An air-cooled condenser employs ambient air to cool and condense the heated refrigerant gas. It can be situated within the chiller or outside, but it eventually rejects heat from the chiller into the air. The heat is rejected through a vent on the back of the unit.
Air-cooled condensers are very efficient, but they do require more maintenance than other types. They also produce water as a byproduct. This means that you will need to add salt to the water to make it safe for consumption. Air-cooled condensers are also not recommended for use in areas where there is likely to be a lot of dust or debris because this can cause problems with airflow and may need replacement.
Air-cooled condensers were commonly used in large commercial chillers because they are so efficient. These days, many small residential chillers are also made with air-cooling instead of electric heating because they are cheaper and simpler. However, if you plan to use your freezer often during summer months, it might not be enough capacity. In this case, you could install an additional air-cooled condenser.
Electric-cooled condensers use a fan to pull air over a metal surface that is cooled by electricity instead of natural cooling.
The air conditioner in a central heating and cooling system produces cold air through ductwork within your house by drawing warm air inside and eliminating its heat. The condenser, or external unit, then converts the refrigerant vapor back to a liquid, eliminating any heat. The compressor then repeats this process until it is instructed to stop by the controller.
In an electric model, when you turn on the switch at the wall, this starts the compressor running. It will continue to run as long as you have power, which is usually 30-60 minutes depending on how much use you make of the air conditioner. At that point, the compressor stops because it has done its job and moved the refrigerant through the system's circuits to where it is needed.
As the refrigerant flows through the system, it picks up heat from different parts of the engine and transfers it to other parts of the system, such as the water tube radiator. This causes the water inside the tank to boil, creating vapor, which is drawn into the compressor through a pipe called a suction line. As the vapor passes through the compressor, it is compressed and sent through the condenser, where it changes back into a liquid. The liquid then flows through the receiver/drier into the storage tank, while the gas returns to the compressor to begin the cycle again.
The heat is transferred from the refrigerant (at a higher temperature) to the cooling source (air or water) at a lower temperature through the condenser. Each is a component of the refrigeration cycle, which will be discussed more below. Fluid circulation is used in industrial water chillers to transport heat from the process to the chiller. The fluid can be water or a water-based liquid such as glycol.
In home refrigerators, the compressor increases the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant entering the evaporator. As the refrigerant passes through the evaporator, it changes state from a gas to a vapor. The change is caused by the decrease in temperature as the gas passes from the high-temperature gas phase into the low-temperature liquid phase. This causes the refrigerant to absorb heat from the surrounding air inside the house. Once the gas has changed to a vapor, it is called "evaporated" refrigerant, and it flows through the expansion valve where its pressure is reduced further. At this point, some of the vapor will return to a liquid state due to the increase in temperature outside the refrigerator. This occurs because heat is transferred from the refrigerant to the environment when it transitions from a vapor to a liquid. The returned liquid is then routed back into the evaporator where it begins the cycle again.
Condensers work on the same principle as evaporators but instead of absorbing heat from the atmosphere, they absorb it from the refrigerant.
A conventional water-cooled chiller condenses the refrigerant by recirculating condenser water from a cooling tower. A water-cooled chiller includes a refrigerant that is temperature dependent on the incoming condenser water (and flow rate) and operates in proportion to the ambient wet-bulb temperature. The compressor will run continuously when the system is activated, drawing heat from the condenser and pumping it into the interior of the building through air conditioning ducts.
Large chillers are usually gas powered with compressors ranging in size from 20 to 100 horsepower (15-70 kw). They produce temperatures down to -20 F (-28 C), but most large chillers can also drop to -30 F (-34 C). Because they use liquid carbon dioxide as a refrigerant, large chillers must be located away from people or animals without injuring them. Large chillers are used in factories, warehouses, schools, hospitals, and other structures where the ability to cool large areas quickly and efficiently is required.
Small chillers are usually electric powered with compressor capacities of 200 to 600 cubic feet per minute (7-20 m3/hr). They produce temperatures down to about 10 F (14 C), but most small chillers can also drop to 0 F (–18 C). Small chillers are used in homes, offices, retail stores, restaurants, and other structures where the need for precise control of humidity and airflow is required but space is limited.
A chiller operates on the vapor compression or vapor absorption concept. The refrigerant evaporates, transforming from a low-pressure liquid to vapor as the heat transfer occurs, while the temperature of the process coolant decreases. The refrigerant then goes to a compressor, which serves several purposes. It increases the pressure of the refrigerant so that it can be forced into the tubes of the chiller. It also allows the refrigerant to change direction multiple times during its trip through the system, which is necessary because there is always some leakage in any real-world application.
The compressor takes in air through one port (usually the front) and compresses it, turning it into high-pressure gas. This gas is passed through a radiator, where it gives up some of its heat to the surrounding environment. The compressor then switches off, allowing more air to be drawn in through the other port. This cycle continues, causing the pressure inside the radiator to rise, which forces water out through another port (usually the back). As the water leaves the radiator, it becomes ice, which is why chillers are called "ice makers". The ice may be stored for later use or discarded directly if no use is made of it within a certain time frame.
The compressor needs regular maintenance. If not maintained properly, it could break down, causing major problems with the rest of the system. Also, make sure that the compressor is operating within its specifications.
Here's how your air conditioner cools your home: the inner unit (called an evaporator) takes heat from your air and transmits it to the outer unit (called the condenser). The condenser releases the transmitted heat into the atmosphere.
The inner part of the air conditioning system is called the compressor. It works with electricity to produce high pressure gas that moves through a series of pipes inside the unit. This gas enters the condenser where it is cooled by the addition of water or other antifreeze agents. Once the gas has been cooled, it returns to the compressor where it is re-pressurized for another cycle.
The outer parts of the system are the fan and the coils. The fan forces air over the cooling fins of the condenser, allowing the heat to be released into the atmosphere. The fan should be large enough to move a lot of air but not so big as to make a loud noise. The coils of the system work like heat sinks, absorbing any residual heat left behind after the compressor has shut off. A coil can be made out of aluminum because it needs to transfer only a small amount of heat to become hot. Brass and copper are other common materials used for heat sinks.
Air conditioners require some maintenance to keep them working efficiently.