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Working Principle Of Air Conditioner – How Does It Work?

An air conditioner is indispensable in a blazing summer and a blessing when you come from the scorching heat of the sun. Nothing can beat the sensational comfort offered by an AC. It is the ultimate solution for a sweltering summer season!

Image showing Indoor AC unit and how it works

There are different types of air conditioners, ranging from window to portable. However, one of the most popular and well-known ones is the split air conditioning system. But, why is it more preferred? What makes it different from the others? Well, the benefits, features offered in a split air conditioner are more than other air conditioners.

How Does A Split Air Conditioner Work?

In a split ac, there are two units: indoor and outdoor. First, the compressor of the AC liquefies the refrigerant gas (Freon). And then it disseminates it into the outer part of the conditioner. This liquified refrigerant moves into the inner cooling chamber. In the innermost compartment, this condensed liquid cools the room air and forces this air out through the slits of the conditioner.

An inner and outer part makes a split type air conditioning system distinctive from other types. These two parts have a connection via a mammoth connection of electrical wires and hydraulic tubes. These two interconnected parts of the split system ac unit work in synchronization. The synchronization of both keeps the temperature of your room to a lower level.

This innovative mechanism enables a split to maintain even cooling throughout the room and even save some money. Wait, there’s more to a split air conditioner’s mechanism than this. Let’s wade through it and make your summer days frosty!

Compression Of The Refrigerant

Image Showing R32 refrigerant gas used in Air Conditioner

A refrigerant is an agent used for cooling. It enables the air conditioner to collect all the heat of your room. The refrigerant used in cooling systems and air conditioners is Freon that is usually in gaseous form. The compressor takes this refrigerant and applies pressure on it.

The pressure applied to the refrigerant gas condenses it and converts it into liquid. A compressor liquifies the gases by increasing hydraulics pressure and lowering the temperature simultaneously. By putting high pressure, the extra heat trapped in between the gas molecules releases. Then this pressurized gas circulates in swirling pipes or tubes.

Condensation Of Gas

These swirling or twisted pipes are useable for liquifying the gas.

Liquifying a gas means converting or condense it into liquid form.

As the gas arrives in the swirling tubes of small diameter, it starts losing heat energy. In this way, the heat energy or kinetic energy of the gas molecules becomes too low. It enables the compressor to convert gas into a liquid.

At this stage, the gas starts converting into a liquid under high pressure and low temperature. 

Expansion Of The Liquified Gas

This step is purposeful to bring a tremendous change in the temperature of the gas. In this step, the liquified gas molecules pass through a built-in expansion chamber. A small outlet or narrow hole is available at the end of curled tubes. 

When the highly pressurized and liquified gas comes out of this expansion outlet, its pressure decreases suddenly. The decrease in the hydraulic pressure is from 200 atm to atmospheric pressure that is only 1 atm. 

Thus the sudden decrease in pressure causes the temperature of the gas to fall at a gigantic level. So, after the completion of this step, the maximum amount of heat releases. The temperature of the Freon also lowers too much. This step repeats several times to bring down the temperature of the gas as low as possible.

Cooling Of Outside Air

The supercooled gas then arrives at evaporating coils. The air from the room also enters the air conditioner through the evaporator fins. This outside air passes over the evaporating coils. The refrigerant then cools down the outside air to a great level. 

In this way, the room air gets cooled. This air then moves back to the room from a blower. 

Achieving A Specific Cooling Temperature

the working mechanism of thermostat used in air conditioner

The air conditioner usually works for getting a specific set point that you tune from your remote control. This set point of the thermostat fixed in the split air conditioner is achievable in this step. The cooled outside air circulates over the evaporating coils several times. 

These multiple circulations of air bring its temperature to a set point. So, this point reaches, and the compressor and the evaporator stop working for some time.

The deviation of temperature from the setpoint again triggers the condenser and evaporator to cool the air. Hence, the above step repeats many times. 

In this way, the split air conditioner cools down the air and helps you fight against the after-effects of fiery sun rays. The split air conditioner not only works for bringing the temperature of your room to a lower level but is also responsible for maintaining the level of humidity in your room.

How Split Air Conditioner Differ From Window AC?

Compressor used in air conditioner working principle

Split air conditioner differs from other types of air conditioner in only separate inner and outer compartments. The working mechanism is the same so far. In a split system following components are present in the outer part:

And the inner part of the air conditioner comprises evaporator coils and the blower unit.

A split air conditioner is a bonus gift for the hot regions where the mercury is about to split out of the thermometer. The values it brings are due to:

1. The compressor has a larger area. So, it can condense the maximum amount of refrigerant.

2. These compressor used in split air conditioners are highly energy efficient as they are equipped with inverter system.

3. Cooling capacity offered in split air conditioners is high like 2 Ton, 2.5 Ton , 3 Ton than window ac

4. Split AC always comes with lot of features like Wi-Fi,Hot & Cold,Auto Clean,Anti Dust Filter,Anti Bacterial and other features than window ac.

5.The split air conditioner enables you to put the compressing unit and other outer parts on the roof so that you don’t need to worry about your room’s narrow accommodating space.

Chetan Rana

Chetan is an engineer with a specialization in electronics and communications. During his spare time, he cooks, writes blogs on the latest home appliances, electronics.

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