Review of Residential Air Conditioning Systems Operating under High Ambient Temperatures

Mubarak Alawadhi, Patrick E. Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article provides an overview of residential vapor‐compression air conditioners operating under high ambient temperatures (HAT). For the purpose of this article, a minimum temperature criterion, 40 °C and above, was developed to evaluate studies that were conducted at HAT. Several HAT organizations and projects were launched with the purpose of assessing the performance of low‐GWP (GWP = global warming potential) refrigerants when operating under HAT and accelerating the transition to such refrigerants. Previous studies of air conditioner improvements (i.e., for condensers, evaporators, compressors, and refrigerants) were discussed under HAT conditions. This article also explores the challenges, the possible design modifications, and several limitations of air conditioners operating under HAT. Condenser improvements showed an 18 to 50% higher coefficient of performance (COP) and an 8 to 30% higher cooling capacity. Only one study was found for evaporator enhancement under HAT which improved the COP by ~7% and cooling capacity by ~10%. Experimental compressor improvements achieved 2 to 17 °C lower discharge temperature and up to 15% higher cooling capacity, whereas the COP ranged from −4% to +3% of the baseline values. Under HAT conditions, several A2L refrigerants exhibited an attractive performance compared to R‐410A while none outperformed R‐22 in terms of both cooling capacity and COP. Considering R‐22 alternatives, all A1 refrigerants exhibited lower COP, A2L refrigerants achieved comparable COP, and A3 refrigerants reached higher COP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2880
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • air conditioning
  • climate change
  • cooling
  • global warming
  • high ambient temperature
  • hot ambient
  • hot climate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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