MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: How does an Airconditioning Unit with Cooling Towers and Condensors work?

Date: Thu Sep 7 14:04:59 2000
Posted By: Tony Gaglierd, Faculty, Natural Science and Engineering Technology, Point Park College
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 967314402.Eg

Dear  Kunall

You asked how does and Air Conditioning Unit with Cooling Tower and 
Condenser Work?

Let me walk you through the process and the components.

In the compressor, refrigerant gas is compressed. The hot refrigerant gas 
flows to the condenser pipes or coils surrounded by cold water where it is 
cooled while still under high pressure. The cold water absorbs the heat 
from the gas condensing it into a liquid.

The liquid refrigerant then flows into a holding tank called a receiver. 
From there it flows through a temperature actuated valve called an 
expansion valve into the cooling coils located in the space to be cooled. 
The liquified refrigerant gas absorbs heat, changes back to a gas and
flows back to the compressor where it is recompressed and the cycle begins 

Water serves to absorb and dissipate the heat. The water that flowed 
through the condenser is sent to a cooling tower where itsí temperature is 
lowered at least 10 degrees or more by evaporative cooling. In the cooling 
tower, the water is dropped over a series of plates called baffles to 
break it up into tiny drops. A fan usually located in the top of the tower 
draws cold air up through the falling water causing some of it to 
evaporate, cooling down the remainder of the water which returns to the 
condenser to absorb more heat.

In large buildings, water serves as the heat removal medium for both the 
refrigeration cycle and the cooling process instead of circulating the 
refrigerant through coils in the space to be cooled. The refrigerant never 
leaves the engine room. Water is passed over the evaporator coils and is
cooled to about 45 - 50 degrees F and then passes through pipes with many 
small thin fins located in the space to be cooled.

I hope this explanation answers your question.

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