How it Works: Condenser (Automotive A/C)

How it Works: Condenser (Automotive A/C)


Hi, my name is John Poole with Global
Parts Distributors. Today, we’re going to
be talking about A/C condensers. The A/C condenser is located right in front of
the radiator. The purpose of the
condenser is to release heat and change
the state of the refrigerant from vapor
to liquid. The condenser receives high
temperature high pressure vapor from the
compressor and converts it to a liquid
through condensation. The A/C condenser is constructed of tubing surrounded by
cooling fins. The purpose of the
condenser is to release heat and change
the state of the refrigerant from vapor
to liquid. The condenser receives high
temperature high pressure vapor from the
compressor and converts it to a liquid
through condensation. This condensation
leads the top part of the condenser to fill
with vapor and in the lower part filled with
liquid. Because of this the inlet at the
top should be hotter to the touch than
the outlet at the bottom. gpd recommends
using a temperature tester to make sure
that proper heat exchange is happening.
If there is not an adequate temperature
change from the top to the bottom of the
condenser this normally means that there
is a restriction. A restriction in an A/C
condenser results in high pressure which
will usually cause the AC compressor to
fail. Typically there are three
different designs of condensers. Older
model vehicles carry either serpentine,
which is the most popular for older
model vehicles, or piccolo.
The serpentine design just has one long
tube folded back and forth with the just
a single path for the refrigerant to
flow through. The newer designs which are parallel flow have many tubes stacked
horizontally connected to a vertical
tube at each end. Although the new design
of parallel flow condensers increases
efficiency
it makes the condensers impossible to
flush therefore if the condenser has a
restriction gpd recommends replacing it
with a new one. For more tech tips and
product announcements check out gpdtechtips.com.

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