of the compressor. When this periodically fluctuating current pattern is detected, the prime mover can be switched to the low operation speed.

    [0046] It is to be appreciated that the prime mover can be mechanically controlled. In the mechanically controlled prime mover, a RPM sensor may be positioned, for example, on a fly wheel of the prime mover. The rpm sensor can be configured to measure a rotation speed of the fly wheel. The changes in the operation conditions of the motor may cause rotation speed changes of the fly wheel.

    [0047] For example, when the scroll compressor is used, due to droop control of the mechanically controlled prime mover, the load/unload duty cycle of the scroll compressor when the temperature setpoint has been reached can result in a pattern of fluctuating fly wheel speed. This periodically fluctuating fly wheel speed can be monitored/detected by the speed sensor. Accordingly, the prime mover can be switched to the low operation speed when the pattern of the fluctuating fly wheel speed is detected.

    [0048] It is to be appreciated that the method 300 described in Fig. 3 is not limited to a scroll compressor. The method can be used with TRUs using different types of compressors, such as a reciprocating compressor, a screw compressor, etc. For each different compressor, ECU parameter patterns when the temperature setpoint has been reached in the TRU can be measured. During operation, if the ECU parameter pattern monitored/detected matches the pre-measured ECU parameter patterns that generally indicate that the temperature setpoint has been reached, the prime mover can be switched to the low operation speed.

    [0049] It is further to be appreciated that the method 300 described in Fig. 3 can also be adopted to control the operations of the prime mover based on other compressor (or the motor driving the compressor) operation conditions. Generally, an association between a particular genset parameter pattern and a particular compressor operation condition can be established, for example, in a laboratory setting. For example, a series of ECU parameter patterns can be established for a series of different compressor loads of the TRU. Furthermore, an optimized operation condition (e.g. the operation speeds) of the prime mover may be established for each of the different compressor loads. During operation, the ECU parameter patterns can be monitored/detected, for example in real time. If the ECU parameter pattern monitored in real time matches a specific pattern, which generally indicates that the compressor is operated at the specific load associated with the specific ECU parameter patterns, the prime mover can be operated at the operation condition optimized for the specific load. Other types of compressor operation conditions can be associated with specific ECU parameter patterns similarly.

    [0050] It is to be appreciated that the ECU parameters, such as the values of RPM, horse power of the prime mover, torque of the prime mover, fuel consumption, and/or a temperature of exhaust gas changes over a period of time, and/or the current drawn from the generator, are exemplary. Other operation parameters of the genset can also be used to determine the operation condition of the compressor. Generally, any one of the operation parameters or a combination of several operation parameters of the genset that may be affected by the compressor operation condition changes can be used to monitor the operation condition of the compressor. Since the values of the operation parameter of the genset changes in accordance with the changes in the operation condition of the compressor, an association can generally be established between the operation parameter patterns of the genset and the operation conditions of the compressor. This association can then be used to determine the operation condition of the compressor based on a monitored parameter pattern of the genset.


    Claims

    1. A method to detect an operation condition of a compressor (223) of a transport refrigeration system (200) comprising:

    obtaining (330) an operation parameter of a generator set (230), wherein the generator set (230) includes a prime mover (233) that is configured to drive a generator (235) that supplies power to the compressor (223); and

    determining (330) an operation parameter pattern based on the operation parameter over a period of time; characterized by

    determining (340) whether the operation parameter pattern includes a periodic fluctuation of the operation parameter over the period of time, wherein the periodic fluctuation of the operation parameter is indicative of a periodical load/unload duty cycle of the compressor (223);

    determining (340) a first operation condition of the compressor when the operation parameter pattern lacks the periodic fluctuation of the operation parameter over the period of time;

    determining (340) a second operation condition of the compressor that is different from the first operation condition of the compressor (223) when the operation parameter pattern includes the periodic fluctuation of the operation parameter over the period of time,

    wherein the second operation condition is when the compressor (223) has the periodical load/unload duty cycle occurring when the transport refrigeration system (200) approaches or has reached a temperature setpoint; and
    adjusting (350) a speed of the prime mover (233) from a first speed to a second speed that is lower than the first speed when the second operation condition of the compressor (223) is determined.


     
    2. The method of claim 1, wherein the operation parameter of the generator set (230) includes at least one of an RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), a horse power, a torque, fuel consumption, and an exhaust temperature of the prime mover (233).
     
    3. The method of claim 1, wherein obtaining the operation parameter of the generator set (230) includes obtaining the operation parameter of the generator set (230) from an electronic control unit (237) of the prime mover (233).
     
    4. The method of claim 1 further comprising,
    controlling the prime mover (233) of the generator set (230) to operate at the first speed when determining the first operation condition of the compressor (223).
     
    5. The method of claim 1, wherein the operation parameter of the generator set (230) is an RPM of the prime mover (233), and
    obtaining the operation parameter of the generator set (230) includes obtaining the RPM of the prime mover (233) from an RPM sensor that is configured to monitor the RPM of the prime mover (233).
     
    6. The method of claim 1, wherein determining whether the operation parameter pattern includes the periodic fluctuation of the operation parameter over the period of time includes determining whether the operation parameter pattern of the prime mover (233) has a frequency similar to a periodical load/unload duty cycle of the compressor (223).
     
    7. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
    operating the prime mover (233) at the first speed when determining the first operation condition of the compressor (223); and
    wherein the compressor (223) is a scroll compressor and determining whether the operation parameter pattern includes the periodic fluctuation includes determining whether the periodic fluctuation has a frequency of the periodical load/unload duty cycle of the scroll compressor.
     
    8. The method of claim 7, wherein the first operation condition indicates that the transport refrigeration system (200) has not approached a temperature setpoint.
     
    9. The method of claim 7, wherein the operation parameter of the generator (235) includes at least one of an RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), a horse power, a torque, fuel consumption, and an exhaust temperature of the prime mover (233).
     
    10. A transport refrigeration system (200) comprising:

    a compressor (223);

    a generator set (230) configured to provide electrical power to the compressor (223); and

    a controller (239) of the generator set (230) configured to:

    monitor a parameter pattern of the generator set (230), and

    determine an operation parameter pattern based on the operation parameter over a period of time, characterized in that the controller is further configured to:

    detect whether the operation parameter pattern includes a periodic fluctuation of the operation parameter over the period of time, wherein the periodic fluctuation of the operation parameter is indicative of a periodical load/unload duty cycle of the compressor (223),

    determine a first operation condition of the compressor (223) when the periodic fluctuation is not detected,

    determine a second operation condition of the compressor (223) when the periodic fluctuation is detected,

    operate a prime mover (233) at a first operation speed when the controller (239) determines the first operation condition of the compressor (223), and

    operate the prime mover (233) at a second operation speed when the controller (239) determines the second operation condition of the compressor (223),

    wherein the compressor (223) is a scroll compressor, and
    wherein the controller (239) is configured to detect whether the operation parameter pattern includes the periodic fluctuation includes the controller (239) being configured to determine whether the periodic fluctuation has a frequency of periodical load/unload duty cycle of the scroll compressor..


     
    11. The transport refrigeration system (200) of claim 10, wherein the generator set (230) includes the prime mover (233) and a generator (235), and the operation parameter includes at least one of an RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), a horse power, a torque, fuel consumption, and an exhaust temperature of the prime mover (233).
     
    12. The transport refrigeration system (200) of claim 10, wherein the generator set (230) includes a current meter (236) configured to measure current drawn from the generator set (230).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zur Erkennung einer Betriebsbedingung eines Kompressors (223) eines Transportkühlsystems (200), das Folgendes umfasst:

    Aufnehmen (330) eines Betriebsparameters eines Generatorsatzes (230), wobei der Generatorsatz (230) einen Primärantrieb (233) umfasst, der dazu ausgelegt ist, einen Generator (235) anzutreiben, der Energie an den Kompressor (223) liefert; und

    Feststellen (330) eines Betriebsparametermusters basierend auf dem Betriebsparameter über einen Zeitraum; gekennzeichnet durch

    Feststellen (340), ob das Betriebsparametermuster eine periodische Schwankung des Betriebsparameters über den Zeitraum beinhaltet, wobei die periodische Schwankung des Betriebsparameters bezeichnend für einen periodischen Belastungs-Entlastungs-Arbeitszyklus des Kompressors (223) ist;

    Feststellen (340) einer ersten Betriebsbedingung des Kompressors, wenn das Betriebsparametermuster keine periodische Schwankung des Betriebsparameters über den Zeitraum aufweist;

    Feststellen (340) einer zweiten Betriebsbedingung des Kompressors, die sich von der ersten Betriebsbedingung des Kompressors (223) unterscheidet, wenn das Betriebsparametermuster die periodische Schwankung des Betriebsparameters über den Zeitraum beinhaltet,

    wobei die zweite Betriebsbedingung vorliegt, wenn der Kompressor (223) den periodischen Belastungs-Entlastungs-Arbeitszyklus aufweist, der auftritt, wenn sich das Transportkühlsystem (200) einem Temperatursollwert annähert oder ihn erreicht hat; und

    Einstellen (350) einer Geschwindigkeit des Primärantriebs (233) von einer ersten Geschwindigkeit zu einer zweiten Geschwindigkeit, die niedriger als die erste Geschwindigkeit ist, wenn die zweite Betriebsbedingung des Kompressors (223) bestimmt wird.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Betriebsparameter des Generatorsatzes (230) mindestens eine Drehzahl (Revolutions Per Minute [Umdrehungen pro Minute], RPM), eine Pferdestärke, ein Drehmoment, einen Kraftstoffverbrauch und/oder eine Abgastemperatur des Primärantriebs (233) beinhaltet.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Beschaffen des Betriebsparameters des Generatorsatzes (230) ein Beschaffen des Betriebsparameters des Generatorsatzes (230) von einer elektronischen Steuereinheit (237) des Primärantriebs (233) beinhaltet.
     
    4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, das ferner Folgendes umfasst:
    Regeln des Primärantriebs (233) des Generatorsatzes (230), um in der ersten Geschwindigkeit zu arbeiten, wenn die erste Betriebsbedingung des Kompressors (223) bestimmt wird.
     
    5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Betriebsparameter des Generatorsatzes (230) eine Drehzahl des Primärantriebs (233) ist, und
    das Beschaffen des Betriebsparameters des Generatorsatzes (230) ein Beschaffen der Drehzahl des Primärantriebs (233) von einem Drehzahlsensor, der dazu ausgelegt ist, die Drehzahl des Primärantriebs (233) zu überwachen, umfasst.
     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Feststellen, ob das Betriebsparametermuster die periodische Schwankung des Betriebsparameters über den Zeitraum beinhaltet, das Feststellen beinhaltet, ob das Betriebsparametermuster des Primärantriebs (233) eine Frequenz aufweist, die einem periodischen Belastungs-Entlastungs-Arbeitszyklus des Kompressors (223) ähnelt.
     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, das ferner Folgendes umfasst:
    Betreiben des Primärantriebs (233) beim Feststellen der ersten Betriebsbedingung des Kompressors (223) mit der ersten Geschwindigkeit; und
    wobei der Kompressor (223) ein Scrollkompressor ist und das Feststellen, ob das Betriebsparametermuster die periodische Schwankung beinhaltet, das Feststellen beinhaltet, ob die periodische Schwankung eine Frequenz des periodischen Belastungs-Entlastungs-Arbeitszyklus des Scrollkompressors beinhaltet.
     
    8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 7, wobei die erste Betriebsbedingung angibt, dass sich das Transportkühlsystem (200) einem Temperatursollwert nicht angenähert hat.
     
    9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 7, wobei der Betriebsparameter des Generators (235) mindestens eine Drehzahl (Umdrehungen pro Minute), eine Pferdestärke, ein Drehmoment, einen Kraftstoffverbrauch und/oder eine Abgastemperatur des Primärantriebs (233) beinhaltet.
     
    10. Transportkühlsystem (200), das Folgendes umfasst:

    einen Kompressor (223);

    einen Generatorsatz (230), der dazu ausgelegt ist, dem Kompressor (223) elektrische Energie bereitzustellen; und

    eine Regelung (239) des Generatorsatzes (230), die dazu ausgelegt ist:

    ein Leistungsmuster des Generatorsatzes (230) zu überwachen, und

    ein Betriebsparametermuster auf der Grundlage des Betriebsparameters über einen Zeitraum festzustellen, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Regelung ferner dazu ausgelegt ist:

    zu erkennen, ob das Betriebsparametermuster eine periodische Schwankung des Betriebsparameters über den Zeitraum beinhaltet, wobei die periodische Schwankung des Betriebsparameters bezeichnend für einen periodischen Belastungs-Entlastungs-Arbeitszyklus des Kompressors (223) ist;

    eine erste Betriebsbedingung des Kompressors (223) festzustellen, wenn die periodische Schwankung nicht erkannt wird,

    eine zweite Betriebsbedingung des Kompressors (223) festzustellen, wenn die periodische Schwankung erkannt wird,

    den Primärantrieb (233) bei einer ersten Betriebsgeschwindigkeit zu betreiben, wenn die Regelung (239) die erste Betriebsbedingung des Kompressors (223) feststellt, und

    den Primärantrieb (233) bei einer zweiten Betriebsgeschwindigkeit zu betreiben, wenn die Regelung (239) die zweite Betriebsbedingung des Kompressors (223) feststellt,

    wobei der Kompressor (223) ein Scrollkompressor ist, und

    wobei die Regelung (239) dazu ausgelegt ist, zu erkennen, ob das Betriebsparametermuster die periodische Schwankung beinhaltet, beinhaltet, dass die Regelung (239) dazu ausgelegt ist, festzustellen, ob die periodische Schwankung eine Frequenz eines Belastungs-Entlastungs-Arbeitszyklus des Scrollkompressors aufweist.


     
    11. Transportkühlsystem (200) nach Anspruch 10, wobei der Generatorsatz (230) den Primärantrieb (233) und einen Generator (235) aufweist, und der Betriebsparameter mindestens eine Drehzahl (Umdrehungen pro Minute), eine Pferdestärke, ein Drehmoment, einen Kraftstoffverbrauch und/oder eine Abgastemperatur des Primärantriebs (233) beinhaltet.
     
    12. Transportkühlsystem (200) nach Anspruch 10, wobei der Generatorsatz (230) einen Strommesser (236) beinhaltet, der dazu ausgelegt ist, von dem Generatorsatz (230) abgezogenen Strom zu messen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé de détection d'une condition de fonctionnement d'un compresseur (223) d'un système frigorifique de transport (200) comprenant :

    l'obtention (330) d'un paramètre de fonctionnement d'un groupe électrogène (230), le groupe électrogène (230) comportant un moteur d'entraînement (233) qui est configuré pour entraîner un générateur (235) qui fournit de l'énergie au compresseur (223) ; et

    la détermination (330) d'un motif de paramètre de fonctionnement sur la base du paramètre de fonctionnement sur une durée ; caractérisé par

    la détermination (340) que le motif de paramètre de fonctionnement comporte ou non une fluctuation périodique du paramètre de fonctionnement sur la durée, la fluctuation périodique du paramètre de fonctionnement étant représentative d'un cycle de charge/décharge périodique du compresseur (223) ;

    la détermination (340) d'une première condition de fonctionnement du processeur quand le motif de paramètre de fonctionnement est dépourvu de la fluctuation périodique du paramètre de fonctionnement sur la durée ;

    la détermination (340) d'une deuxième condition de fonctionnement du processeur qui est différente de la première condition de fonctionnement du processeur (223) quand le motif de paramètre de fonctionnement comporte la fluctuation périodique du paramètre de fonctionnement sur la durée,

    la deuxième condition de fonctionnement apparaissant quand le compresseur (223) voit se produire le cycle de charge/décharge périodique quand le système frigorifique de transport (200) se rapproche ou a atteint une consigne de température ; et

    le réglage (350) d'une vitesse du moteur d'entraînement (233) d'une première vitesse à une deuxième vitesse qui est inférieure à la première vitesse quand la deuxième condition de fonctionnement du compresseur (223) est déterminée.


     
    2. Procédé de la revendication 1, dans lequel le paramètre de fonctionnement du groupe électrogène (230) en comporte au moins un parmi une vitesse de rotation en tr/min (tours par minute), une puissance en chevaux-vapeur, un couple, une consommation de carburant, et une température d'échappement du moteur d'entraînement (233) .
     
    3. Procédé de la revendication 1, dans lequel l'obtention du paramètre de fonctionnement du groupe électrogène (230) comporte l'obtention du paramètre de fonctionnement du groupe électrogène (230) à partir d'une unité de commande électronique (237) du moteur d'entraînement (233).
     
    4. Procédé de la revendication 1 comprenant en outre :
    le contrôle du moteur d'entraînement (233) du groupe électrogène (230) pour qu'il fonctionne à la première vitesse lors de la détermination de la première condition de fonctionnement du compresseur (223) .
     
    5. Procédé de la revendication 1, dans lequel le paramètre de fonctionnement du groupe électrogène (230) est une vitesse de rotation en tr/min du moteur d'entraînement (233), et
    l'obtention du paramètre de fonctionnement du groupe électrogène (230) comporte l'obtention des tr/min du moteur d'entraînement (233) à partir d'un capteur de tr/min qui est configuré pour surveiller les tr/min du moteur d'entraînement (233).
     
    6. Procédé de la revendication 1, dans lequel la détermination que le motif de paramètre de fonctionnement comporte ou non la fluctuation périodique du paramètre de fonctionnement sur la durée comporte la détermination que le motif de paramètre de fonctionnement du moteur d'entraînement (233) a ou non une fréquence similaire à un cycle de charge/décharge périodique du compresseur (223).
     
    7. Procédé de la revendication 1 comprenant en outre :

    le fonctionnement du moteur d'entraînement (233) à la première vitesse lors de la détermination de la première condition de fonctionnement du compresseur (223) ; et

    dans lequel le compresseur (223) est un compresseur à spirale et la détermination que le motif de paramètre de fonctionnement comporte ou non la fluctuation périodique comporte la détermination que la fluctuation périodique a ou non une fréquence du cycle de charge/décharge périodique du compresseur à spirale.


     
    8. Procédé de la revendication 7, dans lequel la première condition de fonctionnement indique que le système frigorifique de transport (200) ne s'est pas rapproché d'une consigne de température.
     
    9. Procédé de la revendication 7, dans lequel le paramètre de fonctionnement du générateur (235) en comporte au moins un parmi une vitesse de rotation en tr/min (tours par minute), une puissance en chevaux-vapeur, un couple, une consommation de carburant, et une température d'échappement du moteur d'entraînement (233) .
     
    10. Système frigorifique de transport (200) comprenant :

    un compresseur (223) ;

    un groupe électrogène (230) configuré pour fournir de l'énergie électrique au compresseur (223) ; et

    un contrôleur (239) du groupe électrogène (230) configuré pour :

    surveiller un motif de paramètre du groupe électrogène (230), et

    déterminer un motif de paramètre de fonctionnement sur la base du paramètre de fonctionnement sur une durée, caractérisé en ce que le contrôleur est également configuré pour :

    détecter si le motif de paramètre de fonctionnement comporte une fluctuation périodique du paramètre de fonctionnement sur la durée, la fluctuation périodique du paramètre de fonctionnement étant représentative d'un cycle de charge/décharge périodique du compresseur (223),

    déterminer une première condition de fonctionnement du compresseur (223) quand la fluctuation périodique n'est pas détectée,

    déterminer une deuxième condition de fonctionnement du compresseur (223) quand la fluctuation périodique est détectée,

    faire fonctionner un moteur d'entraînement (233) à une première vitesse de fonctionnement quand le contrôleur (239) détermine la première condition de fonctionnement du compresseur (223), et

    faire fonctionner le moteur d'entraînement (233) à une deuxième vitesse de fonctionnement quand le contrôleur (239) détermine la deuxième condition de fonctionnement du compresseur (223),

    le compresseur (223) étant un compresseur à spirale, et

    dans lequel le contrôleur (239) est configuré pour détecter si le motif de paramètre de fonctionnement comporte la fluctuation périodique comporte le fait que le contrôleur (239) est configuré pour déterminer si la fluctuation périodique a une fréquence de cycle de charge/décharge périodique du compresseur à spirale.


     
    11. Système frigorifique de transport (200) de la revendication 10, dans lequel le groupe électrogène (230) comporte le moteur d'entraînement (233) et un générateur (235), et le paramètre de fonctionnement en comporte au moins un parmi une vitesse de rotation en tr/min (tours par minute), une puissance en chevaux-vapeur, un couple, une consommation de carburant, et une température d'échappement du moteur d'entraînement (233) .
     
    12. Système frigorifique de transport (200) de la revendication 10, dans lequel le groupe électrogène (230) comporte un ampèremètre (236) configuré pour mesurer un courant tiré sur le groupe électrogène (230) .
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description