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EA-AAC-1
F I I I I
(VAPOR CYCLE)
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ORDER NUMBER EA-AAC-1
AIRCRAFT AIRCONDITIONING
IVAPOR CYCLEJ
SECOND EDITION
International Standard Book Number 0-89100-051-8
For sale by: lAP, Inc.
Mail To: P.O. Box 10000, Casper, WY 82602-1000
Ship To: 7383 6WN Road, Casper, WY 82604-1835
(800) 443-9250 • (307) 266-3838 · FAX: 307-472-5106
HBC1092 Printed i n the USA
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© 1985 by lAP, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976,
no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any
form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system,
without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Aircraft airconditioning (vapor cycle). -- 2nd ed.
p. em.
"Order number EA-AAC-1."
ISBN 0-89100-051-8 (pbk.) : $5.95
1. Airplanes--Air conditioning--Maintenance and repair--Programmed
instruction. I. lAP, Inc.
TL681 .A5A4 7 1992
629.134 '42--dc20 92-24620
CIP
Table of Contents
I. Basic Theory of Refrigeration .............................. .
A. Transfer of Heat ..... . ......................... . ..... .
B. Basic Vapor Cycle of Refrigeration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
II. Refrigerant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
A. Requirements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
B. Temperature-Vapor Pressure Relationship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
C. Refrigerant Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
D. Refrigeration Oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
III. Aircraft Air-conditioning Systems and Components . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
A. Basic System ........ _ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
B. Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1. Receiver-dryer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2. Expansion Valve.................................. 7
a. Internally Equalized . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
b. Externally Equalized . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
3. Evaporator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
4. Compressor..... . ................................ 8
5. Condenser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
6. Service Valves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
a. Compressor isolation valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
b. Schrader valve ................................ 10
IV. Air-conditioning Service Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
A. Manifold Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
B. Refrigerant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
C. Vacuum Pump ....................................... 12
D. Leak Detector .............................. - -- .... - - - 13
V. Air-conditioning System Servicing .......................... 14
A. Tests and Inspections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
1. Visual Inspection .. .. . .. .. . .. . .. .. . . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 14
2. Leak Test.............. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3. Performance Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
4. Feel Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
B. Purging the System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
C. Checking the Compressor Oil..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
D. Evacuating the System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
E. Charging the System......................... . . . . . . . . . 18
Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Final Examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Answers to Study Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Answers to Final Examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
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] Only a short time ago, air-conditioning was considered a
. ! luxury for the automobile. But, because it increases the
efficiency of the driver and gives the passengers such
comfort, it is fast being looked upon as a necessity.
Air travelers who live in air-conditioned homes, work in
air-conditioned offices, and drive air-conditioned
automobiles are reluctant to fly in airplanes without this
comfort producing system.
\ There are two basic types of air-conditioning systems
i installed in modern aircraft. One is the air-cycle system
where the air is compressed, energy is extracted, and the
air released. As it expands, it cools. The other system is
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the vapor-cycle system. Here a liquid refrigerant under
J • pressure is sprayed into a cooling coil. The refrigerant
evaporates and in so doing removes heat from the cabin.
The heated vapor passes through a radiator-like heat
exchanger outside the airplane, where it gives this heat to
the outside air. The refrigerant returns to its liquid state
INTRODUCTION:
and repeats the cycle .
Servicing and maintaining aircraft air-conditioning
systems is one of the tasks being added to the respon-
sibilities of the modern A & P mechanic. These systems
are neither mysterious nor complex, but they do require
some knowledge of basic physics and an accumulation of a
good many servicing facts in order to be ready when a cool
job comes in hot.
This book is arranged to present basic facts for you to
read and digest. At intervals throughout the course,
questions are asked for you to check your progress. Be
sure to answer each question before going on to the next
section. Much of the material builds on what has just been
covered. Some of the words used may be new to you, so
you will find them defined in the Glossary at the end of the
book. All such words when first mentioned are marked
with an asterisk (•).
SECTION 1:
The basic theory of refrigeration
High Side Pressure Control
Blower Assembly
Suction line
Di!K'harge line
Expansion Valve
liquid Hose
Receiver-dryer Sight Glass
Fairing Shroud
u , . ~ u . . j
Safety Fuse Plug
THE BASIC VAPOR CYCLE AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM
The vapor-cycle air-conditioning system is similar to the
mechanical refrigerator we use to keep our food cold. A
refrigerant* changes its state from a liquid* to a gas *. As
it does this, it absorbs heat from the cabin. This heat is
takttn outside the airplane and given off to the air as the
refrigerant returns to its liquid state.
J A. TRANSFER OF HEAT
Heat, we must remember, is a form of energy, and we
can neither create nor destroy energy. We can transform
it, move it from one place to another, or from one material
Fig. 1
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to another, but it still exists. Heat will flow from an object
or material having more heat energy to any other object or
material having Jess heat. A material that allows this heat
to flow easily is a good conductor, and one which resists
the flow of heat is called an insulator.
The refrigerant used in aircraft air-conditioning is a
liquid, under certain conditions. When this liquid is
surrounded by air having more heat energy than the
refrigerant. heat passes from'the air into the refrigerant.
As heat energy is absorbed by the liquid, it changes its
state and becomes a gas. The air that has passed over the
coils and given up its heat is cooled. Cold is a term that
merely indicates an absence of heat.
QUESTIONS:
1. Where does the heat come from that causes the refri-
gerant in an air-conditioning system to turn from a
liquid to a gas?
2. What happens to the heat that is taken from the cabin?
B. BASIC VAPOR-CYCLE OF REFRIGERATION
As the name implies, this system of refrigeration
operates in a cycle .. The refrigerant picks up heat from the
cabin, takes it outside the airplane and releases it to the
outside air. It then returns to the cabin for more heat. In
order to study this cycle, we must pick a place to enter.
Let's pick the reservoir, or, as it is called, the receiver-
dryer.
Liquid refrigerant is held in the receiver-dryer under
pressure from the compressor. Filters and a desiccant*
insure that the fluid leaving this unit will be free from any
water or other contaminant. The low-pressure side of the
compressor is attached to the top of the evaporator and
causes the refrigerant to be pulled out of the
receiver-dryer and through the expansion valve. The
expansion valve serves as a controlled spray orifice* to
spray just the right amount of refrigerant into the
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evaporator that it will completely evaporate* by the time it
reaches the end of the coiL The cabin blower blows air
over the evaporator coiis. Heat from the cabin is absorbed
by the refrigerant in the evaporator where it changes its
state to a vapor. This extraction of heat is the cooling
action we are looking for. Low-pressure vapor is drawn
into the compressor where its pressure is raised to around
200 psi and its temperature to around 200 degrees F. This
high-pressure, high-temperature vapor goes into the
condenser, a heat exchanger cooled by a flow of outside
air. Heat is extracted from the refrigerant. As it cools, it
condenses back into a liquid and flows into the
receiver-dryer, ready to repeat the cycle.
QUESTIONS:
3. Does the receiver-dryer hold a liquid or a vapor?
4. What is the purpose of the expansion valve?
5. What is the name of the unit in which heat from the
cabin is absorbed into the refrigerant?
6. What is the name of the unit in which the heat taken
from the cabin is transferred to the outside air?
7. What happens to the refrigerant vapor when it gives
up its heat to the outside air?
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SECTION II:
R efr ige rant
TEMPERATURE-PRESSURE RELATION CHART
!FOR REFRIGERANT 121
~ ~ m p Press T ~ m p Press Temp Press Temp Press T<!mp Press
F. PSI F. PSI F- PSI F. PSI F. PSI
0 9.1 35 32.5 60 57.7 85 91.7 110 136.0
2 10.1 36 33.4 61 58.9 86 93.2 111 138.0
4 11.2 37 34.3 &2 &0.0 87 94.8 112 140.1
6 12.3 38 35.1
63
61.3 88 9&.4 113 142.1
8 13.4 39 36.0 64 62.5 89 98.0 114 144.2
10 14.& 40 36.9 65 &3.7 90 99.6 115 14&.3
12 15.8 41 37.9 66 64.9 91 101.3 116 H8.4
14 17.1 42 38.8 67 61>-2 92 103.0 117 151.2
16 18.3 43 3 ~ . 7 68 f>7.5 93 104.& 118 152.7
18 19.7 44 40.7 69 68.8 94 106.3 119 1>4.9
20 21.0 45
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41.7 70 70.1 95 108.1 120 157.1
21 21.7 46 42.1>
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71 71.4
9(,
109.8 121 159.3
22 22.4 47 43.(, 72 72.8 97 111.5 122 161.5
23 23.1 48 44.1> 73 74.2 98 113.3 123 1f>3.8
24 23.8 49 45.1> 74 75.5 99
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124 11>6.1
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25 24.6 50 46.6 75 76.9 100 116.9 125 168.4
26 25.3 51 47.8 76 78.3 101 118.8 126 170.7
27 26.1 52 48.7 77 79.2 102 120.& 127 173.1
28 26.8 53 49.8
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78 81.8 103 122.4 128 175.4
29 27.1> 54 50.'1 79 82.5 104 124.3 129 177.8
30 28.4 55 52.0
80 84.0 105 126.2 130 182.2
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s& 53.1 81 85.5 106 128.1 131 182.6
57 55.4 82 87.0 107 130.1) 132 185.1
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33 J0.9 58 5&.&
83 88.5 108 132.1 133 187.6
34 31.7 59 57.1 84 90.1 109 135.1 134 190.1 1
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The vapor pressure of R-12 compares with its temperature • 30 psi at 43
degrees F.
TABLE I
3
A. REQUIREMENTS
Heat is required to change the state of a liquid to a gas.
Adding heat to a liquid will raise its temperature* only to a
certain point. Beyond this, additional heat will change the
liquid to a gas without any increase in its temperature.
Heaf put into a m'aterial as it changes its state without
changing its temperature is known as latent heat*. Latent
heat stays in the vapor until it has an opportunity to
transfer to some substance with less heat energy. When
this heat energy is removed, the vapor changes back to a
liquid.
A refrigerant is a chemical substance which changes its
state from a liquid to a vapor at a temperature low enough
that it can be used to remove heat from the cabin of an
airplane. Many different substances could do this, but a
material known as Refrigerant 12, or simply R-12, is most
commonly used. This material is known in the industry as
Freon 12, Genetron 12, Isotron 12, Ucon 12, or by other
trade names. It is a fluorinated hydrocarbon very similar
to carbon tetrachloride with a couple of the chorine atoms
exchanged for fluorine atoms. This refrigerant is stable at
high or low operating temperatures, does not react with·
any ofthe materials used in air-conditioning systems, and
it will not attack the rubber used for seals or hoses. It is
nonflammable; in fact, it is used as a fire extinguishing
agent. It is nontoxic and will not contaminate water or
food. R-12 is colorless and basically odorless. It is heavier
than air.
B. TEMPERATURE - VAPOR PRESSURE RELA-
TIONSIDP
One of the most desirable characteristics of R-12 as a
refrigerant is its temperature - vapor pressure* relation-
ship. Notice Chart 1. The relationship between the vapor
pressure and the temperature between about 20 psi and
and 80 psi, the range where we are most concerned, there
is a general one pound for one degree relationship. If the
pressure gage indicates 30 psi, the temperature of the
R-12 is a plus 32 degrees F. This is the temperature of the
refrigerant, not the temperature of the evaporator coils of
of the air. The most effective air-conditioning occurs when
the temperature of the evaporator coils is as low as
possible without ice forming on them. This condition
occurs when the temperature of the refrigerant is held at
about 30 degrees F. (about 28 psi). The air passing over
the coils will then be about 34 or 35 degrees F.
C. REFRIGERANT HANDLING
R-12 will boil at normal sea level pressure at about
-21.6 degrees F. This means that if you get a drop of liquid
R-12 on your skin, it will drop to this temperature and give
you a good case of frostbite. It is extremely bad if you
should get even the slightest trace of liquid R-12 in your
eye. If this should occur, flood with much cool water and
treat the eye at once with mineral oil or clean petroleum
jelly, followed with a boric acid rinse. GET TO A
PHYSICIAN OR A HOSPITAL AS SOON AS POSSffiLE.
A small container of these medications should be kept with
the air-conditioning service equipment and you should
wear eye protection all of the time you are servicing
air-conditioning equipment.
R-12 is not toxic, nor is it dangerous if it is breathed. )t
can, however, starve you of the oxygen you need if it is
released in a confined space. Be sure there is sufficient
ventilation where a system is being discharged. When
R-12 passes over an open flame, its characteristics change
drastically. Rather than a harmless gas, it becomes deadly
phosgene* gas. Phosgene is cumulative in its effects and
causes severe damage to your respiratory system if it is
breathed. When R-12 comes in contact· with water,
hydrochloric acid is formed.
When a system is charged with R-12, the pressure rise
with temperature must be considered. If heat is used to
force R-12out of its container, use only hot water, and that
not over 125 degrees F. Never use direct flame or electric
heaters in direct contact with the R-12 container, as it may
cause local heat that will raise the pressure to a dangerous
level.
D. REFRIGERANT OIL
Since the air-conditioning system is completely sealed,
the oil used to lubricate the compressor seals and expan-
. sion valve must be sealed in the system. The oil used is a
special refrigeration oil which is a highly refined mineral
oil, free from such impurities as water, sulfur, or wax. The
identification number of the oil is the viscosity number, the
number of seconds required for a given amount of this oil
to flow through an orifice at a specified temperature. The
lower the number, the lighter the oil. Always use the oil
specified by the aircraft maintenance manual for the
specific system. Refrigeration oil should be kept tightly
capped when not in use. It should never be poured from
one container to another, and if there is any question as to
its purity, it should be discarded. Any time oil is r.emoved
for compressor servicing, it should be discarded and new
oil put in.
QUESTIONS:
8. What is meant by latent heat?
9. What happens when latent heat is taken out of
refrigerant vapor?
10. Is Refrigerant 12 flammable or nonflammable?
1 L What is the pressure in a can of R-12 if the liquid is at
a temperature of 100 degrees F.?
12. At what temperature does R-12 boil at normal sea
level pressure?
13. When a container of R-12 is heated to aid in filling a
system, what is the maximum temperature to which it
may be heated?
14. What first aid treatment should be given if R-12 is
splashed into your eyes?
15. What product is produced when R-12 comes into
contact with an open flame?
16. What type of oil is used in an air-conditioning system?
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SECTION Ill:
Aircraft Airconditioning
Systems and Components
5
A. THE BASIC SYSTEM
For ease of understanding and serv1cmg, an
air-conditioning system is divided into two sides, the high
side and the low side. The division is made according to
the pressures which exist in the system. The discharge of
the compressor is the beginning of the high side. At this
point, the refrigerant is a high-pressure vapor. It passes
through the condenser where it becomes a high-pressure
liquid, and continues on to the receiver-dryer, then to the
expansion valve. The expansion valve is the other dividing
point. High-pressure liquid enters this valve and is
sprayed into the evaporator, in the low side, as a
low-pressure liquid-- actually as tiny droplets. Heat from
the cabin is blown over the evaporator by the cabin blower.
This heat enters the refrigerant and causes it to boil or turn
from a liquid to a vapor. In a properly operating system,
all of the refrigerant will be vaporized by the time it leaves
the evaporator. Vapors leaving the evaporator are drawn
into the compressor where they are compressed for their
next cycle.
B. COMPONENTS
From .:ondenser
Sight glass
The receiver-dryer serves as the system reservoir.
Fig. 3
1. Receiver-dryer
This is the reservoir for the system and is located in
the high side between the condenser and the expansion
valve. Liquid refrigerant enters this container and is
filtered, then passed through a desiccant such as silica gel.
Any moisture in the system is absorbed in this material. A
sight glass is usually located in the outlet tube of the
receiver-dryer to indicate the condition of charge in the
system. If the charge is low, bubbles will be seen in the
glass. A tube extends from the top of the receiver-dryer to
near the bottom where liquid refrigerant is picked up. A
filter is normally installed either on the end of the pickup
tube or between the tube and the desiccant to prevent any
particles getting into the expansion valve. It is of-extreme
importance to remove all of the moisture from the system,
as a single drop can freeze in the expansion valve and stop
Condenser
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Blowers
Receiver-dryer
REFRIGERATION CYCLE
The compressor and expansion valve divide t he high and low sides of the
system-
Fig. 2
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High pressure liquid
High pressure vapor
Low pressure liquid
low pressure vapor
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the entire system operation. Water will also react with
refrigerant to form hydrochloric acid which is highly
corrosive to the metal in the system.
2. Expansion valve
The thermal expansion valve is the control unit
which meters just the right amount of refrigerant into the
evaporator to evaporate completely by the time it reaches
the end of the coils. The opening or orifice in the valve is
controlled by the heat load* in the airplane cabin. There
are two types of thermal expansion valves, the internally
equalized valve and the externally equalized valve.
a. Internally equalized expansion valve
Sensor capillary attached to
evaporator discharge
receiver-dryer
To evaporator
Internally equalized expansion valve meters R·12 as called for by the
sensor.
Fig. 4
The internally equalized expansion valve is used
on systems having small evaporators. This valve is
controlled by the amount of superheat* in the evaporator.
A capillary tube* filled with a gas and sealed, connects
into the diaphragm chamber above the valve. The end of
the capillary is coiled into a bulb and attached to the
discharge of the evaporator. Coiling this tube allows a
greater area to be held in intimate contact with the
evaporator, and a more accurate measurement of the
temperature can be made. If the liquid refrigerant
completely evaporates before it reaches the end of the
evaporator, it will continue to absorb heat and become
. superheated. It is still very cold to touch, but it is
· ; considerably warmer than it would be if it had not
absorbed this additional heat. The expansion valve is
1 adjusted to a given value of super heat. When the
J pressure of th.e refrigerant vapor reaches this value, the
valve pushes down against the superheat spring and opens
to allow more refrigerant to enter the evaporator. A bal·
i ance between the vapor pressure on the diaphragm and
... ! the· superheat spring controls the amount of refrigerant
allowed to flow. These valves are adjusted at the factory
and cannot normally be adjusted in the field. This valve
; senses the heat load in the cabin by being sensitive to the
I evaporator discharge temperature. If there is a lot of heat
·· . . ~ in the cabin, the liquid refrigerant will evaporate quickly
and more superheat will be added to the vapor. The valve
will open to allow more refrigerant to flow into the
evaporator. If the heat load is low, the liquid will require
most of the evaporator to evaporate and little superheat
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will be added. A smaller amount of refrigerant will be
metered into the coils.
b. Externally equalized expansion valve:
Systems having larger evaporators have a noticeable
pressure drop across the evaporator caused by the
opposition to flow of the refrigerant. This pressure drop is
compensated by increasing the flow of refrigerant into the
evaporator. A constant pressure is thus maintained across
the evaporator, which allows the temperature-sensing
function of the valve to meter refrigerant as a function of
the superheat, or the heat load, in the cabin.
External
equilizer line
port
Outlet
Externally equalized expansion valve compensates lor the pressure drop
across a large evaporator.
Fig. 5
3. Evaporator
The actual cooling umt m an air·conditioning
system is the evaporator. This unit consists of one or more
circuits of copper tubing arranged in parallel between the
Heat from the cabin enters the refrigerant in the evaporator.
Fig. 6
expansion valve and the compressor. These tubes are
silver soldered into a compact unit, with thin aluminum
fins pressed onto their surface. The evaporator is usually
mounted in a housing with the blower, so air from the
cabin can be taken in by the blower and forced over the
evaporator coils. Heat in this air is absorbed by the
refrigerant, and the air blown out into the cabin is thus
cooled. A drip pan is mounted below the evaporator to
catch water that drips off of the coils as the system cycles.
A thermostat* capillary is stuck into the evaporator core
between the fins to sense the temperature of the coil. This
temperature controls the cycling of the system.
The evaporator is similar to the condenser in
construction, and somewhat in appearance, but being in
the low side of the system it is not subject to such high
pressures as the condenser. Operating pressures are
allowed to go as high as 200 psi, and the units often have a
burst pressure as high as 1 ,000 psi. A correctly operating
evaporator should cause the refrigerant to use the entire
length of the coil in changing to a vapor, yet have no liquid
left at the evaporator discharge.
QUESTIONS:
17. What two units divide the high side and the low side of
an air-conditioning system?
18. What is the condition of the refrigerant as it leaves the
evaporator?
a. High-pressure liquid
b. Low-pressure liquid
c. High-pressure vapor
d. Low-pressure vapor
19. What is the condition of the refrigerant as it enters the
condenser?
a. High-pressure liquid
b. Low-pressure liquid
c. High-pressure vapor
d. Low-pressure vapor.
20. What is the condition of the refrigerant as it leaves the
condenser?
a. High-pressure liquid
b. Low-pressure liquid
c. High-pressure vapor
d. Low-pressure vapor
21. What is the condition of the refrigerant as it enters the
evaporator?
a. High-pressure liquid
b. Low-pressure liquid
c. High-pressure vapor
d. Low-pressure vapor
22. What unit in an air-conditioning system serves as a
rerservoir for the refrigerant?
23. What is the purpose of the desiccant?
24. What type of device is provided for the mechanic to
check the amount of the refrigerant charge without the
use of test equipment?
8
25. What determines the amount the expansion valve
opens?
26. What would happen if the expansion valve sensor
capillary tube lost its contact with the evaporator
discharge tube?
27. What pressure drop is sensed by the externally
equalized expansion valve?
28. Is the evaporator located in the high side or the low
side of the air-conditioning system?
4. Compressor
lfwe look at the expansion valve as the brains of the
system, and the evaporator as the end result, we should
look at the compressor as the heart.
Refrigerant leaves the evaporator as a low-pressure,
D<>wnstroke of piston creates
vacuum in cylinder. Pressure in
inlet line forces inlet valve open.
Pressure in
discharge line
holds discharge
valve closed.
Piston on
downstroke
Pressure in cylinder
raises discharge
valve; gas flows
into discharge pipe.
Pressure in
cylinder holds
inlet valve
dosed.
Piston on
upstroke
Reciporcating compressor increases the pressure and temperature of the
refrigerant after it leaves the evaporator.
Fig. 7
low-temperature vapor and enters the compressor. Since
the temperature of this vapor is somewhere around 40
degrees F., we can't change it back to a liquid by lowering
its temperature, but we can raise its pressure and thus its
temperature so it can lose this heat to the outside air in the
condenser. It will then turn back into a liquid.
Compressors used in aircraft air-conditioning systems
are usually of the reciprocating type, having reed valves*
and a lubricating system using crankcase pressures to
force oil into its vital parts. On small aircraft, these
compressors are usually belt driven by pulleys on the
engine. Very similar to that in an automobile. In larger
aircraft, the compressor is driven by an electric motor , or
by turbines powered by compressor bleed air. Most of the
smaller compressors are single speed pumps whose output
is controlled by a magnetically actuated clutch between the
compressor and the drive belt. When no cooling is
required, the clutch is de-energized and the compressor
does not pump. When the air-conditioner is turned on and
the thermostat calls for cooling, the magnetic clutch is
energized and the drive pulley turns the compressor,
pumping refrigerant through the system. The bleed air
powered compressors vary their speed as the controller
calls for more or less cooling. The electric motor driven
compressors are controlled by a thermostat which turns
t
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the compressor motor on when more cooling is required in
the cabin, and off when the temperature drops sufficiently.
In all systems, the cabin blower operates continually,
·[ putting heat from the cabin into the refrigerant.
- ~ ;
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QUESTIONS:
29. What type valves are used in most compressors?
30. What drives the compressor on most large jet
transports?
31. In a small aircraft air-conditioning system, what does
the thermostat control to vary the compressor output?
5. Condenser
The condenser is a radiator-like component which
receives the hot, high-press1,1re vapors from the
compressor. Cool air flows over its coils and removes heat,
allowing the refrigerant vapors to change back into a
liquid. The condenser is made of copper tubing about
Heat is removed from the refrigerant and given up to the outside air in
the condenser.
Fig. 8
A. Frpnt seated • Compressor isolated
8. Back seated • Normal operation
C. Intermediate position • Service port open
3/8" diameter with thin aluminum fins pressed onto it.
The tubing is formed into sets of coils, and the entire
assembly is encased in an aluminum housing. The
condenser is placed in an air duct in some airplanes where
cooling air is drawn in from the outside by a fan and blown
over the coils. In some smaller airplanes, the condenser is
mounted under the fuselage where it can be extended into
the airstream when the system is operating. The
condenser retracts into the fuselage when the system is
off. An interlock switch on the throttle retracts the
condenser and de-energizes the compressor clutch when
the throttle is opened for full power. This prevents the
compressor loading the engine and the condenser causing
drag when the airplane needs its maximum performance
for take-off.
The condenser and evaporator are similar in
construction and appearance. They differ, however, in
strength. The condenser is in the high side of the system
and must be capable of withstanding the high pressures
found there. Condensers have a normal operating pres·
sure of about 300 psi and a burst pressure of 1500 psi.
QUESTIONS:
32. Is the condenser in the high side or the low side of the
system?
33. What prevents the drag of an outside condenser on
some of the smaller aircraft from lowering the
performance on take-off?
34. Which is normally built the more rugged: a condenser
or an evaporator?
6. Service Valves
A vapor-cycle air-conditioner is a closed system. This
means that there are no vents or open reservoirs where
ready access may be had to the refrigerant. In order to
service these systems, special valves called service valves
are installed. There are two types of service valves
commonly used: compressor isolation valves and Schrader
valves.
Hos.. Connection Closed
COMPRESSOR ISOLATION SERVICE VAlVES
Fig. 9
9
a. Compressor isolation service valves
These valves are usually located at each port of the
compressor. In addition to allowing a point of entry into
the system for servicing, they are useful for isolating the
compressor and allowing it to be taken out of the system
for servicing without losing the refrigerant charge.
There are three positions in which this type valve may
be placed. The valve is left in the back-seated position for
normal system operation. In this position, the valve stem
has been turned fully counterclockwise. The valve has
closed off the service J:>Ort and opened the compressor to
the system. If it is desired to isolate the compressor from
the system, the valve is turned fully clockwise until the
valve is front-seated. This seals off the compressor. The
compressor oil may thus be checked, or the compressor
otherwise serviced. If the valve is rotated about three or
four turns from the seated position, the compressor is
connected into the system and the service port is open,
allowing the system to be serviced. When this type valve
is not being serviced, the caps should be installed over the
service ports.
b. Schrader Valves
The compressor is not always located where it is
readily accessable for servicing. This is especially true
when it is belt driven from the engine and the propeller
constitutes a hazard. For this reason, the smaller,
Schrader valves have become widely used. These valves
can easily be mounted in almost any part of the system.
Some aircraft mount one on either side of the expansion
valve on the evaporator assembly. Schrader valves have a
valve core similar to the core in a tire valve. ·These valves
have only two conditions of operation: back-seated, which
10
Schrader-fype service valves provide access into the system at points
other than at the compressor.
Fig. 10
is the normal position when no service hose is attached,
and open, when a hose is attached. Service hoses have a
pin which depresses the core.
QUESTIONS:
35. A compressor may be removed from the system
without losing all of the refrigerant if the compressor
is equipped with compressor isolation type service
valves. In order for this to be done, should the valves
be front-seated. or back-seated?
36. In what position should a compressor isolation service
valve be placed to service the system with refrigerant?
37. How is a Schrader valve opened to service the system?
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Compound Gage High-Pressure Gage
Low Side Valve
MANIFOLD SET
The most useful piece of air-conditioning servicing equipment.
SECTION IV:
A i rcond it ion in g
servicing equipment
Fig. 11
11
A. MANIFOLD SET
Without a doubt, the most important single piece of
equipment for servicing an air-conditioning system is the
manifold set. This equipment consists of a manifold with
three fittings to which refrigerant service hoses are
attached; two hand valves with 0-ring type seals; and two
gages, one for the low side and the other for the high side.
l. Low side gage
This is a compound gage, meaning it will read
pressure either side of atmospheric. It will indicate to
about 30 inches of mercury, gage pressure* (below
atmospheric) to about 60 pounds per square inch, gage
pressure above atmospheric.
2. High side gage
This is a high-pressure gage, usually having a range
from zero up to about 600 pounds per square inch, gage.
3. Manifold
The low side gage is connected on the manifold
directly to the low side fitting. The high side gage likewise
connects directly to the high side fitting. The center fit-
ting of the manifold can be isolated from either of the
gages or the high and low service fittings by the hand
valves. When these valves are turned fully clockwise, the
center fitting is isolated. If the low side valve is opened
(turned counter-clockwise), the center fitting is opened to
the low side gage and the low side service line. The same
is true for the high side when the high side valve is
opened.
4. Charging hoses
Special hoses are attached to the fittings of the
manifold valve for servicing the system. The high side
charging hose attaches to the service valve in the high
side, either at the compressor discharge, the
receiver-dryer, or on the inlet side of the expansion valve.
The low side hose attaches to the service valve at the
compressor inlet, or at the discharge side of the expansion
valve. The center hose attaches to the vacuum pump for
evacuating the system, or to the refrigerant supply for
charging the system. Charging hoses used with Schrader
valves must have a pin to depress the valve.
When not using the manifold set, be sure the hoses are
capped to prevent moisture contaminating the valves.
QlJESTIONS:
38. What is the most important single piece of equipment
for servicing air-conditioning systems?
39. Must the manifold valve be open for the gage to read
the pressure on its service hose?
40. What is actually done when a manifold valve is
opened?
41. Where does the low side servicing hose attach into the
system?
42. Where does the high side servicing hose attach into
the system?
B. REFRIGERANT
Almost without exception, the refrigerant used in air-
craft air-conditioning systems is Refrigerant 12. This
material can be purchased in handy one pound or two and
a half pound cans, ten or twelve pound disposable
cylinders, or in larger returnable cylinders. The exact
amount of refrigerant is put into a system on the basis of
its weight, not its volume. The smaller cans are sealed,
and a special can tap valve* is screwed onto the can to
attach to the manifold set. When the can tap is attached to
the can, the can seal is pierced and the refrigerant can flow
into the manifold set. The larger cylinders have a built-in
shut-off valve to which service hoses may be directly
attached. A charging stand* is a preferred way of
handling the refrigerant. With this equipment, a
measured amount of refrigerant is drawn into a sight glass
and is introduced into the system from there.
The refrigerant is normally put into the system in vapor
form when the system is operating, or in liquid form if the
system has been evacuated and is still under vacuum.
Liquid should go only into the high side where it can go
directly into the receiver-dryer. (NOTE: in some systems
with the service valves quite a long way from the
compressor, it is permissable to put liquid into the low side
if the low side pressure is low enough and the outside air
temperature is high enough.) Vapor is. put into the system
on the low side where the compressor can pull it out of the
12
The can lap valve provides a method of attaching the service hose to a
sealed can of refrigerant and controlling its flow.
Fig. 12
can. The container is kept upright for vapor, and inverted
.for liquid. Heat will hasten the discharge of the
refrigerant vapor. Care must be exercised when heat is
applied. Use only water heated to about 125 degrees F.
NEVER USE DIRECT FLAME OR AN ELECTRIC
HEATER.
Special precautions should be observed to be sure the
correct refrigerant is used. Refrigerant 22 is similar to
R-12, but its pressure is higher for the same temperature,
and there is danger of damaging the system or causing
leaks due to this high pressure.
QUESTIONS:
43. How is a pound can of R-12 attached to the service
valve?
44. Is refrigerant put into a system on the basis of weight
or volume?
45. Should liquid refrigerant be put into the system on the
high side or the low side?
46. Should the can be upright or inverted to introduce
refrigerant vapors into the system?
47. What kind of heat is permissable to use to hasten the
flow of refrigerant vapors into the system?
C. VACUUM PUMP
Just a few drops of water is all that is necessary to
completely block an air-conditioning system. If this water
freezes in the expansion valve, it will stop the action. To
completely eliminate any water in the system, the system
must be evacuated. This is simply a procedure in which a
vacuum pump is attached to the manifold set and all of the
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A refrigeration vacuum pump produces a high vacuum in a refrigeration
system.
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air, refrigerant, and water vapor is pumped out of the
system. In order to remove the water, the pressure in the
system is dropped as low as possible. At this low
pressure, the water turns into a vapor and is drawn from
the system. The vacuum pump used for this operation
must produce an extremely low pressure. The flow is of
little consequence. A typical pump used for evacuating
air-conditioning systems pumps about 0.8 cubic foot of air
per minute, and will evacuate the system to about 29.62
inches of mercury, gage pressure. At this pressure, water
will boil at temperatures as low as a plus 45 degrees F.
and the vapor will be drawn out.
QUESTION:
48. What is the purpose of a vacuum pump in servicing an
air-conditioning system?
D. LEAK DETECTOR
The continued operation of an air-conditioning system
i is dependent upon the system maintaining its charge of
... j refrigerant. A tiny leak will soon lose all the charge.
Naturally a tiny leak of a colorless, odorless gas is difficult
to find. Without the aid of a leak detector, this would be
difficult indeed.
Of the several types ofleak detectors, the most simple is
a soap solution. A relatively thick solution is made of soap
chips and water. This is applied with a paintbrush to any
1 part of the system where a leak is suspected. Bubbles will
.
\ indicate the presence of a leak.
A common type leak d ... ..tector used in automotive
Fig.13
13
air-conditioning and commercial service is the propane
burner type detector. A small propane torch heats a
reaction plate red hot. A "sniffer tube" attaches to a
low-pressure point in the tester. The open end of the tube
is held below any fitting or point suspected of leaking.
(R-12 is heavier than air and will settle downward.) Any
refrigerant that leaks out is drawn up into this tube and
passes over the reaction plate. The flame normally burns
light blue, but the presence of any R-12 will cause the
flame to change color radically to green or purple. The
torch type leak detector is definitely NOT RECOM-
MENDED for use with an aircraft air-conditioning system
because of the danger of the open flame in the aircraft.
The most acceptable type of leak detector for use in
aircraft is the electronic type. This is an electronic
oscillator* that produces an audible tone. The presence of
R-12 will cause the frequency to increase to a high-pitched
squeal. This type detector is recommended because of its
safety and its sensitivity. It is possible to detect leaks as
small as one half ounce per year.
QUESTIONS:
49. Name two types of leak detectors recommended for
use with aircraft air-conditioning systems.
SO. What will be the indication of a leak when using an
electronic leak detector?
51. Would you look above or below a fitting for a
refrigerant leak?
Understanding the operation of an aircraft air-condi-
tioning system and the purpose of each component makes
servicing the system easy. Actually there is not a great
deal involved in maintaining these systems. Inspections,
and an occasional replacement of refrigerant or a
component is the main work the A&P will have to do. Let's
look at the service requirements:
A. TESTS AND INSPECTIONS
1. Visual
As with any aircraft system, when an inspection is
made, all of the units in the system should be checked for
indication of looseness, misalignment, and any indication
of leakage. Since the refrigerant oil is dispersed
throughout the system, it is quite possible that a leak will
be indicated by a seepage of oil at the point of leakage.
The air ducts should be inspected for indication of
obstructions or deformation. The blower motor should be
free to operate with no binding or excessive noise. The
evaporator fins should be clean and free from dust, lint, or
other obstructions. Any fins that are bent over so as to
obstruct airflow should be straightened with a fin comb*.
If the air over the evaporator should ever be obstructed,
the fins will ice up and cooling will be reduced.
The condenser should be checked for obstructions and
security of mounting. If the condenser is of the retractable
type, all the mechanism that extends and retracts it should
be checked. It should be determined that it comes up
streamlined when the system is turned off. Since on this
type of installation, the condenser retracts and the
compressor clutch de-energizes when the throttle is fully
opened, the micro-switch which controls this should be
checked for the proper adjustment and positive operation.
The compressor mounting should be checked, as this is
the unit which is subject to the most hard service. If the
compressor is belt driven, the belt should be checked for
tension and condition. A belt tension gage should be used
if available; otherwise the belt should be checked for
deflection. Usually about a quarter inch deflection
between pulleys is right.
The entire run of hose from the compressor and
condenser into the cabin should be checked for chafing or
interference with any structure or other aircraft parts.
Grommets should be in place where chafing could occur.
2. Leak Test
One common cause of failure to cool is a deficiency
of refrigerant. Operate the system and look into the sight
glass on the receiver·dryer. If there are bubbles in the
sight glass, there is not enough refrigerant in the system.
14
SECTION V:
Ai rcond itioning
system servicing
A complete absence of cooling with no bubbles in the sight
glass could mean there is no refrigerant in the system. In
order to find the leak that caused the loss of refrigerant,
the following procedure should be followed:
a. Connect the manifold set into the system with
both the high and low side valves closed.
b. There should be at least SO psi refrigerant
pressure in the system. If there is insufficient
pressure for the test, add some refrigerant.
(1) Open both manifold valves to purge the
hoses of air; then dose both valves.
(2) Attach a can of refrigerant to the center hose
and open the container valve.
(3) Open the high side valve and allow R-12 to
flow into the system until the low side gage
indicates about 50 psi. Close the valve.
(4) Close the valve on the refrigerant container
and remove the hose.
c. Search all around the system with a leak
detector. Hold the probe under every fitting
where a leak could be present. Be especially
watchful at any points in the system where there
is an indiCation of oil seepage. It is possible for
there to be a very small leak at the front end of
the compressor through the front seal, since this
seal is lubricated by refrigeration oil. This oil is
full of refrigerant and will show up as a leak. To
prevent this false indication, wash the oil out of
of the seal cavity with some solvent such as
Xylene. A refrigerant leakage of about one
ounce per year is normally permissable through
these seals and should not be considered a cause
for worry.
One source of leakage which can cause a
refrigerant loss without being detected by a leak
detector is the flexible hose used in the system.
Some of this hose, while being in good condition,
can seep out several ounces per year, per foot,
through its pores. Since this leakage is spread
throughout the length of the hose, it is difficult to
detect.
d. If a leak is found, the system must be evacuated
and the leak repaired. It is a good idea, any time
the system is evacuated, to check the oil in the
compressor. This will be explained in a later
procedure.
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Compound gage
pull26 to 28
1rrches vacuum
Manifold gage set
Pressure gage
Schrader valve
/ - ~ 1
Sehrader valve
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. _ _ _ . _ _ . _ _ _ _ ~ · ~
The manifold set connects across the expansion valve for entry into both
the low and high sides of the system.
3. Performance Test
A test to determine exactly how the system is
functioning is performed using the manifold set and a
thermometer.
a. Connect the manifold set into the system and
and leave both valves closed.
b. Run the engine somewhere around 1250 RPM
and set the air-conditioning controls for
maximum cooling.
c. Insert the thermometer into the evaporator as
near the coils as possible. Have the blower
operating at low or medium speed.
d. After the system has operated for a few minutes,
the low side gage should read between 20 and 30
psig, and the high side gage should read in the
range of 225 to 300 psig. The evapora-
tor temperature should be around 40 to SO de-
grees F.
4. Feel Test
a. There should be no appreciable temperature
difference betweeen the inlet and the outlet side
of the receiver-dryer. They should both be
warm.
fig. 14
15
b. All of the lines and components in the high side
of the system should be warm.
c. All of the lines and components in the low side of
the system should be cool.
d. If the atmospheric conditions are especially
humid, the amount of cooling will be reduced
because of the water that condenses on the
evaporator. Changing water from a vapor into a
liquid and then into a solid as it freezes gives off
heat. This heat goes into the refrigerant and
decreases the amount of heat the refrigerant can
take from the air in the cabin.
QUESTIONS:
52. What could be indicated by an oil seepage at a fitting
in a refrigeration system?
53. What is indicated by bubbles in the refrigerant as seen
in the sight gtass in the receiver-dryer?
54. How much refrigerant pressure is normally
recommended for performing a leak test?
SS. What is a normal range of pressure on the low side
gage and on the high side gage when the system is
operating properly?
56. Will an air-conditioning system cool better when the
humidity is high, or when it is low?
B. PURGING THE SYSTEM
Any time the system is to be opened, all of the
refrigerant must be purged.
1. Connect the manifold set into the system with both
valves closed.
2. Place a clean rag over the end ofthe center hose and
open both high and low side valves slowly. Be sure that
the valves are not open so much that the refrigerant
escapes fast enough to expel oil with the vapor.
Purging should be done in an area where there is no
danger of breathing the vapors. R-12 vapor is nontoxic,
but it will displace oxygen we need and will cause
suffocation. When both gages read zero, the system is
purged and may be opened. Any time a system is opened,
all of the lines must be capped to prevent the entry of
water vapor, dirt, or foreign matter.
QUESTION:
57. Why should the valves be opened only a small amount
when purging an air-conditioning system?
WATER BOILS
C. CHECKING COMPRESSOR OIL
The compressor is sealed into the refrigeration system
and the oil is in the compressor crankcase. In order to
check the oil, the system should be operated for at least
fifteen minutes, then completely evacuated. With no
pressure on the system, remove the oil filler plug from the
compressor and use a special oil dipstick made according
to drawings furnished by the compressor manufacturer. A
range of oil level is indicated in the compressor service
manual. It should not be allowed to go below the minimum
level, and should not be filled above the maximum.
Be sure that only the oil recommended by the
manufacturer is used in the compressor. The oil container
should be kept tightly capped at all times that it is not
being used. After the proper amount of oil has been added
to the system, the filler plug should be replaced and the
system charged.
D. EVACUATING THE SYSTEM
Any time an air-conditioning system has been opened,
it must be evacuated before recharging. Evacuating
simply means "pumping the system down" by attaching a
vacuum pump to the system and lowering the pressure so
any water in the system will t urn into a vapor and be drawn
20
30
10
Pressun> P.S.I.
29.9 in. Hg. ABS 0 in. Hg. vacuum
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ ~ - - 0
1.93 in. Hg. ADS
60oF O.S2 in. Hg. ABS
45°F 0.30 in. Hg. ABS
0.04 in. tis· ABS
27.99 in. Hg. vacuum
29.40 in. Hg. vacuum
Vacuum
29.62 in. Hg. vacuum
Inches of Meteury
Gage Pressure
19.88 in. Hg. vacuum
t.o.ering the pressure in the syslem by drawing a high vacuum causes all
of the water to vaporiu and be drawn out.
Fig. 15
16
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Discharge line
Receiver-dryer
sight glass
Condenser
Suction line
\'>-::!:. J
v \Cj! 0
~ . ~ . _ - - --- _J_ -r.:====:lJ::
Schrader
valve
fitting
,..----.--J
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -I- -
I
Refrigerant R12
Optional method
warm water
f125° f]
___ j
Evaporator
Charging
Stand
Preferred method
A system may be charged from a charging stand or by putting a given
number of pounds ol refrigerant into the system with a manifold set.
out. Water, as we know, will boil at 212° F. at standard
sea level pressure of 29.92 inches of mercury, absolute (0
inches of mercury, gage pressure, or vacuum). If the
pressure is lowered to 27.99 inches of mercury, gage
pressure (vacuum), it will boil at 100° F. At 29.40 inches it
will boil at 60° F. If we evacuate to 29.88 inches, water will
boil at 0° F.
1. With the manifold set installed in the system,
connect the inlet of a refrigeration vacuum pump to
the center hose.
2. Be sure the protector cap is off the pump dis-
charge port and start the vacuum pump.
3. Open the low side manifold valve and watch
the gage. It should indicate a vacuum.
4. After pumping for about five minutts, the high
side gage should indicate below zero. The high
range of this gage will prevent any readable
indication.
Fig. 16
17
5. After about fifteen minutes, the system should be
down to around 25 inches of mercury, gage
pressure.
6. Pump the system down for, at the very least,
30 minutes; longer, if possible.
7. Close both manifold valves, remove the vacuum
pump, and replace the protective caps on the pump
fittings.
QUESTIONS:
58. Why should systems that have been opened to the
atmosphere be evacuated?
59. How does lowering the pressure in the system
remove water?
E. CHARGING THE SYSTEM
1. With the system under vacuum from the evacuation
process, connect the refrigerant container to the
center hose of the manifold set with both valves
closed. Open the valve on the container and loosen
the hose at the manifold set to allow some of the
refrigerant to escape. This will purge all of the air
from the charging hose.
2. Open the high side valve and watch the low side
gage. As refrigerant flows into the system, the low
side gage should come out of a vacuum, indicating
that the system is clear of any blockage and is taking
the charge of R-12.
3. Close both manifold valves and start the engine.
Operate the engine at about 1250 RPM. Set the
air-conditioning controls for full cooling.,
4. With the R-12 container upright, so that vapor will
come out, open the low side valve and allow these
vapors to enter the system. When the low side
pressure is down to below 40 psig, the can may be
inverted and liquid allowed to enter the system. At
this pressure the liquid will turn to a vapor before it
enters the compressor and will do no damage.
NOTE: Do not invert the can if the outside air
temperature is below 80 degrees F. All of the R-12
may not be vaporized by this cool air. Put as many
pounds of refrigerant in the system as is called for
by the system specifications.
S. A full charge will be indicated by the absence of
bubbles in the sight glass in the receiver-dryer.
Usually an additional quarter or half pound of
refrigerant is added after the bubbles stop.
6. When the charge is completed, close the
manifold valve. Remove the refrigerant container
and make a performance test as previously
described.
18
QUESTIONS:
60. What would be indicated when starting to charge an
air-conditioning system, if R-12 vapors were put in the
high side and the low side gage did not come out of a
vacuum?
61. In what position should the refrigerant container be
placed in order for vapors to flow into the system?
62. In what position should the refrigerant container
be placed in order for liquid to flow into the system?
63. Why is it permissable to introduce liquid R-12 into the
low side of the system ifthe low side pressure is below
40 psig and the outside temperature is above 80
degrees F?
64. How can you tell when you have a full charge of
refrigerant in the system?
The vapor-cycle air-conditioning system for aircraft is
really not so complicated as some would like to think. It is
simply a mechanical system for applying basic laws of
physics. Any good A & P mechanic, using proper tools
and good logical troubleshooting procedures, can keep
these comfort producing systems operating at the peak of
performance. One thing that must be always kept in mind
is the importance of carefully following the manufacturer's
specifications to the letter. The _has
designed and built his system to produce tts
operation. Following his instructions wtll keep It
performing as he designed it.
This training manual is part of the AMFI series. Keep it
with your tools for quick reference.
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Glossary:
This glossary of terms is provided to give a ready reference
to the meaning of some of the words with which you may
not be familiar. These definitions may differ from those of
standard dictionaries, but are more in line with standard
shop usage.
ambient air temperature: The temperature of the air
surrounding a person or object.
boiling point: The temperature at which a liquid changes
to a vapor.
British thermal unit ·- Btu: The amount of heat required
to raise the temperature of one pound of water one
degree Fahrenheit .
calorie: The amount of heat required to raise the
temperature of one pound of water one degree Celsius
(Centigrade).
can tap valve: A valve which is fastened onto a small can
of refrigerant. It punctures the can seal and controls the
flow of refrigerant.
capillary tube: A small tube of definite inside diameter
and length used to meter a fluid.
charging s t a n d ~ A handy and compact arrangement
of air-conditioning service equipment, containing
a vacuum pump, manifold set, and a method of
measuring and dispensing the refrigerant.
cold: The absence of heat.
condensation: The process of changing a vapor into a
liquid.
desiccant: A material used in a receiver-dryer to absorb
moisture from the refrigerant.
electronic oscillator: An electronic device which emits
an audible tone. This device is used in a leak
detector. When a leak is detected, the tone changes.
evaporate: To change from a liquid to a vapor.
freezing point: The temperature at which a liquid will
change into a solid.
gas: A fluid which will assume the shape of the container
in which it is placed and will expand to fill all of the
··
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container.
I beat load: The amount of heat which the air-conditioner
, is required to remove from an airplane cabin.
19
inches of mercury: A measurement of pressure, normally
used for pressures below atmospheric. One inch of
mercury is equal to approximately one half pound per
square inch.
latent heat: The amount of heat required to change the
state of a material without changing its temperature.
latent heat of evaporation: The amount of heat absorbed
by a substance when it changes from a liquid to a vapor
without changing its temperature.
latent heat of condensation: The amount of heat given off
when a substance changes from a vapor to a liquid
without changing its temperature.
latent heat of fusion: The amount of heat which must be
removed from a substance to change it from a liquid to a
solid without changing its temperature.
liquid: A fluid which will assume the shape of the
container in which it is held, but will not expand to
completely fill the container.
orifice: A hole of specific size used to meter a fluid.
phosgene: A colorless gas with an unpleasant odor which
is produced when Refrigerant-12 is passed through an
open flame. It causes severe respiratory irritation.
pressure, absolute: Pressure measured from a vacuum.
Absolute pressure is quite often expressed in inches of
mercury.
pressure, ambient: The pressure of the air surrounding
a body.
pressure, differential: A pressure which is referenced
from another pressure .
pressure, gage: Pressure referenced from ambient
pressure.
reed valve: Thin leaf-type valve located in the valve plate
of a reciprocating compressor to control the inlet and
outlet ofthe refrigerant.
refrigerant: A fluid which is used in an air-conditioning
system to absorb heat from the cabin and carry it outside
the airplane where it can be transferred to the outside
air.
Refrigerant 12: Dichlorodifluoromethane, a chemical·
compound used in most aircraft air-conditioning
systems. Commonly referred to simply as R-12.
relative humidity: The ratio of the amount of water vapor
in the air to the amount of water vapor required to
saturate the air at the existing temperature.
saturated vapor: The condition of the vapor above a
liquid in which no further vaporization can take place
without an increase in its temperature.
sensible heat: Heat added to a substance which causes a
change in the temperature of the substance.
silica gel: A desiccant used as a drying agent in
air-conditioning systems. It has the ability to absorb a
large amount of water.
specific heat: The amount of heat required to raise the
temperature of a pound of substance one degree
Fahrenheit.
superheat: Heat energy added to a gas after evaporation
has been completed.
superheated vapor: Vapor which has been heated above
its boiling point for a given pressure.
20
temperature: A measurement of heat intensity.
thermostat: An air-conditioning control which senses the
temperature of the evaporator coil and causes the
system to cycle to maintain the proper temperature
of the cooling air.
ton of refrigeration: A measure of the cooling capacity of
an air-conditioning system. It is the same cooling effect
as would be had by melting one ton of ice in 24 hours. It
is equal to 12,000 Btu of !)eat energy absorbed in one
hour.
vacuum: A negative pressure, or pressure below atmos-
pheric. It is usually expressed in inches of mercury.
vapor: The gaseous state of a material.
vapor pressure: The pressure exerted by the vapor above
a liquid which prevents the release of additional vapor at
any specific temperature.
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Aircond it ion ing (Vapor-Cycle)
FINAL EXAMINATION
STUDENT ....................................... .
GRADE ........................................ .
Place a circle around the letter for the correct answer in
each of the following questions.
1. When a liquid is changed into a gas:
a. Heat is absorbed.
b. Heat is given off.
2. What is the purpose of a desiccant?
3.
4.
5.
a. Prevents the refrigerant freezing in the expansion
valve.
b. Absorbs any water that may be in the system.
Care must be taken to avoid breathing R-12 vapors
because:
a. They will prevent your getting the oxygen you
need.
b. R-12 vapors are actually phosgene gas.
R-12 will boil at standard sea level pressure at:
a. Plus 26.6 degrees F.
b. Minus 21.6 degrees F.
What should be done if R-12 liquid is accidentally
splashed into your eyes?
a. Immediately flood your eyes with much cool
water.
b. Treat the eyes with mineral oil followed with a
boric acid rinse.
c. Get to a doctor as soon as possible.
d. All of the above.
21
6. Where is the high side service valve connected into
the system for servicing?
a. At the inlet side of the expansion valve.
b. At the discharge side of the expansion valve.
7. Where is the low side service valve connected into the
system for servicing?
a. At the inlet side of the expansion valve.
b. At the discharge side of the expansion valve.
8. Where should liquid refrigerant be put into the
system?
a. In the high side.
b. In the low side.
9. The appearance of bubbles in the sight glass is an
indication of:
a. A partial charge of refrigerant:
b. A full charge of refrigerant.
c. No refrigerant.
10. Typical pressures for the low side of a normally
operating air-conditioning system are in the range of:
a. 225 to 300 psig.
b. About 29 inches of mercury gage pressure.
c. 29 to 30 psig.
11. Typical pressures for the high side of a normally
operating air-conditioning system are in the range of:
a. 20 to 30 psig.
b. 225 to 300 psig.
c. Above 600 psig.
12. The evaporator temperature of a normally operating
air-conditioning system is in the range of:
a. 40 to 50 degrees F.
b. 225 to 300 psig.
c. 63 to 72 degrees F.
13. At what RPM should the engine be run for
performing an operational test on an aircraft having
an engine driven compressor?
a. 1250 RPM.
b. Idle RPM.
c. High speed cruise RPM.
14. What pressure is recommended as the minimum
for a leak test?
a. 300 psi.
b. Below 20 inches of mercury gage pressure.
c. SO psi.
15. What would cause the evaporator fins to ice up?
a. Cabin blower operating too fast.
b. Too much refrigerant in the system.
c. Airflow over the evaporator restricted.
16. When a leak test is performed, where should the
probe be held relative to the suspected leak?
a. Above the point.
b. Below the point.
22
17. What unit might be damaged if liquid refrigerant
were introduced into the low side of the system when
the pressure is too high, or the outside air
temperature is too low?
a. Receiver-dryer.
b. Condenser.
c. Evaporator.
d. Compressor.
18. What does the thermostat control on an air-con-
ditioning system in which the compressor is belt
driven from the engine?
a. The opening of the expansion valve.
b. A magnetic clutch in the compressor drive
pulley.
c. The speed of the cabin blower.
d. The compressor speed.
19. If the two lines connected to the expansion valve are
essentially the same temperature, it would indicate
that the valve is:
a. Functioning properly.
b. Not metering refrigerant properly.
20. How often should compressor oil be checked?
a. On every 100 hour inspection.
b. Any time the system has been discharged.
c. It is a sealed system, so it does not need to be
checked.
Answers to study questions:
1. From the air in the cabin.
2. It is taken outside the airplane and given off to the
outside air.
3. Liquid.
4. Sprays liquid refrigerant and starts the evaporation
process.
5. Evaporator.
6. Condenser.
7. It condenses back into a liquid.
8. Heat added to or taken from a substance without
changing its temperature.
9. The vapor changes its state back into a liquid.
10. Nonflammable.
11. 116.9 psi.
12. Minus 21.6 degrees F.
13. 125 degrees F.
14. Flood with much cool water, apply clean mineral oil,
and rinse with boric acid solution.
15. Phosgene gas.
16. A highly refined mineral oil.
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17. The compressor and the expansion valve.
I
18. (d) Low-pressure vapor.
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19. (c) High-pressure vapor.
20. (a) High-pressure iiquid.
)
21. (b) Low-pressure liquid.
Receiver-dryer.
f 22 .
. ) 23.
The desiccant absorbs moisture from the system.
24. A sight glass in the receiver-dryer.
25. The heat load in the airplane cabin.
, 26.
I
The expansion valve would not be able to meter
refrigerant as a function of the evaporator discharge
temperature (superheat).
... J
23
27. The pressure drop across the evaporator.
28. Low side.
29. Reed type valves.
30. Compressor bleed air.
31. A magnetically actuated clutch m the compressor
drive pulley.
32. High side.
33. An interlock switch on the throttle retracts the
condenser when the throttle is fully open.
34. Condenser.
35. Front-seared.
36. The mid-position.
37. A pin in the service hose depresses the valve core.
38. The manifold set.
39. No, the gages attach directly to the service line
fittings.
40. The center fitting of the manifold is opened to the
side of the open valve.
41. At the compressor inlet, or the discharge side of the
expansion valve.
42. At the compressor discharge, or at the
receiver-dryer.
43. A can tap valve is screwed onto the can. This valve
attaches to the service hose.
44. Weight.
45. High side.
46. Upright.
47.
48.
Hot water.
Pressure in the system is lowered to a point that all of
water will turn into a vapor and be drawn out.
49. (a) Soap solution.
so.
(b) Electronic oscillator-type tester.
The pitch of the tone will increase in the presence of
R-12.
51. Below.
52. A possible refrigerant leak.
53. Low refrigerant supply.
54. SO psi.
55. (a) Low side 20 to 30 psig.
(b) High side 225 to 300 psig.
56. Low.
57. This will prevent the loss of refrigerant oil.
58. Evacuation removes any water that may be in the
system.
59. Water will boil at low temperature when the pressure
is lowered. Water vapor will be pulled out with the
air as the system is evacuated.
60. This condition would indicate a blocked system.
61. Upright.
62. Inverted.
63. At this temperature and pressure all liquid R-12 will
vaporize before it gets into the compressor.
64. There will be no more bubbles in the sight glass.
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Answers to final examination
1. a.
2. b.
3. a.
4. b.
S. d.
6. a.
7. b.
8. a.
9. a.
10. c.
11. b.
12. a.
13. a.
14. c.
15. c.
16. b.
17. d .
18. b.
19. b.
20. b.
25

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ORDER NUMBER EA-AAC-1

AIRCRAFT AIRCONDITIONING
IVAPOR CYCLEJ
SECOND EDITION

.I

1

International Standard Book Number 0-89100-051-8 For sale by: lAP, Inc. Mail To: P.O. Box 10000, Casper, WY 82602-1000 Ship To: 7383 6WN Road, Casper, WY 82604-1835 (800) 443-9250 • (307) 266-3838 · FAX: 307-472-5106
HBC1092 Printed in the USA

Inc..134 '42--dc20 92-24620 CIP .95 1. TL681 . . -. no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means.. All Rights Reserved Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976. I.A5A47 1992 629. ~ ~ ~.) : $5.. or stored in a database or retrieval system.~ ~ ~ ~.. Printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Aircraft airconditioning (vapor cycle). Inc.." ISBN 0-89100-051-8 (pbk. Airplanes--Air conditioning--Maintenance and repair--Programmed instruction... ~~g~~ ~. "Order number EA-AAC-1.2nd ed. .~ © 1985 by lAP. without the prior written permission of the publisher.. lAP.... p.. em.

. . ... . . .. . .. . . . . . .. .. . .. . . . Temperature-Vapor Pressure Relationship . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . .. . .. . . .... .. .. 2 3 3 II. . .. . ... ... . . . . . . . .. . . . 7 Compressor. . . . . . . . .. . .-.... . . . . . . . . . . .. . Basic Vapor Cycle of Refrigeration ... .. .. . . . . . .. . .. . .. .... Requirements. ... . . .. .. . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . B..13 V.. . . .. . . . .. . B... . . . . . .. . . . .. .. .. . . . .. ... . . . .. . b. . . . . . Basic System . . . . . . .. . . D... .. .. .. . . . ... .. . . .. .. . 11 A.. Aircraft Air-conditioning Systems and Components . . . .. .. 3 C.. .. .. . . . a. ... A. . . . . ... . . . . .. . . . . . ... .. B.. . . Components .. .... Transfer of Heat . A.. . . 10 Schrader valve .. . .... ... . . . .. . . . ... . 7 3. . .. Evaporator. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. B. ... . 6. . .. . . . . . . 9 Service Valves . .. . . . . . . . .. 4. .. . . . Air-conditioning Service Equipment . . . . . ... .. . A. . ... . . . . .. .. ... . . . . . . 6 7 Internally Equalized . .... . .. ... . Refrigeration Oil . . .. .. . . ... . . .. . .. . .. . . .. ... . . .. .. . . . . ... .. .. . . ... ... . . . . . 14 .. . . .. ... .. . .. . . . . . . . . ...... ... . . . ... . . . . C. ... Refrigerant . . . . ..Table of Contents I. . ... . . . . 12 D. . . .. . . . ... .. .. . . . .. . . . . . .. ... . 12 Vacuum Pump . . . .. 10 IV. . .. . . .. . . . . . .. _ . . . . 7 Externally Equalized . . .. Compressor isolation valve .. . . . . . ... . .. .. . . . . .. .. . . . . ..... . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. 2.. . Leak Detector .. . . . .. . . . . .. . . . .. . . . . . .... . . . . .. . . .. . . . .. Expansion Valve. .. . . . . . . . . b. . . . .. . . . ... . .. 5. . .. . . . ... . . .. . . . . ... .. . . . . .. . .. Receiver-dryer .. Refrigerant Handling .... . . . .. ... .... . . .. . . .. . 3 4 III.. . . . .. . . . . ...... . . . Basic Theory of Refrigeration . . . . . 11 Refrigerant . . ... . . .. . ... . . . . .. . . . . . . ... .. .. . . . .. . . . . .. .. Manifold Set . . . .. .. . . .. . .. ....... .. . . . . . . .. . . 9 a. . . .. .. .. 8 Condenser . . . ..... .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 6 6 1. . . Air-conditioning System Servicing . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .. . Visual Inspection . . . . Charging the System. . .... . Performance Test . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . ... .. .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . ... . . . . .. . . . . B. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tests and Inspections . . . . . . 16 Checking the Compressor Oil. . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . 15 Purging the System . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . 14 3. . . . . . . . . Leak Test. . . . . .. .. . . 18 Glossary . . . . . . . . . . 23 Answers to Final Examination . . . . . . . . . . .... . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .... . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . 19 Final Examination . . . . E.. .. ... . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 . . 16 C. .. . . . . D.. . . . . 14 2.. . .. .. . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . 14 1. .. . . . . 15 Feel Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 21 Answers to Study Questions . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Evacuating the System . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . .

Be sure to answer each question before going on to the next section. and the air released. The refrigerant evaporates and in so doing removes heat from the cabin.. The refrigerant returns to its liquid state ! INTRODUCTION: and repeats the cycle. These systems are neither mysterious nor complex. Some of the words used may be new to you.. air-conditioning was considered a luxury for the automobile. .! \ i i I J• . it is fast being looked upon as a necessity. This book is arranged to present basic facts for you to read and digest. As it expands. Much of the material builds on what has just been covered. Air travelers who live in air-conditioned homes. All such words when first mentioned are marked with an asterisk (•). But. The other system is the vapor-cycle system. and drive air-conditioned automobiles are reluctant to fly in airplanes without this comfort producing system. because it increases the efficiency of the driver and gives the passengers such comfort. One is the air-cycle system where the air is compressed. it cools. At intervals throughout the course. There are two basic types of air-conditioning systems installed in modern aircraft. Servicing and maintaining aircraft air-conditioning systems is one of the tasks being added to the responsibilities of the modern A & P mechanic.. questions are asked for you to check your progress. work in air-conditioned offices. where it gives this heat to the outside air. Here a liquid refrigerant under pressure is sprayed into a cooling coil. ! l i l J ] Only a short time ago. energy is extracted.. but they do require some knowledge of basic physics and an accumulation of a good many servicing facts in order to be ready when a cool job comes in hot. so you will find them defined in the Glossary at the end of the book. The heated vapor passes through a radiator-like heat exchanger outside the airplane.

.

move it from one place to another. A refrigerant* changes its state from a liquid* to a gas *.. When this liquid is surrounded by air having more heat energy than the refrigerant. Safety Fuse Plug j Fairing Shroud THE BASIC VAPOR CYCLE AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM Fig. As heat energy is absorbed by the liquid. it changes its state and becomes a gas. 1 The vapor-cycle air-conditioning system is similar to the mechanical refrigerator we use to keep our food cold. This heat is takttn outside the airplane and given off to the air as the refrigerant returns to its liquid state. Cold is a term that merely indicates an absence of heat. The air that has passed over the coils and given up its heat is cooled..SECTION 1: The basic theory of refrigeration High Side Pressure Control Blower Assembly Suction line Di!K'harge line Expansion Valve liquid Hose Receiver-dryer Sight Glass u. A material that allows this heat to flow easily is a good conductor. heat passes from'the air into the refrigerant. The refrigerant used in aircraft air-conditioning is a liquid. . and one which resists the flow of heat is called an insulator. As it does this. we must remember. under certain conditions. but it still exists. and we can neither create nor destroy energy. TRANSFER OF HEAT Heat.~u. is a form of energy. We can transform it. J A. or from one material 1 to another. Heat will flow from an object or material having more heat energy to any other object or material having Jess heat. it absorbs heat from the cabin.

BASIC VAPOR-CYCLE OF REFRIGERATION evaporator that it will completely evaporate* by the time it reaches the end of the coiL The cabin blower blows air over the evaporator coiis. or. This high-pressure. this system of refrigeration operates in a cycle .QUESTIONS: 1. Heat is extracted from the refrigerant. it condenses back into a liquid and flows into the receiver-dryer. Liquid refrigerant is held in the receiver-dryer under pressure from the compressor. 2 . QUESTIONS: As the name implies. The refrigerant picks up heat from the cabin. 5. a heat exchanger cooled by a flow of outside air. Let's pick the reservoir.. high-temperature vapor goes into the condenser. Where does the heat come from that causes the refrigerant in an air-conditioning system to turn from a liquid to a gas? What happens to the heat that is taken from the cabin? 2. we must pick a place to enter. In order to study this cycle. 4. Does the receiver-dryer hold a liquid or a vapor? What is the purpose of the expansion valve? What is the name of the unit in which heat from the cabin is absorbed into the refrigerant? What is the name of the unit in which the heat taken from the cabin is transferred to the outside air? What happens to the refrigerant vapor when it gives up its heat to the outside air? 7. Low-pressure vapor is drawn into the compressor where its pressure is raised to around 200 psi and its temperature to around 200 degrees F. as it is called. The expansion valve serves as a controlled spray orifice* to spray just the right amount of refrigerant into the 3. B. takes it outside the airplane and releases it to the outside air. Filters and a desiccant* insure that the fluid leaving this unit will be free from any water or other contaminant. Heat from the cabin is absorbed by the refrigerant in the evaporator where it changes its state to a vapor. ready to repeat the cycle. This extraction of heat is the cooling action we are looking for. 6. the receiverdryer. As it cools. It then returns to the cabin for more heat. The low-pressure side of the compressor is attached to the top of the evaporator and causes the refrigerant to be pulled out of the receiver-dryer and through the expansion valve.

3 103.& 79 80 81 82 83 84 129 130 131 132 133 134 One of the most desirable characteristics of R-12 as a refrigerant is its temperature .8 82.1 47.3 17.vapor pressure* relationship.9 34 31.4 110 111 112 113 114 115 136.5 &3. not the temperature of the evaporator coils of of the air. followed with a boric acid rinse. or by other trade names.2 14&.1 135.0 61. 44.4 105 106 107 108 109 C. Isotron 12.4 151. PSI 9.2 152. flood with much cool water and treat the eye at once with mineral oil or clean petroleum jelly.3 Heat is required to change the state of a liquid to a gas. If this should occur.'1 52.2 128.7 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 I 41.7 22.7 49.(.A.7 58. or simply R-12.4 23.6 190.9 I 11s. (about 28 psi). This condition occurs when the temperature of the refrigerant is held at about 30 degrees F. PSI F.. When this heat energy is removed.7 60 61 &2 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 9(.1> 45. does not react with· any ofthe materials used in air-conditioning systems.0 104.5 68.5 113. the temperature of the R-12 is a plus 32 degrees F.8 74. additional heat will change the liquid to a gas without any increase in its temperature.1 71. REQUIREMENTS SECTION II: Refr ige rant TEMPERATURE-PRESSURE RELATION CHART !FOR REFRIGERANT 121 ~~mp Press F.8 27. This is the temperature of the refrigerant.6 185.5 33.5 1f>3.2 81.6 101.3 19.6 97 98 99 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 48 49 50 51 52 53 I 73 74 75 76 77 78 75.& 122. The relationship between the vapor pressure and the temperature between about 20 psi and and 80 psi.2 F.9 37.0 138.1 109.1) ! 125 126 127 128 100 101 102 103 104 168.1 130. It is nontoxic and will not contaminate water or food.1> 46.1 36.6 25.5 87.3 79.8 9&.0 140.8 ! 78.2 12.1 18.8 24. The air passing over the coils will then be about 34 or 35 degrees F. 33 J0. but a material known as Refrigerant 12.4 34.8 48.9 &0.4 14.0 36. j TABLE I 3 . and it will not attack the rubber used for seals or hoses.VAPOR PRESSURE RELATIONSIDP 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 63 64 65 98.1 43 44 45 46 47 40. it will drop to this temperature and give you a good case of frostbite. This material is known in the industry as Freon 12.& 15.8 111.8 3~. there is a general one pound for one degree relationship. in fact.9 38.4 177.8 11>6. GET TO A PHYSICIAN OR A HOSPITAL AS SOON AS POSSffiLE.5 76.8 70.1 159. Many different substances could do this. It is extremely bad if you should get even the slightest trace of liquid R-12 in your eye.9 118. A refrigerant is a chemical substance which changes its state from a liquid to a vapor at a temperature low enough that it can be used to remove heat from the cabin of an airplane.1> 43.2 94. Adding heat to a liquid will raise its temperature* only to a certain point.1 116. TEMPERATURE .1 142. the range where we are most concerned.3 62.7 173.7 s& 57 58 59 57.1 11.7 42.1 10.8 120.3 26. it is used as a fire extinguishing agent.0 88. It is heavier than air.7 64.4 124.0 85.5 84. 28. Ucon 12. Beyond this .3 13. R-12 is colorless and basically odorless. .5 90.4 72. the vapor changes back to a liquid.6 degrees F.0 53.4 5&. PSI 0 2 4 T~mp Press PSI Temp Press Temp Press T<!mp Press F.4 170.3 108.1 54 55 50. The most effective air-conditioning occurs when the temperature of the evaporator coils is as low as possible without ice forming on them.1 26.0 21.3 126.1 144. 91. This refrigerant is stable at high or low operating temperatures.1 132. 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 F- PSI 57. B. @~ . If the pressure gage indicates 30 psi.9 61>-2 f>7.1> 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 116 117 H8. It is a fluorinated hydrocarbon very similar to carbon tetrachloride with a couple of the chorine atoms exchanged for fluorine atoms. This means that if you get a drop of liquid R-12 on your skin.3 161. It is nonflammable. is most commonly used. Heaf put into a m'aterial as it changes its state without changing its temperature is known as latent heat*. REFRIGERANT HANDLING R-12 will boil at normal sea level pressure at about -21.1 175.0 99.7 21.9 157.8 32.& 106.2 182.7 93. Latent heat stays in the vapor until it has an opportunity to transfer to some substance with less heat energy.7 1>4.1 55. Notice Chart 1.1 23.8 182. Genetron 12.3 35.1 1 I The vapor pressure of R-12 compares with its temperature • 30 psi at 43 degrees F.1 187.

The oil used is a special refrigeration oil which is a highly refined mineral oil.emoved for compressor servicing. The lower the number. specific system.? 12. )t can. Any time oil is r. hydrochloric acid is formed. free from such impurities as water. When a system is charged with R-12. If heat is used to force R-12out of its container. Refrigeration oil should be kept tightly capped when not in use. Phosgene is cumulative in its effects and causes severe damage to your respiratory system if it is breathed. At what temperature does R-12 boil at normal sea level pressure? 13. its characteristics change drastically. Is Refrigerant 12 flammable or nonflammable? 1L What is the pressure in a can of R-12 if the liquid is at a temperature of 100 degrees F. Be sure there is sufficient ventilation where a system is being discharged. What happens when latent heat is taken out of refrigerant vapor? 10. it should be discarded. it becomes deadly phosgene* gas. use only hot water. it should be discarded and new oil put in. the oil used to lubricate the compressor seals and expan. When R-12 comes in contact· with water. as it may cause local heat that will raise the pressure to a dangerous level. and that not over 125 degrees F. R-12 is not toxic. sion valve must be sealed in the system. Always use the oil specified by the aircraft maintenance manual for the . The identification number of the oil is the viscosity number. starve you of the oxygen you need if it is released in a confined space. nor is it dangerous if it is breathed. It should never be poured from one container to another. and if there is any question as to its purity. the pressure rise with temperature must be considered. sulfur. What product is produced when R-12 comes into contact with an open flame? 16. however. REFRIGERANT OIL Since the air-conditioning system is completely sealed. the lighter the oil. QUESTIONS: 8. the number of seconds required for a given amount of this oil to flow through an orifice at a specified temperature.A small container of these medications should be kept with the air-conditioning service equipment and you should wear eye protection all of the time you are servicing air-conditioning equipment. what is the maximum temperature to which it may be heated? 14. Rather than a harmless gas. What first aid treatment should be given if R-12 is splashed into your eyes? 15. When a container of R-12 is heated to aid in filling a system. What is meant by latent heat? 9. When R-12 passes over an open flame. Never use direct flame or electric heaters in direct contact with the R-12 container. or wax. What type of oil is used in an air-conditioning system? D.

.... The discharge of the compressor is the beginning of the high side. COMPONENTS From . ) I . A tube extends from the top of the receiver-dryer to near the bottom where liquid refrigerant is picked up. A filter is normally installed either on the end of the pickup tube or between the tube and the desiccant to prevent any particles getting into the expansion valve. as a low-pressure liquid-. bubbles will be seen in the glass. High-pressure liquid enters this valve and is sprayed into the evaporator. an air-conditioning system is divided into two sides. In a properly operating system.. 3 . Receiver-dryer This is the reservoir for the system and is located in the high side between the condenser and the expansion valve.. the high side and the low side.. It is of-extreme importance to remove all of the moisture from the system. A sight glass is usually located in the outlet tube of the receiver-dryer to indicate the condition of charge in the system. all of the refrigerant will be vaporized by the time it leaves the evaporator. The expansion valve is the other dividing point.. This heat enters the refrigerant and causes it to boil or turn from a liquid to a vapor. If the charge is low. At this point. Vapors leaving the evaporator are drawn into the compressor where they are compressed for their next cycle. then to the expansion valve. Fig. 1 1. Heat from the cabin is blown over the evaporator by the cabin blower. SECTION Ill: Aircraft Airconditioning Systems and Components B. The division is made according to the pressures which exist in the system. and continues on to the receiver-dryer.A. as a single drop can freeze in the expansion valve and stop . the refrigerant is a high-pressure vapor. THE BASIC SYSTEM For ease of understanding and serv1cmg.:ondenser Sight glass I i The receiver-dryer serves as the system reservoir.actually as tiny droplets. in the low side. 1 I 5 . Liquid refrigerant enters this container and is filtered. Any moisture in the system is absorbed in this material.. then passed through a desiccant such as silica gel. It passes through the condenser where it becomes a high-pressure liquid.

High pressure liquid High pressure vapor Low pressure liquid low pressure vapor ~ ~ ll- Blowers Condenser Receiver-dryer REFRIGERATION CYCLE The compressor and expansion valve divide the high and low sides of the systemFig. 2 6 .

6 .the entire system operation. Fig. The expansion valve is adjusted to a given value of super heat. Externally equalized expansion valve: The thermal expansion valve is the control unit which meters just the right amount of refrigerant into the evaporator to evaporate completely by the time it reaches the end of the coils. Sensor capillary attached to evaporator discharge receiver-dryer External equilizer line port To evaporator Internally equalized expansion valve meters R·12 as called for by the sensor. These valves are adjusted at the factory and cannot normally be adjusted in the field. b. Evaporator The actual cooling umt m an air·conditioning system is the evaporator. 4 I J . in the cabin. This pressure drop is compensated by increasing the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator.. 7 Fig. Expansion valve will be added. Outlet Fig. The opening or orifice in the valve is controlled by the heat load* in the airplane cabin.. Coiling this tube allows a greater area to be held in intimate contact with the evaporator. 2. The end of the capillary is coiled into a bulb and attached to the discharge of the evaporator. There are two types of thermal expansion valves. the liquid will require most of the evaporator to evaporate and little superheat Externally equalized expansion valve compensates lor the pressure drop across a large evaporator. This valve senses the heat load in the cabin by being sensitive to the evaporator discharge temperature. 5 3. This unit consists of one or more circuits of copper tubing arranged in parallel between the Heat from the cabin enters the refrigerant in the evaporator.! ·· . and a more accurate measurement of the temperature can be made. Water will also react with refrigerant to form hydrochloric acid which is highly corrosive to the metal in the system. the internally equalized valve and the externally equalized valve. which allows the temperature-sensing function of the valve to meter refrigerant as a function of the superheat. If the heat load is low. When the pressure of th. The internally equalized expansion valve is used on systems having small evaporators. A smaller amount of refrigerant will be metered into the coils. a.. the valve pushes down against the superheat spring and opens to allow more refrigerant to enter the evaporator. If there is a lot of heat in the cabin.1 . The valve will open to allow more refrigerant to flow into the evaporator.e refrigerant vapor reaches this value. It is still very cold to touch. or the heat load. connects into the diaphragm chamber above the valve. A bal· ance between the vapor pressure on the diaphragm and the· superheat spring controls the amount of refrigerant allowed to flow. This valve is controlled by the amount of superheat* in the evaporator. A constant pressure is thus maintained across the evaporator. ·. A capillary tube* filled with a gas and sealed.~ I . If the liquid refrigerant completely evaporates before it reaches the end of the evaporator. but it is considerably warmer than it would be if it had not absorbed this additional heat. it will continue to absorb heat and become superheated. Internally equalized expansion valve Systems having larger evaporators have a noticeable pressure drop across the evaporator caused by the opposition to flow of the refrigerant. the liquid refrigerant will evaporate quickly and more superheat will be added to the vapor. J i 1 .

and the evaporator as the end result. d. 7 20. c. D<>wnstroke of piston creates vacuum in cylinder. Piston on upstroke 19. b. but we can raise its pressure and thus its temperature so it can lose this heat to the outside air in the condenser. b. On small aircraft. The evaporator is similar to the condenser in construction. the magnetic clutch is energized and the drive pulley turns the compressor. What is the purpose of the desiccant? 24. b. In larger aircraft. High-pressure liquid Low-pressure liquid High-pressure vapor Low-pressure vapor 21. When the air-conditioner is turned on and the thermostat calls for cooling. What type of device is provided for the mechanic to check the amount of the refrigerant charge without the use of test equipment? 8 low-temperature vapor and enters the compressor. What is the condition of the refrigerant as it enters the evaporator? a. QUESTIONS: 25. A correctly operating evaporator should cause the refrigerant to use the entire length of the coil in changing to a vapor. and the air blown out into the cabin is thus cooled.expansion valve and the compressor. c. and the units often have a burst pressure as high as 1. Refrigerant leaves the evaporator as a low-pressure. What pressure drop is sensed by the externally equalized expansion valve? 28. Compressors used in aircraft air-conditioning systems are usually of the reciprocating type. Pressure in cylinder raises discharge valve. The evaporator is usually mounted in a housing with the blower. with thin aluminum fins pressed onto their surface. Since the temperature of this vapor is somewhere around 40 degrees F. A thermostat* capillary is stuck into the evaporator core between the fins to sense the temperature of the coil. pumping refrigerant through the system. High-pressure liquid Low-pressure liquid High-pressure vapor Low-pressure vapor 22. Compressor lfwe look at the expansion valve as the brains of the system. having reed valves* and a lubricating system using crankcase pressures to force oil into its vital parts. A drip pan is mounted below the evaporator to catch water that drips off of the coils as the system cycles. When no cooling is required. but being in the low side of the system it is not subject to such high pressures as the condenser. gas flows into discharge pipe. and somewhat in appearance. High-pressure liquid Low-pressure liquid High-pressure vapor Low-pressure vapor..000 psi. What is the condition of the refrigerant as it leaves the condenser? a. b. we can't change it back to a liquid by lowering its temperature. It will then turn back into a liquid. These tubes are silver soldered into a compact unit. Piston on downstroke cylinder holds inlet valve dosed. High-pressure liquid Low-pressure liquid High-pressure vapor Low-pressure vapor Pressure in Pressure in discharge line holds discharge valve closed. Heat in this air is absorbed by the refrigerant. d. Is the evaporator located in the high side or the low side of the air-conditioning system? 4. This temperature controls the cycling of the system. the clutch is de-energized and the compressor does not pump. Operating pressures are allowed to go as high as 200 psi. Most of the smaller compressors are single speed pumps whose output is controlled by a magnetically actuated clutch between the compressor and the drive belt. What is the condition of the refrigerant as it leaves the evaporator? a. Fig. What two units divide the high side and the low side of an air-conditioning system? 18. d. we should look at the compressor as the heart. What would happen if the expansion valve sensor capillary tube lost its contact with the evaporator discharge tube? 27. yet have no liquid left at the evaporator discharge. or by turbines powered by compressor bleed air. Reciporcating compressor increases the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant after it leaves the evaporator. The electric motor driven compressors are controlled by a thermostat which turns . 17. Very similar to that in an automobile. What unit in an air-conditioning system serves as a rerservoir for the refrigerant? 23. these compressors are usually belt driven by pulleys on the engine. The bleed air powered compressors vary their speed as the controller calls for more or less cooling. c. so air from the cabin can be taken in by the blower and forced over the evaporator coils. the compressor is driven by an electric motor . What determines the amount the expansion valve opens? 26. Pressure in inlet line forces inlet valve open. d. c. What is the condition of the refrigerant as it enters the condenser? a.

This prevents the compressor loading the engine and the condenser causing drag when the airplane needs its maximum performance for take-off. This means that there are no vents or open reservoirs where ready access may be had to the refrigerant. Cool air flows over its coils and removes heat. The condenser and evaporator are similar in construction and appearance. high-press1. The condenser is placed in an air duct in some airplanes where cooling air is drawn in from the outside by a fan and blown over the coils.the compressor motor on when more cooling is required in the cabin.1re vapors from the compressor. Service Valves A vapor-cycle air-conditioner is a closed system. Heat is removed from the refrigerant and given up to the outside air in the condenser. what does the thermostat control to vary the compressor output? 5. allowing the refrigerant vapors to change back into a liquid. The condenser retracts into the fuselage when the system is off. Which is normally built the more rugged: a condenser or an evaporator? 6.. What drives the compressor on most large jet transports? 31. Frpnt seated • Compressor isolated Hos. Condenser The condenser is a radiator-like component which receives the hot. Fig. and the entire assembly is encased in an aluminum housing. There are two types of service valves commonly used: compressor isolation valves and Schrader valves. QUESTIONS: 32. 3/8" diameter with thin aluminum fins pressed onto it. however. special valves called service valves are installed. In a small aircraft air-conditioning system. Is the condenser in the high side or the low side of the system? QUESTIONS: 29. The tubing is formed into sets of coils. the cabin blower operates continually. In all systems.I t 8. 9 9 . The condenser is made of copper tubing about 33. 8 A. In order to service these systems. The condenser is in the high side of the system and must be capable of withstanding the high pressures found there. ·[ putting heat from the cabin into the refrigerant. the condenser is mounted under the fuselage where it can be extended into the airstream when the system is operating. Connection Closed . In some smaller airplanes. t I -~. in strength. Condensers have a normal operating pres· sure of about 300 psi and a burst pressure of 1500 psi. Back seated • Normal operation C. What type valves are used in most compressors? 30. They differ. Intermediate position • Service port open COMPRESSOR ISOLATION SERVICE VAlVES Fig. and off when the temperature drops sufficiently. What prevents the drag of an outside condenser on some of the smaller aircraft from lowering the performance on take-off? 34. An interlock switch on the throttle retracts the condenser and de-energizes the compressor clutch when the throttle is opened for full power.

Fig. For this reason. The valve has closed off the service J:>Ort and opened the compressor to the system. Schrader Valves The compressor is not always located where it is readily accessable for servicing. The compressor oil may thus be checked. This is especially true when it is belt driven from the engine and the propeller constitutes a hazard. Schrader valves have become widely used. and open. Compressor isolation service valves These valves are usually located at each port of the compressor. ·These valves have only two conditions of operation: back-seated. b.a. the valve stem has been turned fully counterclockwise. In addition to allowing a point of entry into the system for servicing. the caps should be installed over the service ports. A compressor may be removed from the system without losing all of the refrigerant if the compressor is equipped with compressor isolation type service valves. This seals off the compressor. they are useful for isolating the compressor and allowing it to be taken out of the system for servicing without losing the refrigerant charge. How is a Schrader valve opened to service the system? Schrader-fype service valves provide access into the system at points other than at the compressor. the valve is turned fully clockwise until the valve is front-seated. Some aircraft mount one on either side of the expansion valve on the evaporator assembly. or the compressor otherwise serviced. or back-seated? 36. These valves can easily be mounted in almost any part of the system. Schrader valves have a valve core similar to the core in a tire valve. should the valves be front-seated. which 35. the compressor is connected into the system and the service port is open. If it is desired to isolate the compressor from the system. QUESTIONS: 10 . If the valve is rotated about three or four turns from the seated position. In this position. allowing the system to be serviced. the smaller. Service hoses have a pin which depresses the core. 10 is the normal position when no service hose is attached. when a hose is attached. In order for this to be done. The valve is left in the back-seated position for normal system operation. There are three positions in which this type valve may be placed. In what position should a compressor isolation service valve be placed to service the system with refrigerant? 37. When this type valve is not being serviced.

The same is true for the high side when the high side valve is opened. When these valves are turned fully clockwise. I ) 2. The center fitting of the manifold can be isolated from either of the gages or the high and low service fittings by the hand valves. the center fitting is isolated. two hand valves with 0-ring type seals. gage.Compound Gage High-Pressure Gage Low Side Valve MANIFOLD SET The most useful piece of air-conditioning servicing equipment. l. If the low side valve is opened (turned counter-clockwise). Manifold The low side gage is connected on the manifold directly to the low side fitting. the center fitting is opened to the low side gage and the low side service line. It will indicate to about 30 inches of mercury. Fig. the most important single piece of equipment for servicing an air-conditioning system is the manifold set. gage pressure* (below atmospheric) to about 60 pounds per square inch. one for the low side and the other for the high side. usually having a range from zero up to about 600 pounds per square inch. meaning it will read pressure either side of atmospheric. The high side gage likewise connects directly to the high side fitting. 3. MANIFOLD SET SECTION IV: Ai rcond it ion in g servicing equipment Without a doubt. and two gages. ) 11 . This equipment consists of a manifold with three fittings to which refrigerant service hoses are attached. gage pressure above atmospheric. High side gage This is a high-pressure gage. Low side gage This is a compound gage. 11 A.

To completely eliminate any water in the system. The high side charging hose attaches to the service valve in the high side. and a special can tap valve* is screwed onto the can to attach to the manifold set. put into the system on the low side where the compressor can pull it out of the 43. The container is kept upright for vapor. What is the most important single piece of equipment for servicing air-conditioning systems? 39. Care must be exercised when heat is applied. or in larger returnable cylinders. When the can tap is attached to the can. and there is danger of damaging the system or causing leaks due to this high pressure. The center hose attaches to the vacuum pump for evacuating the system. or in liquid form if the system has been evacuated and is still under vacuum. How is a pound can of R-12 attached to the service valve? 44. Refrigerant 22 is similar to R-12. Is refrigerant put into a system on the basis of weight or volume? 45. With this equipment. or on the inlet side of the expansion valve. NEVER USE DIRECT FLAME OR AN ELECTRIC HEATER. Charging hoses used with Schrader valves must have a pin to depress the valve. the refrigerant used in aircraft air-conditioning systems is Refrigerant 12. it is permissable to put liquid into the low side if the low side pressure is low enough and the outside air temperature is high enough. A charging stand* is a preferred way of handling the refrigerant. The larger cylinders have a built-in shut-off valve to which service hoses may be directly attached. (NOTE: in some systems with the service valves quite a long way from the compressor.for liquid. or to the refrigerant supply for charging the system. If this water freezes in the expansion valve. 12 the pressure on its service hose? 40. Liquid should go only into the high side where it can go directly into the receiver-dryer. The exact amount of refrigerant is put into a system on the basis of its weight. a measured amount of refrigerant is drawn into a sight glass and is introduced into the system from there. This material can be purchased in handy one pound or two and a half pound cans. not its volume. What kind of heat is permissable to use to hasten the flow of refrigerant vapors into the system? C. Where does the low side servicing hose attach into the system? 42. VACUUM PUMP 12 Just a few drops of water is all that is necessary to completely block an air-conditioning system. Must the manifold valve be open for the gage to read The can lap valve provides a method of attaching the service hose to a sealed can of refrigerant and controlling its flow. be sure the hoses are capped to prevent moisture contaminating the valves. Charging hoses Special hoses are attached to the fittings of the manifold valve for servicing the system. Should the can be upright or inverted to introduce refrigerant vapors into the system? 47. QUESTIONS: B. or at the discharge side of the expansion valve. Fig. Special precautions should be observed to be sure the correct refrigerant is used. QlJESTIONS: 38. but its pressure is higher for the same temperature.4. What is actually done when a manifold valve is opened? 41. Heat will hasten the discharge of the refrigerant vapor. The low side hose attaches to the service valve at the compressor inlet. The refrigerant is normally put into the system in vapor form when the system is operating. it will stop the action. the receiver-dryer. Use only water heated to about 125 degrees F. The smaller cans are sealed.) Vapor is. ten or twelve pound disposable cylinders. This is simply a procedure in which a vacuum pump is attached to the manifold set and all of the . the system must be evacuated. When not using the manifold set. REFRIGERANT Almost without exception. and inverted . either at the compressor discharge. Should liquid refrigerant be put into the system on the high side or the low side? 46. Where does the high side servicing hose attach into the system? can. the can seal is pierced and the refrigerant can flow into the manifold set.

QUESTION: 48. A common type leak d. odorless gas is difficult to find. gage pressure. Of the several types ofleak detectors. QUESTIONS: 49. use with aircraft air-conditioning systems. The torch type leak detector is definitely NOT RECOMMENDED for use with an aircraft air-conditioning system because of the danger of the open flame in the aircraft. The flame normally burns light blue. SO.8 cubic foot of air per minute. This is applied with a paintbrush to any 1 part of the system where a leak is suspected. It is possible to detect leaks as small as one half ounce per year. The flow is of little consequence. and will evacuate the system to about 29. The most acceptable type of leak detector for use in aircraft is the electronic type.... At this low pressure.) Any refrigerant that leaks out is drawn up into this tube and passes over the reaction plate. but the presence of any R-12 will cause the flame to change color radically to green or purple. The presence of R-12 will cause the frequency to increase to a high-pitched squeal. The open end of the tube is held below any fitting or point suspected of leaking. Would you look above or below a fitting for a refrigerant leak? 13 . (R-12 is heavier than air and will settle downward. Naturally a tiny leak of a colorless. A "sniffer tube" attaches to a low-pressure point in the tester. l Fig. What is the purpose of a vacuum pump in servicing an air-conditioning system? air-conditioning and commercial service is the propane burner type detector.l I ' ··. and water vapor is pumped out of the system. At this pressure. this would be difficult indeed. A typical pump used for evacuating air-conditioning systems pumps about 0. In order to remove the water. What will be the indication of a leak when using an electronic leak detector? 51.13 air. Name two types of leak detectors recommended for . the most simple is a soap solution. Without the aid of a leak detector. A relatively thick solution is made of soap chips and water. and the vapor will be drawn out. A tiny leak will soon lose all the charge. I I A refrigeration vacuum pump produces a high vacuum in a refrigeration system. The vacuum pump used for this operation must produce an extremely low pressure. This type detector is recommended because of its safety and its sensitivity. the pressure in the system is dropped as low as possible. the water turns into a vapor and is drawn from the system..tector used in automotive D. . water will boil at temperatures as low as a plus 45 degrees F.. j LEAK DETECTOR The continued operation of an air-conditioning system i is dependent upon the system maintaining its charge of refrigerant. A small propane torch heats a reaction plate red hot.62 inches of mercury. Bubbles will \ indicate the presence of a leak. refrigerant. This is an electronic oscillator* that produces an audible tone.

To prevent this false indication. The blower motor should be free to operate with no binding or excessive noise. Inspections. the micro-switch which controls this should be checked for the proper adjustment and positive operation. Hold the probe under every fitting where a leak could be present.SECTION V: Ai rcond itioning system servicing Understanding the operation of an aircraft air-conditioning system and the purpose of each component makes servicing the system easy. If the air over the evaporator should ever be obstructed. c. If there is insufficient pressure for the test. any time the system is evacuated. and any indication of leakage. TESTS AND INSPECTIONS 1. One common cause of failure to cool is a deficiency of refrigerant. when an inspection is made. misalignment. Since on this type of installation. the condenser retracts and the compressor clutch de-energizes when the throttle is fully opened. there is not enough refrigerant in the system. to check the oil in the compressor. add some refrigerant. The entire run of hose from the compressor and condenser into the cabin should be checked for chafing or interference with any structure or other aircraft parts. The compressor mounting should be checked. A refrigerant leakage of about one ounce per year is normally permissable through these seals and should not be considered a cause for worry. the system must be evacuated and the leak repaired. lint. b. Grommets should be in place where chafing could occur. as this is the unit which is subject to the most hard service. In order to find the leak that caused the loss of refrigerant. the fins will ice up and cooling will be reduced. or other obstructions. It should be determined that it comes up streamlined when the system is turned off. Let's look at the service requirements: A complete absence of cooling with no bubbles in the sight glass could mean there is no refrigerant in the system. This will be explained in a later procedure. It is a good idea. all of the units in the system should be checked for indication of looseness. Connect the manifold set into the system with both the high and low side valves closed. Visual As with any aircraft system. it is difficult to detect. This oil is full of refrigerant and will show up as a leak. 2. (4) Close the valve on the refrigerant container and remove the hose. all the mechanism that extends and retracts it should be checked. Usually about a quarter inch deflection between pulleys is right. it is quite possible that a leak will be indicated by a seepage of oil at the point of leakage. Leak Test hoses of air. If there are bubbles in the sight glass. d. through its pores. Close the valve. There should be at least SO psi refrigerant pressure in the system. otherwise the belt should be checked for deflection. One source of leakage which can cause a refrigerant loss without being detected by a leak detector is the flexible hose used in the system. per foot. can seep out several ounces per year. (2) Attach a can of refrigerant to the center hose and open the container valve. while being in good condition. (3) Open the high side valve and allow R-12 to flow into the system until the low side gage indicates about 50 psi. If a leak is found. Actually there is not a great deal involved in maintaining these systems. Any fins that are bent over so as to obstruct airflow should be straightened with a fin comb*. Since this leakage is spread throughout the length of the hose. the belt should be checked for tension and condition. Operate the system and look into the sight glass on the receiver·dryer. (1) Open both manifold valves to purge the A. The condenser should be checked for obstructions and security of mounting. A belt tension gage should be used if available. then dose both valves. and an occasional replacement of refrigerant or a component is the main work the A&P will have to do. Some of this hose. since this seal is lubricated by refrigeration oil. Be especially watchful at any points in the system where there is an indiCation of oil seepage. If the compressor is belt driven. The air ducts should be inspected for indication of obstructions or deformation. the following procedure should be followed: a. The evaporator fins should be clean and free from dust. Search all around the system with a leak detector. 14 . Since the refrigerant oil is dispersed throughout the system. It is possible for there to be a very small leak at the front end of the compressor through the front seal. If the condenser is of the retractable type. wash the oil out of of the seal cavity with some solvent such as Xylene.

QUESTIONS: a. c. \ 3. d. d. Insert the thermometer into the evaporator as near the coils as possible. 14 . If the atmospheric conditions are especially humid.____~·~ The manifold set connects across the expansion valve for entry into both the low and high sides of the system. 52. Changing water from a vapor into a liquid and then into a solid as it freezes gives off heat. What is a normal range of pressure on the low side gage and on the high side gage when the system is operating properly? 56. the amount of cooling will be reduced because of the water that condenses on the evaporator. b.__. Connect the manifold set into the system and and leave both valves closed. The evaporator temperature should be around 40 to SO degrees F. What is indicated by bubbles in the refrigerant as seen in the sight gtass in the receiver-dryer? 54. All of the lines and components in the low side of the system should be cool. There should be no appreciable temperature difference betweeen the inlet and the outlet side of the receiver-dryer. Run the engine somewhere around 1250 RPM and set the air-conditioning controls for maximum cooling.""i l ' Compound gage pull26 to 28 1rrches vacuum Pressure gage Schrader valve /-~1 r0 i l ' Sehrader valve Manifold gage set ···] I fig.___. the low side gage should read between 20 and 30 psig. How much refrigerant pressure is normally recommended for performing a leak test? 4. b. or when it is low? 15 . and the high side gage should read in the range of 225 to 300 psig. What could be indicated by an oil seepage at a fitting in a refrigeration system? 53. c. This heat goes into the refrigerant and decreases the amount of heat the refrigerant can take from the air in the cabin. Feel Test a. After the system has operated for a few minutes. SS. Will an air-conditioning system cool better when the humidity is high. They should both be warm. Performance Test A test to determine exactly how the system is functioning is performed using the manifold set and a thermometer. All of the lines and components in the high side of the system should be warm. Have the blower operating at low or medium speed.

Be sure that only the oil recommended by the manufacturer is used in the compressor. Purging should be done in an area where there is no danger of breathing the vapors. it must be evacuated before recharging. Hg. vacuum --------------------------------------------------~~--0 1. Hg.B. the filler plug should be replaced and the system charged. PURGING THE SYSTEM C. all of the refrigerant must be purged. vacuum 60oF O. Hg. vacuum Vacuum 45°F 0.04 in. After the proper amount of oil has been added to the system. remove the oil filler plug from the compressor and use a special oil dipstick made according to drawings furnished by the compressor manufacturer.I. ADS 27. Hg. but it will displace oxygen we need and will cause suffocation. vacuum t. then completely evacuated. When both gages read zero. With no pressure on the system. the system is purged and may be opened. and should not be filled above the maximum.62 in. ABS 0 in . Hg. Hg. 1. Hg.40 in. Be sure that the valves are not open so much that the refrigerant escapes fast enough to expel oil with the vapor.99 in.o.9 in.S.88 in. Connect the manifold set into the system with both valves closed.ering the pressure in the syslem by drawing a high vacuum causes all of the water to vaporiu and be drawn out. tis· ABS 19. Any time a system is opened. The oil container should be kept tightly capped at all times that it is not being used.93 in .30 in. Hg. Fig. 15 16 . D. R-12 vapor is nontoxic. ABS 29. or foreign matter. CHECKING COMPRESSOR OIL Any time the system is to be opened. Hg. dirt. EVACUATING THE SYSTEM QUESTION: 57. 2. vacuum Inches of Meteury Gage Pressure 0. A range of oil level is indicated in the compressor service manual. all of the lines must be capped to prevent the entry of water vapor. In order to check the oil. 29. It should not be allowed to go below the minimum level. the system should be operated for at least fifteen minutes. The compressor is sealed into the refrigeration system and the oil is in the compressor crankcase. Place a clean rag over the end ofthe center hose and open both high and low side valves slowly. ABS 29. Evacuating simply means "pumping the system down" by attaching a vacuum pump to the system and lowering the pressure so any water in the system will t urn into a vapor and be drawn 20 10 30 WATER BOILS Pressun> P . Why should the valves be opened only a small amount when purging an air-conditioning system? Any time an air-conditioning system has been opened.S2 in.

~. 2._----. After pumping for about five minutts. 1. v \Cj! 0 J ~. absolute (0 inches of mercury. and replace the protective caps on the pump fittings. 6. I I iI } I 7.:====:lJ:: Evaporator fitting I . connect the inlet of a refrigeration vacuum pump to the center hose. With the manifold set installed in the system..._J_ . QUESTIONS: 3. the high side gage should indicate below zero.- Schrader valve r. the system should be down to around 25 inches of mercury. or vacuum). Water. gage pressure (vacuum). It should indicate a vacuum. l I Fig.----. If the pressure is lowered to 27. 5. If we evacuate to 29. Open the low side manifold valve and watch the gage. Close both manifold valves.-I. as we know. Why should systems that have been opened to the atmosphere be evacuated? 59. gage pressure. it will boil at 100° F. Pump the system down for. How does lowering the pressure in the system remove water? 17 . at standard sea level pressure of 29. longer.88 inches. remove the vacuum pump. 58.99 inches of mercury.--J [ Refrigerant R12 warm water f125° f] Charging Stand -~ i ___ j Optional method Preferred method A system may be charged from a charging stand or by putting a given number of pounds ol refrigerant into the system with a manifold set. 4. The high range of this gage will prevent any readable indication. 30 minutes.40 inches it will boil at 60° F. water will boil at 0° F. At 29. if possible. gage pressure. at the very least. 16 out. will boil at 212° F.Discharge line Condenser Suction line Receiver-dryer sight glass \'>-::!:.. After about fifteen minutes.. Be sure the protector cap is off the pump discharge port and start the vacuum pump.92 inches of mercury.

As refrigerant flows into the system. Put as many pounds of refrigerant in the system as is called for by the system specifications. Open the high side valve and watch the low side gage. This training manual is part of the AMFI series.E. With the system under vacuum from the evacuation process. Close both manifold valves and start the engine. All of the R-12 may not be vaporized by this cool air. if R-12 vapors were put in the high side and the low side gage did not come out of a vacuum? 61. With the R-12 container upright. Keep it with your tools for quick reference. The m~nufacturer _has designed and built his system to produce tts ~ost efficte~t operation. so that vapor will come out. The vapor-cycle air-conditioning system for aircraft is really not so complicated as some would like to think. How can you tell when you have a full charge of refrigerant in the system? NOTE: Do not invert the can if the outside air temperature is below 80 degrees F. S. the can may be inverted and liquid allowed to enter the system. connect the refrigerant container to the center hose of the manifold set with both valves closed. Remove the refrigerant container and make a performance test as previously described. QUESTIONS: 60. 3. This will purge all of the air from the charging hose. Why is it permissable to introduce liquid R-12 into the low side of the system ifthe low side pressure is below 40 psig and the outside temperature is above 80 degrees F? 64. 4. In what position should the refrigerant container be placed in order for vapors to flow into the system? 62. close the manifold valve. the low side gage should come out of a vacuum. using proper tools and good logical troubleshooting procedures. indicating that the system is clear of any blockage and is taking the charge of R-12. It is simply a mechanical system for applying basic laws of physics. 6. Open the valve on the container and loosen the hose at the manifold set to allow some of the refrigerant to escape. What would be indicated when starting to charge an air-conditioning system. open the low side valve and allow these vapors to enter the system. Any good A & P mechanic. Operate the engine at about 1250 RPM. Following his instructions wtll keep It performing as he designed it. One thing that must be always kept in mind is the importance of carefully following the manufacturer's specifications to the letter.. Set the air-conditioning controls for full cooling. 2. At this pressure the liquid will turn to a vapor before it enters the compressor and will do no damage. In what position should the refrigerant container be placed in order for liquid to flow into the system? 63. When the low side pressure is down to below 40 psig. Usually an additional quarter or half pound of refrigerant is added after the bubbles stop. CHARGING THE SYSTEM 1. can keep these comfort producing systems operating at the peak of performance. A full charge will be indicated by the absence of bubbles in the sight glass in the receiver-dryer. 18 . When the charge is completed.

latent heat of condensation: The amount of heat given off when a substance changes from a vapor to a liquid without changing its temperature. manifold set. boiling point: to a vapor. These definitions may differ from those of standard dictionaries. Absolute pressure is quite often expressed in inches of mercury.Btu: The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit . electronic oscillator: An electronic device which emits an audible tone. cold: phosgene: A colorless gas with an unpleasant odor which is produced when Refrigerant-12 is passed through an open flame.. gas: A fluid which will assume the shape of the container in which it is placed and will expand to fill all of the container. Commonly referred to simply as R-12. absolute: Pressure measured from a vacuum. It causes severe respiratory irritation.. containing a vacuum pump. but will not expand to completely fill the container. capillary tube: A small tube of definite inside diameter and length used to meter a fluid.! I freezing point: The temperature at which a liquid will change into a solid. latent heat of fusion: The amount of heat which must be removed from a substance to change it from a liquid to a solid without changing its temperature. ·· 1 I . pressure.. charging stand~ A handy and compact arrangement of air-conditioning service equipment. The process of changing a vapor into a condensation: liquid. 19 . When a leak is detected. beat load: The amount of heat which the air-conditioner is required to remove from an airplane cabin. ' Glossary: This glossary of terms is provided to give a ready reference to the meaning of some of the words with which you may not be familiar. This device is used in a leak detector. ambient air temperature: The temperature of the air surrounding a person or object. pressure. gage: pressure. ambient: a body. can tap valve: A valve which is fastened onto a small can of refrigerant. One inch of mercury is equal to approximately one half pound per square inch. I . a chemical· compound used in most aircraft air-conditioning systems. evaporate: To change from a liquid to a vapor. The temperature at which a liquid changes inches of mercury: A measurement of pressure. differential: A pressure which is referenced from another pressure . The pressure of the air surrounding . liquid: A fluid which will assume the shape of the container in which it is held. Refrigerant 12: Dichlorodifluoromethane. and a method of measuring and dispensing the refrigerant. pressure. latent heat of evaporation: The amount of heat absorbed by a substance when it changes from a liquid to a vapor without changing its temperature. reed valve: Pressure referenced from ambient Thin leaf-type valve located in the valve plate of a reciprocating compressor to control the inlet and outlet ofthe refrigerant. The absence of heat. ·. orifice: A hole of specific size used to meter a fluid. latent heat: The amount of heat required to change the state of a material without changing its temperature. It punctures the can seal and controls the flow of refrigerant. refrigerant: A fluid which is used in an air-conditioning system to absorb heat from the cabin and carry it outside the airplane where it can be transferred to the outside air. pressure. but are more in line with standard shop usage. I I British thermal unit ·. the tone changes. calorie: The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Celsius (Centigrade). normally used for pressures below atmospheric. ) I desiccant: A material used in a receiver-dryer to absorb moisture from the refrigerant. .

sensible heat: Heat added to a substance which causes a change in the temperature of the substance.relative humidity: The ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air to the amount of water vapor required to saturate the air at the existing temperature. saturated vapor: temperature: A measurement of heat intensity. 20 . It has the ability to absorb a large amount of water. superheat: Heat energy added to a gas after evaporation has been completed. vapor: The gaseous state of a material. thermostat: An air-conditioning control which senses the temperature of the evaporator coil and causes the system to cycle to maintain the proper temperature of the cooling air. vacuum: A negative pressure. It is equal to 12. or pressure below atmospheric. ton of refrigeration: A measure of the cooling capacity of an air-conditioning system. It is usually expressed in inches of mercury. superheated vapor: Vapor which has been heated above its boiling point for a given pressure.000 Btu of !)eat energy absorbed in one hour. It is the same cooling effect as would be had by melting one ton of ice in 24 hours. silica gel: A desiccant used as a drying agent in air-conditioning systems. specific heat: The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a pound of substance one degree Fahrenheit. The condition of the vapor above a liquid in which no further vaporization can take place without an increase in its temperature. vapor pressure: The pressure exerted by the vapor above a liquid which prevents the release of additional vapor at any specific temperature.

.... ... 21 c.... Where is the high side service valve connected into the system for servicing? a. J I Typical pressures for the high side of a normally operating air-conditioning system are in the range of: a... b.. b. 5... b.. Typical pressures for the low side of a normally operating air-conditioning system are in the range of: a....... When a liquid is changed into a gas: a...Aircond it ion ing (Vapor-Cycle) FINAL EXAMINATION STUDENT . Place a circle around the letter for the correct answer in each of the following questions. Treat the eyes with mineral oil followed with a boric acid rinse. Plus 26... Where is the low side service valve connected into the system for servicing? a. Immediately flood your eyes with much cool water. Care must be taken to avoid breathing R-12 vapors because: a...... At the discharge side of the expansion valve.. Above 600 psig.. In the low side. 10. What is the purpose of a desiccant? a. Heat is given off.... 20 to 30 psig. At the inlet side of the expansion valve. 7. R-12 will boil at standard sea level pressure at: a. b.... . 225 to 300 psig. c. 29 to 30 psig.... 6. b. Absorbs any water that may be in the system... Get to a doctor as soon as possible... At the inlet side of the expansion valve.. b... b... No refrigerant.... b.. . c. b.. About 29 inches of mercury gage pressure.6 degrees F..... GRADE .6 degrees F. 225 to 300 psig.. 11.. c. What should be done if R-12 liquid is accidentally ····' I l splashed into your eyes? a. d... R-12 vapors are actually phosgene gas.. All of the above. Prevents the refrigerant freezing in the expansion valve.. 1..... 8. 3.. 2. In the high side. b.. 9. Minus 21. They will prevent your getting the oxygen you need. 4.. A partial charge of refrigerant: A full charge of refrigerant. Where should liquid refrigerant be put into the system? a..... The appearance of bubbles in the sight glass is an indication of: a. b.. At the discharge side of the expansion valve. Heat is absorbed.

b. 22 . 17. Evaporator. b. At what RPM should the engine be run for performing an operational test on an aircraft having an engine driven compressor? a. Below the point. High speed cruise RPM. Above the point. 1250 RPM. If the two lines connected to the expansion valve are essentially the same temperature. c. Condenser.12. 19. 18. a. where should the probe be held relative to the suspected leak? a. It is a sealed system. The compressor speed. b. 14. so it does not need to be checked. Below 20 inches of mercury gage pressure. A magnetic clutch in the compressor drive pulley. 20. How often should compressor oil be checked? a. c. The opening of the expansion valve. When a leak test is performed. Functioning properly. Idle RPM. b. b. Receiver-dryer. 225 to 300 psig. 63 to 72 degrees F. Too much refrigerant in the system. The speed of the cabin blower. c. 40 to 50 degrees F. Compressor. 13. Not metering refrigerant properly. b. SO psi. b. Airflow over the evaporator restricted. What does the thermostat control on an air-conditioning system in which the compressor is belt driven from the engine? c. What would cause the evaporator fins to ice up? a. c. What unit might be damaged if liquid refrigerant were introduced into the low side of the system when the pressure is too high. or the outside air temperature is too low? a. What pressure is recommended as the minimum for a leak test? a. Cabin blower operating too fast. The evaporator temperature of a normally operating air-conditioning system is in the range of: a. b. d. c. On every 100 hour inspection. it would indicate that the valve is: a. 16. 15. 300 psi. Any time the system has been discharged. c. d. b.

10. No.. (b) Electronic oscillator-type tester. At ' 17. 23 The pitch of the tone will increase in the presence of R-12. 2. 27. 29. Sprays liquid refrigerant and starts the evaporation process. 28. This valve attaches to the service hose. I . 46. apply clean mineral oil.6 degrees F. 125 degrees F. 38. Hot water. (c) High-pressure vapor. 32. (a) Soap solution. 30. or at the J I \ (d) Low-pressure vapor. An interlock switch on the throttle retracts the condenser when the throttle is fully open. 4. J so. 44. Upright. Evaporator. The desiccant absorbs moisture from the system. 8. 15. 19. 13. 9. 25. 37. 12. The expansion valve would not be able to meter refrigerant as a function of the evaporator discharge temperature (superheat). Phosgene gas. Compressor bleed air. 49. . the gages attach directly to the service line fittings. The pressure drop across the evaporator. The manifold set. 42. Front-seared. The mid-position. 5. 40. or the discharge side of the expansion valve. A pin in the service hose depresses the valve core. 39. Heat added to or taken from a substance without changing its temperature. 43.) 23. Liquid. 11. At the compressor inlet. Weight. 26. Reed type valves.. (a) High-pressure iiquid. A magnetically actuated clutch m the compressor drive pulley. 20. 33. Condenser. (b) Low-pressure liquid.Answers to study questions: 1. High side. 116. Condenser. 24. It condenses back into a liquid. . 31. 21. The center fitting of the manifold is opened to the side of the open valve. the compressor receiver-dryer. .J 41. 6.9 psi. f 22 . 14. 36. Pressure in the system is lowered to a point that all of water will turn into a vapor and be drawn out. outside air. discharge. and rinse with boric acid solution. Minus 21. Nonflammable. 7. 47. A sight glass in the receiver-dryer. Low side. The vapor changes its state back into a liquid. The compressor and the expansion valve. Receiver-dryer. From the air in the cabin. The heat load in the airplane cabin. . Flood with much cool water. 34. A highly refined mineral oil. ) 45. 18. 48. 35. A can tap valve is screwed onto the can. 16. It is taken outside the airplane and given off to the 3. High side.

51. 55. 54. 61. A possible refrigerant leak. 53. (a) Low side 20 to 30 psig. There will be no more bubbles in the sight glass. 64. 57. 60. 58. Low refrigerant supply. (b) High side 225 to 300 psig. Low. Evacuation removes any water that may be in the system. 59. This will prevent the loss of refrigerant oil. Inverted. SO psi. 56. 62. Below. 63. At this temperature and pressure all liquid R-12 will vaporize before it gets into the compressor. 52. Water will boil at low temperature when the pressure is lowered. . Water vapor will be pulled out with the air as the system is evacuated. This condition would indicate a blocked system. Upright.

c. c. c. I a."\ Answers to final examination 1. 3. 10. d. a.J j 25 . 12. a. b. b. b. 14. d. ! ) I 19. 8. ) l 7. i 17. b. . a. 15. 13. 6. b. b. ) \ 18. . 4. 20. 11. a. a. b. b. 2. 9. 16. a. S.

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