Solving the Mystery of the Condenser….

What goes on inside that HVACR thing called the condenser?

The refrigeration cycle can be defined in very simple terms. It is the process of removing heat from where ist isn’t wanted and releasing it somewhere else. In operation, the refrigeration cycle uses several heat-exchanging components. They contribute to the final disposal of the absorbed heat. One of these heat exchangers is the refrigeration condenser. It is the final outlet for the heat removed from the refrigerated product or occupied area.

The condenser is the component in a refrigeration or air conditioning system that removes and rejects heat from the high-temperature, high-pressure vapor. The heat in the vapor comes from three sources:

  • the heat absorbed in the evaporator
  • the heat picked up in the suction line
  • the additional heat of compression, caused by compressor operation

The condenser cools the refrigerant in three stages:

  1. the vapor is cooled to saturation temperature (desuperheated)
  2. the vapor is condensed to a liquid (latent heat removed)
  3. the temperature of the condensed liquid is reduced below its saturation temperature (subcooled)

The condenser removes the heat in the vapor in two steps. First, it transfers it to the walls of the condenser tubes. Then, the heat moves from the tubes to the cooling medium. This may be air or water.

In general, the physical characteristics of a condenser are fixed. The basic primary variable is the temperature difference between the refrigerant vapor and the condensing medium.

The source for this article is the Technical Institute Manual One available from the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society online store.    RSES.ORG

RSES – The HVACR Training Authority

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