AC Condenser Types

Air conditioning systems have four main parts, these are: compressor, throttling or expansion valve, condenser and the evaporator. The condenser is used to liquify gas by cooling it. The refrigerant leaves the condenser in a gaseous state and at a high temperature and pressure. The refrigerant then enters the condenser unit where it’s cooled by coolant. Condensers are available in various styles and sizes. Below we will cover the various AC condenser types. AC condenser types can be categorized by their cooling method. 

AC Condenser Types

All AC condenser types can be categorized by their cooling method. There are three AC condenser types they are separated into: air cooled, water cooled and evaporative.

Air Cooled CondensersAC Condenser Types

These are typically used in split-air conditioners, window air conditioners and other small packaged ACs. They are used in plants with a small cooling load and a small quantity of refrigerant in the refrigeration cycle. Air cooled condensers are also referred to as coil condensers as they’re usually made of aluminum or copper coil. These types of condensers are also relatively larger than water cooled condensers.

They are available in two types: forced convection and natural convection. In the forced air type, a motor-operated fan blows air over the condenser coil. In the natural convection type, air flows over it in a natural way depending on the temperature of the condenser coil.

Water Cooled Condensers

Water cooled condensers are used for central AC plants, big packaged air conditioners, etc. They’re often used in plants with excessively high cooling loads and a large quantity of refrigerant flowing through the condenser. You’re likely to find these types of condensers in commercial settings and large industrial buildings.

Water cooled condensers are available in three main types: double pipe or tube-in-tube type, shell and tube type and shell and coil type. In all these types of condensers, the water flows through one side of the piping while the refrigerant flows through the other piping. As a result, the water cools the refrigerant and condenses it.

Evaporative CondensersAC Condenser Types

These types of condensers are usually used in ice plants. They’re a combination of air cooled and water-cooled condensers. Water is sprayed over the condenser coils and at the same time, air is drawn from the condenser’s bottom side by the fan, and discharges it from the condenser’s top side. The sprayed water gets evaporated in the air when it gets into contact with the condenser coils and absorbs heat from the condenser.

Evaporative condensers have the benefits of an air-cooled and water-cooled condenser, which explains why it occupies less space. However, they require lots of maintenance and keeping them clean and free of scale is very difficult.

Bottom Line

It’s helpful to know the different AC condenser types. Condensers are a critical part of your air conditioning system. A well-maintained AC unit will save you loads of cash in the long run. If you want to improve your home energy efficiency and lower your utility costs, consider consulting a home energy audit company. For instance, installing an attic fan can help to lower your utility costs and go a long way in relieving some of the stress from your AC unit.

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