A refrigerant is a chemical that is found in an air conditioner, a refrigerator, and in other refrigeration equipment. Refrigerants can be a liquid or a vapor, depending on their temperature and pressure. Most refrigerants in their liquid state will evaporate very fast if at atmospheric pressure, but this depends on the particular refrigerant and its particular boiling point. Refrigerants in their vapor state are compressed by a compressor, then cooled by a condenser, where it condenses back into a liquid. The refrigerant is very hot as it leaves the compressor. The refrigerant then passes through a part called a metering device, or an expansion device (there are several types of this part) where the pressure is reduced to a point where the liquid begins to boil. At this point, the refrigerant is very cold and it enters an evaporator, where it absorbs heat from the air passing over it. By the time the refrigerant leaves the evaporator, it is all a vapor again, and it goes back to the compressor where the cycle begins again. This is called the refrigeration cycle. This is one example of the use of a refrigerant, as in a residential air conditioning system.
Related pages[change | edit source]
- Freon, an old class of refrigerants