As a superheated (hot) high pressure gas, the refrigerant enters the condenser. It radiates heat into the air that is fanned across by the fan. The refrigerant condenses as the temperature drops. The refrigerant exits the condenser as a saturated high-pressure liquid at room temperature. This is called the suction line.
Refrigerants are gases at standard temperature and pressure. As they travel through the system they absorb heat from the environment that must be removed before it can reach the refrigerant. This heat is transferred to the refrigerant which then changes phase from a gas to a liquid. At this point the refrigerant has done its job and is returned to the compressor where it starts all over again.
The compressor takes the role of pumping the refrigerant through the system while allowing only one-way flow. As the refrigerant leaves the compressor in a highly pressurized condition, it passes through the motor and gets ejected into the receiver. From there, it flows into the expansion valve where it is forced under pressure into the evaporator. As the refrigerant reaches the evaporator, it absorbs more heat from the surrounding environment causing it to change phase back to a gas. Now that its job is done, the refrigerant returns to the compressor for another round trip.
The amount of refrigerant in the system affects how effectively it can remove heat.
As a vapour, the refrigerant enters the compressor. The condenser, like a radiator with hot engine coolant, draws heat from the heated vapour and transfers it to the outside air. The refrigerant condenses into a liquid when it cools. This action causes the compressor to run, in order to re-evaporate the liquid back into a gas.
The evaporator, again like an engine radiator, gives off heat and the gas vaporizes back into a liquid. This cycle is repeated every time the compressor goes through its work cycle.
Refrigerants are classified by their specific heat capacity at constant pressure; this determines how much heat they can absorb before changing phase. Common refrigerants include R-12 (a mixture of difluoromethane and trifluoroethane), R-22 (a mixture of dibutyl ether and tetrafluorethane), and R-134A (a mixture of difluoromethane and trifluoroethyl ether).
Because refrigerants are flammable, any connection between the hot side of the system and the atmosphere should be protected against fire. Flammability ratings are required by law for all refrigerants. The lowest known combustion temperature is expected to occur with R-12, which is used in many older systems. However new regulations may require replacement of old systems anyway.
This component receives high-temperature, high-pressure vaporized refrigerant from the compressor. The condenser extracts heat from the heated refrigerant vapor gas vapor until it condenses into a saturated liquid state, which is known as condensation. The liquid refrigerant is passed through a pressure regulator that maintains a constant system pressure. It then flows into the receiver where any remaining gas is let out.
The receiver is where the liquid refrigerant is collected before being distributed to the various components of the air conditioner/heat pump. There are two main types of receivers: direct-expansion and indirect-expansion. In both cases, the purpose of the receiver is to collect all the liquid refrigerant so that it can be redistributed throughout the system by the expansion valve.
Direct-expansion receivers are usually made of copper or brass and have many small holes spread out across their surface to allow the liquid refrigerant to be dispersed evenly throughout the system. These receivers can get very hot during operation, so they should not be placed inside the enclosure housingthe other components or they might catch on fire.
Indirect-expansion receivers are usually made of stainless steel and have one large hole at the top to distribute the liquid refrigerant. These receivers are less expensive than direct-expansion units and do not get as hot during operation.
The refrigerant saturated vapour condenses to a saturated liquid as it passes through the condenser due to the stored latent heat in the refrigerant passing to the surrounding environment via the condenser coil metal walls. This is why it is important to ensure that these components are properly installed and functioning correctly. If they are not, the refrigerant can enter other parts of the system such as the compressor, which could lead to serious injury or death.
Refrigerants are substances that have a low temperature and high pressure state called a gas or a liquid. They are used as a coolant in air conditioners and heat pumps. The two most common refrigerants are R-12 (dichlorodifluoromethane) and R-134a (trichlorofluoromethane). Both are considered harmful greenhouse gases. Although they are still used in some countries, they are being phased out in others because of their negative impact on the atmosphere.
There are several types of refrigerant leaks. A leak occurs when there is a reduction in the volume of a container because the seal between the container and its lid or between the container and its wall is broken. This loss of volume results in less refrigerant inside the container than expected.