How automotive HVAC systems work | ACDelco

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Flexzion AC R134a Quick Connectors System Port Adapters Couplers Low High Set of 2 Conversion Kit for HVAC Auto Car Air conditioning with Manifold Hose Gauge

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  • TAG : How Automotive Air Conditioning Works - HowStuffWorks
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  • Automotive AC systems are very straight forward in their purpose. That purposeis to cool the air that is moving through the cabin of a vehicle. This result isachieved by blowing the air entering the cabin over a cooled surface(evaporator) which transfers the heat from the air to the coolant liquid that isflowing through the unit.

    It doesn't matter who makes it; all AC systems work on some rather simplistic principles. The main principle is the pressure-temperature relationship. This is a term used in physics to describe how a material reacts at different temperatures and pressures, and also what happens to it when it changes states. By changing states, I'm referring to when refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas within the AC system. In the case of your automotive AC system, HFC R-134a is the most widely used refrigerant at this time. Before the 1994 – 1995 model years, CFC R-12 was used in systems; starting in 2013 – 2014, they will be using HFO-1234yf. At least they plan to use HFO1234yf; I've heard of some controversy surrounding that refrigerant that might give it a short life span. Honestly, unless you're in the collision industry, I think it will be some time before you need to service one of these systems anyway. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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    Automotive AC systems are very straight forward in their purpose. That purpose is to cool the air that is moving through the cabin of a vehicle. This result is achieved by blowing the air entering the cabin over a cooled surface (evaporator) which transfers the heat from the air to the coolant liquid that is flowing through the unit.

     

    The process begins with the pumping of a mixture of specialized oil and Freon through the system. The compressor is the unit responsible for creating this movement, after the fluid leaves the compressor is passed through the filter (Drier) and any debris that is suspended in the mixture will be captured.  Now the compressed fluid (which carries a lot of heat) is passed through the condenser which is a unit that expands the fluid so that there is as much surface area  where air can pass by. The passing air will pull the excess heat out of the fluid and cool it so it can perform its job. Next the fluid passes through the expansion device where the lines that carry the fluid expand, this allows the fluid to cool even further. Finally the fluid now travels through the evaporator where the heat from the air is absorbed again and the whole process starts over.

     

    The ability of the system to cool is very dependent on the temperature of the air around the system and can give varying results in times of extreme heat. Needless to say that on a 100 degree day the cooling will not be as effective as on a cooler day.

           
           
           

Auto Air Conditioning Systems at a Glance - YouTube