To develop a better defrosting control system on finned evaporators of a refrigeration system, a study is conducted to better quantify the frosting and defrosting processes by using an infrared thermometer to determine the frost surface temperature. For gradual frost deposition a slow variation in surface emissivity is expected, while defrosting process is characterized by a sudden change of this property. As an indicator for the defrosting initiation control mechanism, the times at which the IR signals stabilize at different conditions (Reynolds number, cold surface temperature and ambient temperature) are reported along with the terminal mass concentration of a defined frosting process. On the other hand, the abrupt variation of surface emissivity indicates the termination of the defrosting process. Removable fins are used to measure frost weight, and a video microscope is used to determine the frost thickness. Defrosting initiation time and durations marked by melting temperature are reported as a function of initial mass concentration and defrosting base surface temperature. The presented results could be used to design a better defrosting control system with better accuracy and energy saving features.

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