Introduction Of Different Types Of Condensers

In simple terms, a condenser is a cooling device. Every refrigeration system and power plant uses a condenser to condense refrigerant vapor or vapor and is known as a heat rejector. In effect, it turns superheated and high-pressure steam into supercooled liquid.

There are three different types of condensers based on the condensing medium used to remove heat from the system. None of the three different types of condensers do have a particular advantage over the other. Each should be used appropriately, depending on the situation. Below we will detail the functions of these three condenser types, giving you a comprehensive overview of various condensers.

  1. Air cooled condensers

This type of condenser uses air as the external fluid to remove heat from the system. Air condensers usually have copper coils into which the refrigerant flows. But that’s not all. This type is subdivided into two subsets: natural convection and forced convection.

1.1. Natural convection

In this type of condenser, the air comes in contact with the warm coils, absorbing heat from the refrigerant inside the coils, so the air temperature rises. Since the warm air is lighter, it rises and is replaced by the cold air, which again contacts the warm coil to remove heat. This natural cycle continues until the refrigerant loses heat.

Since the airflow is small and the radiative heat transfer is not very high, the overall heat transfer coefficient of these condensers is small. As a result, a relatively large condensing surface is required to remove a given amount of heat. Therefore, these types of condensers are used in small-capacity refrigeration systems such as domestic refrigerators and freezers.

1.2. Forced convection

One of the other types of condensers is forced convection. The fan or blower does play the most critical role in removing heat from the refrigerant inside the coil. A fan blows air into the finned coils. An important tip to note here is that the fins of a forced convection condenser should be placed next to each other; therefore, if dust and dirt fill the tiny spaces between the fins, airflow and heat dissipation can be very problematic.

Forced convection condensers are commonly used in window air conditioners, water coolers, and combination air conditioners.2. Water-cooled condenser

As you can guess, this type of condenser uses water as the fluid to remove heat from the refrigerant. Obviously, water-cooled condensers are used where we have an adequate supply of water. This type, itself, has three different types:

2.1. Double tube

Double tube condensers have a water tube inside the large refrigerant tube. The water absorbs most of the refrigerant heat, but part of the cooling process is natural convection due to the natural circulation of the refrigerant tubes in contact with the air. Although double tube condensers were commonly used in the past, the large number of gaskets and flanges used in these heat exchangers caused maintenance problems.

2.2. Shell and coil condensers

In a shell and coil condenser, the welded shell contains a coil of finned water pipes. In this type of water-cooled condenser, the hot refrigerant flows inside the shell while cooling water circulates inside the coils and condenses the refrigerant. It is usually the most compact and lowest cost.

2.3. Shell and tube condenser

One of the types of condensers performs the heat dissipation process by having a cylindrical housing composed of water pipes. In a shell and tube condenser, water is pumped through the pipes while the refrigerant flows inside the shell. Fitting fins in the ducts allows for better heat transfer. Shell and tube condensers are generally low-cost and easy to maintain.

The most common shell and tube condenser is the horizontal shell condenser. However, vertical shell-and-tube condensers are often used with ammonia in high-capacity systems, so the tubes can be cleaned from the top while the plant is running.

  1. Evaporative condenser

Finally, the last type of condenser is the evaporative condenser. It’s actually a mix of air-cooled and water-cooled condensers. Evaporative condensers use air and water as condensing media.

The condenser’s pool draws the water to be sprayed onto the coils, while a fan blows air into the condenser. The water sprayed on the coils evaporates, and the heat needed to evaporate the water comes from the heat of the refrigerant. A certain amount of water will be circulated by dripping into the pool, but to make up for the evaporation, an additional amount needs to be added to the pool’s water supply.

Evaporative condensers are used where water is scarce. Since the water is used in a closed-loop, only a small fraction of the water evaporates. Make-up water is provided to handle evaporative losses. Water consumption is typically very low, around 5% of an equivalent water-cooled condenser with a cooling tower.

However, since the condenser must remain outside, this type of condenser requires longer refrigerant piping, which requires a larger refrigerant inventory and higher pressure drop.

The above introduces three different types of condensers and their application scenarios. If you want to buy condensers, please contact us.

ComforPlanet is a professional refrigeration and air conditioning accessories wholesale manufacturer. The main products are refrigerators, air conditioners, fans, and motors. Our reseller partners are on a mission to simplify their work and provide the highest quality at the most affordable price. You can find many air conditioner brands here as well as refrigerator brands, and also let you know how to choose the air conditioner that is right for you. Smart machines can also be found here. We are committed to providing safe, portable, and sustainable green energy products.

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