Types of Air Cooled Condenser - Application and Advantages

types of air condenser

Air cooled condenser working

In this type of condenser air is used for the removal of heat. In air-cooled condenser, the condensate (steam, refrigerants, etc..) usually flow through steel, copper, or aluminium tubing. High conducting copper tube is used for most of the application. In ammonia refrigeration system steel tubes are used, because ammonia corrodes the copper. Condenser tubing may have multi-rows of tubes instead of one. However, more than eight rows are not common, because they are not efficient [why multi-tube condenser is less efficient than a single tube condenser]. Plate type fins are attached to tubes to increase surface area for heat transfer. Fins are given adequate spacing between them to avoid clogging. Aluminium is the common metal for fin, because of its lightweight.
🔗 Types of Water cooled condenser
🔗 How Air cooled condenser differ from Water cooled condenser

One of the main disadvantages of air cooled condenser is that it operates at higher temperature than the water cooled condenser. The higher temperature increases the compressor work.

Classification of air condensers

1. Natural convection air-cooled condenser
As name suggests the movement of air in this type condenser by natural convection. The cold air passes over the warm condenser tube and absorbs heat from it. The temperature of air slowly increase, and hence the density of air decreases. The lighter warm air then rises up, surrounding of hot tube then replace by fresh cold air. This continues cycle known as natural convection.

Advantage: No fan used to air flow.

Disadvantages: Natural convection is a slow process

Application: Domestic refrigerator, air conditioner.

2. Forced convection air cooled condenser
In this type of condenser, the air over the condenser tubes is forcibly replaced by using fans. This process quickly replaces warm air and then increase condenser capacity.

Advantages: Increase heat transfer capacity.

Disadvantage: Require high power fan to force the air. It is power consuming as well as noisy.

Application: Condensing of steam in large power plant.

According to the position of fan, forced convection air cooled condenser is again divided into
a) Base mounted air cooled condenser – The condenser fan is mounted on the same base of compressor, motor and other parts.

b) Remote air cooled condenser - condenser fan is away from the base. It may be either inside or outside of the building.

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