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Fundamentals of Refrigeration
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Methods of Refrigeration
1.3 Ice refrigeration
1.4 Dry ice refrigeration
1.5 Air expansion refrigeration
1.6 Liquid gas refrigeration
1.7 Vapour compression refrigeration
Learning Objectivities
After studying this chapter, the student will be able to know,
• The various methods of refrigeration systems employed in Refrigerators
and Air –Conditioners.
• How the artificial cooling is done by Ice Refrigeration.
• Why the Dry Ice refrigeration use for preservation of frozen food and
ice creams in storage and transportation.
• Which Refrigeration system is used in Refrigerators and Air-
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1.1 Introduction
In olden days, natural ice was used for Refrigeration purposes which
was quite inconvenient and inadequate for large requirements. The different
techniques are developed in last hundred years and now there are numerous
applications of refrigeration in our daily life as well as in many industries. The
different types of the Refrigeration systems, some physical property of matter
is used for producing cold.
Refrigeration is the process of removing heat from a space or substance
to reduce and maintain temperature lower than its surrounding. Before the
advent of mechanical refrigeration the natural phenomena was used produce
and maintain a lower temperature in a space or product. The value of ice as a
preservative was known and put to use thousands of years ago. Natural ice
from lakes and rivers was often cut during the winter and stored in saw dust-
insulated buildings, and can be used as required. In the Middle east and India
water was cooled by evaporating it through porous clay pots. In favourable
conditions it could be made cold enough to form ice.
The early machines the air system was probably the most successful
until the development of vapour compression and absorption system using
ammonia as refrigerant. In 1859 ferdinand carre devised vapour absorption
system. And ammonia –water cyclel still used in absorption type domestic
refrigerators .Thomas Midgely and his associates Henne and McNary
discovered dichlorodiflluoro methane, CCL2F2(Freon-12 which was) confirmed
as super refrigerant with low –level of toxicity and non-flammable.
Principle of Refrigeration
Refrigeration is defined as the production of temperature lower than
those of the surrounding and maintain the lower temperature within the boundary
of a given space. The effect has been accomplished by non cyclic processes
such as the melting of ice or sublimation of solid carbon dioxide . However,
refrigeration effect is usually produced by transferring heat from a low temperature
source to a high temperature source by spending mechanical work. To produce
this effect requires certain machinery , hence, the method is called mechanical
refrigeration. The working media of such machines are called refrigerants.
Classification of Refrigerators
Refrigeration implies the cooling of a system. It may be obtained by
adopting the following methods.
1. Natural methods.
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2. Artificial or mechanical methods

Mechanical refrigerators found wide industrial applications. They may
be further classified as
1. Air refrigerators
(a) Reversed carnot cycle
(b) Bell coleman cycle
2. Vapour refrigerators.
(a) Vapour compression refrigerator
(b) Vapour absorption refrigerator
1.2 Methods of Refrigeration
The refrigeration effect may be produced by bringing the substance
to be cooled in direct or indirect contact with cooling medium such as ice. The
common methods of refrigeration are as follows.
1. Ice refrigeration
2. Dry Ice refrigeration
3. Air expansion Refrigeration
4. Evaporative refrigeration
5. Gas throttling refrigeration
6. Steam jet refrigeration
7. Liquid gas refrigeration
8. Vapour compression refrigeration
9. Vapour absorption refrigeration.
1.3 Ice Refrigeration
The ice refrigeration systems consists of an insulated cabinet equipped
with a tray or tank at the top, for holding blocks of ice pieces. Shelves for food
are located below the ice compartment. Cold air flows downward from ice
compartment and cools the food on the shelves below. Air returns from the
bottom of the cabinet up, the sides and back of the cabinet which is warmer,
flows over the ice, and again flows down over the shelves to be cooled.
Refrigeration by ice is the most common form of artificial cooling. In
this, the following methods are used
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Direct method and Indirect method.

Direction Method : In the Direct method, the ice is kept in the same
compartment with the articles to be cooled . Ice is placed at elevated position
and cools the surrounding air. Cold air due to high density descends below
displacing warmer air towards the ice. In the storage space cold air is warmed
by absorption of heat from the products to be cooled. And rises through the
storage space due to light density. It returns to the ice space. A circulation of
air is maintained so long as air cooled on ice space and the cycle is repeated.
Direct method of ice refrigeration is shown in fig. This method is used in hotels
for cooling the drinks.

Ice Storage



Fig 1.1 Ice Refrigeration (Direct Method)

Indirect Method : In the indirect method, the ice is isolated from the
storage space and cooling of the articles is carried by circulation of brine. The
ice is supplied to compartment D where it surrounds the vertical tubes containing


Fig 1.2 Indirect Refrigeration Method

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Cold brine is circulated through the storage space A,B and C to cool
the articles, and finally the brine returns to ice compartment D. This cycle is
This system is more suitable for large plants and no danger of food
infection by impure ice.

1.4 Dry Ice Refrigeration

Dry ice is the solidified form of CO2. It evaporates directly from

solid to vapour without liquid phase. This phenomena is called sublimation.
In this, the dry ice in the form of flakes or slabs Is placed on the cartons containing
food stuffs. When dry ice sublimates, it will absorb heat from food stuff in the
cartons and thus keeps them in a frozen condition. This is used for preservation
of frozen foods and ice creams in storage and transportation. It has twice the
heat absorbing capacity of ice refrigeration. However its cost is high.

1.5 Air Expansion Refrigeration

In this method, air is compressed to 5 bar and cooled down at

constant pressure. It is then expanded adiabatically to a pressure of 1 bar.
This gives the maximum temperature reduction.
In a given pressure range, because work is done by expense of internal
energy which depends on the temperature. The cold air thus obtained is
circulated through the cold chamber to remove heat from the products stored
in it.

Evaporative Refrigeration : In the evaporative refrigeration , water

evaporates by absorbing latent heat from the surrounding air. Thus the air is
cooled, and circulated to the cold chambers.

Gas Throttling Refrigeration : In the gas throttling refrigeration

process, there is no change in enthalpy and also for a perfect gas, there is no
change in temperature. However, for actual gases there is a substantial change,
usually a decrease in temperature. This temperature drop depends upon the
Joule- Thomas coefficient, the pressure drop, and the initial state of the gas.

High pressure gas is throttled through porous plug into the space to
be cooled and escapes outside after absorbing heat from the space. This
produces the refrigeration effect in the space or the product kept in the space.
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The gas throttling refrigeration system is shown in Fig.

Place to be cooled

High pressure gas

Porous plug
Fig 1.3 Gas Throttling Refrigeration

Steam – Jet Refrigeration : The steam – jet refrigeration is based on

the principle that the boiling point of water is lowered as the pressure is
reduced. In this, water is a refrigerant and a steam ejector is used to lower
the pressure and to reduce the boiling point of water. Water to be chilled is
filled in the flash chamber, steam generated in the boiler is expanded through a
nozzle and ejected out at high velocity. Due to this, low pressure is produced in
flash chamber and water evaporates rapidly.
The steam ejector draws evaporated vapour from the chamber , and
sends the fluid to condenser at a high velocity. The condensate is re circulated
to the boiler . The heat needed for the evaporation is taken from the water in the
chamber. Thus its temperature is reduced. The cold water is circulated
through refrigerated space where it absorbs heat producing the refrigeration
effect. Water as refrigerant is very safe and widely used in air conditioning
1.6 Liquid gas Refrigeration
In liquid gas refrigeration, liquid gas like nitrogen, which non-toxic is
used for producing refrigeration effect. It is filled in a well insulated cylinder
which is connected to a pipe with intermittent perforations. Required quantity
of liquid nitrogen is passed through the pie and sprayed through the perforations
into the space to be cooled. The quantity of nitrogen is regulated by means of
The temperature produced in the space may be -20C . Liquid gas
vaporize after absorbing heat, and the gas is released to atmosphere. This
method is used for cooling fluids , vegetables, meat, fish and other food stuffs
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 197

place in the cold storage. This type of cooling is also used in transporting
vehicles carrying food stuffs.
1.7 Mechanical Refrigeration System or vapour
Compression Refrigeration System.
Principle : The ability of a substance to change from a liquid to a
vapour under certain pressure and temperature conditions is physical
phenomenon called refrigeration cycle.In order for substance to boil from
liquid to a vapour or gas, it must absorb heat ; in the absorption of the heat ,the
vaopourising substance cools the material, whether it be air or water from
which the heat is absorbed.
Basic components parts of a mechanical refrigeration system are common
both for refrigeration and air –conditioning systems. They are
1. Compression
2. Condersation
3. Expansion
4. Evaporation

Fig 1.4 Vapour Compression Refrigeration System

Compression : The low pressure vapour refrigerant in dry state is drawn

from the evaporator during the suction stroke of the compressor. During
compression stroke pressure and temperature of the refrigerant increases.
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Condensation : The high pressure and high temperature vapour

refrigerant enters in to the condenser through the discharge line . Heat will be
rejected in to the cooling medium and the refrigerant change its state from vapour
to liquid.
After condenser, the liquid refrigerant is stored in the liquid receiver
until it passes through expansion valve. The function of the expansion is to
allow the liquid refrigerant under controlled pressure in to the low pressure path
of the system.
The low pressure liquid refrigerant after expansion in the expansion device
enters the Evaporator or Refrigerated space and absorbs its heat. Due to this
heat, the refrigerant changes its state from liquid to vapour and then sucked
back by the compressor during its suction stroke .
The cycle is repeated till the required temperature gets inside the
1. Refrigeration is the science of producing and maintaining
temperatures below that of the surrounding.
2. Vapour compression refrigeration system has four processes, they
1. Compression
2. Condensation
3. Expansion
4. Evaporation
Short Answer Type Questions
1. Define refrigeration
2. What are the various method of Refrigeration ?
3. What is ice refrigeration ?
4. What is Dry ice refrigeration ?
5. What Air expansion refrigeration ?
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 199

6. What is liquid gas refrigeration ?

7. What is vapour compression refrigeration system ?
Long Answer Type Questions
1. Explain Ice refrigeration
2. Write short notes on Dry Ice refrigeration
3. Write short notes on Air expansion refrigeration
4. Write short notes on Liquid gas refrigeration
5. Explain the Vapour compression refrigeration .
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Refrigeration Equipment
2.1 Compressors
2.2 Condensers & cooling towers
2.3 Evaorators
2.4 Expansion devises
Learning Objectivities
After studying this chapter the student will be able to know
• The various types compressors employed in Refrigerators and Air-
• How the Condensers and cooling towers are working and where are
they employed practically.
• Which type of Evaporators used in Refrigerators and Air-Conditioners
and Industries.
• The various types of Expansion devices employed in House hold
Refrigerators and Air-Conditioners
Basic Components of Vapour Compression Refrigeration System
Basic components parts of a mechanical refrigeration system are
common both for refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. They are
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 201

1. Compressor
2. Condenser and Cooling tower
3. Expansion device
4. Evaporator or Freezer.
2.1 Compressor
A compressor is that part in mechanical refrigeration system which
sucks the refrigerant vapours at low temperature and at low pressure and
compresses it to a lower volume at higher temperature and at higher pressure.
Moreover , it creates the flow of refrigerant from one place to another.
A Compressor consists of an arrangement in which an electric motor
drives it. The compressor is located near the condenser.
There are mainly two types of compressor are used . They are
1. Open type compressor
2. Semi-hermetically sealed ,
3. Hermetically sealed compressor.
2.1.1 Open type Compressor
An open type compressor is that in which the prime mover drives the
compressor by means of belt. In such a unit the prime mover and compressor
are separately serviceable. In this, the compressor is enclosed in crank case
and crank shaft projects out through the compressor housing.



Base Plate

Fig 2.1 Open type Compressor

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The projected end of crank shaft is connected directly or through the

belt to the driving motor. The compressor and motor can be mounted on the
same base plate. A seal must be used to prevent refrigerant leaking out or
air from leaking in if the crank case pressure is lower than the atmospheric
pressure. This is shown in Fig 2.1.
These compressors are used in the plants employed for ice making,
cold storage and food processing applications.
2.1.2 Hermetically Sealed Compressor
In ordinary compressor the crank shaft extends through compressor
housing and it is connected to the driving motor . A seal must be provided at the
place where the shaft comes out through the compressor housing . This is
necessary to prevent the leakage of refrigerant outside or leakage of air inside.
To avoid this problem , the compressor and motor are enclosed in one housing
which known as Hermetically sealed compressor. These types of compressors
are normally used for small capacity Refrigerating systems as house hold
Refrigerator or small capacity coolers. The main parts of a sealed unit are
1. Electric motor, 2. Compressor, 3. Muffler, 4. Dome. The Hermetically sealed
Reciprocating compressor is shown in Fig 2.2.


Fig 2.2 Hermitically sealed Compressor

The advantages of hermetically sealed compressor s over ordinary type

compressors as follows,

1.The leakage of refrigerant is completely avoided

2. It is less noisy,
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 203

3.It requires less space.

4. The motor is cooled more efficiently


1. Maintenance is not easy

2. The welded joints has to be broken or cut for reparing the compressor.

3. The pressure of moisture in the refrigerant may harm the winding of

the motor.

4. A separate vaccum pump is required for evacuation and charging the


The motor and compressor assembly is mounted in the unit in such way
that usually the motor is fitted on the top and the compressor on the bottom.
But at present in a specially designed sealed unit,for keeping the motor cool, it is
dipped in to the oil and bottom of the compressor is fitted at the top.The oil is
forced to the compressor, through the shaft of the motor. Some times the motor
and compressor and assembly is hung on the springs in the unit and sometimes
it is press fitted.

As the motor is energised, it drives the compressor. The compressor

sucks the low temperature and low pressure gas, compresses it into high
temperature and high pressure gas and discharges it through the discharge line.

Some of the examples of refrigeration machines in which sealed units

are used are

1. Refrigerator,

2. Bottle cooler,

3. Window-type Air conditioner,

4. Water cooler.
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2.1.3 Difference Between open type Compressor and sealed

unit Compressor
Open type Compressor Sealed unit Compressor
1.Prime mover drives the compressor 1.Electric motor and compressor are
through v-belts. directly connected on the same shaft
and enclosed in a welded dome.
2. Prime mover may be a Diesel engine , 2.Generally AC 50 cycles, single phase
AC motor or DC motor split –phase induction motor used.
3. In case of ac single phase , 3.In this case, a relay is used for this
split phase induction motor, purpose.
for disconnecting starting winding
a centrifugal switch is used.
4. Compressor and motor are generally 4. Motor and compressor assembly
mounted in vertical and horizontal can be mounted in any position but
positions respectively on the base. generally the motor remains on the
5. Revolution per minute of the motor 5. RPM is the same for motor and
differ with the compressor. compressor.
6. Speed of the compressor can be 6. Speed of the compressor can not
adjusted. be adjusted.
7. Shaft seal is used for preventing the 7. No shaft seal is used.
leakage around the shaft of the
8. Any type of refrigerant control 8. No service valve is used.
device can be used.
9. Receive is used in the case. 9. Capillary tube is used as a refrigerant
control device.
10. Possibility of gas exists. 10. No receiver is used.
11. Dust and moisture can come in 11. No possibility of gas leakage.
contact with it.
12. Occupies much space. 12. It is dust and moisture proof unit.
13. Used for domestic and commercial 13. It occupies less space.
14. Used for domestic purposes.
14. Can be easily repaired.
15. Cannot be easily repaired.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 205

2.2 Condenser
A condenser is an heat exchanger in which heat transfer takes place
from high temperature vapour refrigerant to low temperature air or water which
is used as cooling medium. Its purpose is to covert all the vapour refrigerant to
liquid refrigerant delivered by the compressor.
Types of Condenser
1. Air cooled condenser.
2. Water cooled condensers
3. Evaporative type condensers..
2.2.1 Air Cooled Condensers
Air is used as the cooling medium in the air cooled condenser. Heat
transfer takes place air convection around the condenser surface. There are
two types of air cooled condensers are used.
(a) Natural air cooled condensers (b) Forced air cooled condensers.
In the Natural air cooled condensers large condensing surface area is
required as the circulated air quantity is less. This type of condensers are used
in domestic refrigerator, deep freezer , etc.,
These are cooled by natural air or atmospheric air. These are provided
at the back of the refrigerator.
This is shown in Fig 2.3
High Temperature
High Pressure


From Comp

Fig 2.3 Natural Convection Air Cooled Condenser

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In the case of Forced air cooled condensers , air is circulated by means

of a fan or blower. This type of condensers are compact in design and are
relatively more efficient. This is shown in Fig 2.4


High press. Liquid Refrigerant

Fig 2.4 Forced Convection Air Cooled Condenser

These are commonly used for water coolers, bottle coolers and air
Merits of Air Cooled Condensers
1. Cheap due to simplicity of construction
2. Low maintenance cost.
3. No piping work involved.
4. Negligible corrosion effect.
5. Disposal of air is easier in comparison to disposal of water.
6. High flexibility.
Demerits of Air Cooled Condensers
1. It is restricted to small capacity refrigeration units.
2. Rate of heat transfer is low.
3. Distribution of air on the condenser surface area is uneven.
4. Increase in ambient temperature causes reduction in the capacity Of
the condensers.
The air cooled condensers are preferred under the following
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Minimum corrosion is the major requirement.

Inadequate supply of cooling water
Expensive means of water disposal.
2.2.2 Water Cooled Condenser
The condenser which cooled by water, is called water cooled condenser.
These are always preferred where adequate supply of and inexpensive means
of water disposal are available. These condensers are used in large capacity
refrigerant plant such as, cold storage, ice plants and central air-conditioners.
There are three types of water cooled condenser
(a) Shell-and-tube condensers
(b) Shell and coil condensers
(c) Double pipe condensers.
Shell and Tube Condenser
A shell and tube condenser consists of a cylindrical shell, in which a
large number of parallel tubes are fitted and connected with tube sheets on
both ends of these tubes. These tubes are made of steel or copper tubes.
These tubes are generally finned to increase their surface area. The diameter of
these tubes are 19mm,25mm,30mm etc.. The lengths are in between 1.5 m and
5.5m. These condensers have the capacity ranging from 2 ton to 1000 ton.
Cooling water enters through the heads which are baffled to make one or
more passes through the tubes. Refrigerant vapour from the compressor enters
shell at the top and gives its heat to cooling water. After the completion of
condensation , the liquid refrigerant flows down and remain in the lower part of
the shell. Which act as a liquid receiver. This is shown in Fig 2.5

Ref. Vapour from

Removable Shell compressor
Hot water

Cold water
Ref. liquid to exp.
device Finned Tubes

Fig 2.5 Shell and Coil type Condenser

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Vapour from


Fig 2.6

Shell and coil type condenser are used for small tonnage low pressure
units. It consists of shell that contains a coil for circulating the water . The shell
ends are not removable and the water side of the coil may ;be cleaned with
chemicals. In case of a coil leakage the entire coil must be replaced. These
are preferable where clean water is available because its coil cannot be cleaned
These can be cleaned only by circulating acids or other chemicals
through them. In this, the water enters at the bottom and flows up through coil
as shown in fig. Vapour refrigerant from the compressor enters at the top and
flows down, the shell giving its heat to cool water. Refrigerant vapour gets
condensed and liquid refrigerant is collected at the bottom of the shell which
acts also as receiver. These are used upto 50 ton capacity plants. Shell and coil
type condenser is shown in Fig 2.6
Double tube type Condenser
A double type condenser has the condensing water tube in side the
refrigerant tube. The refrigerant flows in the space between the tubes while
water is pumped through inner tube. Water flows in the opposite direction to
the refrigerant. The refrigerant vapour from the compressor enters at the top
and flows downwards in the clearance space between the two tubes. As result
of heat transfer from refrigerant to water, the refrigerant gets condensed. The
liquid refrigerant leaves the condenser at the bottom. The scales formed in
tubes are removed by chemical treatment.
Since copper tubes cannot be used with ammonia. These are made
of steel pipes for ammonia. This is shown in Fig 2.7
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 209

Refrigerant vapour from compressor



Liquid ref to
Fig 2.7 Double Tube type Condenser

These condensers are difficult to clean and do not provide enough space
for separation of gas liquid. Its capacity is about 2.5 kw.
Evaporative Condenser

The Evaporative condenser combines the function of the condenser

and cooling tower. Its works on the principle of Evaporative cooling. The
water evaporation when it comes in contact with the refrigerant flowing in the
condensing coil. In this, both air and water are used as the cooling media.

The condensing coil are encased in galvanized steel cabinet. Water is

sprayed over the condensing coil through which hot refrigerant vapour flowing.
A pump is utilized for this purpose. An exhaust fan is fitted at the top of the
condenser. It sucks air from side opening. Eliminators are provided in the
condenser to prevent the escaping of water particles with air.

The air carries away the heat taken from refrigerant by the water vapour
at about 3 to 5% of water circulated evaporates, make up water is admitted to
tank through float operated valve. Water treatment should also be used to
reduce the scale formation in the coil. The atmospheric air enters at the bottom
and drawn over the coils by a fan. The air flowing up words through the water
spray carries out the heat from the refrigerant . It is shown in Fig 2.8

These are used where there is scarcity of water, draining facilities are in
adequate. The use of cooling tower is un economical. It is suitable for
refrigerant plants above 100 ton capacity.
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Exhaust Fan Eliminator

Air out Header with spray
Refrigerant vapour
from comp

Liquid Refrigerant

Air in
Make up water
Fig 2.8 Evaporative Condenser

Difference Between Air Cooled and Water Cooled Condenser

Air Cooled Condenser Water Cooled Condenser
1. Its construction is simple and 1. It construction is complicated and
cheap. expensive
2. Maintenance cost is very low. 2.Maintenance cost is high
3. No problem of water and pipe. 3.Pipe is required to take water
4. Low heat transferring capacity. 4.High heat transfer capacity
5. Used for low capacity plants. 5.Used for high capacity plants
6. Air distribution is not uniform 6. Even distribution of water
7. No corrosion effect and fouling 7. Pipes corrode due to presence of
effect is low moisture and more fouling effect
8. High flexibility 8.No flexibility

2.2 A. Cooling Tower

Cooling tower is a device used to cool the hot water coming from the
water cooled condenser of large refrigerating machine.
Principle: The water goes in to the air in the form of vapour taking its
latent heat from the remaining and causes the reduction in temperature.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 211

Classification of Cooling tower

According to the method of air circulating , cooling towers are
classified in to two main types
1. Natural draft cooling towers
2. Mechanical draft cooling tower
(a) Induced draft cooling tower
(b) Forced draft cooling tower
Natural draft Cooling tower
This is also called as open tower or atmosphere tower. This tower
cools water by moving air at low velocities through tower, so they are constructed
in open places and cover large area.
In this the hot water of condenser is sprayed from the top of the tower
and is cooled by the movement of natural air through it.
A natural cooling tower is metallic tank connected with water main
through float valve. On the bottom of the tank, a pipe connection is made to the
condenser water inlet through centrifugal pump. The condenser water outlet is
piped to the top of cooling tower , from where hot condenser water is sprayed
through nozzles. This is shown in Fig. 2.9

Fig 2.9 Evaporative Condenser

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Mechanical Draft Cooling Tower

Mechanical draft cooling tower is also called as closed type cooling
tower. In this method, air is forced mechanically through the tower. Small
towers may be located indoor and be constructed to a source of out door air.
Large towers are located on the building roof.
These are mainly two types.
1. Forced draft cooling tower
2. Induced draft cooling tower.
Forced draft type Cooling Tower
The walls of this tower are totally enclosed by a wooden or metal shell
from all four sides, air is sent down wards. This air is forced top to downwards
with force by a fan as shown in fig . Spray eliminator is used under the fan so
that air goes down after cleaning and it prevent excessive drift losses. Under
these are fixed spray nozzles through which water comes out in the form of
shower and becomes cool. The water is collected after getting cooled. This is
shown in Fig 2.10

Fig 2.10 Evaporative Condenser

Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 213

Induced Draft Cooling

In the Induced draft cooling tower a eliminator is provided at the top
and the water falls down through nozzles. Fan is located at the bottom as
shown in fig . As the water comes in the form of showers, it become cool due
to fan fixed at the bottom. This water sent into condenser through centrifugal
pump so it may be reused.
vapour dirft

Drift eliminator
Water sprays
Hot gas from
refrig machine

Condensed liquid
to Refrig. machine
Make up
Circulating pump

Bleed off

Fig 2.11 Induced Draft Cooling

Difference between Natural Draft and Mechanical Dragt Cooling Tower

Natural Draft Mechanical Draft

1. Water is cooled by natural air 1. Water is cooled by a fan or
2. It sides are open 2. It sides are closed.
3. It can be installed where 3. It can be installed any where.
enough space and natural
air is available.
4. It is cheap 4. It is expensive.
5. It is less efficient. 5. It is more efficient.
6.It occupies large space. 6. It occupies less space.
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2.3 Evaporataor
The Evaporator is a device in which the heat is removed from the
substance to be cooled . It is part of the system in which the refrigerant
evaporates or boils; It is the cooling unit and some times called the cooling coil
Or freezing coil or liquid cooler .
Classification of Cooling Evaporator
There are many types of evaporators used in the refrigeration and Air
conditioning systems;
They may be classified
1. According to the refrigerant feed
(a) Flooded evaporator
(b) Dry-Expansion evaporator
2. According to the type of construction
(a) Bare tube coil evaporator
(b) Finned tube evaporator
(c) Plate evaporator
(d) Shell and tube evaporator
(e) Shell and coil
(f) Tube- In-Tube evaporator or Double tube evaporator
3. According to the mode of heat transfer
(a) Natural convection evaporator
(b) Forced convection evaporator
4. According operative condition
(a) Frosting evaporator
(b) De-Frosting evaporator.
2.3.1 Dry –Expansion Evaporation
In this, the liquid refrigerant is fed by expansion valve. The refrigerant
entered in to one end of the tube and the other end of tube is connected to
suction line. The evaporator is filled with mixture of liquid and vapour refrigerant.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 215

As refrigerant passes through the evaporator, more and more liquid is vapourised.
Thus, the refrigerant leaves the evaporator in dry state. A Feeder bulb is provided
to control the flow of refrigerant in to the evaporator . It is shown in Fig 2.12
Ref. Control
Liq. Refrigerant from Evaporator Coil

Feeler Bulb

Fig 2.12 Dry - Expansion Evaporation

It is used in small capacity units of below 150 tons.

2.3.1 Flooded type Evaporator
In a Flooded type evaporator a constant refrigerant liquid level is
maintained. A float valve is used as throttling device which maintains a constant
liquid levlel in the evaporator. It consists of a shell in to which the refrigerant
liquid is fed through the float valve. The shell is connected to the top and bottom
of the coil. The liquid flows from the bottom of the shell by gravity to coil tubes
in which it evaporates by absorbing heat from the surrounding. The liquid vapour
mixture from the coil returns to the shell. In the shell, the liquid and vapour are
separated. The vapour is collected at the top of the shell (Flash chamber) from
there it enters into the compressor through suction line.
Flooded type evaporators provide rapid cooling and used in large
capacity equipment . It is shown in Fig 2.13
To Compressor
Flash Chamber Evaporator coil
Liq. Ref tubes
Liq. vapour
Float control refrigerant

Surge chamber

Fig 2.13 Flooded type Evaporator

216 Mechanical Engineering Technician

2.3.2 Bare tube Evaporator

Bare tube evaporators are constructed of either steel pipe or copper
tubing. Steel pipe is used for large evaporators and copper tube is used for
small evaporator. Using Freon as refrigerant these are also used with secondary
refrigerant as in the case of water chiller and ice making plants. This is shown in
fig These are used where the temperature is maintained below 0C. The Bare
tube evaporator is shown in Fig 2.14

Fig 2.14 Bare tube Evaporator

2.3.3 Finned Tube Evaporator

Finned coils are bare tube coils upon which metal plates or fins are
installed. Fins increase the surface area of the evaporator and there by improves
effective cooling. The number of fins provided depends on the capacity of
evaporator. These evaporators are mostly used in Air-Conditioning system.
This is shown in fig. 2.15

ant IN
efr iger

ant OUT
efr iger Air
Fig 2.15 Finned Tube Evaporator

2.3.4 Plate Surface Evaporator

In this, the coils are welded together at the edges. It increases the
surface area of evaporator and hence, higher rate of heat transfer from
surrounding to the refrigerant. It is easily clean and defrosted manually. It is
used in domestic Refrigerator or Freezes. This is shown in Fig
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 217

2.3.5 Shell and Tube Evaporator

Shell and tube evaporator consists a steel cylindrical shell fitted with a
large number of parallel tubes. These are used for chilling water or brine. These
are mainly two types
1. Flooded shell and tube type
2. Non-Flooded shell and tube type.
2.3.6 Flooded Shell and Tube Evaporator
In flooded shell and tube type evaporators, the fluid to be cooled flows
through the tubes and refrigerant flows over the tubes. Liquid refrigerant absorb
heat from water and evaporates completely. The dry refrigerant vapour is
sucked in the compressor. This is shown in Fig 2.16
These are used for refrigerating units of capacity at about 100 ton.
To compressor

Liquid refrigerant from

condenser Baffles
Fluid to be chilled Chilled fluid

Fig 2.16 Flooded Shell and Tube Evaporator

2.3.7 Non - Flooded Shell and Tube type Evaporator

Tube Refrigerant
Shell vapour

Water in

water out


Fig 2.17 Non - Flooded Shell and Tube type Evaporator

218 Mechanical Engineering Technician

In Non-Flooded shell and tube evaporator, the refrigerant flows inside

tubes and evaporates as it abstract heat from the fluid being cooled flows over
the tubes as shown in fig. In this , the baffles are provided to improve the heat
transfer. These are used upto 50 ton capacity. It is shown in Fig 2.17
2.3.8 Shell and Coil Evaporator
Shell and coil evaporator consists of shell and helical coil. The fluid to
be cooled enters at the top and leaves the bottom of the shell. The refrigerant
flows through the coil . The fluid to be cooled , comes in direct contact with
coil. These are used in water cooler and small capacity units ranging from 2 to
10 ton capacity. This is shown in Fig 2.18
Ref vapour to
Liquid Ref compressor

Water IN

Water OUT

Fig 2.18 Shell and Coil Evaporator

2.3.9 Tube – in – Tube Evaporator

Warm Brine Condensate from


To compressor

Chilled Brine

Fig 2.19 Shell and Coil Evaporator

Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 219

These are called as double tube evaporators. It consists two concentric

tubes. The fluid to be cooled flows through inner tube where as the refrigerant
flows through the annual space between the two tubes as shown in fig. This
arrangement improves the heat transfer. These are used in dairy, beverages
and oil plant. This is shown in Fig 2.19
2.4 Expansion Deveices or Valve
Expansion device or valve is a dev ice which regulates or meters flow
of liquid refrigerant to an evaporator. It also divides high pressure side from low
pressure side of the system.
It reduces the pressure of the refrigerant coming from condenser and
temperature as per the requirement of system It regulates the flow of refrigerant
as per the loan on the evaporator.
The various types of evaporators are
Capillary tube
Pressure control or automatic expansion valve
Thermostatic expansion valve
High-side float valve
Low-Side float valve
Solenoid valve
2.4.1 Capillary Tube
Capillary tube is a coil or length of fine tube that has a very small orifice
usually 0.5 to 2.25mm inside diameter and length is about 1 to 6 m. It is a
constant restrict type expansion device, because the opening through which the
refrigerant flow is constant. It controls the flow of refrigerant in to the evaporator.
It is used with smaller hermitic units such as room Air-Conditioners and its
application extends up to refrigerating capacity about 10 kw. The usual form
of capillary tube installed in refrigerating plant is shown in Fig 2.20
One end of capillary tube is connected to filler at the outlet of the
condenser. The other end is connected to evaporator. The capillary tube reduces
the pressure of the refrigerant from high-side pressure to low-side pressure.
Liquid refrigerant from condenser enters in to the capillary tubes and as it flow
through the tube pressure drops due to friction.
220 Mechanical Engineering Technician

Metered liquid refrigerant

Liquid refrigerant from lieaves capillary andenters
condenser enters evaporator coil
capillary tube

Gas leaves

Fig 2.20 Capillary Tube

The capillary tube replaces thermostatic expansion valve for small

units such as Domestic Refrigerator, Room Air-Conditioner and deep Freezers
The advantages of capillary tubes are
It is simple in construction and requires no maintenance
When the compressor stops, the refrigerant continues to flow from high
pressure side to low pressure side unless pressure is equalized.
This requires low starting torque to start the compressor so a low
starting torque motor can be used with these unit.
No receiver is required for systems using this device.
Its cost is much less as compared to other devices.
The refrigerant must be free from moisture and dirt other wise it will
choke the tube and stop the flow of refrigerant . It cannot be used with high
fluctuating loads.
2.4.2 Solenoid Valve
The solenoid valve is shut off valve that is actuated by a
electromagnetic coil when the coil is energised . It is shown in Fig 2.21
An armature or plunger placed inside the coil. A stem or pin attached to
plunger open or close. When the coil energised by passing current through it ,
the magnetic field attracts the plunger up into the core of the coil which causes
the opening of the valve. When the coil is deenergised due to break in the
circuit, the plunger fall of its own weight and pin closes the valve. These valves
fitted vertical and allows the fluid flow in one direction.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 221


coil Supply

Ref In
Ref out

Valve seat
Fig 2.21 Solenoid Valve

Solenoid valve is installed in the liquid line just a head of the expansion
valve. They are used to control the condensing fluid when ever solenoid valve
is used in a system, it is essential that the strainer should be installed ahead of it
to prevent the entry of any contaminants.
The main parts of refrigeration system are
1. Compressor
2. Condenser
3. Expansion Device
4. Evaporator
Compressor is device which delivers the high pressure refrigerant to
the condenser and maintains continuous flow of refrigerant through the refrigerant
• Condenser is a device in which heat absorbed by the refrigerant is
removed, and thus vapour refrigerant is condensed back to liquid form.
• Expansion device is used to control the flow refrigerant and to
reduce the pressure from the condenser pressure to evaporator pressure.
• Evaporator is a device in which refrigerant evaporates by extracting
heat from the surrounding medium.
222 Mechanical Engineering Technician

Short Answer Type questions

1. What are the main components the refrigeration system ?
2. What is the function of compressor in refrigeration system ?
3. What are the advantages of hermitically sealed compressor over
open unit ?
4. State the function of condenser and classify the condenser.
5. Distinguish between water cooled condenser and air cooled
6. What is the function of evaporator in refrigeration system. List out
different types of evaporator ?
7. State the differences between bare-tube evaporator and finned tube
8. What is the function of expansion device in the refrigeration system?
9. State the function of capillary tube.
10. State the advantages and limitations of capillary tubes.
Long Answer Type Questions
1. Explain the working Hermitically sealed compressor used in
Refrigeration system with neat sketch.
2. Write the differences between open unit and hermetically sealed unit.
3. What are the merits and demerits of Air cooled condensers ?
4. Explain the working shell and tube condenser .
5. Draw a shell and coil type condenser and explain its working.
6. Explain the working of double tube condenser.
7. Explain the working of evaporative condenser.
8. Write the differences between Air cooled condensers and Water
cooled condensers.
9. Explain the working of Natural draft cooling tower.
10. Explain the working of mechanical draft cooling tower.
11. Write the differences between Natural draft and mechanical draft
cooling tower.
12. Explain the working of any one expansion device with neat sketch.
Refrigeration Application
3.1 Applications of Refrigeration
3.2 Definition of Refrigeration.
3.3 Unit of RefrigerationI
3.4 Domestic Refrigerator
3.5 Water cooler
3.6 Ice plant
3.7 Cold storage
Learning Objectivities

After studying this unit, the student will be able to know

• How the Domestic Refrigerator works

• The various parts of Water cooler and how it works.

• How the Ice plant works

• How the cold storage works and where it is used.

224 Mechanical Engineering Technician

3.1 Few applications of the Refrigeration

• Central air conditioning
• Food storage
• Making of ice
• Ice-Cream plants
• Industrial applications
• Hospital operation theatre
• Research laboratories
• Computer rooms
• Storage and transportation of food stuff
• Cooling of concrete for special application like dams
• Production of Rocket fuels
3.2 Definition of Refrigeration
Refrigeration is the process of removing heat from substance or space
to reduce its temperature and transferring that heat to another substance or
Refrigeration is providing and maintaining the temperature below that of the
surrounding temperature.
3.3 Unit of Refrigeration
The capacity of a Refrigeration unit is expressed in terms of Ton. One
ton of refrigeration is equivalent to the rate of heat transferred needed to
produce 1000Kg of ice at 0 water in 24 hours.
One ton of refrigeration= 55 kcal/min
A refrigerant is the substance used for heat transfer in a refrigeration
system. It absorbs heat (latent heat and sensible heat) from the source at a
low temperature and pressure and gives up this heat at a high temperature and
pressure. The refrigerant which transfer heat in the form of latent heat is more
efficient than the air refrigerant which transfer heat in the form of sensible heat.
The refrigerant in the first group continuously change its phase from liquid to
vapour and vapour to liquid.
However in the second group, the refrigerant exist in the gaseous
phase only. The refrigerant which absorb heat in the form of latent heat are
more suitable and widely used in the refrigeration system. In selecting a
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 225

refrigerant for a particular purpose its characteristic must be considered and

the selection must be made on the of its compatibility with the system.
Secondary refrigerants are those which are cooled first by the primary
refrigerants and then employed for cooling purposes. Indirect method of cooling
is produced by absorption of sensible heat.
3.4 Domestic Refrigerator
The domestic refrigerator works on vapour compression cycle. It is
compact and more efficient in use of electric energy. The refrigerant used in
this is Freon 12. Its main function is to provide low temperature space for the
preservation of food. The domestic Refrigerators also used in medical shops,
hospitals, hotels, offices, laboratories etc.
The domestic refrigerators capacity is the internal volume of the unit
and is expressed in litres. The various common sizes of refrigerators available
are 100,165,200 and 300 litres.
The main components of a domestic refrigerator are
1. Compressor
2. Air-Cooled condenser
3. Receiver
4. Drier
5. Evaporator
6. Accumulator
7. Capillary tube.
The refrigerant vapour drawn from the evaporator is compressed in
compressor and deliver to the condenser. It is then expanded in capillary tube
and passed on to the evaporator. Capillary tubes is used as throttling device is
used to reduce the pressure of the refrigerant. The low pressure refrigerant
evaporates as absorbing its latent heat and thus producing refrigerating effect
in the evaporator.
It consists a hermetically sealed compressor fitted at the base of the
cabinet. Condenser is air cooled coil. The evaporator is placed at the top of
inside cabinet. The evaporator produce low temperature about -15C and
temperature around 7 to 10C can be maintained in the refrigerating space.
226 Mechanical Engineering Technician

Heavy cold air from freezer moves down wards and becomes warm
air after cooling the products. This warm air moves upward. Thus the air
movement is maintained continuously in the refrigerated space.
The freezer is a mini cold storage in which ice-cubes , ice-creams ,
frozen foods, meat poultry and fish can be preserved. A thermostat is provided
to control the temperature in the freezer. Chiller tray is provided below the
freezer to prevent the accumulation of water drops in the freezer.
Below the freezer, it consists adjustable shelves to preserve fruits,
vegetables, cooked foodEtc. Egg tray, dairy bins ,bottle shelves are provided
in side the door of refrigerator. It should be placed in a clean and well ventilated
area and kept on the leveled place. It is important to check the
functioning of thermostat, door switch, light etc., and a separate plug
must be provided for the refrigerator. This is shown in Fig 3.1

Suction line Capillary

Discharge Line

Fig 3.1

Light switch
Evaporator fresh
food compartment


Crisper Push button

Drain Tray
Fig 3.2
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 227



Fig 3.3

The various functions of the components of domestic refrigerator are:


In this, rotary type compressor is used and is sealed unit. It compresses

the refrigerant gas to high pressure and temperature .

The evaporator cools the air in its surrounding in the cabinet. The cold
air being heavier moves downwards to cool the food stuff and becomes warm.
This warm air being lighter moves upward to take the place of cold air. The
convection currents are formed in the cabinet which enable the maintain of uniform

Drier : A drier is connected between the receiver and the evaporator

to eliminate the traces of moisture, if any.

Accumulator : It is connected between the evaporator and

compressor, which accumulates liquid droplets of the refrigerant and prevent
the compressor from any possible damage.

Capillary Tube : The throttling device is a capillary tube. In this, the

pressure equalizes through out the system during off- cycle, and hence a low
starting torque motor can be used.
228 Mechanical Engineering Technician

3.5 Water Cooler

Water cooler is a device which is used to cool and supply this water at
temperature about 7 to 13 *C. Water coolers may be classified in to
1. Storage type water cooler
2. Instantaneous water cooler.
In a storage type water cooler, a cooling coil is wrapped around the
water storage tank and the cold water is available always in the tank.
In instantaneous cooler, the cooling coil is wrapped around the pipe
line. Water is cooled to desired temperature and reaches the tank.
Water Cooler


Storage tank Evaporator coil

Cold water outlet

Water Inlet
Waste water
Heat exchanger basin
Waste water outlet Capillary tube
Suction line
discharge line Strainer
Fig 3.4 Water Cooler

Water cooler consists the following components

1. Water storage tank
2. Compressor
3. Condenser
4. Evaporator
5. Thermostat
6. Water inlet pipe
7. Cold water outlet
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 229

8. Insulation
9. Waste water outlet
10. Heat exchanger
11. Strainer
12. Capillary tubes.
Water cooler consists a water storage tank in which water is filled. The
water is maintained at constant level with the help of float valve. Insulation is
provided around the tank as shown in fig ( 3.3 ).The insulation is provided to
prevent the heat transfer from the surrounding into it. In this, The vapour
compression system is usd and Freon-12 is used as refrigerant. The high pressure
and temperature vapour refrigerant enters the condenser where it is converted
in to liquid refrigerant. Then, the liquid refrigerant enters the capillary tubes
through strainer. It gives out heat to vapour in the suction line where heat
exchanger is provided. The liquid refrigerant expands in capillary tubes and
then its pressure is reduced.
The low pressure and low temperature refrigerant flows through
evaporator coil which is around the storage tank. The refrigerant absorbs
heat from water and evaporates. In this way the water is cooled in the storage
tank. A Thermostat is provided to control the temperature of the water in the
tank. The vapour refrigerant from evaporator is entered in to the compressor,
where it is compressed to high pressure and high temperature refrigerant. This
high pressure refrigerant enters the condenser and thus the cycle is completed.
This is shown in Fig
3.6 Ice Plant
Ice is made by Ice plant. The ice is produced by natural form and
artificial system. The ice is produced with contact of cold air at the peak
mountain. This Ice is called snow. When water freezes on the tree ,plant etc.
with the coldness of air in plant, this is called frost. Ice making is to freeze the
simple water, this is called crystal ice.
The water required mainly for ice making should be quiet clean but it
contains many impurities such as dissolved gases and solids. It should not contain
any kind of impurities of chemical such as carbonic acid, sulphurated hydrogen,
lime,salt etc. Water should be given preliminary chemical treatment and filtered
before using. The distilled water or rain water is the best for making good
quality ice because, it has no possibility to mix the air or other impurities but due
to its high cost, it is not widely used.
230 Mechanical Engineering Technician

The essential components of a ice plant machine are compressor,

expansion coil, liquid receiver , refrigerant and condenser.
Compressor : It pumps the refrigerant vapour towards the condenser
by which condenser coverts the vapour into liquid form. This liquid refrigerant
enters the evaporator through the expansion coil where the liquid converts in to
vapour. The compressor sucks this vapour and compressed and send towards
the condenser again. During the operation of compressor, cylinders become
hot which reduce the efficiency of compressor. So for cooling, compressor
have water jackets around the cylinder.
Expansion Coil : It is a direct expansion freezing coils and the coil is in
U form as shown in Fig



Fig 3.5 Ice Plant

The refrigerant is circulated in this coil. When the refrigerant from the
receiver in liquid form comes out through expansion valve, open space should
be provided to expand the refrigerant. This coil should be placed around the
ice can. This coil is also called as evaporation. It is shown in fig
Liquid Receiver
It is a storage tank which receives the liquid refrigerant from the
condenser and supplies it to evaporator according to the requirement. It is a
cylindrical shell made cast steel with suitable inlet and outlet. The inlet is connected
with the condenser and outlet of receiver is connected with the expansion coil.
A gauge glass is provided for indicating the liquid level. In receiver, the liquid
level should not exceed than two third part of it.
It almost all the ice manufacturing plants, ammonia is used as primary
refrigerant and brine as secondary refrigerant. Ammonia is colour less liquid.
It is a combustible or explosive when mixed with air in certain proportion and
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 231

much more so when mixed with the oxygen. It is very toxic and requires heavy
steel fittings.
It consists of U-type tubes. The ammonia vapour circulates in these
tubes. The water is sprayed over the surface of these for the reasons the
ammonia vapour converts into liquid form and this liquid stores in liquid receiver.
3.7 Cold Storage
Cold storage is a process of preserving perishable food stuffs on the
large scale by refrigeration. It is a mechanical refrigeration system which is
mostly used now days because daily used food stuffs such as fruit, vegetable,
meat eggs, etc. are to be kept in a preserved condition up to the longer period.
Refrigeration has not only saved incalculable quantities of food stuffs from
spoilage but has played an important part in changing the diet of the world.
The seasonal fruits and vegetable are to be preserved and stored to
make their availability for the whole year around. The perishable product are
placed in cold storage for their preservation in original fresh state not to the
spoiled. The food stuff can be kept in a preserved condition for a long period
in a cold storage. Some of these food stuff can be preserved the cololur and
freshness but the taste of some product have changed with respect to the fresh
In this, mechanical refrigeration is used for preserving the useful food
stuff from spoilage. Mechanical refrigeration is done through the process of
cold storage. In this process there is a big room in which the perishable food
and drink stuffs are kept. Its temperature of the cold storage is kept low and
also moisture is about 80 to 90%.
The essential components of cold storage plant are compressor,
condenser, expansion device and evaporator. In this, the room is cooled by air.
The warmed air from the room is drawn and it passes over the evaporator
coils and cool air is blown out through louvers in the room. The layout of such
cold storage is shown in Fig
In such units the refrigerant use directly in thin cooling coils or brine
circulate in which secondary coils are provided. The compressor, condenser,
receiver, expansion valve and charging valve are provided in this unit. From his
part, the refrigerant goes towards evaporator in which evaporator remains
separate from above part. The air enters through the evaporator and the
refrigerant absorbs the heat of the air and air is to be cooled. This cooled air
is blown out by the blower in the whole room and room become cold.
232 Mechanical Engineering Technician

Space chilled air

Condenser Water
tor Coil
Exp Coil

Air Intake
Fig 3.6 Cold Storage

Refrigeration is the science of producing and maintaining temperature
below that of the surroundings.
Refrigerant is the substance used for heat transfer in a refrigeration
system. Vapour refrigerants are more efficient than air refrigerant.
Primary refrigerants directly produce the refrigerating effect where as
secondary refrigerant are first cooled by primary refrigerants and then employed
for cooling purposes.
Some of the applications refrigeration are
1. Domestic Refrigerator
2. Ice plant
3. Water cooler
4. Cold storage
Domestic refrigerator works on vapour compression cycle with Freon-
12 as a refrigerantIce is manufactured artificially from clean water by chilling .
Ice plant uses vapour compression system with ammonia as a refrigerant.
Brine is used as secondary refrigerant.
Water cooler uses vapour compression system with R-12 as
refrigerant.Cold storage prevents the spoilage of perishable products. It works
on vapour compression cycle.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 233

Short Answer Type Questions

1. Define Refrigeration.
2. Write the various applications of refrigeration.
3. What are the components of the domestic refrigerator ?
4. Mention the parts of the water cooler.
5. State the various parts of ice plant.
6. What is the function of Cold storage.
Long Answer Type Questions
1. Explain the working House hold refrigerator with neat sketch.
2. Draw a neat sketch of Water cooler and explain its working.
3. Explain the Iceplant.
4. Eexplain the cold storage plant.
234 Mechanical Engineering Technician

Fundamental of Air
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Meaning of Air conditioning
4.3 Psychrometry & Its properties
4.4 Dry Air
4.5 Moist Air
4.6 Dry bulb temperature
4.7 Wet bulb temperature
4.8 Dew point temperature
Learning Objectives

After studying this unti, the student will be able to know

• The meaning of Air-Conditioning

• What is psychrometry and its properties.

• The various psychrometry properties required for human comfort.

Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 235

4.1 Introduction

Air-conditioning is necessary to provide a controlled atmosphere in

buildings where industrial process are to be carried out and in private and
public buildings such as offices and cinema halls for human comfort. The
humidity of air was to be responsible for human comfort and number of
experiments were conducted with variable humidity and temperature and it was
found that a particular temperature and humidity of air was comfortable for
large percentage of people.

In tropical and subtropical countries cooling by means of air conditioning

is necessary features of modern development. Besides human comfort , air
conditioning is used in industries for efficient functioning of machines, in cold
storage to preserve food products, in textile industry for better product quality
and pharmaceuticals.

Air –Conditioning is a process by which the temperature, humidity,

flow and purity of the air is controlled simultaneously to meet the requirements
of the conditioned space.

Control of temperature means the maintaining of temperature for

human comfort, i.e, it needs increasing the temperature in winter where as
decreasing the temperature in summer. Control of humidity means increasing or
decreasing the moisture content in the air. The moisture content in the air
increases in winter and decreases in summer. Cleanlyness of air means improving
the purity of air by removing dust and other undesirable elements. Distribution
of air means the circulation of pure air through the controlled space or room.

The application of air conditioning can be sub divided as

1. Human comfort air-conditioning means to provide the inside

conditions which are comfortable to the occupants.

Industrial Air - Conditioning

Industrial air-conditioning provides air at required temperature and

humidity to perform a specific industrial process successfully. Examples of
application in this category are research laboratories, control rooms in power
generating stations, operation theatres in hospitals, electronic industry etc.
236 Mechanical Engineering Technician

4.2 Meaning of Air conditioning

Air conditioning is a process of simultaneous control of temperature,

humidity, cleanliness, and distribution of air to meet the requirements of the
conditioned space. Control of temperature means maintain the temperature
for human comfort. It requires heating in winter or cooling in summer.

Control of humidity means increasing or decreasing the moisture

content in the air. It depends on weather conditions. Moisture content in the
air is increased in winter and decreased the moisture in summer. Control of
cleanliness means improving the purity of air by removing dust and other
undesirable elements. Cleanliness of air is ensured through the use of filter.

Distribution of air means the circulation of controlled air uniformly

through the controlled space or room. The quality of air depends on the
temperature to be maintained and the volume of enclosed space.
Classification of Air - Conditioning

The air-conditioning systems are classified as

1. According to the purpose

(a) Comfort air-conditioning system
(b) Industrial air conditioning system
2. According to the season of the year
(a) Winter air conditioning system
(b) Summer air conditioning system
(c) Year round air conditioning system
3. According to the arrangement of equipment
(a) Unitary air conditioning system
(b)Central air conditioning system.
4.3 Psychrometry
Psychrometry is a science dealing with behavior of water vapour
present in air. atmosphere. Humidity is a prime factor in air conditioning for
human comfort.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 237

Phychrometric Properties
4.4 Dry Air
The dry air is considered as a mixture of Nitrogen and Oxygen and
neglecting the percentage of other gases
4.5 Moist Air
The moist air considered as a mixture of dry air and water vapour.
The quantity of water vapour present in air depends upon the temperature of
the air. When water vapour contains dry air , it become cold. Moist air is
heavier than the dry air.
Atmospheric Air : It is called as air in psychrometry. It is a mixture
of dry air and water vapour.
4.6 DBT (Dry bulb temperature)
When there is no moisture in the air, it is dry air and human does not
feel comfort. Dry air contains dust also. Its temperature is dry bulb temperature
and is recorded by an ordinary thermometer. This temperature increases and
decreases according to the dryness of the air. The DBT for human comfort is
4.7 WBT (Wet bulb temperature)
Wet bulb temperature is temperature at which liquid or solid water , by
evaporating into the air, can bring the air to saturation at the same temperature
wet bulb temperature is measured by an ordinary thermometer whose glass
bulb is covered with wet cloth.
4.8 Dew Point Temperature
The quantity of moisture contained in air having a relative humidity; of
less than 100% is less than the maximum possible at some lower temperature.
This lower temperature is the dew point and if the air is cooled to a temperature
slightly below the dew point moisture will to condense. Dew point temperature
is the saturation temperature corresponding to existing humidity ratio and
barrow metric pressure.
Moisture in the air is measured in terms of humidity . In the presence of
moisture , the atmosphere becomes cold. The dry air dries sweat of the body
but not dried by moist air. There are two types of humidity: Absolute humidity
and Relative humidity.
238 Mechanical Engineering Technician

Absolute Humidity : The weight of the water vapour which is associated with
a unit quantity of air. Absolute humidity is the actual quantity of water vapour
present in the air. It is indicated by kg per cub m of air vapour mixture.
Relative Humidity : It is the ratio of the actual weight of water vapour present
in a given volume of air at a given temperature to the weight of water vapours
required to saturate the same volume of air at the same temperature.
Relative humidity = Weight of water vapour present in a volume of air
at t c/Weight of water vapour requires to saturate the same volume of air at t
Air conditioning is defined as the process of simultaneous control of
temperature, humidity, cleanliness and distribution to meet the requirements of
conditioned space.
Comfort is the condition at which human body feels an absence of
excess of sensation. The feeling of comfort for human beings depends on
effective temperature , purity of air and air motion.
Psychrometry is a science dealing with behavior of water vapou present
in atmosphere.
Dry air is mixture of nitrogen and oxygen and small percentage of other
DBT is the temperature shown by ordinary room temperature.
WBT is temperature measured with a thermometer with its bulb
covered with wet wick or cotton around it.
Short Answer Type Questions
1. Define air conditioning.
2. What is meant by air conditioning ?
3. Write the classification of air conditioning.
4. What is dry air ?
5. What is Moist air ?
6. Define DBT
7. Define WBT
8. What is Dew point temperature.
Air - Conditioning
5.1 Fans & Blowers
5.2 Ducts
5.3 Supply Air out lets
5.4 Return Air out lets
5.5 Filters and Dust collectors
5.6 Heating & Cooling coils
Learning Objectives
After studying this unit, the student will be able to know
• Which type of fans and blowers are used in Air conditioning equipment
• The functions of ducts
• The meaning supply air outlet and which type of grills used in Air
conditioning equipment.
• The functions of Filters and Dust collectors
Air taken from atmosphere carries harmful ingredients, and it is necessary
to remove these ingredients from air before supplied to the air conditioning system.
To control the air and supply the controlled air to conditioned space or room
need various equipments such as fans and blowers, ducts, filters, dust collectors
240 Mechanical Engineering Technician

etc. The main equipment and devices used in air conditioned plants are briefly
described in this chapter.
5.1 Fans and Blowers
Fans and Blowers are used for circulation of air in Air- Conditioning
plants which create positive pressure in the air and maintained desired speed
and rate in the desired space or room. The fan is used to handle small quantity
of air where as the blower is used to handle large quantity of air.
Fans may be classified according to the direction of air flow as
1. Axial fan- In this air moves parallel to the impeller shaft.
2. Centrifugal fan – In this air moves radial direction or perpendicular
to the impeller shaft.
5.1.1 Axial Fan
Axial fans are those in which air flows in the direction parallel to impeller
shaft. These are used for handling large quantity of air at low pressure. They
possesses higher efficiency but these are not suitable for duct air conditioning
Axial fans are further classified as

1. Propeller fan
2. Tube axial fan
3. Vane axial fan
Propeller Fan

Propeller fan consists a propeller or disc type wheel which is fitted on

the motor shaft which operates with in mounting ring or plate as shown in
The ring surrounding the propeller does not permit the back flow of
discharged air. It produces propulsive force and moves the air in an axial direction.
These fans are designed to develop low pressure and are used there where the
resistance of air movement is small.

Propeller fans are used for ventilation of rooms made on roofs, to

remove gas or odour from kitchen, for the ventilation of latrines and bathrooms
and similar applications where duct work is not involved.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 241

Mounting Ring or plate

Gas Flow


Propeller or Disc
type wheel

Fig 5.1 Propeller Fan

Tube Axial Fan

Tube axial fan consists a disc type wheel or an axial flow wheel attached
with motor is operated in cylindrical cover in it which is supported on bearing.
This is shown in Fig 5.2

Gas Flow Gas Flow


Fig 5.2 Tube Axial Fan

These fans produce a wide range of air volume against medium discharge
pressure or air moves in large space. This wheel is wide at tip and small
diameter at hub so the air produces of uniform velocity. The air of this fan
discharge follows a spiral path as it leaves the cylindrical housing.
1. Vane Axial Fan : A Vane axial Fan consists of a axial type wheel
attached with cylindrical cover. A set of guide vane is at both sides in it as
shown in fig. The flow of air produced from this fan has no turbulence. Its
efficiency is better and low noisy. It is more efficient than the tube axial fan. It
can be installed in the duct system.
242 Mechanical Engineering Technician

5.1.2 Centrifugal Fan

In Centrifugal fan , blades are fitted to impeller or rotor that rotates
with in spiral casing . In centrifugal fan the air enters the impeller axially and
discharged radially at the periphery. These fans are used for duct air conditioning
system. They deliver any quantity of air over a greater range of operating pressure.
The centrifugal force produces in it so the air passes rapidly and spread to all
sides. Such fan has one or two inlets which , fan has only one inlet is called
exhauster and which have two inlets are called blowers.
The centrifugal fans are quiet and more efficient at high pressures. Their
performance is largely depends on the type of the blades used. Centrifugal fans
with the following types of blades are normally used in air conditioned systems.
a. Back ward blades
b. Radial blades
c. Forward blades.
Backward Curved Blades : These blade tips are inclined away from
the direction of rotation, and the blade angle is less than 90. They give low noise
and their efficiency is greater than 90%. These back ward curved blade fans
are used in Air-conditioning system. This is shown in fig 5.3

(a) Backward curved (b) Radial (c) Forward curved

Fig 5.3 Centrifugal Fan

Radial or Straight Blades : Radial blade tips are straight and the
blade angle is 90. They provide vey high pressure at high speeds but their
efficiency is low. This is shown in Fig 5.4
Forward Curved Blades : These blade tips are inclined towards the
direction of rotation and blade angle is greater than 90. These blades increase
the efficiency up to 75%. They reduce the noise level. These are smaller and
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 243

operate at low speed. These are used in window air-conditioning systems.

This is shown in fig 5.5
The selection of the fan is determined with the operation of the
requirements. If no duct system is required, the propeller fan is commonly used
but on employed the duct system, the centrifugal or axial fan is used. The
important factor to select the fan is minimum noise level.
The following important factors are considered for the selection of fan.
1. Capacity requirement
2. The air density
3. Static pressure
4. Nature of load
5. Type of application or service.
6. Shape and size of equipment room
7. Sound level permissible.
5.2 Ducts
The duct system convey the conditioned air from the air-conditioning
system to the space being conditioned and carry the return air from rooms or
conditioned space to the air conditioning equipment for reconditioning and
recirculation. Like any other fluid passing through a pipe , air in passing
through a duct suffers a pressure drop due to friction. Larger quantity of air
passing through a given cross sectional area of the duct, greater will be the
frictional loss and pressure drop.
Fan has to deliver the required quantity of air overcoming the resistance
offered by the various components in the air distribution system, such as cooling
coil / air-washer , filters, supply and return air –outlet, dampers and the resistance
offered by the duct system. The system resistance increases the H.P of Fan to
deliver the required quantity of air against the system head or pressure. As
velocity increases noise level due to the air in motion also increases. Thus, the
velocity of air in the duct has to be kept at a reasonably low level. With lower
air velocities the size of the duct increases.
The initial cost depends on the size of the duct. A smaller sized duct
has low cost. But with a smaller duct the air velocity will increase and so
pressure loss due to friction also will increase. The fan will use more power to
overcome the head, increasing the operating cost.
244 Mechanical Engineering Technician

Ducts are defined as the passage way provided for conveying the
conditioned air to specified location in order to provide comfort conditions.
Smooth surface are desirable for ducts as they offer minimum resistance to the
flow of air. The system should also be air tight so that the conditioned air does
not leave out to the space not being conditioned.
The important requirements of duct system are
To convey specified rate of air flow to the prescribed location,
economical and should occupy less space and should not transmit or generate
objectionable noise.
Ducts are usually made of Galvanized Iron sheets or aluminium sheets.
Ducts are also made with non-metallic material such as glass fibre, cement
asbestos. Glass fibre ducts are easy to manufacture to the required shape and
size. They are used in low velocity applications. Cement asbestos ducts
used for underground air distribution and for exhausting corrosion materials.
These are made in circular, rectangular, square cross-sections. The Circular
ducts are preferred because they carry more air in less space. The Rectangular
ducts are easier to manufacture and are preferred for good look.
Classification of Ducts
Ducts may be classified as
(a) Supply air duct: Supply air duct carry the conditioned air from
equipment to the space or room to be conditioned.
(b) Return air duct: Return duct carry the return air from the space or
room to the equipment for reconditioning or recirculation.
(c) Fresh air duct: Fresh air duct carries the atmospheric air in to the
air-conditioned equipment.
(d) Low pressure duct: In this, the static pressure is less than 50 mm of
water gauge.
(e) Medium pressure duct: In this, the static pressure is from 50mm to
150 mm water gauge.
(f) High pressure duct: In this, the static pressure is from 150mm to 250
mm of water gauge.
(g) Low velocity duct: In this , the velocity of air less than 600 m/min
(h) High velocity duct: In this, the velocity of air is more than 600m/
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 245

5.3 Supply Air Out Let

The conditioned air enters the conditioned space through supply air
outlets. These are designed to distribute air uniformly and prevent noise.
According to their design and construction, they may be classified as
1. Grill out lets
2. Slot diffuser out lets
3. Ceiling diffuser outlets
4. Perforated ceiling panels.
Grill outlets
Grill is a perforated covering for an air inlet or outlet, and is made of
screen. It can be adjustable type which consists of a set of horizontal and
vertical vanes. In this, the air flow can be controlled both in vertical and
horizontal directions. In the fixed bar type grilles, the vanes are not adjustable,
but they are either straight or inclined at an angle. Grills are used in high side
wall location. They are not suitable for ceiling locations as they cause draft
conditions. Grilles are provided with various accessories for uniform distribution
as shown in Fig 5.6

(a) Opposed blade dampers (b) Multishuffer damper

Branch Branch
Duct Duct

Collar Collar
(c) Gang-operated turning (d) Individually adjustable
vanes Fig 5.6 Grill Out Let turnine vanes

A combination of a grill and a damper is called register.

Slot Diffuser
It consists one or more slots and are installed in a continuous lengths.
The maximum height of outlet is 75 mm with aspect ratio of 25:1. They are used
246 Mechanical Engineering Technician

in high side wall location or perimeter installation in the floor. They should not
be installed in ceiling.
Ceilong Diffuser
Ceiling diffusers are mounted in the ceiling . The most common types
are round, square and rectangular diffusers. They consists of series of flaring
rings or louvers which form a number of air passages. They may also be fitted
with dampers.
Perforated Ceiling Outlet
Perforated ceiling outlets use the confined space above the ceiling as a
supply plenum. The plenum pressure ranges from 0.025 to 3.5mm of water
gauage, and flow rates are from 0.3 to 4.5 m of floor area. These
outlets have perforated face and deflection aids to discharge air in any desired
direction. They are suited to large zones of uniform temperature.
5.4 Return Air Outlet
Return air outlets are the openings in a room space which allow the
exhaust air to enter the return duct. Return duct may be connected to air
conditioning equipment if recirculation is necessary to the atmosphere if the
system is designed for 100 percent fresh air. They can be mounted on ceiling,
walls or floor. The selection of outlets depends on the size of the room, quantity
of air required and discharge velocity of air.
5.5 Filters and Dust Collector
The basic requirement of air conditioned system is that the conditioned
air must be free from dust, dirt, smoke, bad odour etc. One of the major
function of an air conditioning system is to clean and purify the air. As the
heating and cooling coils are used for controlling the temperature and humidity
of the air similarly various cleaning devices are used for controlling the dust,
pollen, odour and smoke. Filters and dust collectors are installed in air-
conditioning system to clean the contaminated air. Air used in an air conditioning
system must be filtered to clean the contaminated air, outside air contains always
contaminants such as bacteria, pollens, insects, soot, ash, dust, and dirt. The
return air contains contaminants such as dust, lint, soot ash etc.
The various types of filters are commonly used in air conditioning system
as follows
1. Dry filters
2. Viscous filters
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 247

3. Wet filters
4. Electronic filters
Dry Filters
Dry filters or mechanical filters are used to remove dust particles above
certain size. These are constructed by fibrous materials such as felt, fabric, cotton,
wool, or metallic filters. The air to be cleaned is passed through these filters.
The filters traps the dust particles from the air passing through it. The surface
area of the filter should be large to eliminate the pressure drop. To clean this
dust , the plates are taken out and are turned round in the opposite direction
with any support, in such a way all the dust is cleaned . This is shown in Fig5.7

Moving Air
Moving Air

Fig 5.7 Dry Filters

These filters are not suitable to remove smoke and have little effect on
small particles.
Viscous Filters
Viscous filters consists of a metal frame which is filled with wool or
fibre, wire screen etc. These material s are coated with sticky oil which capture
and holds the dust particles from air that flows through the filter. The dust
particles must be uniformly distributed throughout the filter area. These filters
have a large dust holding capacity and require less maintenance. However their
efficiency is low and are expensive. These are suitable for industrial applications
where a high degree of atmospheric pollution.
The various types of viscous filters are commonly used in air conditioning
system are as follows
248 Mechanical Engineering Technician

1. Replaceable type filters : It is made of cheap material , discarded

after specific period of use.
2. Manual cleaned type filters : It can be cleaned and reused;
Cleaned filters must be coated with viscous oil.
3. Automatic or self cleaned type Filters : Automatic or self cleaned
type filters are made in the form of a continuous roll of material coated with oil.
It is driven by a motor across the air stream. The roll passes over the rollers
and moves through a trough of oil and air stream. The oil trough serves the
dual purpose of cleaning the dirt and recoating the filter with clean oil. This is
shown in Fig 5.8


Oil Trough

Fig 5.8 Viscous Filter

Wet Filters
In this, the air to be conditioned is made wet by water spray. The dust
particles in air gain additional weight and fall down in the water sump. Wet
filters are used in Industrial area where dust and smoke particles likely to be
present in the air.
Electronic Filters
Electronic filters are based on the principle of electrostatic on which
unlike electrical charges attract one another. The air to be cleaned is passed
between parallel plates, one set charged positively and other set of plates
negatively charged. The dust particles in the air stream acquire positive charge
and are attracted to the negative charged plates or collector plates. A sticky
adhesive coating is given to collector plates to hold the dust particles. These
plates must be cleaned periodically. These are very efficient. It works effectively
on finer dust particles. It is useful in large installations where adequate safety
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 249

measures can be taken because of the high voltage involved. This is shown in
Fig 5.9

Dust Particles

Dirty Air
Clean Air

Fig 5.9 Electronic Filter

Air Washer
Air washer serves as a air cleaner. The air steam flows through filters
that separate dust and then to water sprays that remove the remaining impurities
by washing.
5.6 Heating and Cooling Coil
These are used to increase and decrease the temperature of air
respectively. Heating and Cooling of air without changing its moisture content
is termed as sensible heating and sensible cooling respectively. Sensible cooling
of air takes place when it flows over cooling coil whose surface temperature is
lower than the temperature of air. The cooling medium may be chilled water or
brine as the secondary refrigerant. This is shown in Fig 5.10

Steam Out Chilled water out

Air In Air Out Air Out

Steam In Chilled water IN

Fig 5.10 Air Washer

250 Mechanical Engineering Technician

• The function of air conditioning equipment is to control the air and
supply the controlled air to conditioned space . The air conditioning equipment
consists fan and blowers, ducts, filters and dust collectors.
• Fan and Blower create positive pressure and maintains circulation of
air through the conditioned space.
• Ducts are passage way to convey the conditioned air to prescribed
location and carry the return air to air- conditioning equipment for reconditioning
and recirculation.
• Filters and dust collectors in air-conditioning system are used to
clean the contaminated air.
Short Answer Type Questions
1. List out the air-conditioning equipment.
2. State the function of Fan.
3. Write the differences between axial fan and centrifugal fan.
4. Define duct and write the requirements of the duct system.
5. What is the function of Supply air outlet ?
6. State the classification of Supply Air outlet.
7. State the function of Return air outlet.
8. State the function of Filters and Dust collectors.
9. What are the various types of filters used in Air-Conditioning system?
10. State the function of Heating and Cooling Coil in Air-Conditioning
Long Answer Type Questions
1. Explain the various types of Axial fans with neat sketches.
2. Write short notes of the following questions:
(a) Centrifugal fan
(b) Propeller fan
3. Describe various types of duct system used to supply conditioned
air to outles.
4. How are filters classified? Describe dry collector with neat sketch.
5. Explain the working Heating and Cooling coil with neat sketch.
Air - Condition Application
6.0 Introduction
6.1 Air Cooler
6.2 Air-Conditioning systems.
6.3 Window Air-Conditioner
6.4 Split Air-Conditioner
6.5 Packaged Air-Conditioner
6.6 Differences between Window Air-Conditioner and Split Air-
Learning Objectivities
After studying this chapter the student will be able to know
• How the Air cooler works
• Under stand the special features of Air cooler.
• How the Window Air-Conditioner works
• How the split Air-Conditioner works.
• The differences between window Air-Conditioner and Split Air-
252 Mechanical Engineering Technician

6.0 Introduction
Air conditioning is a process by which the temperature , humidity,
flow and purity of the air are controlled simultaneously. Control of these
factors depends on the application to which the air conditioning system is
employed . There are different types of air conditioner units and various methods
to use them.
There are two applications of air-conditioning
1. Comfort air-conditioning
2. Industrial air-conditioning
The comfort air conditioning intends to provide a comfortable
environment for human beings round the year. This involves sensible heat gains
during summer and sensible heat looses in winter. This further involves
dehumidification in summer and relative humidity in the conditioned space is
allowed to be reduced during winter. Human beings are comfortable in wide
range of relative humidity varying from 30 to 70%. The temperature range for
human comfort is 22 to 26.5 ‘C.
The factors which determine the effectiveness of air conditioning for
human comfort are
Air purity and removal of moisture emitted by occupants, removal of
heat emitted by occupants, sufficient air motion and uniform air distribution,
supply of oxygen and removal of Carbon dioxide, control of moisture content of
The air conditioning for industrial application is different, as well defined
inside conditions are strictly to be maintained, within permissible limit, otherwise
the work to performed suffers. A few applications of industrial applications are
computer centers, research laboratories, control rooms, in power generating
stations, operation theatres in hospitals, electronic industrial establishments etc.
6.1 Air Cooler
For conditioning the room, the air cooler instead of air conditioner is
used also. These are called as space cooler. Air humidified when quantity of
water mixed with dry air and humid air is cold than dry air. In this, quantity of
water will be more needed. There is no use of refrigerant as the air conditioner.
Air cooler works on the principle of evaporating cooling. In this, water
is used as a cooling medium. The temperature of air is decreased by the water
when air is brought in contact with water. Water absorbs heat from the air and
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 253

evaporates. The make up water is added to compensate the loss of water due
to evaporation.
The components of air cooler are fan, water pump and pads through
which air enters the cooler, Air deflectors, water trays, Electric motor, pipe ,
Blower, switch and regulator.
The electrical driven pump pumps the water from the bottom tank to
the top headers. The headers have holes through which water trickles down
and pass through pads fitted on three sides of the cooler. Air sucked through
pads from three sides gets cooled. The cool air is discharged by the motor
driven fan into the room or space to be cooled. The direction of air flow can be
adjusted with the help of grills fitted on the discharge side of the cooler. For
better performance pads to be changed every year and water tank should be
cleaned from time to time. This is shown in Fig 6.1

Pads Header

Warm air
Cool Air

Water In

Fig 6.1 Air Cooler

Main Features of Air Cooler

1. Sturdy design : Air cooler is made of thermoplastic material having
excellent aesthetic appeal and corrosion free life.
2. Four way Air deflection system : This feature enables uniform
circulation of air by motorized louvers to maintain same cool temperature
through out the room.
3. Uniform Water distribution pads : Water is distributed to wet the
wood wool through a pump and valve arrangement that delivers water to the
shower pipes. Independent humidifier control is provided which controls quantity
of water released on the wood wool pads.
254 Mechanical Engineering Technician

4. Speed control : Independent controls for three different air speeds.

LED indicator is used for indicating power on.
5. Special wood wool pads : Wood wool pads are provided for
odourless and fresh cool air.
6. Auto water level controller : The air cooler when connected by
the water inlet to the over head tank maintains the required water level in the
tank by the float valve arrangement .
7. Water level indicator : An easy to view water level indicator on the
front panel . You can easily check the water level in the tank.
8. Safe : The body is electrical shock proof plastic material and earthing
is provided on the fan motor.
6.2 Air - Conditioning System
An air-conditioning systems consists of assembly of different component
to produce design conditions of air within the required space. The essential
parts of air-conditioning system are
1. Air intake for ventilation
2. Pre heater to increase to increase the temperature of air,
3. Filter to remove contaminants from air.
4. Dehumidifier to decrease the moisture content.
5. Humidifier to increase the moisture content.
6. Heating coil to control the temperature and humidity,
7. Refrigeration system to produce and maintain low temperature.
Classification of Air Conditioning System
Air conditioning systems classified as
1. According to season of the year
(a) Summer air conditioning
(b) Winter air conditioning
(c) Year round air conditioning
2. According to the applications of the system
(a) Comfort air conditioning
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 255

(b) Industrial air conditioning

3. According to location of equipment
(a) Unitary system
(b) Central station system
(c) Combination system
Summer air conditioning system

Summer air conditioning is used to provide comfort conditions during

summer seasons. The comfort conditions required are 24 C and 60% relative
humidity, irrespective of out door conditions.
Winter Air –conditioning system

In winter air conditioning, the air is heated and humidified to achieve

designed cnotitions.
Year round air conditioning system

This system consists of heating and cooling equipment with automatic

control to produce desired conditions irrespective of climatic conditions. In
winter, heating and humidification of air achieved by the heating coils and
humidifier and cooling is made in operative. The conditioned air is distributed
into the space to be conditioned. In summer, Cooling and dehumidification is
achieved by a cooling coil whose DBT is below the dew point temperature of
entering air. In this case heating coil is made in operative. The conditioned air
circulated through the space to be conditioned.
Central air conditioning system

In this system, all the major components are located at the central
place, away from the area to be conditioned. The conditioned air is supplied
to different rooms by ducts. The exhaust air can be returned and partly reused.
Unitary system

All the components of the unit air conditioning system are assembled
in the factory itself. The unit air conditioner are usually installed in or immediately
adjacent to the space to be conditioned. They are preferred for low capacity
256 Mechanical Engineering Technician

6.3 Window Air - Conditioner

Window Air-Conditioner is also called as room air conditioner, which
is installed on the window of a room or wall opening. It works on principle of
vapour compression refrigeration system. The refrigerant used is Freon-12(R
-12) or Freon 22(R-22).
Construction: It consists of steel chasis. In the centre of it, a hermetically
sealed compressor motor unit is fitted. The Reciprocating type compressor is
used in it. A discharge line, fin and tube type condenser and remote bulb or
capillary tubes are fitted at one end and suction line and fin and tube type
evaporator on the opposite end. The complete refrigeration system is charged
with Freon-22 refrigerant.
The shaft is fitted on the both side of the sealed motor. A blower is
fitted behind the evaporator on one side of the motor shaft and on the other
end, a fan with water splashing ring or belt his fitted behind the condenser.
Evaporator and blower housing are insulated with the felt . The bottom tray of
the evaporator is connected with the condenser by means of rubber tube. An
air filter is fitted in front of the evaporator for cleaning the air. A grill is fitted on
the front portion of the air conditioner in which having provision for changing the
direction of the air.
Working of Window Air - Conditioner
An electric motor drives the fan to circulate air through condenser coil
and runs a blower. Blower sucks air through the filter and forces it through the
evaporator coil which cools as well as dehumidifies the air. The conditioned air
is circulated through the room or the space to be conditioned. Dampers are
used for the appropriate air distribution in the room. It is also provided with
thermostat to maintain the desired temperature by means of an on-off control of
the compressor.
Window air conditioners are available in sizes up to 2 ton capacity. It
is employed to condition the air of a given space such as office rooms, salons,
bed rooms, drawing offices etc. This is shown in Fig 6.2
The window air conditioner is divided into two parts. Out door part
and Indoor part.
Out door part : This part consists of hermetically sealed compressor
and motor unit, condenser and motor driven fan.
Indoor part : This part consists of a filter , evaporator, motor driven
fan and remote bulb refrigerant control.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 257

Evaporator Fan
Condenser Evaporator

Fan Motor
Drier Filter

Capillary Tube



Fig 6.2 Window Air - Conditioner

Hermetically sealed motor and compressor unit : The compressor

and motor are mounted on the only one shaft and are enclosed in welded dome.
Compressor and motor work on the same shaft. There is arrangement so that
dirt, moisture, etc. cannot enter in this. The refrigerant vapour enters directly in
to the compressor and then goes to the suction tube fixed inside. This tube
fitted on the top end of the oil bath surface. Oil goes to the tube and the
compressor starts.
Condenser : In this, the refrigerant vapour comes from compressor
and cool with air or water or both.
Fan operating motor : A single phase capacitor run motor is fixed to
operate the condenser fan, out side air is forced over the condenser coil by this
Filter : Filters are used for purifying air because the air supplied to the
conditioned space must be free from all foreign matter such as dirt, fumes and
harmful bacteria. Carbon filters absorbs the smell of different gases.
Evaporator : Evaporator absorbs heat and liquid refrigerant changes
into vapour. The heat inside the room absorbs by the refrigerant and room
becomes cold. The pressure of vapour refrigerant becomes less and goes
towards compressor.
Blower : A Blower is driven by single phase motor and used to draw
air through the filter and forces it over the evaporator coils. The condenser fan
and blower may be operated by the same motor or each may have a separate
258 Mechanical Engineering Technician

6.4 Split Type Air - Conditioner

Split type air-conditioner consists the indoor and outdoor sections.
These are separated into two units. Indoor unit consists of evaporator, blower,
air filter, grills etc. and is installed inside the room to conditioned. It may be
ceiling suspended , wall mounted or kept on floor as console model.
Out door unit consists of compressor, air cooled condenser, fan and is
installed outside the room. The distance between the indoor and outdoor units
of a split air-conditioner should kept as small as possible other wise the increase
in distance increases the pressure drop in the suction line and liquid line. This is
shown in Fig 6.3 & Fig 6.4
Outdoor Unit Indoor Unit

4 Way valve Indoor

Drier Filter Fan



Fig 6.3 Split Type Air Conditioner

The split air-conditioner has certain advantages over the window air-
conditioner. Since the compressor is installed away from the room to be air-
conditioned, the noise level will be very lower than in case of a window air-
conditioner. It is used in bed rooms, design offices etc.
6.5 Packaged Air - Conditioner
Packaged air –conditioner is a self contained unit with all needed
equipment in a single cabinet. This available up to 20 ton capacity. In this, the
evaporator, condenser, and compressor are all located in one cabinet. This is
usually placed on roof. Air supply and return ducts come from indoors through
the house exterior wall or roof to connect with the packaged air conditioner,
which is located outdoor. The system is usually water cooled. It is used in
restaurants, stores, banks, laboratories etc.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 259

6.6 Differences between Window air conditioner and Split

air conditioner
Window type air-conditioner Split type air-conditioner
1. It is a single unit having a cooling 1. It is called split unit, as there are two
and condensing unit fitted on the separate units, a cooling unit and other
same base plate. condensing unit which are fitted on
separate base plate.
2. It has only one motor having a double 2. It has two motors, one blower motor
shaft. A blower is fitted at one end and the other condenser fan motor.
of the shaft and condenser fan at the
other end of the shaft.
3. It is installed mostly in the window 3. It is installed anywhere in the room.
of the room.
4. It produces a little noise while 4. Its working is noise free.
5. It is cheaper than split air- 5. It is costlier than window type air-
conditioner. conditioner.
6. Less copper tube is used with 6. The length of the copper tube is more
window type air-conditioner. in split type air-conditioner.

• In Air Conditioning System, conditioned air is supplied to the room
or space to be conditioned.
• Air Cooler
• Works on evaporating cooling. Water is used to the circulating air.
• Window Air-Conditioner
• It works on the principle of Vapour compression refrigeration system.
• Split Air-Conditioner
It consists the out door section and indoor section. Indoor unit consists
evaporator , Blower, air filter and grills etc., mounted at indoor.
Out door consists of compressor, air cool condenser and fan mounted
at out door
260 Mechanical Engineering Technician

• Packaged air-conditioner
• Packaged air-conditioner contained a single unit with all need
equipment in a single cabinet.
Short Answer Type Questions
1. List out the essential parts of Air Cooler.
2. What are the main features of Air cooler?
3. What are the main components of air conditioning system?
4. Write the advantages of mechanical draft cooling tower over natural
draft cooling tower.
5. Describe the classification of air-conditioning system.
Long Answer Type Questions
1. Explain the working of Air Cooler with neat sketch
2. Describe the working Window Air-Conditioner with neat sketch.
3. Explain the working of Split Air-Conditioner
4. Describe the working packaged Air-Conditioner.
5. Write the differences between Window-Air conditioner and Split
Servicing and Maintanance of
Refrigeration & Air - Conditioning
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Maintenance of Refrigeration system.
7.3 Maintenance of Air-Conditioning system
7.4 Symptoms of Refrigerant shortage
7.5 Gas leakage detective methods
7.6 Trouble shootings in Refrigeration system.
7.7 Trouble shootings in Air-Conditioning system.
Learning Objectives

After studying this unit, the student will be able to know

• The Servicing and maintenance of Refrigerator

• The Servicing and maintenance of Air-Conditioner.

• The various trouble shootings in Refrigerator.

• The various trouble shootings in Air-Conditioner.

262 Mechanical Engineering Technician

7.1 Introduction
The Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning systems require proper
maintenance, i.e, Daily , weekly ,monthly and yearly maintenance. The
maintenance details are supplied by the manufacturers of each equipment
should be followed to ensure trouble free service. Periodic checking of
control and safety devices is essential to ensure their good working. The various
defects frequently occurred in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment are
discussed in this chapter.
7.2 Maintenance of Refrigeration system
Planned maintenance schedule for Refrigeration system is given below.
Daily maintenance
(a) Check and ensure that all equipment is free from noise and vibration
(b) Check suction, discharge and oil pressure
Weekly maintenance
(a) Check running amperage of all main motors
(b) Check and ensure that air cooled condensers are free from
Monthly maintenance
(a) Check all belts for proper tension and alignment
(b) Check compressor oil levels, if it is provided with crankcase sight
Yearly maintenance
(a) Examine all bearings
(b) Clean all water strainers
(c) Clean and repair all cooling tower and condenser surface as necessary
(d) Check all operating and safety control for correct setting and
(e) Check and lubricate fan and motor fan bearing
(f) Conduct leak test the refrigerating system using electronic leak
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 263

7.3 Maintenance of Air-Conditioning system

Daily maintenance
(a) Check and ensure that all equipment is free from noise and vibration
(b) Check suction , discharge and oil pressures
Weekly maintenance
(a) Check running amperages of all main motors
(b) Check and ensure that air cooled condenser are free from
(c) Check air filters- clean/ replace them if necessary
(d) Check the condition of air intake grill and filters.
Quarterly maintenance
(a) Check finned heat exchanger surface for freedom from blockages
(b) Lubricate motor and fan bearings if necessary
(c) Wash out condensate trays
(d) Inspect humidifiers and ensure that they are free from scale
(e) Check and clean sensors of thermostat and humidi stats.
Yearly maintenance
(a) Reactivate sensing elements of hair-type humidstats in accordance
as per the manufacturer instructions
(b) Check all the bearings
(c) Clean all water strainers
(d) Clean and repair all cooling tower and condenser surface if necessary
(e) Check all operating and safety controls for correct setting and
7.4 Symptoms of Refrigerant Shortage
The symptoms of refrigerant shortage are,
• In sufficient cooling in the equipment
• Frequent tripping of compressor motor
264 Mechanical Engineering Technician

• Power consumption is high

• low suction pressure
• Excessive heating of compressor parts
• Gas shortage is mainly due to leakage in the system.
7.5 Gas Leakage Detective Methods
Leakage cannot be tolerated in any refrigeration system. Test must be
conducted for leak detection during maintenance of equipment. The various
methods can be used with specific refrigerant are given below:
1. Ammonia : Ammonia leakage from the system can be identified by
two methods.
(a) Using Sulphur sticks : This method is used to identify exact location
of leak. When it is lit and its flame is exposed to ammonia , it gives off a white
smoke of ammonium chloride or ammonium sulphide.
(b)When red litmus paper is exposed to ammonia vapour , it turns blue.
2. Freon : The leakage of Freon (Halogenated refrigerants) like, R -
11, R-12, R-22, etc. can be identified by two methods,

(a) Soap solution : When soap solution is applied over the suspected
leak , it will be identified by the formation of bubbles from leakage point.

(b) Halide test lamp : The flame is supported by oxygen in the air
used as a sensing agent. When it is passed over the leakage point or surface
being leak tested, the colour of flame will be changed in to green or deep blue,
depending upon the quantity of gas leaked.
3. Sulphur dioxide : When a small piece of ammonia soaked cloth
fastened to the end of stick and placed at the leakage point or surface being
leak tested, It will give off thick white smoke at the point of leak.

Electronic Leak detector

It is very sensitive device and is used to detect leak of any refrigerant

gas. It consists tube through which refrigerant is suck in to the instrument. A
heating element in the tube heats the refrigerant gas. The refrigerant gas bring
change in the current flow. This is indicated on instrument which gives amount
of leakage of gas. The gas leakage is also identified by an audible sound.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 265

7.6 Trouble Shooting in Refrigeration System

There are various types of trouble shootings in the refrigerating system.
Trouble shooting is not as complex as it seems. In order to get accurate
service, the technician must have a basic knowledge about the system. There
are standard procedure to follow that make it relatively easy.
1. Refrigerating unit does not run
Possible causes Possible Remidy

1. Fuse blown 1. Check fuse if it is blown, replace.

2. Low supply voltage 2. Check voltage by volt meter. Adjust the
3. Connection broken 3. Check voltage at relay, if there is no
voltage, check the line continuity.
4. Capacitor defective 4. Check capacitor by testing lamp. If lamp
donot burnt or find leakage, replace it.
5. Relay defective 5. Start the refrigerator by correct supply
voltage with out relay. If starts the unit,
replace relay.
6. Thermostat defective
6. Start the refrigerator to with out
thermostat. If this works and connection is
correct then either repair the thermostat or
replace it.
7. The wire of compressor or 7. Change the broken wire or repair.
thermostat is broken.

2.Refrigerating unit gives humming and stops

Possible causes Remidy
1. Too low voltage 1. Check the voltage by volt meter. If it is less
or more than 10% of medium voltage. Short
the length of wire or adjust the stabilizer.
2. Capacitor defective 2. Check capacitor with test lamp, and replace
the capacitor if necessary.
3. Relay defective 3. Check relay operation and replace it if
266 Mechanical Engineering Technician

3.The Refrigerator runs very fast

Possible causes Remedy

1. Interior lamp lighted 1. Check the lamp after closing the door of
the unit cabinet. If it is lighted, check
the switch and replace.
2. Gasket seal defective 2. Check the door gasket and replace if
3. Improper air circulation 3. Check the location of unit. It should be
located at proper distance from the walls.
4. Gas unit leakage 4. Check the leakage. Repair or replace if
5. Loose connection in the 5. Check the connection and tight if it is
thermostat valve from loosely connected.
6. Defective thermostat. 6. Start the unit with out thermostat
connection, if it runs properly, replace the
7. Shortage of the refrigerant 7. Check the refrigerant ,charge it if
shortage, repair leak .
8. Moisture in the unit. 8. Check the moisture in the unit. If find it,
replace by dry filter

4.The Refrigerator makes noise

Possible causes Remedy
1. Not proper installation 1. Tighten any loose components.
2. Motor is noisy 2. Check the motor . If rotor rubs with stator or
bolts of motor are loose. Repair and tighten
the loose components.
3. Improper level of the 3. Check the level of the cabinet and correct the
cabinet level of the cabinet if necessary.
4. Noise in the compressor 4. Check the compressor and lubricate the
compressor bearing s or replace it if necessary.
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 267

5. No or poor cooling efficiency or low refrigerating effect

Possible causes Remedy

1. Thermostat defective 1. Check operation , replace if necessary

2. Loss of refrigerant charge 2. Fit new cooling system
3. Poor condenser efficiency 3. Check condenser and remove any
obstructions to air flow

6. Low suction pressure –high super heat

Possible causes Remedy

1. Less quantity of refrigerant in 1. Trace and repair leak, recharge .

system or loss of refrigerant
2. Compressor suction strainer 2. Clean or replace the strainer
3. Excess oil in the system. 3. Drain excess oil from
condenser and evaporator

7. High Suction pressure –low superheat

Possible causes Remedy

1. Plant under capacity 1. Reduce load

2. Excessive liquid refrigerant from 2. Adjust the expansion valve
expansion valve
3. Suction valve leaking 3. Check valve plates, replace if
4. In correct super heat setting 4. Adjust setting
5. Bulb not properly fixed 5. Secure the bulb to suction line and
is not affected by other sources.
268 Mechanical Engineering Technician

8. Suction pressure fluctuates

Possible causes Remedy
1. In correct super heat setting 1. Adjust setting
2. Un even load at evaporator 2. Check condition of distributor
3. Equaliser line restricted 3. Clean or replace line
4. Oil in suction line affecting 4. Do not locate valve sensing element
temperature sensed by valve in a section of line likely to form an
bulbs oil trap

9. High discharge pressure

Possible causes Remedy

1. Discharge valve is not properly 1. Open the discharge valve

2. Air or non-condensable gases 2. Purge the condenser
present in system
3. Cooling water through condenser 3. Increase the circulation of water
is not sufficient
4. Temperature of water entering 4. Check cooling tower and ensure
the condenser is high that water at proper temperature
enters the condenser
5. Scale formation in condenser 5. Clean the condenser tubes

10. Low discharge pressure

Possible causes Remedy
1. Discharge valve leaking 1. Check valve plates , replace if
2. Excess water supply 2. Reduce the water supply
3. Low water temperature 3. Regulate water supply at correct
4. Compressor not getting loaded. 4. Follow the loading pattern
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 269

11. Ice formation is slow

Possible causes Remedy

1. Temperature control is not 1. Check and reset temperature

properly set control

2. Door opened too frequently 2. Avoid opening of door


3. Thermostat knob is not set on 3. Due to some obstruction door

to colder settings may not closed. Check and repair

12. Moisture formation on exterior

Possible causes Remedy

1. High humid weather 1. Wipe the moisture periodically

2. Defective door gasket 2. Check the door gasket for
proper door sealing

13. Works, but cabinet is not cold enough i.e cabinet

Possible causes Remedy

1. Temperature control is not properly 1. Check and reset temperature

set control
2. Out side temperature may be very 2. Reset thermostat to maximum
high knob setting
3. Door kept open for long period 3. Close the door immediately
after use
4. Circulation of air is blocked by the
items on shelves 4. Rearrange the items soted.
270 Mechanical Engineering Technician

14. Moisture collection inside

Possible causes Remedy

1. Humid weather 1. Avoid opening door frequently

moisture carried by air condenses
on the surface of inner body.
2. Storage of hot food 2. Avoid storage of hot food.
3. Under utilization of refrigerator 3. Follow loading pattern

15. Refrigerator gives mild shocks

Possible causes
1. Earthing is not proper
1. Check the earthing rectify if defective, If the refrigerator gives shock,
remove the plug from the wall socket and call authorized technician
7.7 Trouble Shooting in Air - Conditioning System
Air-Conditioning system is very expensive and it must be maintained
properly. Proper maintenance schedule must be followed to avoid break
down. Some of the problems related to air-conditioning system with possible
causes and remedies are discussed below.
1. Compressor and condenser fan motor will not start.
Possible causes Remedies
(i) Power failure (i) Call fuse off call office
(ii) Fuse blown (ii) Replace defective fuse- check for
possible high voltage and short circuits.
(iii) Defective thermostat (iii) Repair or replace thermostat
(iv) Faulty wiring (iv) Check wiring and kake necessary
(v) Defective controls (v) Check controls, replace defective
Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 271

2. No air flow, compressor runs

Possible Causes Remedies

(i) Bending of the fan-motor shaft (i) Check fan motor shaft and blades,
or blades repair or replace the blades
(ii) Defective fan motor (ii) Replace fan motor
(iii) Defective relays or (iii) Check for short circuits, replace
capacitors relays or capacitors as required

3. Compressor will not start, but condenser fan runs

Possible Causes Remedies
(i) Circuit to compressor open (i) Check compressor wiring and
(ii) Defective compressor motor
(ii) Replace the compressor
(iii) Defective compressor
starting capacitor (iii) Replace the capacitor
(iv) Defective circuit to (iv) Check and repair, replace
thermostat if defective thermostat

4. System short of capacity

Possible Causes Remedies

(i) Low refrigerant charge (i) Check for leaks, repair leaks and
charge refrigerant
(ii) Defective expansion valve (ii) Repair or replace expansion valve
(iii) Dirty condenser (iii) Clean the condenser
(iv) Compressor valve leaking (iv) Replace valve plate assembly
(v) Expansion valve or strainer (v) Clean expansion valve and strainer
272 Mechanical Engineering Technician

5. Compressor is noisy
Possible Causes Remedies

(i) Worn compressor bearings (i) Replace the compressor

(ii) Over charge of oil (ii) Remove excess oil
(iii) Broken compressor valves (iii) Replace valve plate assembly

6. Compressor losses oil

Possible Causes Remedies

(i) Oil trapped in the system (i) Check oil separator, if it correct,
replace the refrigerant piping
(ii) Leakage through piston rings (ii) Replace the piston rings
(iii) Excessive super heat (iii) Adjust super heat setting

7. Compressor runs continuously

Possible Causes Remedies

(i) Low refrigerant charge (i) Check the system for leaks, repair
leaks and add refrigerant
(ii) Excessive load (ii) Check for excessive infiltration and
excessive source of moisture
(iii) Thermostat setting too low (iii) Reset the thermostat
(iv) Compressor valve leaking (iv) Replace valve plate assembly
(v) Dirty condenser (v) Clean condenser

8. Evaporator fan runs compressor will not start

Possible Causes Remedies
(i) Compressor electrical interlocks not completed (i) Locate and rectify the fault

(ii) Compressor safety control open circuit (ii) Locate and rectify the fault

(iii) Defective compressor (iii) Check and replace if necessary

Paper - III Refrigeration and Airconditioning 273

9. Insufficient cooling
Possible Causes Remedies
(i) Insufficient chilled water (i) Check chilled water valve
supplied to cooling coil

(ii) Restricted air flow over (ii) Check air filters, cooling coil clean
cooling coils lines and fan operation, rectify the
(iii) Excessive cooling load (iii) Check the space for doors , windows
and other heat sources, reduce the
cooling load
(iv) Internal sealing of chilled (iv) Clean entire system chemically
water system. recharge chilled water system.

10. Humidity too low

Possible Causes Remedies

(i) Defective controls (i) Check controls , replace if

(ii) Humidified capacity is low (ii) Check the requirements; arrange
for given conditions booster humidifier if necessary
(iii) Cooling system defect (iii) Check cooling coils, replace if

• Refrigerant equipment and Air-Conditioned equipment should be
maintained properly for good functioning
• The symptoms are the sign of troubles in the system. The main
symptoms of gas shortage are
(i) Insufficient cooling
(ii) Power consumption is high
(iii) Excessive heating of compressor parts
274 Mechanical Engineering Technician

• Gas shortage is mainly due to leakage in the system. The various

methods of leak detection for specific refrigerant are
(i.)Ammonia - Sulphur candle test
Litmus paper test
(ii) Freons - Soap solution test (Bubble test)
Halide test lamp
Electronic leak detector is a very sensitive instrument. It is used to
detect leak of any refrigerant.
Short Answer Type Questions
1. What are the various symptoms of gas shortage in the system?
2. How the leakage test conducted for Ammonia refrigerant?
3. Describe the working principle of Halide test lamp.
4. State any four causes and remedies for Refrigerator unit does not
5. Write four causes and remedies for Refrigerator runs very fast.
6. State any four causes and remedies compressor and condenser fan
motor will not start.
Long Answer Type Questions
1. Describe the different methods for leak testing of the following
(a) Ammonia
(b) Freon
(c) Sulphur dioxide
2. Explain the possible causes and remedies for the following problems
(i) Noisy operation
(ii) Suction pressure fluctuates
(iii) High discharge pressure.
3. Explain any six Trouble shootings in Refrigeration system.
4. Write any six trouble shooting s in Air-Conditioning system.