What is a Condenser & How Does It Work?

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The summer season is now upon us and with that we have the arrival of hot weather.  The hot weather can be a challenge to many of the driving population. Luckily, with the advent of air conditioning, we can enjoy driving our vehicles in the comfort of a temperature controlled environment.
Modern air conditioning systems were first invented in the early 20th century and appeared later in automobiles in the early 1940’s. Over the years, car air conditioning systems have seen many improvements, although the basic technology of vehicle air conditioning remains unchanged. Air conditioning systems are based on the simple principle of physics where heat is transferred by changing gas to a liquid and vice versa in various parts of the air conditioning system.  The air conditioning system in an automobile is comprised of a compressor, condenser, evaporator, expansion valve, freon  and connecting hoses. The compressor is the heart of the system and is what compresses the freon (refrigerant).

compressor is run by an engine belt that is connected to a clutch. The clutch will engage the compressor as cool air is demanded.  As the name indicates, the compressor functions to compress the freon which then moves on to the condenser. Next component in line in the air conditioning system is the condenser. The condenser is like a miniature radiator with headers, tubes and fins. The condenser received the hot compressed freon from the compressor and cools it down by transferring the heat from the freon to the tubes and fins and dissipated by a fan. As the freon is cooled, it becomes a super cool liquid. The super cool freon is passed thru the evaporator which is also like a miniature radiator. The thermal expansion valve controls the flow of freon to the evaporator. A fan blows air through the cold evaporator and this cold air is used to moderate the temperature in the automobile cabin. Once the freon transfers it’s thermal properties to the evaporator, it changes back to a warm gas which is sent back to the compressor.
Radiator Express stocks a full line of automotive condensers. Our condensers are offered by all of our 100 nationwide locations and are ready for immediate delivery. Our condensers are parallel flow and have been 100% leak tested for quality assurance.