2.2.1. Commercial Air Conditioning Systems
In warehouses, businesses, malls, large department stores and the like, the air conditioning system condensing unit is usually housed on the roof, and can be quite massive. Alternatively, there may be many smaller condensing units on the roof, each attached inside to a small air handler that cools the air in a specific zone of the building.
In larger buildings, and particularly in multi-story buildings, the split-system air conditioning approach becomes impractical. Either running the pipe between the condenser and the air handler exceeds distance limitations (long runs cause compressor lubrication problems), or the amount of duct work and the length of ducts becomes unmanageable. In this case, it is recomended that a chilled-water system be implemented for cooling.
2.2.2. Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners - PTACs
Packaged Terminal Air Conditioning Units (PTACs), are typically selected where individually controlled zones are conditioned separately and have an outside wall. PTACs are well suited to hotels, motels, nursing homes and apartments.
As the name implies, a single Package contains all the components of an air-cooled refrigeration and air-handling system. PTAC Units are designed for through-the-wall installation, with decorative outdoor grilles as an option. Units are also available with various heating options (electric resistance or hydronic).
PTACs tend to have high maintenance costs, because of multiple compressors and fans. They are not as energy efficient as central air conditioning systems, and room temperature swings are common with these devices. However, the initial purchase and installation costs are typically less than an equivalent sized central air conditioning system. Also, they take up less space, can be easily installed and are well suited to applications requiring many individual temperature control zones.
Older PTAC Units can be quickly and easily replaced with a spare chassis.
2.2.3. Packaged Split Systems For Air Conditioning
Split System Air Cooled Condensing Units - The condenser for a heat pump and a central air conditioning system look similar and are constructed of the same basic parts. A Cabinet houses the components (a condenser coil, a compressor, a fan, and controls) and is strong enough to protect them during transport and installation.
The Coil (usually made of copper or aluminum tubing, with aluminum fins) is designed to transfer heat as rapidly as possible. Pressure inside the coil can exceed 400psi during extremely warm weather conditions, and the cleaner it is kept, the better it transfers heat. Rinsing with a garden hose occasionally when the unit is not running will help keep it operating efficiently. After many years of use it may be necessary to put special chemicals on to clean it.
The Condenser Fan moves air across the coil to increase the transfer of heat. It is critical to the system, and obstructing the flow of air will not only reduce efficiency but can lead to compressor failure. It is important to keep debris and objects away from the coil and fan to allow maximum airflow.
Some Condenser Fan Motors have sealed bearings, others need lubrication, and damage can occur to the fan if it is incorrectly serviced - have a qualified serviceman handle the lubricating if needed.
The Compressor is the engine of the system. It compresses the refrigerant and pumps it to a coil as a hot gas:
If the condenser is used for air conditioning only, Controls are minimal. A Contactor switches the power on and off, and Capacitors are used to start and run the motors. Optional controls include: a Brownout Time Delay, Crankcase Heater, Hard Start Kit, and Low Ambience Control.
Flushing Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Systems - Occasionally, air conditioning and refrigeration systems fail - leading to contamination of the refrigerant liquid and system with unwanted particulate, sludge, acids, carbon residues or moisture. Following repair, the entire refrigeration system needs to be purged of these contaminants before it is put back into operation. Rx11-Flush From Nu-Calgon Is Now The Accepted Industry Standard For Flushing Refrigeration And Air Conditioning Systems.
Rx11-Flush is also ideal for flushing line sets in advance of conversion to R410A, and is approved as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP).
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