Know your Car Airconditioner Components!

The parts of a modern car airconditioner components are: Compressor, Evaporator, Condenser, and Expansion Valve – The compressor is the heart of the system. It pumps the low pressure refrigerant into high heat, high pressure refrigerant.

The gas enters the condenser, and the heat is dissipated into the atmosphere, and condenses the gas refrigerant into liquid refrigerant.

The liquid refrigerant enters the evaporator, the heat inside the passenger compartment is being absorbed. And in so doing, the liquid refrigerant turned into gas refrigerant, and return to the compressor.

Two types of compressors being used in the car airconditioner today. The Reciprocating type and the Swash Plate type.

Reciprocating type – it uses two in-line pistons and a cylinder.

Driven by crankshaft and connecting rod, an up and down reciprocating motion is produced. An intake and exhaust valve is on the cylinder head of each piston.

The piston travels from its top dead center position downward, the intake reed valve opens, and the exhaust reed valve closes. Air refrigerant is sucked into the cylinder.

When the piston reaches its bottom dead center and traveling upward, the exhaust reed valve opens, while the intake reed valve closes.

The air refrigerant is discharged from the cylinder to the condenser. Below is an exposed view of a car air conditioner compressor.

Car Aircon Cutaway View

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Swash plate type – this type of compressor uses a three horizontal double-action pistons, into a six cylinder compressor.

The axial plate produces reciprocating motion to drive the pistons. There is a common inlet port and a common discharge port.

Swash Plate Type Cutaway View

The compressor engages and disengages from the engine through a magnetic clutch. And the magnetic clutch pulley is driven by a belt attached to the engine and the compressor. There are two kinds of magnetic clutch, the rotary and the stationary.

In a rotary magnetic type, the coil revolves when the compressor revolves. A carbon brushes are in contact with a slip ring which complete the electrical circuit.

The stationary magnetic type has the magnetic coil mounted on the compressor frame and does not rotate.

Car Aircon Clutch

An idler gear is attached to the engine by mounting bracket. It is used to adjust the drive belt tension of the car airconditioner.

When adjusting the belt tension, push the belt with your thumb, and measure half to three quarter of an inch distance to the straight edge of a ruler. If you use a tension gauge, a ten kilogram force should yield about 10mm to 15 mm deflection.

Car Aircon Idler Gear

Condenser – The condenser receives the high temperature, high pressure gas refrigerant from the compressor. It then releases the accumulated heat into the atmosphere.

The more heat the condenser releases into the atmosphere, the more efficient will be the cooling effect made by the evaporator. The condenser is installed in the front of a vehicle, and in front of the radiator.

Car Aircon Condenser

The receiver-dryer is a device for storing enough liquid refrigerant for the thermal expansion valve. It traps the dirt, iron particles, and moisture content in the refrigerant to avoid causing damage to the compressor.

A sight glass is located on the top of the receiver-dryer. If you see bubbles in the refrigerant, it means the refrigerant volume is low. When it is clear, then everything is normal.

Car Aircon Dryer Reciever

A fusible plug can be found on the top side of the receiver-dryer. It is a kind of pressure relief valve which blows it top off at 220 degrees Fahrenheit. The valve is soldered to the device and the solder soften when the set temperature is breached.

Reciever Dryer Fusible Plug

The thermal expansion valve of a car airconditioner controls the input of the liquid refrigerant into the evaporator. The sensing bulb is installed on the outlet port of the evaporator.

When the set temperature value of the sensing bulb compared to the set temperature value of the inlet valve is breached, the valve opens.

The thermal expansion valve or TXV works very efficiently in maintaining enough supply of liquid refrigerant to the evaporator.

Thermal Expansion Valve

Evaporator receives the liquid refrigerant sent by the thermal expansion valve. And attracts as much heat in the passenger compartment of your car, and thus cooling it.

Too much or too less refrigerant will not cool your passenger compartment effectively, because too much refrigerant will not boil easily and too less of it will cause starvation in the evaporator.

Car Aircon Evaporator

The fan motor, or blower of a car airconditioner forces the air from the passenger compartment to the evaporator. The air came in contact with the evaporator, and through the grilles to the passenger compartment and circulate the air.

Turning the fan at the highest speed can only circulate the air in the passenger compartment faster, but not cooler, adjusting it in the low speed will give us maximum cooling. It allows the greatest heat absorption by the evaporator.

Air conditioning now-a-day is a necessity. Without it out life will be unimaginable!

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