In any systems with heat transfer like refrigerators, home air conditioning equipment chillers, heat pumps and ventilators there are many parts cooperating to transfer heat out of the entire system: but among these parts, one of them is basically known as the heat rejector and it is called condenser. In this article we are going to answer questions like “what is a condenser?”, “what parts is a condenser made up of?”, “how does it work?”, “where is it used?”, “how many types does it have?” and “what are its main functions?”. Linquip has gathered all these basics and essential information to deliver to you. Follow us in every single section of this article to get more and more about the condenser.
But what is a condenser indeed and where is it used?
The main question is “what is a condenser?” For sure you have seen twisting and spiral coils on the back of your home refrigerator. These coils are the main part of a condenser. All of what these coils do is helping the entire system to lose its heat in order to work efficiently. Condensers vary in design; Some of them are designed for devices we use every day in our home like refrigerators and air conditioners and some of them are designed for industrial purposes. Based on their usage, their size varies too; some of them can be carried and held by a hand and some others are in large and industrial scale. Condensers are used in home or industrial refrigeration systems, heat pumps, industrial steam power plants, air conditioners and many other systems which need to be cooled to work efficiently.
What parts is a condenser made of?
most of the condensers are made up of four basic parts. A cabin which is a housing for other parts, coils which can be made by copper or aluminum, a compressor which is for increasing pressure and a fan whose job is flowing air into coils. The coils can be made of copper or aluminum and it’s better to be of aluminum so heat can be better and faster transferred. What you should consider as a consumer is that the coils should be kept clean. If the coils get dirty or rusty, the performance will be impaired. The fan is an essential part too. Its job is to circulate and flow the air across the coils. This causes the heat transfer and the cooling process better and faster. You should notice that the area around the fan and coils needs to be free and be sure that the air flow is not blocked. Besides, the coils and the fan should be clean to maximize the efficiency of cooling. Now that you have got familiar with the main parts of a condenser, in fact, you have reached one step closer to the answer of the question “what is a condenser?”
How does a condenser work?
As we mentioned before, condensers have variety in design but how they work in any type is approximately the same. To be sure that we are on the same page, let’s take an air-cooled condenser of a refrigerator as our example. There are three key functions that every condenser does as running:
the first phase is desuperheating; to understand what desuperheating is you have to get familiar with the concept of saturation temperature. Saturation temperature is the point at which refrigerant state starts to change. By reaching to that point, the vapor is going to turn into liquid state.
So, the vapor coming out of compressor is at the superheated state from the process of evaporating. After that the vapor flows into the condenser and has to lose its temperature. This phase of losing temperature and reaching into saturation level is called desuperheating. In desuperheating phase the we have 50% vapor and 50% liquid. As it goes further, we reach into the biggest state which is called changing or condensation state where we have only 10% vapor and 90% liquid. Finally, all the vapor turns into 100% liquid and at this point, as the refrigerant is still violating and it is likely to turn into gas, cooling continues beyond saturation degree. This has to be done to be sure that the refrigerant stays in liquid form. This phase is called subcolling. the temperature in this stage is below the condensing temperature and we have sub-cooled liquid flowing into the metering device.
Air-cooled, water-cooled and evaporative types
Answering to the question of “what is a condenser?” without knowing types of condeser is actually incomplete. Three main types of condensers, based on the way they cool the refrigerant, are mostly used in HVAC systems; air-cooled, water-cooled and evaporative. These types of condensers and their functions and applications are elaborated with details in another article. But for your information, air-cooled ones are put outside unit and easily for maintenance and installation. Water-cooled ones are more efficient but more expensive and also need regular service.
To have a better insight of these types, we put a PDF file of diagrams below to show you where the components are exactly rested in the cabin.
Understanding the components of HVAC systems helps you know how it works. Also if one of these components fails you may have an idea how to fix it or who can repair it. What you read in this article was necessary and essential to this purpose. we tried to answer the question of “what is a condenser?” and introduced the main components. Besides, we delivered some key information about how it works and elaborated the main functions.
If you have any experiences of using any types of condenser or you want to share your opinions about the topic of “what is a condenser?” to make this article a better source of information, feel free to write them down in comments. Experts in Linquip are ready to answer your questions about this equipment. So just sign up on our website and let us help you out.