The diagram in this section gives a short description of the function of the main parts of a cooling system.
Air conditioning has two main purposes:
- Cools the air entering the passenger compartment
- Removes the moisture from the air so it feels more comfortable inside the vehicle.
The air conditioning system is pressurized by a gas known as refrigerant. Each vehicle specifies how much gas is used to fill the system so it's important to check the ammount before filling an A/C
compressor compresses the refrigerant from a gas turning it into a fluid. This fluid is then pushed through a refrigerant line under high pressure, this is called the
condenser is next inline in the system: The refrigerant flows through a grid similar to a radiator. Air passes through the condenser and removes the heat from the refrigerant.
The refrigerant then moves on next to the expansion valve this reduces the pressure in the line and the refrigerant turns back to gas.
receiver drier / accumulator. Here, a desiccant
(drying agent) in the receiver drier removes moisture that is carried in with the refrigerant in gas form.
4: The cooler dried refrigerant passes into the
evaporator, still in its gaseous form. The
evaporator is the only part of the air conditioning system that is in the passenger compartment. Air blows through the
evaporator core, the heat is removed from the air and transferred into the refrigerant, leaving cooler air exiting past the evaporator.
The refrigerant passes through to the compressor again. The process continues repeatedly.