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Re: Heat Pumps...?



On Mon, 3 Feb 1997, Dwight K. Souder wrote:

>       Greetings everyone!  I have a question that I'm hoping some
> people may help me out with.  At the high school I teach, one of the
> school tutors came to me to ask a question about air conditioning/heating
> for one of the general science students.   The diagram and explanation
> they use in the book I think may not be accurate.  It's kind of hard to
> explain a diagram over the internet, but I'll give it a shot.
>       The diagram looks like a cut-away of a window air-conditioner. 
> The description I'll try to explain is for summer cooling.  From the
> compressor, the freon travels through the tubes in the back where a fan
> blows over them and the diagram show that the freon is "hot".  It then
> goes through a condensor (?) and through a capillary tube.  From the
> capillary tube, the tube gets larger and passes in front of the
> air-conditioner (the part inside of the house) where the freon is a gas. 
> Air is circulated over the tubes and the tubes return back to the
> compressor.
>       Personally, I think this is backwards.  It was my understanding
> that the freon from the compressor is compressed into a liquid, where it
> releases its heat energy to the outside.  The freon is then circulated to
> the front where it picks up heat energy and the freon goes from a liquid
> into a gas.  The gas is then brought into the back and is compressed in
> the capillary tube and back into the compressor where it releases a large
> amount of heat energy.
>       Can anyone help?  Can anyone explain steb by step how a heat pump
> works and what goes on in an air-conditioner/heater?  What happens when
> an air-conditioner is put into reverse and becomes a heater?
>       Any help would be very much appreciated.
> 
> Thanks,
> Dwight
> dsouder@juno.com
> 
I am certainly no expert on this, but I will give it a try.  The majority 
of the cooling almost certainly occurs when the freon changes from a 
liquid to a gas--heat of vaporization.  So,  when the freon goes through 
some sort of nozzle and expands into a larger tube it should be inside the 
house and with the inside fan blowing on the tubes and fins.

W. Barlow Newbolt              540-463-8881  (telephone)
108 Parmly Hall                540-463-8884  (fax)
Washington and Lee University  newbolt.w@fs.science.wlu.edu     
Lexington, Virginia 24450      wnewbolt@liberty.uc.wlu.edu

"The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return.  It's the
 zero adjust on his bathroom scale"
                                                      Arthur C. Clarke