Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20060162353 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/318,562
Publication dateJul 27, 2006
Filing dateDec 28, 2005
Priority dateDec 29, 2004
Also published asCN1796883A, EP1677055A1
Publication number11318562, 318562, US 2006/0162353 A1, US 2006/162353 A1, US 20060162353 A1, US 20060162353A1, US 2006162353 A1, US 2006162353A1, US-A1-20060162353, US-A1-2006162353, US2006/0162353A1, US2006/162353A1, US20060162353 A1, US20060162353A1, US2006162353 A1, US2006162353A1
InventorsDo Ha, Ho Jeong, Seok Yoon, Young Park, Pil Yoon
Original AssigneeLg Electronics Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use and method for withdrawing refrigerant therefrom
US 20060162353 A1
Abstract
According to the multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use and the method for withdrawing refrigerant therefrom, the refrigerant withdrawing device is provided between the plural outdoor units, refrigerant in the malfunctioning outdoor unit is withdrawn to the other outdoor units and the other outdoor units are normally operated while the compressor unit of the malfunctioning outdoor unit among the plural outdoor units is replaced. Thus, the compressor unit is replaced and/or the outdoor unit is repaired without cessation of heating and/or cooling.
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(20)
1. A multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use comprising:
a plurality of outdoor units respectively including a compressor unit, a four-way valve, and an outdoor heat exchanger;
a plurality of indoor units respectively including an indoor heat exchanger and an electronic expansion valve;
a distributor installed between the plural outdoor units and the plural indoor units to selectively guide refrigerant to the plural indoor units according to operation conditions of a cooling mode, a heating mode, and a cooling and heating mode; and
a refrigerant withdrawing device installed between the plural outdoor units to withdraw the refrigerant from a malfunctioning outdoor unit to the other outdoor units when a compressor unit in the malfunctioning outdoor unit among the plural outdoor units is replaced.
2. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 1, wherein the refrigerant withdrawing device comprises:
refrigerant withdrawing tubes for withdrawing the refrigerant discharged from the compressor unit of the malfunctioning outdoor unit among the plural outdoor units to the other outdoor unit; and
opening and closing valves for opening and closing the refrigerant withdrawing tubes.
3. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 2, wherein the compressor unit includes:
one side to which a compressor suction tube, through which the refrigerant is sucked from the indoor units, is connected; and
another side to which a bypass for bypassing the discharged refrigerant such that the refrigerant does not pass through the outdoor heat exchangers is connected.
4. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 3, wherein the refrigerant withdrawing tubes connect the bypass of the malfunctioning outdoor unit to the compressor suction tube of the other outdoor units.
5. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 4, wherein the distributor comprises:
a high-pressure refrigerant tube for guiding high-pressure gas refrigerant discharged from the compressor unit to the indoor unit for performing the heating operation;
a low-pressure refrigerant tube for guiding refrigerant passing through the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth indoor units to a suction port of the compressor;
a liquid refrigerant tube for guiding liquid refrigerant discharged from the outdoor heat exchangers to the indoor units for performing cooling operation; and
a valve device for selectively opening and closing the high-pressure refrigerant tube and the low-pressure refrigerant tub.
6. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 5, wherein the valve device comprises:
a high-pressure valve installed in the high-pressure refrigerant tube to open the high-pressure refrigerant tube in the heating mode; and
a low-pressure valve installed in the low-pressure refrigerant tube to open the low-pressure refrigerant tub in the cooling mode.
7. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 5, wherein the outdoor unit further comprises outdoor discharge tube for guiding the liquid refrigerant discharged from the outdoor heat exchangers.
8. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 7, wherein the outdoor heat exchanger discharge tubes include outdoor heat exchanger discharge valves for opening and closing the outdoor heat exchanger discharge tubes.
9. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 7, wherein the compressor suction tubes, the bypasses, and the outdoor heat exchanger discharge tubes are respectively connected to the low-pressure refrigerant tube, the high-pressure refrigerant tube, and the liquid refrigerant tube by service valves.
10. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 9, wherein the compressor unit comprises a plurality of compressors.
11. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 10, wherein the plural compressors are connected to each other via a common accumulator.
12. A multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use comprising:
a plurality of outdoor units respectively including a compressor unit, a four-way valve, and an outdoor heat exchanger;
a plurality of indoor units respectively including an indoor heat exchanger and an electronic expansion valve; and
a refrigerant withdrawing device installed between the plural outdoor units to withdraw the refrigerant from a malfunctioning outdoor unit to the other outdoor units when a compressor unit in the malfunctioning outdoor unit among the plural outdoor units is replaced.
13. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 12, wherein the refrigerant withdrawing device comprises:
refrigerant withdrawing tubes for withdrawing the refrigerant discharged from the compressor unit of the malfunctioning outdoor unit among the plural outdoor units to the other outdoor unit; and
opening and closing valves for opening and closing the refrigerant withdrawing tubes.
14. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 13, wherein the compressor unit includes:
one side to which a compressor suction tube, through which the refrigerant is sucked from the indoor units, is connected; and
another side to which a bypass for bypassing the discharged refrigerant such that the refrigerant does not pass through the outdoor heat exchangers is connected.
15. The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 14, wherein the refrigerant withdrawing tubes connect the bypass of the malfunctioning outdoor unit to the compressor suction tube of the other outdoor units.
16. A method for withdrawing refrigerant of a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use, comprising:
a first step of blocking the refrigerant flow to indoor units by closing a service valve installed in a malfunctioning outdoor unit among a plurality of outdoor units (10) when one of the plural outdoor units (10) malfunctions;
a second step of opening an opening and closing valve installed in a refrigerant withdrawing tube of the malfunctioned outdoor unit;
a third step of operating compressor units of the other outdoor units to pump down to withdraw the refrigerant in the malfunctioning outdoor unit to the other outdoor units;
a fourth step of closing the opening and closing valve once all of the refrigerant in the malfunctioning outdoor unit is withdrawn; and
a fifth step of replacing a compressor unit of the malfunctioning outdoor unit and normally operating the other outdoor units.
17. The method for withdrawing refrigerant of a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 16, wherein the first step further comprises the sub-step of closing a service valve for connecting compressor suction tubes of the other outdoor units to the distributor.
18. The method for withdrawing refrigerant of a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 17, wherein the fourth step further comprises the sub-step of opening a service valve of the other outdoor units.
19. The method for withdrawing refrigerant of a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 18, wherein, in the fifth step, after replacing the malfunctioning outdoor unit, a vacuum is applied to the malfunctioning outdoor unit.
20. The method for withdrawing refrigerant of a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use as set forth in claim 19, wherein, in the fifth step, after vacuum application, the service valve of the malfunctioned outdoor unit is opened.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use, and more particularly, to a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use in which refrigerant in a malfunctioning outdoor unit of plural outdoor units is withdrawn to other outdoor units such that the other outdoor units work normally, whereby a compressor can be replaced and/or the malfunctioning outdoor unit can be repaired without stopping heating and cooling operations.

2. Description of the Related Art

Generally, an air conditioner is a device for cooling or heating in order to provide a comfortable indoor climate, which sucks indoor air, heats or cools the sucked indoor air, and discharges the heated or cooled air to a confined space.

Recently, in order to attain a heating or cooling capacity corresponding to the number of operating indoor units, multi-type air conditioners, including a plurality of compressors or a plurality of outdoor units connected to each other in parallel, are used.

A conventional multi-type air conditioner includes a plurality of compressors, a plurality of indoor units, and refrigerant tubes for connecting the outdoor units to the indoor units.

Each of the plural outdoor units includes a compressor for compressing low-temperature-and-low-pressure gas refrigerant into high-pressure gas refrigerant, an outdoor heat exchanger for performing heat exchange between circulated refrigerant and outdoor air, and a four-way valve for switching the direction of the refrigerant flow according to the heating mode and the cooling mode.

Each of the indoor units includes an expansion device and an indoor heat exchanger for performing heat exchange between the circulated refrigerant and indoor air.

In the conventional air conditioner as described above, the refrigerant compressed by the compressor is fed to the outdoor units by the four-way valve in the cooling mode, and the refrigerant passing through the outdoor heat exchangers is condensed due to heat exchange between the refrigerant and ambient air and is fed to the expansion device.

The refrigerant expanded by the expansion device enters the indoor units and is evaporated by absorbing heat of indoor air, thereby cooling the indoor air.

Meanwhile, in the heating mode, the four-way valve switches the refrigerant passage so that the refrigerant discharged from the compressor passes through the four-way valve, the indoor units, the expansion device, the outdoor units, and the four-way valve to heat a confined space.

However, in the conventional multi-type air conditioner, when any one of the compressors respectively installed in the plural outdoor units malfunctions, since, in order to replace the malfunctioning compressor with a new compressor, the conventional multi-type air conditioner can be re-operated only after all of the refrigerant circulating through the multi-type air conditioner has been discharged, the malfunctioning compressor is replaced, vacuum is applied to the multi-type air conditioner, and the multi-type air conditioner is refilled with refrigerant, all heating and cooling operations must be stopped and replacement of the malfunctioning compressor is considerably time consuming and expensive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the present invention has been made in view of the above and/or other problems, and it is an object of the present invention to provide a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use in which a compressor can be replaced without stopping heating and cooling operations when the compressor malfunctions so that it is convenient to use and costs can be reduce, and a method for withdrawing refrigerant therefrom.

In accordance with the present invention, the above and other aspects can be accomplished by the provision of a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use including: a plurality of outdoor units respectively including a compressor unit, a four-way valve, and an outdoor heat exchanger; a plurality of indoor units respectively including an indoor heat exchanger and an electronic expansion valve; a distributor installed between the plural outdoor units and the plural indoor units to selectively guide refrigerant to the plural indoor units according to operation conditions of a cooling mode, a heating mode, and a cooling and heating mode; and a refrigerant withdrawing device installed between the plural outdoor units to withdraw the refrigerant from a malfunctioning outdoor unit to the other outdoor units when a compressor unit in the malfunctioning outdoor unit among the plural outdoor units is replaced.

Preferably, the refrigerant withdrawing device includes refrigerant withdrawing tubes for withdrawing the refrigerant discharged from the compressor unit of the malfunctioning outdoor unit among the plural outdoor units to the other outdoor unit, and opening and closing valves for opening and closing the refrigerant withdrawing tubes.

The compressor unit includes one side to which a compressor suction tube, through which the refrigerant is sucked from the indoor units, is connected, and another side to which a bypass for bypassing the discharged refrigerant such that the refrigerant does not pass through the outdoor heat exchangers is connected.

The refrigerant withdrawing tubes connect the bypass of the malfunctioning outdoor unit to the compressor suction tube of the other outdoor units.

The distributor includes a high-pressure refrigerant tube for guiding high-pressure gas refrigerant discharged from the compressor unit to the indoor unit for performing the heating operation, a low-pressure refrigerant tube for guiding refrigerant passing through the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth indoor units to a suction port of the compressor, a liquid refrigerant tube for guiding liquid refrigerant discharged from the outdoor heat exchangers to the indoor units for performing cooling operation, and a valve device for selectively opening and closing the high-pressure refrigerant tube and the low-pressure refrigerant tub.

The outdoor unit further includes outdoor discharge tube for guiding the liquid refrigerant discharged from the outdoor heat exchangers.

The compressor suction tubes, the bypasses, and the outdoor heat exchanger discharge tubes are respectively connected to the low-pressure refrigerant tube, the high-pressure refrigerant tube, and the liquid refrigerant tube by service valves.

In accordance with the present invention, the above and other aspects can be accomplished by the provision of a method for withdrawing refrigerant of a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use, including: a first step of blocking the refrigerant flow to indoor units by closing a service valve installed in a malfunctioning outdoor unit among a plurality of outdoor units when one of the plural outdoor units malfunctions; a second step of opening an opening and closing valve installed in a refrigerant withdrawing tube of the malfunctioned outdoor unit; a third step of operating compressor units of the other outdoor units to pump down to withdraw the refrigerant in the malfunctioning outdoor unit to the other outdoor units; a fourth step of closing the opening and closing valve once all of the refrigerant in the malfunctioning outdoor unit is withdrawn; and a fifth step of replacing a compressor unit of the malfunctioning outdoor unit and normally operating the other outdoor units.

Preferably, the first step further comprises the sub-step of closing a service valve for connecting compressor suction tubes of the other outdoor units to the distributor.

The fourth step further includes the sub-step of opening a service valve of the other outdoor units.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and/or other aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a systemic view illustrating a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a view illustrating withdrawal of refrigerant from a malfunctioning first outdoor unit of the multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating a method for withdrawing refrigerant from the multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, the preferred embodiments of a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use according to the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a systemic view illustrating a multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 2 is a view illustrating withdrawal of refrigerant from a malfunctioning first outdoor unit of the multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating a method for withdrawing refrigerant from the multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 1, includes a plurality of outdoor units 10, a plurality of indoor units 20, a distributor 30, disposed between the plural outdoor units 10 and the plural indoor units 20, to selectively guide refrigerant to the plural indoor units 20 according to the operating mode, i.e. a cooling mode, a heating mode, and a cooling and heating mode, and a refrigerant withdrawing device for withdrawing the refrigerant from a malfunctioning outdoor unit among the plural outdoor units 10 to other outdoor units when replacing a compressor of the malfunctioning outdoor unit.

Here, the plural outdoor units 10 include three outdoor units, i.e. first, second, and third outdoor units 51, 52, and 53, and only the plural outdoor units 10 including the three outdoor units 51, 52, and 53 are described.

The first, second, and third outdoor units 51, 52, and 53 respectively include first, second, and third compressor units 54, 55, and 56, first, second, and third four-way valves 57, 58, and 59, and first, second, and third heat exchangers 60, 61, and 62.

Each of the first, second, and third compressor units 54, 55, and 56 includes two compressors, and only the compressor units respectively having two compressor are described.

The first compressor 54 of two compressors are connected to each other via a common accumulator 63, the second compressor 55 of two compressors to each other via a second common accumulator 64, and the third compressor 56 of two compressor to each other via a third common accumulator 65.

One side of each of the first, second, and third compressor units 54, 55, and 56 is connected to respective first, second, and third compressor suction tubes 54 a, 55 a, and 56 a into which refrigerant is sucked from the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth indoor units 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, and 76. The other side of each of the first, second, and third compressor units 54, 55, and 56 is connected to respective first, second, and third compressor discharge tubes 54 b, 55 b, an 56 b for guiding refrigerant discharged from the first, second, and third compressor units 54, 55, and 56 to the first, second, and third four-way valves 57, 58, and 59.

The first, second, and third compressor discharge tubes 54 b, 55 b, and 56 b are respectively connected to first, second, and third bypasses 54 c, 55 c, and 56 c for allowing refrigerant to bypass the first, second, and third outdoor heat exchangers 60, 61, and 62.

The high-pressure refrigerant compressed by the first, second, and third compressor units 54, 55, and 56 is fed to one or more indoor units for performing a heating operation among the plural indoor units 20 through the first, second, and third bypasses 54 c, 55 c, and 56 c.

Discharging parts of the first, second, and third outdoor heat exchangers 60, 61, and 62 are respectively connected to first, second, and third outdoor heat exchanger discharge tubes 60 a, 61 a, and 62 a for guiding liquid refrigerant discharged from the first, second, and third outdoor heat exchangers 60, 61, and 62.

First, second, and third outdoor heat exchanger discharge valves 60 b, 61 b, and 62 are respectively installed in the first, second, and third outdoor heat exchanger discharge tubes 60 a, 61 a, and 62 a.

Only the plural indoor units 20 including the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth indoor units 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, and 76 will be described.

Each of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth indoor units 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, and 76 includes an indoor heat exchanger 77 and an electronic expansion valve 78.

Moreover, the distributor 30 includes a first distributor 31 connected to the first, second, and third indoor units 71, 72, and 73, and a second distributor 32 connected to fourth, fifth, and sixth indoor units 74, 75, and 76.

Each of the first and second distributors 31 and 32 includes a high-pressure refrigerant tube 80 for guiding high-pressure gaseous refrigerant discharged from the first, second, and third compressor units 54, 55, and 56 to one or more indoor units for performing the heating operation, a low-pressure refrigerant tube 90 for guiding refrigerant passing through the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth indoor units 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, and 76 to the outdoor units, a liquid refrigerant tube 100 for guiding liquid refrigerant discharged from the first, second, and third outdoor heat exchangers 60, 61, and 62 to one or more indoor units for performing cooling operation, and a valve device for selectively opening and closing the high-pressure refrigerant tube 80 and the low-pressure refrigerant tube 90.

The high-pressure refrigerant tube 80 includes a side divided into first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth high-pressure refrigerant tubes 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, and 86 respectively connected to the indoor heat exchangers 77 of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth indoor units 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, and 76, and the other side branched and connected to the first, second, and third bypasses 54 c, 55 c, and 56 c.

The low-pressure refrigerant tube 90 includes a side divided into first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth low-pressure refrigerant tubes 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, and 96 respectively connected to the indoor heat exchangers 77 of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth indoor units 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, and 76, and the other side branched and connected to the first, second, and third compressor suction tubes 54 a, 55 a, and 56 a.

The liquid refrigerant tube 100 includes a side divided into first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth liquid refrigerant tubes 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, and 106 respectively connected to the electronic expansion valves 78 of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth indoor units 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, and 76, and the other side branched and connected to the first, second, and third outdoor heat exchangers 60 a, 61 a, and 62 a.

In the first outdoor unit 51, the first bypass 54 c is connected to the high-pressure refrigerant tube 80 by a first service valve 111, the first compressor suction tube 54 a is connected to the low-pressure refrigerant tube 90 by a second service valve 112, the first outdoor heat exchanger discharge tube 60 a is connected to the liquid refrigerant tube 100 by a third service valve 113.

In the second outdoor unit 52, the second bypass 55 c is connected to the high-pressure refrigerant tube 80 by a fourth service valve 114, the second compressor suction tube 55 a is connected to the low-pressure refrigerant tube 90 by a fifth service valve 115, the second outdoor heat exchanger discharge tube 61 a is connected to the liquid refrigerant tube 100 by a sixth service valve 116.

In the third outdoor unit 53, the third bypass 56 c is connected to the high-pressure refrigerant tube 80 by a seventh service valve 117, the third compressor suction tube 56 a is connected to the low-pressure refrigerant tube 90 by an eighth service valve 118, the third outdoor heat exchanger discharge tube 62 a is connected to the liquid refrigerant tube 100 by a ninth service valve 119.

Meanwhile, the valve device includes first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth high-pressure valves 81 a, 82 a, 83 a, 84 a, 85 a, and 86 a, which are respectively installed in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth high-pressure refrigerant tubes 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, and 86, opened in the heating mode, and closed in the cooling mode, and first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth low-pressure valves 91 a, 92 a, 93 a, 94 a, 95 a, and 96 a, which are respectively installed in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth low-pressure refrigerant tubes 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, and 96, opened in the cooling mode, and closed in the heating mode.

The refrigerant withdrawing device includes a refrigerant withdrawing tube for withdrawing refrigerant discharged from a compressor unit of a malfunctioning outdoor unit among the plural outdoor units 10 to the other outdoor units, i.e. compressor units of normally functioning outdoor units, and an opening and closing valve for opening and closing the refrigerant withdrawing tube.

The refrigerant withdrawing tube includes a first refrigerant withdrawing tube 121 for connecting the fist outdoor unit 51 to the second outdoor unit 52, a second refrigerant withdrawing tube 122 for connecting the second outdoor unit 52 to the third outdoor unit 53, and a third refrigerant withdrawing tube 123 for connecting the third outdoor unit 53 to the first outdoor unit 51.

Here, the first refrigerant withdrawing tube 121 connects the first bypass 54 c to the second compressor suction tube 55 a.

The second refrigerant withdrawing tube 122 connects the second bypass 55 c to the third compressor suction tube 56 a.

The third refrigerant withdrawing tube 123 connects the third bypass 56 c to the first compressor suction tube 54 a.

The opening and closing valve includes a first opening and closing valve 121 a installed in the first refrigerant withdrawing tube 121, a second opening and closing valve 122 a installed in the second refrigerant withdrawing tube 121, and a third opening and closing valve 123 a installed in the third refrigerant withdrawing tube 123.

The multi-type air conditioner according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention is operated as follows.

First, assuming that the first compressor 54 of the first outdoor unit 51 among the first, second, and third outdoor units 51, 52, and 53 malfunctions, as a first step (S1), the first, second, and third service valves 111, 112, and 113 installed in the first outdoor unit 51 are closed to block refrigerant flow between the first outdoor unit 51 and the indoor units 20.

Then, the fourth service valve 114 installed in the second outdoor unit 52 is closed to prevent refrigerant from entering the second outdoor unit 42.

After that, as a second step (S2), the first opening and closing valve 121 a installed in the first refrigerant withdrawing tube 121 is opened to open the first refrigerant withdrawing tube 121.

In a third step (S3), the second compressor unit 55 of the second outdoor unit 52 is operated to pump down such that refrigerant in the first outdoor unit 51 is withdrawn to the second outdoor unit 52.

Therefore, all of the refrigerant in the first outdoor unit 51 is withdrawn to the second outdoor unit 52 through the first refrigerant withdrawing tube 121.

When all of the refrigerant in the first outdoor unit 51 has been withdrawn, in a fourth step (S4), the first opening and closing valve 121 a is closed to seal the first refrigerant withdrawing tube 121.

The fourth service valve 114 is opened such that refrigerant can flow between the second outdoor unit 52 and the indoor unit 20 (S5).

Afterwards, in a fifth step (S6), the first compressor unit 54 of the first outdoor unit 51 is replaced while the second and third outdoor units 52 and 53 operate normally.

In other words, while the first compressor unit 54 of the first outdoor unit 51 is being replaced, the second and third outdoor units 52 and 53 can be normally operated.

After the replacement of the compressor unit of the first outdoor unit 51, vacuum is applied to the first outdoor unit 51 and the first, second, and third service valves 111, 112, and 113 are opened to normally operate the first outdoor unit 51.

Meanwhile, since the withdrawal of refrigerant when the second outdoor unit 52 or the third outdoor unit 53 malfunctions is similar to the withdrawal of refrigerant from the first outdoor unit 51, a description thereof will be omitted.

Therefore, since, when one of the plural outdoor units 10 malfunctions, heating and/or cooling can be performed via driving the remainder of the plural outdoor units, the malfunctioning compressor unit can be replaced without cessation of heating and/or cooling.

The multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use and the method for withdrawing refrigerant therefrom has the following advantages.

According to the multi-type air conditioner for simultaneous heating and cooling use and the method for withdrawing refrigerant therefrom, the refrigerant withdrawing device is provided between the plural outdoor units, refrigerant in a malfunctioning outdoor unit is withdrawn to the other outdoor units and the other outdoor units are normally operated while the compressor unit of the malfunctioning outdoor unit among the plural outdoor units is replaced. Thus, the compressor is replaced and/or the outdoor unit is repaired without cessation of heating and/or cooling.

Moreover, since there is no need to remove the entirety of the refrigerant from the system, time for replacing the compressor is reduced and the replacement of the compressor is convenient. Thus, since loss of refrigerant is minimized, costs can be reduced.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7532950Nov 27, 2007May 12, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Integrated management system and method for controlling multi-type air conditioners
US7831339Nov 27, 2007Nov 9, 2010Lg Electronics Inc.Integrated management system and method for controlling multi-type air conditioners
US7974740Nov 27, 2007Jul 5, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Integrated management system and method using setting information back-up for controlling multi-type air conditioners
US20120131948 *Sep 10, 2009May 31, 2012Mitsubishi Electric CorporationAir-conditioning apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/149, 62/324.4
International ClassificationF25B13/00, F25B45/00
Cooperative ClassificationF25B2500/06, F25B2400/19, F25B2313/0231, F25B2313/0253, F25B2313/0252, F25B13/00, F25B2400/075, F25B2313/007
European ClassificationF25B13/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 7, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HA, DO YONG;JEONG, HO JONG;YOON, SEOK HO;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017739/0657;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060105 TO 20060106