Refrigeration Cycle


     The refrigeration cycle is a critical component of HVAC systems, let's get an understanding of four key concepts:

1. Heat of Vaporization

     In HVAC, the change of a liquid to a gas is known as boiling or evaporation.

2. Pressure changes the boiling point of a liquid

     Lower pressures make it easier for a liquid to boil, and higher pressures make it more difficult. 

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3. Heat (energy) is neither created nor destroyed — it is merely transferred.

4. There is no such thing as cold — only the absence of heat.

     When an air conditioner or refrigerator is cooling a space, do not think about it as adding cold air into the space. The purpose of the refrigeration cycle is to remove the heat in a given area and reject it outside. Less heat means a colder room!

Applying it all to HVAC:

     The refrigeration cycle contains four major components: the compressor, condenser, expansion device, and evaporator. 

     The compressor is widely considered the engine of the refrigeration cycle; it consumes the most power out of the HVAC system’s components and forces the refrigerant through the system. 

shut-off valve

     The condenser’s job is to cool the refrigerant so that it turns from a gas into a liquid, or condenses. 

     The refrigerant is now approaching the expansion device as a hot, high-pressure liquid. The expansion device has one sole purpose: to reduce refrigerant pressure. 

     Now the refrigerant begins to move through the evaporator. The evaporator is responsible for cooling the air going to the space by boiling (evaporating) the refrigerant flowing through it. 

      Congratulations! You have successfully completed a refrigeration cycle!

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