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condenser

Glossary of Terms
ARI Standard Conditions — 85°F. water inlet; 95°F. water out;
105°F. condensing; 0.0005 fouling factor
Flow Rate or Velocity — The speed at which the condensing water travels
through the water tubes.
Fouling — The effect of dirt and scale build up that impedes heat transfer.
Heat of Compression — The heat generated by the work of compressing the
refrigerant gas.
Initial Temperature Differential (ITD) — The temperature difference between
the condensing temperature of the refrigerant and the incoming water
temperature.
Laminar Flow — Slow moving parallel layers of fluid without turbulence.
Laminar flow is undesirable for heat transfer and is associated with low
pressure drop.
One Horsepower (hp) — 15,000 Btu/hr @ ARI conditions
One Ton — 12,000 Btu/hr
Pull Down Factor — The extra energy that must be removed when a load
must be initially cooled down from a warmer than normal starting point
over a short period of time.
Pumpdown — The amount of liquid refrigerant storage capacity available in
a vessel.
Pressure Drop (∆P) — The difference in pressure between the incoming and
leaving water pressure. ∆P increases with velocity and turbulence.
Specific Heat — The measure of the ability of a fluid to hold and transfer
heat.
Total Heat of Rejection — Refrigeration load plus the heat of compression.
Turbulent Flow — Random fluid flow pattern that increases heat transfer
and pressure drop.

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refrigeration cycle

This cycle, is based on the physical principle that a
liquid extracts heat from the surrounding area as it
expands (boils) into a gas.

Refrigerants like Ammonia, R–502, and R–22, are circu-
lated through the system by a compressor, which
increases the pressure and temperature of the vaporous
refrigerant and pumps it into the condenser. In the
condenser, refrigerant vapor is cooled by air or water
until it condenses into a liquid.

The liquid refrigerant then flows to the flow control
device, or expansion valve, where flow is metered and
the pressure is reduced, resulting in a reduction in
Refrigeration Cycle temperature. You can understand this concept if you
Refrigeration is defined as a process of removing heat
think of carbon dioxide, as a natural refrigerant. When
from an enclosed space or material, and maintaining
CO2 is released from a high pressure fire extinguisher
that space or material at a temperature lower than its
cylinder to atmosphere, it cools forming ice crystals,
surroundings. Cold and hot are relative terms that are
just like a like a halocarbon refrigerant, but less
not generally used when sizing heat transfer equip-
efficient.
ment. Objects and space being refrigerated become
relatively colder and colder (or less and less hot) as
After the expansion valve, refrigerant flows into the
heat is removed.
lower pressure evaporator, where it boils by absorbing
heat from the space being cooled, and changes into a
Removal of heat lowers temperature and may be
vapor.
accomplished by the use of ice, snow, chilled water, or
mechanical refrigeration. Mechanical refrigeration can
The cycle is completed when the compressor draws the
be defined as an arrangement of components in a
refrigerant vapor from the evaporator and, once again,
system for the purpose of transferring heat.
compresses the gas so that the cycle can continue.

Refrigerant is one of the key components that makes
The condenser is another important component in the
mechanical refrigeration work. A refrigerant is a chemi-
refrigeration system. It transfers heat from a place
cal compound that is alternately compressed and
where it is not wanted to a place where it is unobjec-
condensed into a liquid, and then permitted to expand
tionable, from the refrigerant to a medium (water or
into a vapor or gas as it is pumped through the
air) which can absorb it and move the unwanted heat
mechanical refrigeration cycle.
to its final point of disposal.

The medium of heat transfer (usually air, water, or a
combination of air and water) helps us to understand
and identify the various types of condensers.

Air–cooled and water–cooled are two types of
condensers. Air is the medium of heat of exchange in
air–cooled condensers and water in water–cooled
condensers.

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performance factors

Coaxial are designed around a single refrigerant tube
welded inside a single outer tube. The assembly is
coiled to fit into tight spaces.
SCH—coaxial
SCS—coaxial
SPC—coaxial
SCS-N—coaxial marine service

This booklet concentrates on water–cooled condensers.
There are four basic types: the thin profile
tube–in–tube, the very versatile and powerful horizon-
tal shell and tube, the compact and economical shell
and coil, and Standard’s latest advance in heat transfer
technology: the plate heat exchanger. It is small in
size, light–weight, and designed for high efficiency and
low fouling.

Standard is the leading producer of all the basic types
Shell and Coil are designed around an extended
of water–cooled condensers:
surface area copper coil sealed in a steel refrigerant
shell. The sealed construction design provides
Tube–in–Tube are designed around cleanable,
adequate refrigerant pumpdown capacity for applica-
enhanced–surface copper water tubes inside a stacked
tions where either a compact or high pressure
series of steel or copper refrigerant tubes. The
condenser is called for.
Tube–in–Tube narrow width design is ideal for retrofit
in slender package applications. VSE—vertical, super–efficient

ELT—steel shell, copper tube
Performance Factors
KHX—steel shell, copper tube
There are five basic factors that determine the perfor-
mance of all water–cooled condensers. The factors are:
Shell and Tube are designed around a bundle of clean-
flow rates or velocity, pressure drop, fouling, types of
able, enhanced, surface copper water tubes located
fluids (refrigerants, as well as cooling fluids), and
inside a large steel refrigerant shell.
Temperature Differential or TD.
SST—Standard’s best–selling model
HSE—horizontal, super–efficient Flow Rates
HP—high water pressure Flow rate or velocity is the speed at which water flows
CA—stainless steel tube through the condenser. There is an ideal rate of flow
MSE—marine service through the condenser for any fluid. Flow can be
AMC—ammonia either laminar or turbulent.

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performance factors;
pressure drop

Laminar flow is undesirable because it has a streamline Pressure Drop
pattern, with the coolant flowing in layers parallel to Pressure drop, the second factor in heat exchange
the wall of the heat exchange tube. The layer of fluid performance, increases with flow or velocity due to
adjacent to the tube wall is like a very slow–moving turbulence.
film. This layer acts as an insulator, impeding heat
transfer to the layers nearest the center of the tube. Pressure drop is defined as the loss of pressure due to
friction. In a water–cooled condenser, it is the pressure
difference between the entering and leaving water
sides. Pressure drop increases with flow or velocity. At
excessive flow rates, the amount of pumping energy
expended to overcome pressure drop will be greater
than the increase in heat transfer efficiency. It is also
important to remember that the maximum pressure
drop and flow for any condenser application is related
to the capacity of the selected water pump.

Turbulent flow creates random movement and
substantially increases the rate of heat transfer because
it has no insulating layers. The rate of heat transfer
increases with velocity up to a point. The ideal condi-
tion exists when there is sufficient velocity to obtain
turbulent flow, which optimizes heat transfer.

High pressure drop and excessive flow can create
another problem for the water–cooled condenser:
impingement corrosion. Impingement corrosion,
caused by high velocity and turbulence, can dramati-
cally shorten equipment life, sometimes to a period of
only months.
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performance factors; fouling;
type of fluid; refrigerant

Type of Fluid
Heat exchanger performance is also governed by a
forth factor, the type of fluid in the system. The ability
of a fluid to absorb heat is described by its specific
heat. The specific heat of water is one. The glycols and
brines used in many applications are less efficient with
specific heats less than one.

Fouling
Fouling is another key factor governing condenser
efficiency and longevity.

Most water contains dissolved carbonates, silicates and
dirt, that can coat the water side of the refrigerant tube
surface. Refrigerant oil coats the refrigerant side of the
refrigerant tube.

It is important to remember that certain fluids and
Fouling deposits act as insulators. They inhibit heat
refrigerants are corrosive to copper or steel condensers.
transfer between water and refrigerant, and between
Most models are designed for use with fresh water or
refrigerant and water. There are two things that can be
glycols and halocarbon refrigerants. For seawater or
done to minimize the effects of fouling.
chlorine brines, you must specify condensers with
cupronickel tubes and tubesheets. For high–sulphur
First, water–side fouling can be controlled with water
waters or ammonia refrigerant, carbon or stainless steel
treatment and periodic cleaning of the system.
is required. Be sure to call Standard’s sales department
Secondly, since some degree of fouling is inevitable,
before you make a selection if you are dealing with
reliable manufactures like Standard rate their
unusual or corrosive fluids.
condensers with a built–in fouling factor to assure
full–rated capacity under normal operating conditions.
Refrigerant
Most of Standard’s condensers are rated with a fouling
The refrigerant is another fluid that must be taken into
factor of 0.0005°F2 (hr) (°F)/Btu.
consideration. This is due to the fact that Standard’s
published capacity data is based on ARI standard
450–87, using R–22 at 105°F condensing temperature.
Different refrigerants will yield different capacities
under the same conditions.

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temperature differential;
sizing a condenser

high back pressure system, it’s safe and convenient to
size by nominal horsepower.

Temperature Differential
The Initial Temperature Differential, ITD, is the fifth
factor that affects performance. The condensing ITD, is
the difference between the incoming water tempera-
Sizing by Nominal hp
ture and the condensing temperature. The greater the
Under General Data in our condenser catalog, you’ll
ITD, the greater the rate of heat exchange that can take
note that most Standard condensers are rated by
place in a given period of time.
nominal horsepower in a fouled condition. An
SST–750A will provide 7.5 hp after being in use for
To understand ITD, think of two houses, each with an
some time and fouled. It will provide 12 hp when new.
inside temperature of 70°F. However, one house has an
This means that there is additional capacity available
outside temperature of 0°F; the other has a 35°F
when new.
outside temperature. It will take much more heat to
replace the heat lost through the walls when 0°F is the
It is often possible to size a condenser by matching
outside temperature.
nominal horsepower to compressor horsepower in
commercial or high temperature systems when
Temperature difference, or TD, can also be illustrated
manufacturer’s information is not available. You can
as the driving force that pushes heat across the heat
estimate the total heat of rejection by multiplying
exchange barrier. The larger the TD, the greater the
motor horsepower by three thousand to find the heat
force and the faster heat is exchanged.
of compression, and then adding the load. In the
following example, the nominal horsepower of the
Now you are familiar with the five factors that affect
compressor will match the nominal tonnage of the
heat transfer: flow rate, pressure drop, fouling, types of
air–conditioning system and the Total Heat of
fluids, and temperature differential. Let’s put these
Rejection.
factors to work in learning how to select and size a
condenser.
A 15–horsepower compressor in a 15–ton system,
produces 225,000 Btu per hour total heat of rejection.
Sizing a Condenser
That’s 3,000 Btu for heat of compression, plus 12,000
A condenser is properly sized when its capacity to
Btu of load for each ton.
transfer heat from the system is equal to the cooling
load, plus the extra heat generated by the work of Heat of Compression:
compressing the gas. This total is called the Total Heat 15 hp x 3000 Btu/hp = 45,000 Btu
of Rejection. Evaporating Capacity:
15 ton x 12,000 Btu/hr = 180,000 Btu
There are some proven rules of thumb for sizing that Estimated total heat of rejection = 225,000 Btu
can get you in the ball park. For air–conditioning or a
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sizing a condenser

Once you have determined the total heat of rejection requirement, and read the corresponding flows and
and the corresponding condenser capacity, you are gpm. An SST–1500A (2 pass tower) will provide the
ready to put Standard performance data to work. desired performance with 44 gpm and an ITD of 20°F
Looking closely at the waterflow ratings in the or, 24 gpm and an ITD of 30°F. You will notice that
condenser catalog, you will note that data is provided models through an SST–4505A would also perform
for both tower and city. well. However, they will cost much more. An
SST–1500A, 15 hp condenser, is the ideal choice since
City means operating conditions where incoming the Total Heat of Rejection required falls in the middle
municipal water is at 75°F and condensing tempera- of its performance window.
ture is 105°F, a 30°F ITD.
However, matching nominal horsepower can result in
over sizing for low and very low temperature applica-
tions, and over sizing costs more. While sizing by
matching nominal compressor horsepower to
condenser horsepower is often accurate, the best
practice is to begin by calculating the actual total heat
of rejection.

Tower means cooling tower supply water, which is
normally at 85°F and condensing temperature is again
at 105°F, a 20°F ITD.

Sizing by Total Heat of Rejection
To accurately find the total heat of rejection, multiply
3.4 times the motor watts at operating conditions to
determine the heat of compression and add the evapo-
rating load.

Begin with the compressor manufacturer’s perfor-
mance data. It will tell you the power in watts and the
evaporating capacity for each compressor model.

In looking at the capacity data for the SST you will
note that total heat of rejection, gpm, and pressure
drop in psi are provided for various Initial Temperature
Differentials from 15°F to 40°F. You can now look for a
Total Heat of Rejection that exceeds the 225,000 Btu

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pump–down;
pull–down

For example, total heat of rejection for a system with
the following performance characteristics would be
calculated like this:
Compressor Performance
(manufactures published data)
110°F condensing temperature
10°F evaporating temperature
75°F incoming water temperature
Refrigerant R–22
Evaporating Watts = 6500
Evaporating Load:
40,200 Btu

watts x 3.4 = Heat of Compression
Other Considerations
Heat of Compression + Evaporating Load =
Remember to consider all of the factors that affect
Total Heat of Rejection
performance; not just flow rates, TD, fouling, pressure
drop, and types of fluid, but also the pull–down factor
6500 watts x 3.4 = 22,100 Btu
and pumpdown capacity. Higher loads under
pull–down conditions call for an additional ten
Heat of Compression = 22,100 Btu
percent capacity if a very short pull–down time is
Evaporating Load = 40,200 Btu
required, or if slight increases in head pressure or water
Total Heat of Rejection = 62,300 Btu
flow are unacceptable. In a 66,000 Btu system, you
must add an additional 6,600 Btu for a total condenser
Although the refrigerant is R–22, the condensing
sizing requirement of 72,600 Btu. Pumpdown require-
temperature is not the same as the ARI standard of
ments relate to the amount of refrigerant storage avail-
105°F which means that the Standard catalog can not
able in a condenser during operation or servicing. A
be used to make your selection. In this case, you can
pumpdown capacity of three pounds of refrigerant per
call your local representative or one of Standard’s sales
ton of capacity will be sufficient for most systems.
engineers for a computer generated selection. In this
However, commercial refrigeration systems may
case, a SST–200A (4 Pass) will perform with 7.27 gpm
require up to seven pounds per ton because of long
and a pressure drop of 1.75 psi. The 62,300 Btu load
refrigerant lines. Standard rates its condenser
would normally require a 5 hp (SST–500A) at the usual
pumpdown capacities at 80% of volume.
ARI rating point of 85°F, 105°F condensing, and R–22.
The SST–500A would work in this application although
In addition to selection tables, you can also utilize
it is three times larger than necessary.
Standard’s computerized selection service. Just
complete the information in our heat exchanger speci-
You should always compare performance data when
fication form and mail or fax it to our sales engineer-
your application conditions vary from normal operat-
ing department, or sales representative’s office.
ing conditions, in order to arrive at the best match for
your application.
Standard Refrigeration is always happy to build
customized condensers if an application calls for a
modified condenser with additional valves, water or
refrigerant fittings, special mounting brackets, or other
accessories.

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Copy this page and fax it to:
Standard Refrigeration Company
2050 North Ruby Street
Melrose Park, Illinois 60160-1133 Attn: Customer Service
708 345 5400 fax 345 3513 708-345-3513
www.stanref.com or via the World Wide Web
www.stanref.com/cust_serv/condenser_req.html

specification data
Name _____________________________________ Address___________________________________
Company__________________________________ City_______________State____Zip ___________
Phone _____________________________________ Fax_______________________________________

Performance
inlet fluid temperature ______________________°F THR _________________________Btu/hr
condensing refrigerant temperature __________°F refrigerant __________________________
fouling factor (.0005 ARI standard) ___________iF pressure drop ____________________psi

Fluid Circulated
water _________________________% ethylene glycol _______________________%
propylene glycol_______________% calcium chloride (CaCl ) _______________%
2

sodium chloride (NaCl) ________% other ________________________________%
If other, specify properties at inlet temperature
specific gravity ________________________ viscosity (centipose) _______________________
thermal conductivity __________________ specific heat ______________________________

Construction
size: width ____________________length ______________________height _____________________
materials: shell_______________________________tube _____________________________________
connections: refrigerant inlet __________________ refrigerant outlet__________________________
specify ids, fpt,
flange or flare fluid inlet _______________________fluid outlet _______________________________

Application
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

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notes

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