By: Thomas Yoon

Some people call them capacitors. Others call them condensers. These components store electrical charges.

Mechanical systems also have condensers. Condensers are found underneath steam turbines. Air-conditioning systems have condensers too.

How this name came about is a mystery to me. Perhaps it is because the condenser is the place for converting vapor or gas into liquid – at least for mechanical systems.

So it is a kind of heat exchanger. What is the cooling medium?

For air-conditioning systems, the most common cooling medium is water and air. The vapor to be cooled is the refrigerant. And you’ve guessed it… It changes hot refrigerant gas into liquid.

When it does that, heat energy is removed from the refrigerant. The heat gets transferred to the cooling medium.

Actually that’s how heat is removed from air-conditioned space. The heat from a building is transferred to the refrigerant through cooling coils. This heat is then transferred to the condenser. The heat is then transferred to the cooling medium. The cooling medium finally transfers the heat to the atmosphere or to the sea.

Of course, there are many other components in between to make the system work. More of this will be discussed in our future postings.

Until next timeā€¦