Condensers, Compressors, and Evaporators: The Differences and Connections Guide

Ever thought about how a refrigerator or an air conditioner keeps things cool? There is a concept called the refrigeration cycle. To function efficiently, the refrigeration process must involve the important components that work harmoniously together. These components are the compressor, the condenser, and the evaporator.




The Refrigeration Cycle Trio: Their Primary Roles and How They Differ


 The Evaporator: The Heat Absorber

The primary function of an evaporator in the refrigeration system is to absorb heat from the surroundings. It functions with the help of a refrigerant which absorbs heat from the air that is circulating the coil. While the refrigerant absorbs heat, its state changes from liquid to gas which helps the evaporator become colder to perform the cooling function.



Compressor: The Pressure Booster

A compressor’s primary function in the refrigeration system is to increase the pressure of the refrigerant in gas form. Since the cold, low-pressure gas exits the evaporator, its next step is to proceed to the compressor. Once the compressor receives the refrigerant gas which contains the captured heat from the surroundings, the compressor will “compress” or squeeze the low-pressure gas to increase its pressure. Once the pressure increases in the compressor, the temperature will also increase changing the low-pressure gas to a high-pressure one then is sent to the succeeding stage where the heat will be released.

compress of cold room unit


Condenser: The Heat Releaser

While both the compressor and evaporator work in absorbing the heat, the condenser’s main function in the refrigeration system is to release the heat absorbed by the refrigerant gas. The high-pressure gas containing the heat absorbed in the evaporator will be received by the condenser from the compressor and then the condenser releases the heat to the external environment. The gas will change its state to a cooled liquid and then be sent back to the evaporator, completing the cooling cycle.

Condenser of cold storage unit



How does the Trio Manipulate the Temperature?

The evaporator acts the same as a sponge. It absorbs the heat and changes the state of the liquid refrigerant to gas. The compressor increases the pressure on the gas to raise its temperature and pressure and sends the gas to the condenser. The condenser will act the same as a radiator, it will release the heat in the gas to cool it and change its state from gas to liquid to send it back to the evaporator. The cycle will then continuously repeat, illustrating the refrigeration cycle.


bitzer compress for cold room unit



Where are the Three Components Located?



The evaporator is commonly placed inside the unit indoors. In an air conditioning unit, the evaporator coil can be found in the unit indoors where warm air will be cooled. In a refrigerator, the cold coil that provides the cooling effect can also be found indoors.

Evaporators of cold room units



The compressor is the heart of both the refrigerator and an air conditioner. It is a mechanical device that needs an electric motor to work and can be located within the main unit. The compressor is commonly located near the bottom or back of the main body of the unit.


bitzer compress



Since the condenser’s main purpose is to release heat, it is usually located outdoors. In refrigerators, it can be located at the back of the unit so that the heat can be released in its surroundings. For larger walk-in coolers, there are instances where a remote condensing system is used, meaning that the condenser is placed on a separate unit but is still outdoors This is a more efficient way for larger cooling systems. For air conditioning units, the condenser is located outside the building and is equipped with a fan to better exchange heat with the surrounding environment.

condensing system




The evaporator, compressor, and condenser are the three main components of a refrigeration system. The evaporator absorbs the heat and changes the liquid refrigerant to gas, the compressor increases the pressure on the gas before sending it to the condenser to release the heat while transforming the gas to a cooled liquid before returning it to the evaporator. These three components work in harmony to ensure that the refrigeration process works efficiently and effectively because the other two would not be able to perform their work if the other one malfunctions.

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