A self-tuning semi-empirical model for the transient simulation of domestic refrigerators is presented in this paper. The model is based on a quasi-steady approach, where the time variations associated with the thermal inertia of the refrigerated compartments and heat exchangers (condenser and evaporator) are considered, whereas the refrigeration loop is modelled assuming steady-state conditions. The model was coded in Modelica language and validated against experimental data obtained for two different refrigerator platforms namely, natural-draft all-refrigerator and fan-anddamper top-mount (Combi) refrigerator. Additionally, a self-tuning method was put forward to identify the values of the model closing parameters, such as thermal conductances and capacities. When compared with experimental data obtained in-house, an agreement between model predictions and experimental counterparts within ±10% error bands for the power consumption, and within ±1°C thresholds for the compartment air temperatures can be observed. Taking as reference an Intel® Core™ i5 7th generation processor, it is possible to simulate 3 h of cycling operation in 15 s of CPU.

Keywords: Transient simulation, Quasi-steady modelling, Semi-empirical, Self-tuning, On-Off

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