The air-cooled condensers find applications in domestic, commercial, and industrial refrigerating, chilling, freezing, and air conditioning systems with a common capacity of 20—120 tons (Figure 3.18). The centrifugal fan air-cooled condensers (with a capacity of 3-100 tons) are particularly used for heat recovery and auxiliary ventilation applications. In fact, they employ outside air as the cooling medium. Fans draw air past the refrigerant coil and the latent heat of the refrigerant is removed as sensible heat by the air stream. The advantages of air-cooled condensers are:
• no water requirement,
• standard outdoor installation,
• elimination of freezing, scaling, and corrosion problems,
• elimination of water piping, circulation pumps, and water treatment,
• low installation cost, and
• low maintenance and service requirement.
On the other hand, they have some disadvantages, as given below:
• high condensing temperatures,
• high refrigerant cost because of long piping runs,
• high power requirements per kW of cooling,
• high noise intensity, and
• multiple units required for large-capacity systems.