(19)
(11)EP 3 742 074 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
25.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/48

(21)Application number: 19741005.3

(22)Date of filing:  18.01.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F25B 6/02(2006.01)
F25B 41/00(2006.01)
F25B 49/02(2006.01)
F25B 5/02(2006.01)
F25B 41/06(2006.01)
F24F 11/70(2018.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/KR2019/000790
(87)International publication number:
WO 2019/143198 (25.07.2019 Gazette  2019/30)
(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 19.01.2018 KR 20180007095

(71)Applicant: LG Electronics Inc.
07336 SEOUL (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • CHO, Eunjun
    Seoul 08592 (KR)
  • KIM, Minsoo
    Seoul 08592 (KR)
  • YUM, Hyungyul
    Seoul 08592 (KR)
  • JANG, Jiyoung
    Seoul 08592 (KR)

(74)Representative: Vossius & Partner Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB 
Siebertstrasse 3
81675 München
81675 München (DE)

  


(54)MULTI-TYPE AIR CONDITIONER


(57) Provided is a multi-type air conditioner, including: an outdoor unit comprising a liquid pipe through which liquid refrigerant flows and a gas pipe through which gas refrigerant flows; a plurality of indoor units comprising a first indoor unit and a second indoor unit each connected to the liquid and gas pipelines to circulate a refrigerant; a gas pipe connecting tube connecting the gas pipe and a plurality of indoor units so that a gas refrigerant flows therethrough; a first gas branch pipe connecting the first indoor unit and the gas pipe connecting tube so that a gas refrigerant flows therethrough; a second gas branch pipe connecting the second indoor unit and the gas pipe connecting tube so that a gas refrigerant flows therethrough; an indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe connecting the first indoor unit and the second indoor unit so that a liquid refrigerant flows therethrough; and a liquid pipe connecting tube connecting the first indoor unit and the liquid pipe so that a liquid refrigerant flows therethrough.
The first indoor unit may include: a first heat exchanger configured to perform heat exchange between indoor air and a refrigerant, a second heat exchanger configured to perform heat exchange between indoor air and a refrigerant and arranged in a stacked fashion with the first heat exchanger; a first indoor fan configured to blow air to the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger; a first liquid branch pipe connecting the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe and the first indoor heat exchanger; a first heat exchanger connecting pipe connecting the first liquid branch pipe and the first heat exchanger of the first indoor heat exchanger; a second heat exchanger connecting pipe connecting the first liquid branch pipe and a second heat exchanger of the first indoor heat exchanger; and a first indoor expansion valve disposed at the second heat exchanger connecting pipe, wherein an opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve is adjusted in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant.
The liquid pipe connecting tube may connect the first heat exchanger and a liquid pipe, and he first gas branch pipe may connect the second heat exchanger and the gas pipe.
Since the multi-type air conditioner according to the present disclosure can operate the first heat exchanger as a condenser and the second heat exchanger as an evaporator among the indoor heat exchangers, it is possible to continuously drive the dehumidification mode while maintaining the room temperature within a certain range There are advantages.




Description

[Technical Field]



[0001] The present disclosure relates to a multi-type air conditioner, and more particularly, to a multi-type air conditioner capable of performing dehumidification while maintaining a temperature of indoor air at a constant level.

[Background Art]



[0002] An air conditioner refers to a device that cools/heats a room or purifies indoor air to create a more comfortable indoor environment for a user.

[0003] At present, for effective cooling or heating of a space partitioned into many rooms, there have been ceaseless developments of multi-type air conditioners.

[0004] The multi-type air conditioner is in general provided with one outdoor unit and a plurality of indoor units each connected to the outdoor unit and installed in a room, for cooling or heating the room while operating in one of cooling, heating, and dehumidifying mode.

[0005] If any one indoor unit is operating in the dehumidifying mode while a plurality of indoor unit operates in the cooling mode, the indoor unit operating in the dehumidifying mode discharges air of a temperature lower than a room temperature, so it is not possible to maintain the room temperature at a constant level.

[Advanced technical literature]


[Patent Document]



[0006] Republic of Korea Patent Publication 10-1997-0062570 A

[Disclosure]


[Technical Problem]



[0007] An object of the present disclosure is to provide a multi-type air conditioner capable of performing dehumidification while maintaining a temperature of indoor air at a constant level.

[Technical Solution]



[0008] A multi-type air conditioner according to the present disclosure is capable of performing dehumidification while maintaining a temperature of indoor air at a constant level.

[0009] According to an aspect of the present disclosure, there is provided a multi-type air conditioner, including: an outdoor unit comprising a liquid pipe through which liquid refrigerant flows and a gas pipe through which gas refrigerant flows; a plurality of indoor units comprising a first indoor unit and a second indoor unit each connected to the liquid and gas pipelines to circulate a refrigerant; a gas pipe connecting tube connecting the gas pipe and a plurality of indoor units so that a gas refrigerant flows therethrough; a first gas branch pipe connecting the first indoor unit and the gas pipe connecting tube so that a gas refrigerant flows therethrough; a second gas branch pipe connecting the second indoor unit and the gas pipe connecting tube so that a gas refrigerant flows therethrough; an indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe connecting the first indoor unit and the second indoor unit so that a liquid refrigerant flows therethrough; and a liquid pipe connecting tube connecting the first indoor unit and the liquid pipe so that a liquid refrigerant flows therethrough.

[0010] The first indoor unit may include:
A first indoor heat exchanger comprising a first heat exchanger configured to perform heat exchange between indoor air and a refrigerant, a second heat exchanger configured to perform heat exchange between indoor air and a refrigerant and arranged in a stacked fashion with the first heat exchanger; a first indoor fan configured to blow air to the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger; a first liquid branch pipe connecting the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe and the first indoor heat exchanger; a first heat exchanger connecting pipe connecting the first liquid branch pipe and the first heat exchanger of the first indoor heat exchanger; a second heat exchanger connecting pipe connecting the first liquid branch pipe and a second heat exchanger of the first indoor heat exchanger; and a first indoor expansion valve disposed at the second heat exchanger connecting pipe, wherein an opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve is adjusted in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant. The liquid pipe connecting tube may connect the first heat exchanger and a liquid pipe, and the first gas branch pipe may connect the second heat exchanger and the gas pipe.

[0011] The multi-type air conditioner may further include a distributor connecting the first gas branch pipe and the second gas branch pipe to the gas pipe connecting tube.

[0012] During a heating operation, a refrigerant condensed in the second indoor unit may flow into the first liquid branch pipe through the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe, a refrigerant in the first liquid branch pipe may flow to the first heat exchanger through the first indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe, a refrigerant in the first heat exchange section may flow to the liquid pipe connecting tube, a refrigerant in the liquid pipe connecting tube may flow to the liquid pipe, a refrigerant in the first gas branch pipe may flow to the second heat exchanger, and a refrigerant discharged from the second heat exchanger may flow through the first indoor expansion valve to the first heat exchanger connecting pipe.

[0013] During a heating operation, the first indoor expansion valve may be fully opened.

[0014] During a cooling operation, a refrigerant in the liquid pipe connecting tube may flow to the first heat exchanger, and a refrigerant discharged from the first heat exchanger flows to the first heat exchanger connecting pipe, a portion of the refrigerant in the connecting pipe of the first heat exchanger may flow to the first liquid branch pipe, and the refrigerant in the first liquid branch pipe is supplied to the second indoor unit through the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe, the remaining portion of the refrigerant in the first heat exchange connecting pipe may flow to the second heat exchange connecting pipe, a refrigerant in the second heat exchange connecting pipe may flow to the second heat exchanger through the first indoor expansion valve, and a refrigerant discharged from the second heat exchanger may flow to the gas pipe connecting tube through the first gas branch pipe.

[0015] An opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve may be adjusted to expand a refrigerant in the second heat exchanger connecting pipe.

[0016] During a constant temperature dehumidifying operation, a refrigerant in the liquid pipe connecting tube may flow to the first heat exchanger, a refrigerant discharged from the first heat exchanger may flow to the first heat exchanger connecting pipe, a refrigerant in the first heat exchanger connecting pipe may flow to the second heat exchanger connecting pipe, a refrigerant in the second heat exchanger connecting pipe may flow to the second heat exchanger through the first indoor expansion valve, and a refrigerant discharged from the second heat exchanger may flow to the gas pipe connecting tube through the first gas branch pipe. An opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve may adjusted to expand a refrigerant in the second heat exchanger connecting pipe.

[0017] The second indoor unit may further include a second indoor expansion valve. When the second indoor unit is operating, a portion of the refrigerant in the connecting pipe of the first heat exchanger may flow to the first liquid branch pipe, and the refrigerant in the first liquid branch pipe may be supplied to the second indoor unit through the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe. The remaining portion of the refrigerant in the first heat exchange connecting pipe may flow to the second heat exchange connecting pipe, a refrigerant in the second heat exchange connecting pipe may flow to the second heat exchanger through the first indoor expansion valve, and a refrigerant discharged from the second heat exchanger may flow to the gas pipe connecting tube through the first gas branch pipe.

[0018] The second indoor unit may further include a second indoor expansion valve. When the second indoor unit is stopped, the second indoor expansion valve may be closed.

[0019] The multi-type air conditioner may further include: a first bypass pipe connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube and the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe; and a first bypass expansion valve disposed at the first bypass pipe, wherein an opening amount of the first bypass expansion valve is adjusted in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant.

[0020] The multi-type air conditioner may further include: a second bypass pipe connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube and the second heat exchanger connecting pipe; and a second bypass expansion valve disposed at the second bypass pipe, wherein an opening amount of the second bypass expansion valve is adjusted in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant.

[0021] The multi-type air conditioner may further include: a first bypass pipe connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube and the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe; a first bypass expansion valve disposed at the first bypass pipe, wherein an opening amount of the first bypass expansion valve is adjusted in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant; and a third bypass expansion valve disposed at the liquid pipe connecting tube, wherein an opening amount of the third bypass expansion valve is controlled in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant.

[0022] One end of the first bypass pipe may be connected to the liquid pipe connecting tube, and the other end of the first bypass pipe may be connected to the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe. The third bypass expansion valve may be disposed between one end of the first bypass pipe and a first heat exchanger.

[Advantageous Effects]



[0023] The multi-type air conditioner of the present disclosure has one or more of the following effects.

[0024] First, the multi-type air conditioner according to the present disclosure can connect a plurality of indoor units and outdoor units with only a liquid pipe and a gas pipe, and operate at least one of the plurality of indoor units in a constant temperature dehumidification mode.

[0025] Second, since the multi-type air conditioner according to the present disclosure can operate a first heat exchanger as a condenser and operate a second heat exchanger as an evaporator, it is possible to constantly operate a dehumidifying mode while maintaining a room temperature within a constant range.

[0026] The effects of the present disclosure will not be limited only to the effects described above, and, accordingly, other effects that have not been mentioned above may become apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art from the description presented below.

[Description of Drawings]



[0027] 

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a multi-type air conditioner according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 is an exemplary diagram illustrating a refrigerant flow during a heating operation in the multi-type air conditioner illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an exemplary diagram illustrating a refrigerant flow during a cooling operation in the multi-type air conditioner illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an exemplary diagram showing a refrigerant flow during a dehumidifying operation in the multi-type air conditioner illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a second embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a third embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 7 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a fourth embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 8 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a fifth embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 9 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a sixth embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 10 is a block diagram of a multi-type air conditioner according to a seventh embodiment of the present disclosure.


[Mode for Disclosure]



[0028] Advantages and features of the present disclosure, and methods for achieving them will be clarified with reference to embodiments described below in detail together with the accompanying drawings. However, the present disclosure is not limited to the embodiments disclosed below, but may be implemented in various different forms, and only the embodiments allow the disclosure of the present disclosure to be complete, and common knowledge in the technical field to which the present disclosure pertains. It is provided to fully inform the person having the scope of the invention, and the present disclosure is only defined by the scope of the claims. The same reference numerals refer to the same components throughout the specification.

[0029] Hereinafter, the present disclosure will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0030] FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure, FIG. 2 is an exemplary diagram illustrating a refrigerant flow during a heating operation in the multi-type air conditioner shown in FIG. 1, and FIG. 3 is an exemplary diagram illustrating a refrigerant flow during a cooling operation in the multi-type air conditioner shown in FIG. 1.

[0031] The multi-type air conditioner according to the present disclosure includes an outdoor unit A and an indoor unit D.

[0032] The indoor unit D may operate for cooling or heating. The plurality of indoor unit D may be provided as a plurality of indoor units C1, C2, and C3.

[0033] The plurality of indoor units C1, C2, and C3 each includes an indoor heat exchanger, an indoor expansion valve, and an indoor blower fan.

[0034] Although not additionally described, various structures which can be sufficiently known to a person skilled in the art, such as a pressure switch, a pressure sensor, a temperature sensor, a check valve, a strainer, and the like, are installed in the outdoor unit A or the indoor unit D.

<Configuration of Outdoor Unit>



[0035] The outdoor unit A includes an outdoor unit case (not shown), a compressor 10 disposed therein, an outdoor heat exchanger 20, an accumulator 30, a four way valve 40, an oil separator 50, an outdoor expansion valve 70, a hot gas unit 90, and a subcooling unit 100.

[0036] The outdoor unit case includes a gas pipe service valve 13 to which the gas piping 82 is connected, and a liquid piping service valve 14 to which the liquid piping 12 is connected.

[0037] The gas pipe service valve 13 and the liquid piping service valve 14 are connected through an indoor unit D and a refrigerant pipe, and circulate the refrigerant of the outdoor unit A.

[0038] The compressor 10 is an inverter compressor capable of controlling the amount of a refrigerant and a discharge pressure of the refrigerant by adjusting an operating frequency.

[0039] The outdoor heat exchanger 20 is a device for exchanging heat between outdoor air and a refrigerant. In this embodiment, the outdoor heat exchanger 20 may be configured as a plurality of outdoor heat exchangers. The outdoor heat exchanger 20 operates as a condenser during a cooling operation and as an evaporator during a heating operation.

[0040] In this embodiment, the outdoor heat exchanger 20 is composed of a first outdoor heat exchanger 22 and a second outdoor heat exchanger 24.

[0041] In order to improve the heat exchange of the outdoor heat exchanger 20, an outdoor blower fan 60 is disposed.

[0042] The accumulator 30 provides a refrigerant to the compressor 10. The accumulator 30 is disposed on a suction side of the compressor 10 and is connected to the four way valve 40.

<Configuration of Four Way Valve>



[0043] The four way valve 40 includes a first flow path 41, a second flow path 42, a third flow path 43, and a fourth flow path 44.

[0044] The first flow path 41 is connected to a discharge side of the compressor 10. A pipe connecting the first flow path 41 and the discharge side of the compressor 10 is defined as a four way valve-compressor connecting pipe 81.

[0045] The second flow path 42 is connected to the gas pipe 82. A pipe connecting the second flow path 42 and the gas pipe service valve 13 is defined as the gas piping 82.

[0046] The third flow path 43 is connected to the outdoor heat exchanger 20. A pipe connecting the third flow path 43 and the outdoor heat exchanger 20 is defined as a four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83.

[0047] Since the outdoor heat exchanger 20 is configured as two outdoor heat exchangers, two four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipes 83 are disposed.

[0048] The four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83 includes a first four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83a that connects the first outdoor heat exchanger 22 and the four way valves 40 (the third flow path). The four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83 includes a four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83b that connects the second outdoor heat exchanger 24 and the four way valves 40 (the third flow path).

[0049] The first four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83a and the second four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83b are combined to be connected to the third flow path 43.

[0050] The fourth flow path 44 is connected to the accumulator 30. A pipe connecting the fourth flow path 44 and the accumulator 30 is defined as a four way valve-accumulator connecting pipe 84.

<Configuration of Oil Separator



[0051] The oil separator 50 is disposed on a discharge side of the compressor 10, and a refrigerant discharged from the compressor 10 flows through the oil separator 50 to the four way valve 40.

[0052] The oil separator 50 recovers oil contained in the discharged refrigerant and provides the recovered oil to the compressor 10 again.

[0053] The oil separator 50 further include an oil recovering pipe 51 for guiding oil to the compressor 10, and a check valve 52 disposed in the oil recovering pipe 51 to guide a refrigerant to flow in one direction.

[0054] The oil separator 50 is installed at the four way valve-compressor connecting pipe 81.

[0055] The accumulator 30 is also provided with an oil recovering structure capable of recovering oil into the compressor 10. An oil return pipe 31 connecting a lower side of the accumulator 30 and a suction side pipe 35 of the compressor, and an oil return valve 32 disposed in the oil recovery pipe 31 to control the flow of the oil may be disposed.

<Configuration of Outdoor Expansion valve>



[0056] During a heating operation, the outdoor expansion valve 70 expands a refrigerant flowing to the outdoor heat exchanger 20. During a cooling operation, the outdoor expansion valve 70 allows the refrigerant to pass therethrough without expansion. The outdoor expansion valve 70 may be an electronic expansion valve capable of adjusting an opening value according to an input signal.

[0057] The outdoor expansion valve 70 includes a first outdoor expansion valve 72 for expanding a refrigerant flowing to the first outdoor heat exchanger 22, and a second outdoor expansion valve 74 for expanding a refrigerant flowing to the second outdoor heat exchanger 24.

[0058] The first outdoor expansion valve 72 and the second outdoor expansion valve 74 are connected to the liquid pipe 12. During the heating operation, a refrigerant condensed in the indoor unit D is supplied to the first outdoor expansion valve 72 and the second outdoor expansion valve 74.

[0059] In order to be connected to the first outdoor expansion valve 72 and the second outdoor expansion valve 74, the liquid pipe 12 is branched and then connected to the first outdoor expansion valve 72 and the second outdoor expansion valve 74, respectively. The first outdoor expansion valve 72 and the second outdoor expansion valve 74 are arranged in parallel.

[0060] A pipe connecting the first outdoor expansion valve 72 and the first outdoor heat exchanger 22 is defined as a first outdoor heat exchanger pipe 23.

[0061] A pipe connecting the second outdoor expansion valve 74 and the second outdoor heat exchanger 24 is defined as a second outdoor heat exchanger pipe 25.

<Configuration of Hot Gas Unit>



[0062] In this embodiment, the hot gas unit 90 for bypassing a refrigerant, supplied to the outdoor heat exchanger 20 to the indoor unit D, during a heating operation is disposed.

[0063] The hot gas unit 90 includes a hot gas bypass pipe and a hot gas valve to bypass the refrigerant.

[0064] In this embodiment, a first hot gas bypass pipe 91 connecting the first outdoor heat exchanger pipe 23 and a four way valve-compressor connecting pipe 81 is disposed.

[0065] One end of the first hot gas bypass pipe 91 is connected to the first outdoor heat exchanger pipe 23, and the other end of the first hot gas bypass pipe 91 is connected to the four way valve-compressor connecting pipe 81.

[0066] In addition, a second hot gas bypass pipe 92 for connecting the second outdoor heat exchanger pipe 25 and the four way valve-compressor connecting pipe 81 is disposed.

[0067] One end of the second hot gas bypass pipe 92 is connected to the first outdoor heat exchanger pipe 23, and the other end of the second hot gas bypass pipe 92 is connected to the four way valve-compressor connecting pipe 81.

[0068] A first hot gas valve 93 is disposed at the first hot gas bypass pipe 91, and a second hot gas valve 94 is disposed at the second hot gas bypass pipe 92.

[0069] As the hot gas valve, a solenoid valve capable of adjusting an opening amount thereof is used, and even a shut-off valve may be used.

[0070] The first hot gas bypass pipe 91 and the second hot gas bypass pipe 92 may be connected to the four way valve-compressor connecting pipe 81, respectively, but in this embodiment, after being combined, the first hot gas bypass pipe 91 and the second hot gas bypass pipe 92 is connected as one pipe to the four way valve-compressor connecting pipe 81.

[0071] A three-way valve may be used to combine the first hot gas bypass pipe 91 and the second hot gas bypass pipe 92.

[0072] The first hot gas valve 93 or the second hot gas valve 94 may be selectively operated. For example, only the first hot gas valve 93 may be opened or closed, or only the second hot gas valve 94 may be opened or closed.

[0073] In addition, a variable path pipe 85 for connecting the first outdoor heat exchanger pipe 23 and the second four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83b is further disposed, and a variable path valve 86 may be further disposed at the variable path pipe.

[0074] The variable path valve 86 may be selectively operated. When the variable path valve 86 is opened, a refrigerant flowing along the first outdoor heat exchanger pipe 23 may pass through the variable path pipe 85 and the variable path valve 86 and be then guided to the third flow path 43 of the four way valve 40.

[0075] When the variable path valve 86 is closed, a refrigerant supplied through the first outdoor heat exchanger pipe 23 flows to the first outdoor heat exchanger 22 during a heating operation.

[0076] When the variable path valve 86 is closed, a refrigerant passing through the first outdoor heat exchanger 22 flows into the liquid pipe 12 through the first outdoor heat exchanger pipe 23 during a cooling operation.

[0077] A check valve 87 is disposed at the second four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83b, and the check valve 87 prevents a refrigerant supplied from the third flow path 43 from flowing into the second four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83b.

[0078] An expansion valve bypass pipe 88 connecting a front end and a rear end of the second outdoor expansion valve 74 is disposed. One end and the other end of the expansion valve bypass pipe 88 are connected to the second outdoor heat exchanger pipe 25.

[0079] A check valve 89 is also disposed at the expansion valve bypass pipe 88. The check valve 89 is configured to allow a refrigerant flowing from the second outdoor heat exchanger pipe 25 to the liquid pipe (12) to pass therethrough during a cooling operation. During a heating operation, a refrigerant flow in the opposite direction is blocked.

<Configuration of Subcooling Unit>



[0080] The subcooling unit 100 may be further disposed at the liquid pipe 12.

[0081] The subcooling unit 100 includes: a subcooling heat exchanger 101; a subcooling bypass pipe 102 passed by the liquid pipe 12 and connected to the subcooling heat exchanger 101; a first subcooling expansion valve 103 disposed at the subcooling bypass pipe 102 to selectively expand a refrigerant flowing therein; a subcooling-compressor connecting pipe 104 connecting the subcooling heat exchanger 101 and the compressor 10; and a second subcooling expansion valve 105 disposed at the subcooling-compressor connection valve 104 to selectively expand a refrigerant flowing therein.

[0082] In addition, the subcooling unit 100 further includes an accumulator bypass pipe 106 connecting the accumulator 30 and the subcooling-compressor connecting pipe 104, and the accumulator bypass pipe 106 provides a refrigerant of the accumulator to the second subcooling expansion valve 105.

[0083] A subcooling bypass valve 107 is further disposed at the accumulator bypass pipe 106.

[0084] The first subcooling expansion valve 103 expands the liquid refrigerant and provides the expanded refrigerant to the subcooling heat exchanger 101, and the expanded refrigerant is evaporated in the subcooling heat exchanger 101, thereby cooling the subcooling heat exchanger 101. A liquid refrigerant flowing into the outdoor heat exchanger 20 through the liquid pipe 12 may be cooled while passing through the subcooling heat exchanger 101. The first subcooling expansion valve 103 may be selectively operated and may control a temperature of the liquid refrigerant.

[0085] When the first subcooling expansion valve 103 is operated, the second subcooling expansion valve 105 is opened and the refrigerant flows into the compressor 10.

[0086] Temperature sensors are disposed at an inlet side and an outlet side of the subcooling heat exchanger 101, respectively, and detect a temperature of a refrigerant passing therethrough.

[0087] The subcooling bypass valve 107 may be selectively operated and may provide a liquid refrigerant of the accumulator 30 to the second subcooling expansion valve 105.

[0088] The second subcooling expansion valve 105 may be selectively operated and may expand a refrigerant to lower a temperature of a refrigerant which is to be supplied to the compressor 10. When the compressor 10 exceeds a normal operating temperature range, the refrigerant expanded in the second subcooling expansion valve 105 may be evaporated in the compressor 10, thereby lowering a temperature of the compressor 10.

<Configuration of Receiver Unit>



[0089] A receiver unit 110 may be further disposed at the liquid pipe 12.

[0090] The receiver 110 may store a liquid refrigerant to control the amount of refrigerants to circulate. The receiver 110 stores the liquid refrigerant separately from the liquid refrigerant stored in the accumulator 30.

[0091] The receiver 110 supplies the refrigerant to the accumulator 30 when the amount of circulating refrigerants is insufficient, and when the amount of circulating refrigerant is large, the refrigerant is recovered and stored.

[0092] A pipe connecting the outdoor expansion valves 72 and 74 and the subcooling heat exchanger 101 among the liquid pipes 12 is defined as a subcooling liquid pipe 12'.

[0093] The receiver 110 includes a receiver tank 111 for storing a refrigerant, a first receiver connecting pipe 112 connecting the receiver tank 111 and the subcooling liquid pipe 12', a second receiver connecting pipe 114 connecting the receiver tank 111 and the accumulator 30, a first receiver valve 113 disposed at the first receiver connecting pipe 112 to regulate a refrigerant flow, and a second receiver valve 115 disposed at the second receiver connecting pipe 114 to regulate a refrigerant flow.

[0094] A controller of the multi-type air conditioner controls the first receiver valve 113 and the second receiver valve 115 to adjust the amount of circulating refrigerant.

<Configuration of Indoor Unit>



[0095] The indoor unit D may be operated for cooling, heating, or dehumidifying air by a refrigerant supplied from the outdoor unit. The indoor unit D may be provided in plural (as a plurality of indoor units D C1, C2, and C3 in this embodiment).

[0096] The plurality of indoor units C1, C2, and C3 each includes an indoor heat exchanger, an indoor expansion valve, and an indoor blower fan.

[0097] Although not additionally described, various structures which can be sufficiently known to a person skilled in the art, such as a pressure switch, a pressure sensor, a temperature sensor, a check valve, a strainer, and the like, are installed in the outdoor unit A or the indoor unit D.

[0098] At least one indoor unit C1 among the plurality of indoor units has a structure capable of providing dehumidification at a constant temperature. The remaining indoor units C2 and C3 may be indoor units each having a general structure.

[0099] In this embodiment, the indoor unit providing dehumidification at a constant temperature is defined as a first indoor unit C1, and the remaining indoor units are defined as a second indoor unit C2 and a third indoor unit C3.

[0100] The first indoor unit C1 provides a constant temperature dehumidification function to operate a room temperature within a predetermined temperature range.

[0101] In this embodiment, the first indoor unit C1 and the second and third indoor units C2 and C3 have different structures, but unlike this embodiment may also have the same structure as a structure of the first indoor unit C1.

[0102] The first indoor unit C1 may be installed in a specific room where dehumidification is required. For example, the first indoor unit C1 may be installed in an indoor space in which humidity and temperature must be kept constant, such as a dress room.

[0103] In addition, the first indoor unit C1 may be installed in an indoor space in which a large amount of humidification is frequently formed, such as a toilet.

[0104] The first indoor unit C1 includes a first indoor heat exchanger 210, a first indoor expansion valve 214, and a first indoor fan 213.

[0105] The second indoor unit C2 includes a second indoor heat exchanger 220, a second indoor expansion valve 224, and a second indoor fan 226.

[0106] The third indoor unit C3 includes a third indoor heat exchanger 230, a third indoor expansion valve 234, and a third indoor fan 236.

[0107] In addition, refrigerant pipes are arranged to allow refrigerants of the outdoor unit and the indoor unit to flow.

[0108] A liquid pipe connecting tube 241 connecting the liquid pipe 12 and the first indoor heat exchanger 210 to allow a refrigerant to flow therethrough is disposed. The liquid pipe connecting tube 241 is not connected to other indoor units, but is connected only to the first indoor heat exchanger 210.

[0109] A gas pipe connecting tube 251 which connects the gas pipe 82 and each of the indoor heat exchangers 210, 220, and 230 is disposed. The distributor 255 may be disposed in the gas pipe connecting tube 251 to be connected to each of the indoor heat exchangers 210, 220 and 230.

[0110] A refrigerant pipe connecting the distributor 255 and the first indoor heat exchanger 210 is defined as a first gas branch pipe 252. A refrigerant pipe connecting the distributor 255 and the second indoor heat exchanger 220 is defined as a second gas branch pipe 254. A refrigerant pipe connecting the distributor 255 and the third indoor heat exchanger 230 is defined as a third gas branch pipe 256.

[0111] The first gas branch pipe 252, the second gas branch pipe 254, and the third gas branch pipe 256 may be disposed on one side of each indoor heat exchanger 210, 220, 230. A gas refrigerant mainly flows in the first gas branch pipe 252, the second gas branch pipe 254, and the third gas branch pipe 256.

[0112] In this embodiment, the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245 connecting the first indoor heat exchanger 210, the second indoor heat exchanger 220, and the third indoor heat exchanger 230 is disposed. Each indoor heat exchanger 210, 220, 230 is connected in parallel to the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245. Unlike this embodiment, a distributor may be disposed to connect refrigerant pipes.

[0113] The refrigerant pipe connecting the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245 and the first indoor heat exchanger 210 is defined as a first liquid branch pipe 242. The refrigerant pipe connecting the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245 and the second indoor heat exchanger 220 is defined as a second liquid branch pipe 244. The refrigerant pipe connecting the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245 and the third indoor heat exchanger 230 is defined as a third liquid branch pipe 246.

[0114] A second indoor expansion valve 224 is disposed in the second liquid branch pipe 244. A third indoor expansion valve 234 is disposed in the third liquid branch pipe 246.

<Structure of First Indoor Unit (C1)>



[0115] The first indoor heat exchanger 210 is arranged in at least two rows, each row stacked.

[0116] The first indoor heat exchanger 2210 includes a first heat exchanger 211 and a second heat exchanger 212, and the first heat exchanger 211 and the second heat exchanger 212 are arranged in a stacked fashion.

[0117] During a dehumidifying operation, a refrigerant is evaporated in one of the first heat exchange part 211 and the second heat exchange part 212, and a refrigerant is evaporated in the other. It is preferable that the heat exchanger where a refrigerant is condensed is disposed in a discharge side of an indoor unit.

[0118] In this embodiment, a liquid pipe connecting tube 241 is connected to one side of the first heat exchanger 211, and a first gas branch pipe 252 is connected to one side of the second heat exchanger 212.

[0119] In addition, a first heat exchanger connecting pipe 261 connecting the other side of the first heat exchanger 211 and the first liquid branch pipe 242 is disposed. A second heat exchanger connecting pipe 262 connecting the other side of the second heat exchanger 212 and the first liquid branch pipe 242 is disposed.

[0120] The first indoor expansion valve 214 is disposed at the second heat exchanger connecting pipe 262.

[0121] The first liquid branch pipe 242, the first heat exchanger connecting pipe 261, and the second heat exchanger connecting pipe 262 may be connected through a T-shaped tube. Unlike this embodiment, they may be connected through a distributor.

[0122] Meanwhile, in this embodiment, a heat pump capable of performing both a heating operation and a cooling operation is described as an example, but unlike the present embodiment, even if an outdoor unit operated only by a refrigeration cycle is disposed, the first indoor unit operated in a constant temperature dehumidification mode may be operated.

[0123] For the expansion valve of this embodiment, an electronic expansion valve of which an opening amount is controlled in response to a control signal from a controller is used.

<Heating Operation>



[0124] A refrigerant flow during a heating operation of the multi-type air conditioner according to this embodiment will be described in more detail with reference to FIG. 2.

[0125] During the heating operation, a refrigerant compressed in the compressor 10 flows through the oil separator 50 to the first flow path 41 of the four way valve 40.

[0126] The controller controls the refrigerant introduced into the first flow path 41 of the four way valve 40 to flow into the second flow path 42. The refrigerant flowing out of the second flow path 42 is supplied to the indoor unit D through the gas pipe 82. In the indoor unit D, the supplied refrigerant is condensed and an indoor space is heated with heat released in the condensation process of the refrigerant.

[0127] During the heating operation, a refrigerant is supplied to the indoor heat exchangers 210, 220, and 230 of the respective indoor units through the gas pipe connecting tube 251.

[0128] A refrigerant condensed in the second indoor unit C2 and the third indoor unit C3 is recovered into the liquid pipe 12 after passing through "the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245-> the first liquid branch pipe 242 -> the first heat exchanger connecting pipe 261 -> the first heat exchanger 211 -> the liquid pipe connecting tube 241".

[0129] During a heating operation, a refrigerant supplied to the first liquid branch pipe 252 is condensed in the second heat exchanger 212 and then recovered into the liquid pipe 12 after passing through "the first heat exchanger connecting pipe 261 -> the first heat exchanger 211 -> the liquid pipe connecting tube 241".

[0130] The refrigerant introduced into the liquid pipe 12 is provided to the outdoor expansion valve 70 after passing through the subcooling unit 100.

[0131] The first outdoor expansion valve 72 and the second outdoor expansion valve 74 expand the condensed refrigerant and then supply the expanded refrigerant to the outdoor heat exchanger 20.

[0132] The refrigerant expanded in the first outdoor expansion valve 72 is provided to the first outdoor heat exchanger 22, and the refrigerant expanded in the second outdoor expansion valve 74 is provided to the second outdoor heat exchanger 24.

[0133] The first outdoor expansion valve 72 and the second outdoor expansion valve 74 evaporate the expanded refrigerant, and the evaporated refrigerant is converged and flows into the third flow path 43 of the four way valve 40.

[0134] The refrigerant flowing into the third flow path 43 is supplied to the accumulator 30 through the fourth flow path 44.

[0135] The accumulator 30 stores a liquid refrigerant among supplied refrigerants, and supplies only a gas refrigerant to the compressor 10.

[0136] In a general heating operation, the first hot gas valve 93, the second hot gas valve 94, and the variable path valve 86 are turned off to maintain a closed state.

<Cooling Operation>



[0137] A refrigerant flow during a cooling operation of the multi-type air conditioner according to this embodiment will be described in more detail with reference to FIG. 3.

[0138] During the cooling operation, a refrigerant compressed in the compressor 10 flows through the oil separator 50 to the first flow path 41 of the four way valve 40.

[0139] The controller controls the refrigerant introduced into the first flow path 41 of the four way valve 40 to flow into the third flow path 43. The refrigerant introduced into the third flow path 43 flows to the outdoor heat exchanger 20.

[0140] The refrigerant is supplied to the first outdoor heat exchanger 22 through the first four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83a, and to the second outdoor heat exchanger 24 through the second four way valve-outdoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 83b.

[0141] The refrigerant exchanged in the first outdoor heat exchanger 22 and the second outdoor heat exchanger 24 is supplied to the indoor unit D through the liquid pipe 12.

[0142] The indoor heat exchanger of the indoor unit D cools an indoor space by evaporating the supplied refrigerant, and the evaporated refrigerant is recovered into the outdoor unit through the gas pipe 82.

[0143] Here, a refrigerant in the liquid pipe 12 flows through the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 to the first heat exchanger 211, and a portion of the first heat exchanger 211 is condensed.

[0144] The refrigerant passing through the first heat exchanger 211 may flow through the first heat exchanger connecting pipe 261 to the first liquid branch pipe 242 and the second heat exchanger connecting pipe 262.

[0145] The refrigerant flowing into the second heat exchanger connecting pipe 262 may be expanded in the first indoor expansion valve 214, evaporated in the second heat exchanger 212, and then recovered into the gas pipe 82 through the first gas branch pipe 252.

[0146] The refrigerant flowing into the first liquid branch pipe 242 through the first heat exchanger connecting pipe 261 may flow to the second liquid branch pipe 244 or the third liquid branch pipe 246, which is connected to the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245.

[0147] The refrigerant flown into the second liquid branch pipe 244 or the third liquid branch pipe 246 may be expanded in the second indoor expansion valve 224 or the third indoor expansion valve 234, respectively, and be then evaporated in the second indoor heat exchange 220 or the third indoor heat exchanger 230, respectively.

[0148] The refrigerant evaporated in the second indoor unit C2 or the third indoor unit C3 may be recovered into the gas pipe 82 through the second gas branch pipe 254 or the third gas branch pipe 256.

[0149] The evaporated refrigerant is recovered through the second flow path 42 of the four way valve 40, and the controller connects the second flow path 42 and the fourth flow path 44 to cause the recovered refrigerant to flow to the accumulator 30. The accumulator 30 stores a liquid refrigerant among the recovered refrigerant, and supplies a gas refrigerant to the compressor 10.

[0150] During the cooling operation, an opening amount of at least one of the first outdoor expansion valve 72 or the second outdoor expansion valve 74 may be adjusted to evaporate a refrigerant in the first heat exchanger 211. That is, the opening amount of the first outdoor expansion valve 72 or the second outdoor expansion valve 74 may be adjusted to expand a portion of the refrigerant condensed in the outdoor heat exchangers 22 and 24, and accordingly, the portion of the refrigerant may be evaporated in the first heat exchanger 211.

<Constant Temperature Dehumidifying Operation>



[0151] A constant temperature dehumidifying operation of the first indoor unit C1 will be described with reference to FIG. 4.

[0152] During a constant temperature dehumidifying operation of the first indoor unit C1, the first heat exchanger 211 is controlled to condense a refrigerant, and the second heat exchanger 212 is controlled to evaporate a refrigerant. To this end, the first indoor expansion valve 214 expands the refrigerant flowing from the first heat exchanger connecting pipe 261 to the second heat exchanger connecting pipe 262, and the refrigerant expanded in the first indoor expansion valve 214 is evaporated in the second heat exchanger 212.

[0153] The first indoor fan 216 causes suctioned air to flow from the second heat exchanger 212 to the first heat exchanger 211. The suctioned indoor air is dehumidified while passing through the second heat exchanger 212 and then heated by condensation heat of the first heat exchanger 211, and a discharge temperature of the indoor air may be maintained with a predetermined range even if the first indoor unit C1 is continuously operated.

[0154] In order to condense the refrigerant in the first heat exchanger 211, the controller adjusts the number of rotation of the outdoor blower fan 60. The controller reduces a rotational speed of the outdoor blower fan so that even when a gas refrigerant of high temperature and high pressure passes through the first outdoor heat exchanger 22 and the second outdoor heat exchanger 24, a portion of the gas refrigerant remains with the high temperature and the high pressure.

[0155] That is, the remaining gas refrigerant of the high temperature and the high pressure may be controlled to be condensed in the first heat exchanger 211.

[0156] During the constant temperature dehumidifying operation, the controller fully opens the first outdoor expansion valve 72 and the second outdoor expansion valve 74 to allow a refrigerant to pass therethrough.

[0157] When only the first indoor unit C1 is operated for the constant temperature dehumidification, the controller may control a refrigerant to be supplied to either the first outdoor heat exchanger 22 or the second outdoor heat exchanger 24.

[0158] When the second indoor unit C2 or the third indoor unit C3 is not operated during the constant temperature dehumidifying operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller closes the second indoor expansion valve 244 or the third indoor expansion valve 246 to block a refrigerant.

[0159] On the other hand, when the second indoor unit C2 or the third indoor unit C3 is operated, the controller adjust the opening amount of the second indoor expansion valve 244 or the third indoor expansion valve 246 to correspond to a cooling load of the second indoor unit C2 or the third indoor unit C3.

[0160] The multi-type air conditioner according to this embodiment may connect a plurality of indoor units and an outdoor unit with only two pipes (the liquid pipe 12 and the gas pipe 82) and may operate at least one of the plurality of indoor units in a constant temperature dehumidifying mode.

[0161] FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a second embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0162] The first indoor unit C1 according to the second embodiment of the present disclosure further includes a first bypass pipe 271 connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 and the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245, and a first bypass expansion valve 215 disposed at the first bypass pipe 271.

[0163] During a constant temperature dehumidifying operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller adjusts an opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve 214 and closes the first bypass expansion valve 215.

[0164] During a cooling operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller fully opens the first indoor expansion valve 214, opens the first bypass expansion valve 215, thereby reducing condensation heat of the first heat exchanger.

[0165] Other configuration is the same as that of the first embodiment, so a detailed description thereof is hereinafter omitted.

[0166] FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a third embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0167] The first indoor unit C1 according to the third embodiment of the present disclosure further includes a second bypass pipe 272 connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 and the second heat exchanger connecting pipe 262 in the second embodiment, and a second bypass expansion valve 217 disposed at the second bypass pipe 272.

[0168] During a constant temperature dehumidifying operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller controls an opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve 214 and closes the first bypass expansion valve 215 and the second bypass expansion valve 217.

[0169] During the constant temperature dehumidifying operation, the controller may adjust the opening amount of he first bypass expansion valve 215, instead of closing the first bypass expansion valve 215, to adjust condensation heat in the first heat exchanger 211

[0170] During a cooling operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller closes the first indoor expansion valve 214, fully opens the first bypass expansion valve 215, and closes the second bypass expansion valve 217, thereby blocking a refrigerant from flowing to the first heat exchanger 211 and evaporating only the second heat exchanger 212 in the refrigerant.

[0171] Other configuration is the same as that of the second embodiment, so a detailed description thereof is hereinafter omitted.

[0172] FIG. 7 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a fourth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0173] The first indoor unit C1 according to the fourth embodiment of the present disclosure further comprises a first bypass pipe 271 connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 and the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245, a first bypass expansion valve 215 disposed at the first bypass pipe 271, and a third bypass expansion valve disposed at the liquid pipe connecting tube 241.

[0174] The third bypass expansion valve 218 is disposed between one end 271a of the first bypass pipe 271 and one side of the first heat exchanger 211.

[0175] During a constant temperature dehumidifying operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller controls an opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve 214, closes the first bypass expansion valve 215, and fully opens the third bypass expansion valve 218.

[0176] During the constant temperature dehumidifying operation, the controller may adjust the opening amount of he first bypass expansion valve 215, instead of closing the first bypass expansion valve 215, to adjust condensation heat in the first heat exchanger 211

[0177] During the cooling operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller adjusts the opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve 214, adjusts the opening amount of the first bypass expansion valve 215, and adjusts the opening amount of the third bypass expansion valve 218, so that a refrigerant can be evaporated in the first heat exchanger 211 or the second heat exchanger 212.

[0178] Alternatively, the first indoor expansion valve 214 is fully opened, the first bypass expansion valve 215 is fully opened, and the opening amount of the third bypass expansion valve 218 is adjusted, so that evaporation heat of the first heat exchanger 211 can be adjusted. At this point, the third bypass expansion valve 218 precisely controls a refrigerant expansion flow rate, and the first bypass expansion valve 215 bypasses a refrigerant flowing to the first heat exchanger 211.

[0179] Other configuration is the same as that of the first embodiment, so a detailed description thereof is hereinafter omitted.

[0180] FIG. 8 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a fifth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0181] The first indoor unit C1 according to the fifth embodiment of the present disclosure further includes a four way valve 219 connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 and the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245.

[0182] The four way valve 219 includes a first connector 219a connected to an outdoor unit-side liquid pipe connector 241', a second connector 219b connected to the liquid pipe connector 241" on a side of the first heat exchanger 211, a third connecting port 219c connected to a heat exchanger connecting pipe 245' on a side of the first indoor heat exchanger 210, and a fourth connector 219d connected to an indoor heat exchanger connector 245" on a side of a different indoor unit.

[0183] The controller may connect the first connector 219a and the second connector 219b to flow a refrigerant, and connect the third connector 219c and the fourth connector 219d to flow a refrigerant.

[0184] In addition, the controller may connect the first connector 219a and the fourth connector 219d to flow a refrigerant, and connect the second connector 219b and the third connector 219c to flow a refrigerant.

[0185] During the constant temperature dehumidifying operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller connects the first connector 219a and the second connector 219b to flow a refrigerant, connects the third connector 219c and the fourth connector 219d to flow a refrigerant, and adjust the opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve 214.

[0186] At this point, a refrigerant flowing through the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 may be a mixture of a liquid refrigerant and a gas refrigerant. A gas phase may be condensed in the first heat exchanger 211, and a liquid refrigerant may be expanded in the first indoor expansion valve 214 and then evaporated in the second heat exchanger 212.

[0187] Next, in the cooling operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller connects the first connector 219a and the second connector 219b to flow a refrigerant, connects the third connector 219c and the fourth connector 219d to flow a refrigerant, and opens the first indoor expansion valve 214. The controller may fully open the first indoor expansion valve 214 or adjust the opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve 214.

[0188] At this point, a refrigerant flowing through the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 may be liquid.

[0189] Other configuration is the same as that of the first embodiment, so a detailed description thereof is hereinafter omitted.

[0190] FIG. 9 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a multi-type air conditioner according to a sixth embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0191] The first indoor unit C1 according to the sixth embodiment of the present disclosure includes a four way valve 219 connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 and the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245, a second bypass pipe 272 connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 and the second heat exchanger connecting pipe 262, and a second bypass expansion valve 217 disposed at the second bypass pipe 272.

[0192] The four way valve 219 includes a first connector 219a connected to an outdoor unit-side liquid pipe connector 241', a second connector 219b connected to the liquid pipe connector 241" on a side of the first heat exchanger 211, a third connecting port 219c connected to a heat exchanger connecting pipe 245' on a side of the first indoor heat exchanger 210, and a fourth connector 219d connected to an indoor heat exchanger connector 245" on a side of a different indoor unit.

[0193] The controller may connect the first connector 219a and the second connector 219b to flow a refrigerant, and connect the third connector 219c and the fourth connector 219d to flow a refrigerant.

[0194] In addition, the controller may connect the first connector 219a and the fourth connector 219d to flow a refrigerant, and connect the second connector 219b and the third connector 219c to flow a refrigerant.

[0195] During the constant temperature dehumidifying operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller adjusts the opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve 214, and closes the second bypass expansion valve 217.

[0196] In addition, the controller adjusts flow paths of the four way valve 219 to connect the first connection port 219a and the second connection port 219b to flow a refrigerant, and blocks the connection between the third connection port 219c and the fourth connection port 219d.

[0197] At this point, a refrigerant flowing through the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 may be a mixture of a liquid refrigerant and a gas refrigerant. A gas phase may be condensed in the first heat exchanger 211, and a liquid refrigerant may be expanded in the first indoor expansion valve 214 and then evaporated in the second heat exchanger 212.

[0198] When the other indoor units C2 and C3 are operated, the third connector 219c and the fourth connector 219d may be connected to flow a refrigerant through the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245 to other indoor units C2 and C3.

[0199] Next, during the cooling operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller closes the first indoor expansion valve 214. In addition, the controller connects the first connector 219a and the fourth connector 219d to bypass the refrigerant to other indoor units C2 and C3, and adjusts the opening amount of the second bypass expansion valve 217.

[0200] By performing such a control, it is possible to prevent a refrigerant from flowing to the first heat exchanger 211 and allow only the second heat exchanger 212 to evaporate the refrigerant. At this point, a refrigerant flowing through the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 may be liquid.

[0201] Other configuration is the same as that of the first embodiment, so a detailed description thereof is hereinafter omitted.

[0202] FIG. 10 is a block diagram of a multi-type air conditioner according to a seventh embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0203] The first indoor unit C1 according to the seventh embodiment of the present disclosure further includes a four way valve 219 connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 and the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245.

[0204] The four way valve 219 includes a first connector 219a connected to an outdoor unit-side liquid pipe connector 241', a second connector 219b connected to the liquid pipe connector 241" on a side of the first heat exchanger 211, a third connecting port 219c connected to a heat exchanger connecting pipe 245' on a side of the first indoor heat exchanger 210, and a fourth connector 219d connected to an indoor heat exchanger connector 245" on a side of a different indoor unit.

[0205] In addition, the four way valve 219 further includes a third bypass expansion valve 218 disposed at the liquid pipe connecting tube 241. In this embodiment, the third bypass expansion valve 218 is disposed at the liquid pipe connecting tube 241" on a side of the first heat exchanger 211.

[0206] The controller may connect the first connector 219a and the second connector 219b to flow a refrigerant, and connect the third connector 219c and the fourth connector 219d to flow a refrigerant.

[0207] In addition, the controller may connect the first connector 219a and the fourth connector 219d to flow a refrigerant, and connect the second connector 219b and the third connector 219c to flow a refrigerant.

[0208] During the constant temperature dehumidifying operation of the first indoor unit C1, the controller controls the opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve 214 and opens the third bypass expansion valve 218.

[0209] In addition, the controller adjusts flow paths of the four way valve 219 to connect the first connection port 219a and the second connection port 219b to flow a refrigerant, and blocks the connection between the third connection port 219c and the fourth connection port 219d.

[0210] At this point, a refrigerant flowing through the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 may be a mixture of a liquid refrigerant and a gas refrigerant. A gas phase may be condensed in the first heat exchanger 211, and a liquid refrigerant may be expanded in the first indoor expansion valve 214 and then evaporated in the second heat exchanger 212.

[0211] When the other indoor units C2 and C3 are operated, the third connector 219c and the fourth connector 219d may be connected so as to flow a refrigerant through the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245 to other indoor units C2 and C3.

[0212] Next, during the cooling operation of the first indoor unit C1, the flow paths of the four way valve 219 are adjusted so that the first connector 219a and the second connector 219b are connected to flow a refrigerant, and the third connector 219c and the fourth connector 219d are connected to flow a refrigerant.

[0213] The controller opens the first indoor expansion valve 214 and adjusts the opening amount of the third bypass expansion valve 218.

[0214] That is, a refrigerant is expanded through the third bypass expansion valve 218 before flowing to the first heat exchanger 211, and then evaporated in the first heat exchanger 211 and the second heat exchanger 212. The first indoor expansion valve 214 is fully open to allow the refrigerant to pass therethrough.

[0215] Some of the refrigerant that passing through the first heat exchanger 211 may flow to other indoor units C2 and C3 through the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe 245.

[0216] At this point, a refrigerant flowing through the liquid pipe connecting tube 241 may be liquid.

[0217] When the other indoor units C2 and C3 are not in the cooling operation, the connection between the third connector 219c and the fourth connector 219d is blocked.

[0218] Other configurations are the same as those of the first embodiment, so a detailed description is hereinafter omitted.

[0219] It should be understood that many variations and modifications of the basic inventive concept herein described, which may be apparent to those skilled in the art, will still fall within the spirit and scope of the embodiments of the invention. Therefore, it should be understood that the embodiments described above are illustrative in all respects and not restrictive. The scope of the present disclosure is indicated by the scope of the claims, which will be described later, rather than the detailed description, and all the modified or modified forms derived from the meaning and scope of the claims and their equivalent concepts are included in the scope of the present disclosure.


Claims

1. A multi-type air conditioner, comprising:

an outdoor unit comprising a liquid pipe through which liquid refrigerant flows and a gas pipe through which gas refrigerant flows;

a plurality of indoor units comprising a first indoor unit and a second indoor unit each connected to the liquid and gas pipelines to circulate a refrigerant;

a gas pipe connecting tube connecting the gas pipe and a plurality of indoor units so that a gas refrigerant flows therethrough;

a first gas branch pipe connecting the first indoor unit and the gas pipe connecting tube so that a gas refrigerant flows therethrough;

a second gas branch pipe connecting the second indoor unit and the gas pipe connecting tube so that a gas refrigerant flows therethrough;

an indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe connecting the first indoor unit and the second indoor unit so that a liquid refrigerant flows therethrough; and

a liquid pipe connecting tube connecting the first indoor unit and the liquid pipe so that a liquid refrigerant flows therethrough;

wherein the first indoor unit comprises:

A first indoor heat exchanger comprising a first heat exchanger configured to perform heat exchange between indoor air and a refrigerant, a second heat exchanger configured to perform heat exchange between indoor air and a refrigerant and arranged in a stacked fashion with the first heat exchanger;

a first indoor fan configured to blow air to the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger;

a first liquid branch pipe connecting the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe and the first indoor heat exchanger;

a first heat exchanger connecting pipe connecting the first liquid branch pipe and the first heat exchanger of the first indoor heat exchanger;

a second heat exchanger connecting pipe connecting the first liquid branch pipe and a second heat exchanger of the first indoor heat exchanger; and

a first indoor expansion valve disposed at the second heat exchanger connecting pipe, wherein an opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve is adjusted in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant,

wherein the liquid pipe connecting tube connects the first heat exchanger and a liquid pipe,

wherein the first gas branch pipe connects the second heat exchanger and the gas pipe.


 
2. The multi-type air conditioner claim 1, further comprising: a distributor connecting the first gas branch pipe and the second gas branch pipe to the gas pipe connecting tube.
 
3. The multi-type air conditioner claim 1, wherein during a heating operation, a refrigerant condensed in the second indoor unit flows into the first liquid branch pipe through the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe, a refrigerant in the first liquid branch pipe flows to the first heat exchanger through the first indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe, a refrigerant in the first heat exchange section flows to the liquid pipe connecting tube, a refrigerant in the liquid pipe connecting tube flows to the liquid pipe, a refrigerant in the first gas branch pipe flows to the second heat exchanger, and a refrigerant discharged from the second heat exchanger flows through the first indoor expansion valve to the first heat exchanger connecting pipe.
 
4. The method according to claim 3, wherein during a heating operation, the first indoor expansion valve is fully opened.
 
5. The multi-type air conditioner claim 1, wherein, during a cooling operation,
a refrigerant in the liquid pipe connecting tube flows to the first heat exchanger, and a refrigerant discharged from the first heat exchanger flows to the first heat exchanger connecting pipe,
a portion of the refrigerant in the connecting pipe of the first heat exchanger flows to the first liquid branch pipe, and the refrigerant in the first liquid branch pipe is supplied to the second indoor unit through the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe,
the remaining portion of the refrigerant in the first heat exchange connecting pipe flows to the second heat exchange connecting pipe, a refrigerant in the second heat exchange connecting pipe flows to the second heat exchanger through the first indoor expansion valve, and a refrigerant discharged from the second heat exchanger flows to the gas pipe connecting tube through the first gas branch pipe.
 
6. The method according to claim 5, wherein an opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve is adjusted to expand a refrigerant in the second heat exchanger connecting pipe.
 
7. The multi-type air conditioner claim 1, wherein during a constant temperature dehumidifying operation,
a refrigerant in the liquid pipe connecting tube flows to the first heat exchanger, a refrigerant discharged from the first heat exchanger flows to the first heat exchanger connecting pipe, and a refrigerant in the first heat exchanger connecting pipe flows to the second heat exchanger connecting pipe,
wherein a refrigerant in the second heat exchanger connecting pipe flows to the second heat exchanger through the first indoor expansion valve, and a refrigerant discharged from the second heat exchanger flows to the gas pipe connecting tube through the first gas branch pipe,
wherein an opening amount of the first indoor expansion valve is adjusted to expand a refrigerant in the second heat exchanger connecting pipe.
 
8. The multi-type air conditioner of claim 7,
wherein the second indoor unit further comprises a second indoor expansion valve,
wherein when the second indoor unit is operating,
a portion of the refrigerant in the connecting pipe of the first heat exchanger flows to the first liquid branch pipe, and the refrigerant in the first liquid branch pipe is supplied to the second indoor unit through the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe,
the remaining portion of the refrigerant in the first heat exchange connecting pipe flows to the second heat exchange connecting pipe, a refrigerant in the second heat exchange connecting pipe flows to the second heat exchanger through the first indoor expansion valve, and a refrigerant discharged from the second heat exchanger flows to the gas pipe connecting tube through the first gas branch pipe.
 
9. The multi-type air conditioner of claim 7,
wherein the second indoor unit further comprises a second indoor expansion valve,
wherein when the second indoor unit is stopped, the second indoor expansion valve is closed.
 
10. The multi-type air conditioner claim 1, further comprising:

a first bypass pipe connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube and the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe; and

a first bypass expansion valve disposed at the first bypass pipe, wherein an opening amount of the first bypass expansion valve is adjusted in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant.


 
11. The multi-type air conditioner of claim 2, further comprising:

a second bypass pipe connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube and the second heat exchanger connecting pipe; and

a second bypass expansion valve disposed at the second bypass pipe, wherein an opening amount of the second bypass expansion valve is adjusted in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant.


 
12. The multi-type air conditioner claim 1, further comprising:

a first bypass pipe connecting the liquid pipe connecting tube and the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe;

a first bypass expansion valve disposed at the first bypass pipe, wherein an opening amount of the first bypass expansion valve is adjusted in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant; and

a third bypass expansion valve disposed at the liquid pipe connecting tube, wherein an opening amount of the third bypass expansion valve is controlled in response to an input signal from the controller to selectively expand a flowing refrigerant.


 
13. The multi-type air conditioner of claim 12,
wherein one end of the first bypass pipe is connected to the liquid pipe connecting tube, and the other end of the first bypass pipe is connected to the indoor heat exchanger connecting pipe,
wherein the third bypass expansion valve is disposed between one end of the first bypass pipe and a first heat exchanger.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description