Mechanical Cooling

29 Mechanical Cooling – General Applications

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Mechanical cooling has a wide range of applications; it is used in automobiles, rooftop HVAC units, coolers, refrigerators, freezers and even in the chiller units that produce the cold water for hydronic cooling coils. Mechanical cooling is utilized for the large scale cooling of entire buildings, or it can be used to keep the inside of the fridge cold and allow for the long term storage and freezing of food.

Air conditioning units use the basic Direct Expansion (DX) cooling cycle in a process that removes heat from one area where it is not desired, and transfers that heat to an area where it is quickly dissipated. The air conditioner itself does not create heat, nor does it destroy heat—it simply transfers heat from a room into a refrigerant, and then from inside the building to outside.

Hydronic chiller systems may use a DX system to bring large quantities of water below room temperature, and then pump this cooled water throughout the building to lower the average temperature. Often used in association with rooftop water coolers to rapidly release thermal energy collected in the building.

Heat pumps are a type of DX cooling system that allows for the refrigerant to flow in both directions through the system. By reversing the direction of the flow of refrigerant, a heat pump can go from cooling a house in the summer, to warming that house in the winter, all while using the same equipment. This can simplify the installation and allow a single system, rather than separate heating and cooling components, to regulate the temperature of the building.



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