Refrigerating Condensers

There are several condensers to be considered when making a selection for installation. They are air-cooled, water-cooled, shell and tube, shell and coil, tube within a tube, and evaporative condensers. Each type of condenser has its own unique application. Some determining factors include the size and the weight of the unit, weather conditions, location (city or rural), availability of electricity, and availability of water.

A wide variety of condenser configurations are employed in the process industry. Selection of condenser type is not easy and depends on the following criteria:

• condenser heat capacity,
• condensing temperature and pressure,
• the flow rates of refrigerant and coolant,
• design temperature for water and/or air,
• operation period, and
• climatic conditions.

Condensers utilized in the refrigeration industry are commonly of three types, as follows:

• water-cooled condensers,
• air-cooled condensers, and
• evaporative condensers.

Common types of water- and air-cooled refrigerant condensers for commercial refrigeration use are:

• shell and tube, blow-through, horizontal air-flow,
• shell and coil, draw-through, vertical air-flow, and
• tube in tube, static or forced air-flow.

The type of condenser selected depends largely on the following considerations:

• size of the cooling load,
• refrigeration used,
• quality and temperature of available cooling water (if any), and
• amount of water that can be circulated, if water use is acceptable.

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