Cooling Equipment

Air-conditioning systems range from small window units to very large air conditioners integrated into a building's HVAC system. Some air-conditioning components are noisy, and most must be protected from excessive sun, and all use a lot of energy.

As we mentioned previously, an air conditioner em-

Steam

Hot water to cooling tower outdoors

Steam

Figure 25-3 Cooling absorption cycle.

Solution Pumps

Evaporator Pump

Figure 25-3 Cooling absorption cycle.

ploys a condenser, which is a heat exchanger used in a refrigeration cycle to discharge heat to the outside environment. Air-cooled condensers, which are less expensive and don't require as much maintenance as water-cooled units, are common on small refrigeration systems. Medium-sized systems may use water or air. Large condensers are water cooled for higher efficiency, but have higher installation and maintenance costs.

In the early days of air-conditioning, city-supplied water was run through water-cooled condensers to pick up waste heat before going into the sewer. This wasted water and increased the burden on the sewer system, and is now prohibited in most large communities. Today condenser water is typically recirculated through a cooling tower, where the heat is given off to the atmosphere. Evaporative condensers are a cross between a cooling tower and an air-cooled condenser. They use less energy than a water-cooled condenser with a cooling tower and are more efficient.

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