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Types of condenser and evaporator used in refrigeration system

Evaporator and its types

Evaporator; An evaporator is a vessel or stage which turns a liquid into vapor. In a commercial
refrigeration system, changes in temperature force a refrigerant to become a vapor in
the evaporator. The main heating and cooling functions of an evaporator are vaporization and
1) Bare Tube Evaporators; The bare tube evaporators are made up of copper tubing or steel
pipes. The copper tubing is used for small evaporators where the refrigerant other than
ammonia is used, while the steel pipes are used with the large evaporators where
ammonia is used as the refrigerant. The bare tube evaporator comprises of several turns
of the tubing, though most commonly flat zigzag and oval trombone are the most
common shapes. The bare tube evaporators are used in very few applications, however
the bare tube evaporators fitted with fins, called as finned.

2) Plate Type of Evaporators; In the plate type of evaporators the coil usually made up of
copper or aluminum is embedded in the plate so as so to form a flat looking surface.
Externally the plate type of evaporator looks like a single plate, but inside it there are
several turns of the metal tubing through which the refrigerant flows. The advantage of
the plate type of evaporators is that they are more rigid as the external plate provides
lots of safety. The external plate also helps increasing the heat transfer from the metal
tubing to the substance to be chilled. Further, the plate type of evaporators are easy to
clean and can be manufactured cheaply.

3) Finned Evaporators; The finned evaporators are the bare tube type of evaporators covered
with the fins. When the fluid (air or water) to be chilled flows over the bare tube evaporator lots
of cooling effect from the refrigerant goes wasted since there is less surface for the transfer of
heat from the fluid to the refrigerant. The fluid tends to move between the open spaces of the
tubing and does not come in contact with the surface of the coil, thus the bare tube evaporators
are less effective. The fins on the external surface of the bare tube evaporators increases the
contact surface of the of the metallic tubing with the fluid and increase the heat transfer rate,
thus the finned evaporators are more effective than the bare tube evaporators.

4) Shell and Tube types of Evaporators; The shell and tube types of evaporators are used in the
large refrigeration and central air conditioning systems. The evaporators in these systems are
commonly known as the chillers. The chillers comprise of large number of the tubes that are
inserted inside the drum or the shell. Depending on the direction of the flow of the refrigerant in
the shell and tube type of chillers, they are classified into two types: dry expansion type and
flooded type of chillers. In dry expansion chillers the refrigerant flows along the tube side and
the fluid to be chilled flows along the shell side. The flow of the refrigerant to these chillers is
controlled by the expansion valve. In case of the flooded type of evaporators the refrigerant flows
along the shell side and fluid to be chilled flows along the tube. In these chillers the level of the
refrigerant is kept constant by the float valve that acts as the expansion valve also.

Condenser and its types
a condenser is a device or unit used to condense a gaseous substance into a liquid state through
cooling. ... For example, a refrigerator uses a condenser to get rid of heat extracted from the
interior of the unit to the outside air.
Classification of condensers:
Based on the external fluid, condensers can be classified as:
Air cooled condensers, Water cooled condensers, Evaporative condensers
1) Air-cooled condensers: As the name implies, in air-cooled condensers air is the external
fluid, i.e., the refrigerant rejects heat to air flowing over the condenser. Air-cooled
condensers can be further classified into natural convection type or forced convection
Natural convection type: In natural convection type, heat transfer from the condenser is by
buoyancy induced natural convection and radiation. Since the flow rate of air is small and the
radiation heat transfer is also not very high, the combined heat transfer coefficient in these
condensers is small
Forced convection type: In forced convection type condensers, the circulation of air over the
condenser surface is maintained by using a fan or a blower. These condensers normally use fins
on air-side for good heat transfer. The fins can be either plate type or annular type

2) Water Cooled Condensers: In water cooled condensers water is the external fluid.
Depending upon the construction, water cooled condensers can be further classified into:
1. Double pipe or tube-in-tube type 2. Shell-and-coil type 3. Shell-and-tube type
Double Pipe or tube-in-tube type: Double pipe condensers are normally used up to 10 TR
capacity. Headers are used at both the ends to make the length of the condenser small and
reduce pressure drop. The refrigerant in the annulus rejects a part of its heat to the surroundings

by free convection and radiation. The heat transfer coefficient is usually low because of poor
liquid refrigerant drainage if the tubes are long.
Shell-and-coil type: These condensers are used in systems up to 50 TR capacity. The water flows
through multiple coils, which may have fins to increase the heat transfer coefficient. The
refrigerant flows through the shell. In smaller capacity condensers, refrigerant flows through coils
while water flows through the shell.
Shell-and-tube type: This is the most common type of condenser used in systems from 2 TR upto
thousands of TR capacity. In these condensers the refrigerant flows through the shell while water
flows through the tubes in single to four passes. The condensed refrigerant collects at the bottom
of the shell. The coldest water contacts the liquid refrigerant so that some subcooling can also
be obtained. The liquid refrigerant is drained from the bottom to the receiver.

3) Evaporative condensers:
In evaporative condensers, both air and water are used to extract heat from the condensing
refrigerant. Evaporative condensers combine the features of a cooling tower and water-cooled
condenser in a single unit. In these condensers the water is sprayed from top part on a bank of
tubes carrying the refrigerant and air is induced upwards. There is a thin water film around the
condenser tubes from which evaporative cooling takes place. The heat transfer coefficient for
evaporative cooling is very large. Hence, the refrigeration system can be operated at low
condensing temperatures (about 11 to 13 K above the wet bulb temperature of air). The water
spray countercurrent to the airflow acts as cooling tower. The role of air is primarily to increase
the rate of evaporation of water. The required air flow rates are in the range of 350 to 500 m3
/h per TR of refrigeration capacity.