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SECTION5

COMMERCIALREFRIGERATION
UNIT22
CONDENSERS

UNITOBJECTIVES

Afterstudyingthisunit,thereadershouldbeableto
Explainthepurposeofcondensersinrefrigerationsystems

Describewatercooledandaircooledcondensers
Listthreetypesofwatercooledcondensers
Describetheoperatingdifferencesbetweenwastewaterand
recirculatingwatersystems
Describetheoperationandfunctionofacoolingtower
Listmethodsthatfacilitatelowambientsystemoperation

THECONDENSER
Heatexchangesurfacethatrejectssystemheat
Rejectssensibleheat
Desuperheatingvaporrefrigerantfromthecompressor
Subcoolsrefrigerantattheoutletofthecondenser

Rejectslatentheatduringthecondensingprocess
Thegreatestamountofheatistransferredduringthe
changeofstate
Condenserisonthehighpressuresideofthesystem

WATERCOOLEDCONDENSERS

Moreefficientthanaircooledcondensers
Watertemperaturecanbemaintained
Watertemperaturedirectlyaffectssystempressures
Threetypesofwatercooledcondensers
Tubewithinatubecondenser
Shellandcoilcondenser
Shellandtubecondenser

TUBEWITHINATUBECONDENSER
Heatexchangetakesplacebetweenthefluidsin
theinnerandoutertubes
Refrigerantflowsintheoutertube
Waterflowsintheinnertube
Refrigerantandwaterflowinopposite
directionstomaximizetheheattransferrate
Dependingontheconstruction,thecondenser
canbecleanedmechanicallyorchemically

Watertotower(95F)
Coolwater
fromthe
cooling
tower
85FWater
Hotdischargegasfromthe
compressor
Subcooledliquidto
thereceiver

CrossSectionofatubewithinatubecondenser
Surroundingair

Waterfromtower
(innertube)

Hotdischargegasfrom
compressor(outertube)

Dischargegastransfers
heattoboththe
surroundingairandthe
waterintheinnertube

MINERALDEPOSITS
Heatfromthedischargegascausesmineralsinthe
watertocomeoutofsolution
Thesemineralsformscalethatadheredtothepipes
Thescaleactsasaninsulatorandreducestherateof
heattransferbetweentherefrigerantandthewater
Waterischemicallytreatedtoreducetherateof
scaleformationontheinteriorpipesurfaces
Dirtycondensersleadtohighheadpressures

CrossSectionofatubewithinatubecondenser
Surroundingair
Hotdischargegasfrom
compressor(outertube)

MINERAL
DEPOSITS

Heattransferbetween
therefrigerantandthe
waterisreduced
becauseofthe
insulatingeffectofthe
mineraldeposits

Waterfromtower
(innertube)

110Fliquidrefrigeranttoreceiver
85F

WATERTUBESARECLEAN

95F
Discharge
gas200F

145Fliquidrefrigeranttoreceiver
85F

90F

Discharge
gas200F

Scale

MECHANICALLYCLEANABLE
CONDENSERS
Tubewithinatubecondenserhasendflanges
Flangesareremovedtoaccessthewatercircuit
Therefrigerantcircuitremainssealedwhilethe
watercircuitisopen
Themechanicallycleanabletubeintube
condenserismorecostlythanthechemically
cleanableversionofthecondenser

MECHANICALLYCLEANABLE
TUBEWITHINATUBE
CONDENSER

Waterand
refrigerant
connections

MECHANICALLYCLEANABLETUBE
WITHINATUBECONDENSER
Flange

Gasket

Accesstointerior
ofwatertubes

SHELLANDCOILCONDENSERS
Coiloftubingenclosedinaweldedshell
Waterflowsthroughthecoil
Refrigerantfromthecompressorisdischargedinto
theshell
Theshellalsoactsasthereceiver
Whenrefrigerantcomesincontactwiththecool
coil,itcondensesandfallstothebottom

Thiscondensermustbecleanedchemically

ShellandCoilCondenser
Shell

Hotdischargegasfrom
compressor

Watercoil

Dropletsofcondensed
refrigerant

Warmwaterout
Bottomofshellacts
asareceiver

Coolwaterin

Subcooledliquidfromcondenser

SHELANDTUBECONDENSERS

Canbecleanedmechanically
Compressordischargegasispipedintotheshell
Waterflowsthroughthetubesinthecondenser
Theendsoftheshellareremovedforcleaning
Theshellactsasareceiver
Refrigerantcircuitisnotdisturbedwhentheendsof
theshell(waterboxes)areopened
Mostexpensivetypeofcondenser

Shell

WaterTubes

Hotdischargegasfrom
compressor

Warm
waterout

Coolwater
in
Bottomofthecondenser
actsasthereceiver

Subcooledliquidfromcondenser

Hotdischargegasfrom
compressor
Waterout

Waterin
Subcooledliquidfromcondenser

Directswater
throughthe
tubes

Hotdischargegasfrom
compressor

Accesstotubes
forcleaning

Waterbox

Subcooledliquidfromcondenser

WASTEWATERSYSTEMS
Waterusedonceandthenwasteddownthedrain
Economicalifwaterisfreeorifthesystemissmall
Themaindrawbackisthatthewatertemperature
canvaryagreatdeal
Typicalwatertemperatureisabout75F
75Fwastewaterrequiresaflowofabout1.5gpm
pertonofrefrigerationtoabsorbtheheatrejectedby
thecondenser
Watertypicallyleavesthecondenserat95F

WastewaterSystem
Hotdischargegasfrom
compressor

Warmwater
outtodrain
(95F)

Subcooledliquidfromcondenser

Waterregulatingvalve

Coolwaterin
(75F)
Tocompressorhead

REFRIGERANTTOWATERTEMPERATURE
RELATIONSHIPFORWASTEWATERSYSTEMS
Waterflowiscontrolledbyawaterregulatingvalve
Twopressurescontrolthewaterregulatingvalve
Theheadpressurepushestoopenthevalve
Thespringpressurepushestoclosethevalve

Thevalveopenswhentheheadpressurerises
Watertemperatureishigherinthewarmermonths
Watertemperatureislowerinthecoolermonths

RECIRCULATEDWATERSYSTEMS
Thewaterflowingthroughthecondenseris
pumpedtoaremotelocation,cooledandreused
Designwatertemperatureis85F
Awaterflowrateof3.0gpmpertonof
refrigerationisrequiredtoabsorbtheheatrejected
bythesystemcondenser
Thewaterleavingthecondenserisabout95F
Thereisa10degreesplitacrossthewatercircuit

RecirculatedWaterSystem
Hotdischargegasfrom
compressor

Warmwater
outtodrain
(95F)

Coolwaterin
(85F)

Subcooledliquidfromcondenser

COOLINGTOWERS
Deviceusedtoremoveheatfromthewaterused
inrecirculatedwatersystems
Towerscancoolthewatertoatemperature
within7Fofthewetbulbtemperatureoftheair
surroundingthetower
Ifthewetbulbtemperatureis90degrees,water
canbecooledtoatemperatureaslowas83F
Naturaldraft,forceddraft,orevaporative

Hotwaterin(95F)

Fanmotor

Airin95Fdry
bulb,78Fwet
bulb
Airout

Cooledwaterout(85F)

NATURALDRAFTCOOLINGTOWERS

Redwood,fiberglassorgalvanizedsheetmetal
Therearenoblowerstomoveairthroughthetower
Naturalbreezesmoveairthroughthetower
Waterentersthetowerfromthetopandiscooledas
thewaterfallstothebottom
Somewaterevaporatesintheprocess,helpingto
cooltheremainingwaterinthetower
Additionalwaterisaddedthroughafloatvalve

FORCEDORINDUCEDDRAFTTOWERS
Useafanorblowertomoveairthroughthetower
Asthewaterfallsthroughthetower,airismoved
acrossittoaidinthecoolingprocess
Canbelocatedalmostanywhere
Thefaniscycledonandofftomaintainthedesired
watertemperature
ForceddraftAirispushedthroughthetower
InduceddraftAirispulledthroughthetower

EVAPORATIVECONDENSERS

Designedtooperatefullofliquid
Alatentheattransfertakesplacethroughoutthecoil
Coilefficiencyismaximized
Otherdevicesmustbeusedtopreventliquidfrom
enteringthecompressor
Normallyuseafloattypemeteringdevicetokeep
theliquidlevelinthecoilhigh

AIRCOOLEDCONDENSERS

Usesairtoabsorbheatrejectedbythesystem
Usedinlocationswherewaterisdifficulttouse
Horizontal,vertical,orsideintakeandtopdischarge
Hotgasentersthecondenserfromthetop
Forstandardefficiencysystems,therefrigerantwill
condenseatatemperatureabout30Fhigherthan
theoutsideambienttemperature

AIRCOOLEDCONDENSEREXAMPLE

R134amediumtemperaturerefrigerationsystem
Outsideairtemperature95F
Condensingtemperature125F(95F+30F)
FromP/Tchart,highsidepressureis184psig
Dischargerefrigerantfromthecompressorat200F
Refrigerantmustdesuperheatfrom200Fto125F
Refrigerantwillbegintocondenseat125F
Liquidrefrigerantsubcoolsbelow125F

CALCULATINGSUBCOOLING

Refrigerant R-134a

CONDENSER SUBCOOLING = 125 F 110 F = 15 F


REFRIGERANT
ENTERING THE
COIL

184 psig (125F)

OUTLET TEMP = 110 F


REFRIGERANT
LEAVING THE COIL

CONDENSER SATURATION TEMPERATURE = 125 F

HIGHEFFICIENCYCONDENSERS
Havelargersurfaceareasthanstandard
condensers
Allowsystemstooperateatlowerpressures
Allowsystemstooperatemoreefficiently
Canoperatewithheadpressuresaslowas10F
higherthantheoutsideambienttemperature

THECONDENSERANDLOWAMBIENT
CONTROLS

Condensingtemperaturesdropwhentheoutside
ambienttemperaturedrops
Thecondensingpressuremustbeatleast75psig
higherthantheevaporatorpressureinorderforthe
meteringdevicetooperateproperly
Lowambientcontrols
Designedtomaintainthedesiredheadpressure
Neededonsystemsthatoperateyearround

HEADPRESSURECONTROL
FANCYCLINGDEVICES

Usedonaircooledcondensers
Astheheadpressuredrops,thefancyclesoff
Astheheadpressurerises,thefancycleson
Somecondensershavemorethanonefan
Somefansremainonallthetime
Otherscycleonandofftomaintainproperpressure
Canbecontrolledbypressureortemperature

HEADPRESSURECONTROL
VARIABLESPEEDMOTORS

Motorspeedchangestomaintainheadpressure
Astheheadpressuredrops,thefanslowsdown
Astheheadpressurerises,thefanspeedsup
Canutilizevariablefrequencydrives(VFD)
Maintainsamoreconstantheadpressure
Canbecontrolledbypressureortemperature

HEADPRESSURECONTROL
AIRSHUTTERSORDAMPERS

Locatedattheinletoroutletofthecondenser
Opensandclosesbyapressurecontrolledpiston
Controlsairflowthroughthecondensercoil
Asambienttemperaturedrops,thedamperscloseto
reducetheamountofairflowthroughthecoil
Asambienttemperaturerises,thedampersopento
increasetheamountofairflowthroughthecoil

HEADPRESSURECONTROL
CONDENSERFLOODING

Valveinstalledinparallelwiththecondenser
Valveclosedwhentheambienttemperatureishigh
Valveopensastheambienttemperaturedrops
Asthevalveopens,refrigerantbacksupinthe
condenser,reducingtheheattransfersurfacearea
Duringverycoldweather,thecondenserwillbe
almostcompletelyfilledwithliquidrefrigerant
Systemsmusthaveanoversizedreceiver

FLOATINGHEADPRESSURES
Termusedforattainingthelowestpossible
condensingtemperatureinthesystem
Allowstheheadpressuretofollowtheambient
temperaturewithoutusingheadpressurecontrols
Newerexpansiondevicescanoperateproperlywith
pressuredifferencesaslowas30psig
Systemsbecomemoreefficientsincetheyoperateat
lowerpressures

UNITSUMMARY1
Thecondenseristhesystemcomponentresponsible
forrejectingsystemheat
Condensersrejectbothlatentandsensibleheat
Watercooledcondensersaremoreefficientthanair
cooledcondensers
Threetypesofwatercooledcondensersarethetube
withinatube,shellandcoil,andtheshellandtube
Mineraldepositsinthewatercircuitreducetheheat
transferratebetweenthewaterandtherefrigerant

UNITSUMMARY2
Somecondenserscanbemechanicallycleaned
whileothersmustbecleanedchemically
Wastewatersystemsusewateronceandthenwaste
itdownthedrain
Wastewatersystemstypicallysupply75degree
watertothecondenserandrequire1.5gpm/ton
Recirculatingwatersystemstypicallysupply85
degreewaterandrequire3.0gpm/ton

UNITSUMMARY3
Wastewatersystemsutilizeawaterregulatingvalve
whilerecirculatedwatersystemsdonot
Evaporativecondensersuseacombinationofwater
andairtoachievethecondensingprocess
Highefficiencycondensersoperatewithlowerhead
pressuresthanstandardefficiencycondensers
Lowambientcontrolsallowsystemstooperate
properlywhentheambienttemperatureislow