According to the principle of operation, car air conditioning is no different from a household split system installed in an apartment or office. Using the laws of thermodynamics, it transfers thermal energy from the cooled chamber to the environment.
Coolant (aka “refrigerant” or “freon”) enters the compressor sleeves at a low pressure of 3-5 atm in an aggregated state of gas at a temperature of 10-20 °C.
The piston compressor, or scroll design, compresses the refrigerant to a high pressure of 15 to 25 atm. In this case, the gas temperature rises to 70–90 °C (you may have noticed how the hand pump heats up when pumping the tires—it is the same law).
The heated gas enters the condenser, where, as a result of this last active thrust, it cools and changes from the gaseous state to the liquid phase (with the release of additional heat).
From the condenser, still hot refrigerant flows into the thermostatic expansion valve (TRV). Its job is to control the freon supply to the evaporator circuit. At the outlets of the expansion valves, the temperature and pressure of the coolant are significantly reduced due to the fact that part of the coolant substance evaporates (you may have noticed that it is cold when it is sprayed from deodorant cartridges-it’s the same principle).
At the expansion valve, even at low pressure, the mixture of gas and liquid refrigerant enters the evaporator. There, all liquid freons enter the gas phase, and as heat is absorbed during evaporation, the air passing through the evaporator is cooled.
Finally, low pressure refrigerant gases enter the compressor sleeves – repeated cycles.
The main difference between car air conditioning and home air conditioning is the working conditions. Home appliances do not shake on bumpy roads during operation, and they have no specific restrictions on mass/efficiency ratio.
Therefore, in household air conditioners, thicker and heavier ducts (cooling pipes) are used, and the joints are more reliable and tight. But even if the home system needs to be serviced: refueling with freon and cleaning, this applies even more to car air conditioners.
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