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Compressor Operation - The Refrigeration Cycle

Posted on by combine refrigration & air conditioning services

Compressor Operation - The Refrigeration Cycle

Compressor Operation - The Refrigeration Cycle

Refrigerant compressors work by taking in low pressure gas on the inlet and compressing it mechanically. Different types of compression mechanisms are what differentiate compressors (discussed below). This compression creates a high temperature, high pressure gas - an essential step in the overarching refrigeration cycle.

Refrigeration Cycle

The refrigeration cycle or heat pump cycle is the model describing the transfer of heat from regions of lower temperature to regions of higher temperature. It defines the operating principles behind refrigerators, air conditioners, heaters, and other "heat pumping" devices.

The letters A-D indicate the different system components. The numbers 1-5 indicate the different physical states of the refrigerant fluid as it moves through the system.

  • State 1 is the state after the refrigerant passes through an evaporator (D), where warm air heats the fluid and converts it completely to vapor.

  • State 2 is the state after the fluid passes through a compressor (A) which increases the fluid's pressure and temperature up to superheated levels.

  • States 3 and 4 are when the fluid passes through an evaporator (B), which transfers heat to the ambient and condenses the fluid to liquid.

  • State 5 is the state after the fluid passes through an expansion valve or metering device (C), which lowers the pressure of the fluid. This cools the fluid and subsequently turns the liquid into a liquid/vapor mixture.

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