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Refrigeration System Basics

HVACR Technician Program
Working safely on HVACR systems requires a thorough knowledge of the science of heating and cooling, a keen awareness of safety procedures, a proficient familiarity with the tools of the trade, and the ability to perform a variety of manual skills.

Refrigeration, by definition, is the process of removing heat from a material or space, so that its temperature becomes lower than its surroundings.

While this sounds like a simple concept, the intricacies of refrigeration systems require the attention and expertise of well-trained HVAC Technicians. At the HVAC Technician Program at MIAT, qualified instructors teach students how to master this complex equipment, which prepares them for successful HVAC careers down the road.

At the most basic level, there are four main parts in a basic refrigeration system. They are:

  • The Evaporator
  • The Metering Device
  • The Compressor
  • The Condenser

Evaporator

The refrigeration evaporator is the component of the system that absorbs heat and actually removes it from a house, school, business, etc. Cold liquid refrigerant enters the evaporator and cools it down. From there, the evaporator is able to take heat in through its “fins,” which lowers the air temperature of the space.

Metering Device

The refrigeration metering device regulates the amount of liquid refrigerant that enters the evaporator. Often made of thin copper tubes, the metering device maintains a preset temperature difference, or “super heat,” between the entrance and exit of the evaporator.

Compressor

The refrigeration compressor is the heart of a refrigeration system. As its name suggests, it first compresses the low-pressure vapor from the evaporator and then compresses it into a high-pressure vapor. Once the refrigerant is in its high-pressure state, the compressor moves the vapor to the outlet known as the “discharge line.”

The refrigeration condenser rejects excess heat from the refrigeration system and releases it into the atmosphere. There are three types of condensers: air-cooled, water-cooled and evaporative. Air-cooled condensers are used in smaller refrigeration units, such as household refrigerators or deep freezers. Water-cooled condensers can be found in places where a large quantity of refrigerant flows through the condenser, such as a large refrigeration plant. Evaporative condensers are a combination of the air-cooled and water-cooled condenser, which are usually found in ice plants.

Within MIAT’s HVAC Technician program, students learn the ins and outs of the some of the world’s most complicated refrigeration systems. Those interested in beginning a career in refrigeration or other HVAC capacities should contact MIAT today!

 

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