It is a well-established fact that in order for a particular appliance to function perfectly, each of its parts and components has to be in perfect condition. And in the case of HVAC systems, two of the components that have to be in great condition are condenser and evaporator coils.
Condensers and Evaporators for HVAC
What Is a Condenser?
Condensers are an integral part of any heating and cooling system. The condenser is located in the outdoor portion of an air conditioner or heat pump, and its primary purpose is to either release or collect heat, depending on the time of the year.
Both the condensers for split air conditioner and heat pump are made of the same basic parts. The condenser cabinet contains the condenser coil, a compressor, a fan, and various controls. In particular, the condenser coil can be made of copper tubing with aluminum fins or all-aluminum tubing so heat can be rapidly transferred. Meanwhile, the condenser fan is the component that helps circulate the air across the coil to facilitate heat transfer. And the compressor is considered the heart of the system since it compresses the refrigerant and pumps it to a coil in the form of hot gas.
In air conditioners, the refrigerant is cooled at the condenser into a warm liquid and passes through a pipe into the evaporator coil where it expands and cools. On the other hand, in heat pumps, the hot gas is pumped directly to the evaporator coil to provide heat.
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What Is an Evaporator Coil?
Simply put, an evaporator coil, also called the evaporator core, is the part of an HVAC system where the refrigerant absorbs heat. In other words, it is where the cold air comes from.
Unlike condensers, which are located outside, the evaporator coil is located inside or near the air handler where the blower fan is. Usually, evaporator coils are made of copper, steel, or aluminum simply because these metals conduct heat easily. Additionally, most of the residential AC evaporators consist of tubes that are bent into U-shapes and set into panels.
As the air conditioner runs, the compressor pulls cold, low-pressure liquid refrigerant through the tubing in the evaporator coil. Before entering the evaporator coil, the refrigerant first passes through the expansion valve. This expansion valve relieves pressure from the liquid refrigerant, which rapidly cools it. And so, the liquid refrigerant that is about to leave the expansion valve is quite cold, which is what allows it to absorb heat from the air.
Moreover, the expansion valve also controls exactly how much refrigerant flows to the evaporator. In fact, the more advanced expansion valves, like the thermostatic expansion valves (TXVs), can rigorously control the flow to improve the system’s overall energy efficiency.
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Machinery and Equipment for the Production of Condensers and Evaporators
Considering the primary purposes of condensers and evaporators, it’s not a surprise that both of them are required for HVAC systems. For that reason, companies that build HVAC systems or manufacture the coils for the evaporators and condensers must make sure that their machines and equipment for production are of high quality. It is also incredibly important to know that you have the essential machines, to begin with. To help you determine whether you have all the essential machines for your production facility or not, here is a list of all the necessary tube fabrication machines that are used in the production of condensers and evaporators.
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Straightener or End Forming
The production application of this particular machine is to straighten and cut to a predetermined length level-wound coiled tubing of copper or aluminum. The machine is a fully integrated system that consists of a tube straightening and sizing section, an adjustable-length tube feeding section, and a chipless tube cutoff section. Additionally, a few supporting pieces of equipment include a tube de-coiling system, a tube runout or collector system, and an optional tube-end resizing system. The control system for this machine is usually designed in such a manner that all operations are sequenced fully automatically or may be individually placed under manual control.
Tube End Former
The tube end former is located outboard from the cutoff head and the tension clamp. It is hydraulically powered and is controlled through the main push-button panel. The tube ends are typically formed through a plunger-type internal sizing punch. This punch is machined to the exact form configuration that is required. And by reaching the end of its adjustment stroke, both the bell and flare on the tube end will be simultaneously produced.
Saw cutoff is a component of the tube straightener. The saw cutoff, along with the tube straightening and tube feeding sections, is mounted on a machined base plate, which also serves as the top of the weldment-constructed hydraulic reservoir. This over-sized reservoir is an integral part of the machine’s frame and is furnished with a liquid level gauge and thermometer.
The extrusion straightener, as the name suggests, is designed to size, straighten, and cut to length ribbed aluminum extrusions.
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Bender or Straightener
The production application of an automatic mandrel type is to produce hairpin bends from level-wound coiled tubing of copper or aluminum. It is usually a fully integrated system that consists of a tube straightening, sizing, and lubrication section, an adjustable-length tube feeding section, a chipless tube cutoff section, and a hairpin bender section.
Automatic Hairpin Bender
The production application of the automatic hairpin bender is to produce hairpin bends from precut straight tube lengths of copper or aluminum that have outside diameters of between 7.94 mm and 15.875 mm. This machine is usually a fully integrated system that consists of a hopper feed unit and a hairpin bender. Additionally, it is designed to meter and pre-feed the required number of tube lengths to the hairpin bender, which loads the tube lengths over the bending mandrels, forms the hairpin bends, and ejects the completed hairpins.
Hand-Fed Hairpin Bender
The hand-fed hairpin bender produces quality hairpins of copper, aluminum, steel, or other tube materials that are commonly employed for heat transfer coil production. This machine is designed for the production of hairpins from precut straight tube lengths. Additionally, it will accommodate a range of tube diameters that are usually employed in the hairpin construction of heat transfer coils.
Power Tube Bender
The power tube bender is a heavy-duty tube bender with all its tube-bending functions hydraulically powered. It is designed for copper, aluminum, mild steel, and brass alloy tubing that has outside diameters between 9.94 mm and 34.9 mm.
The manually operated tube bender is designed for copper and aluminum tube that has the outside diameters between 4.76 mm and 22.22 mm.
- Return Bender/Combination Bender. The production application of a combination bender and return bender is to fabricate short 180° bends (also known as return bends), 5°–90° elbows, dual 90° crossover bends, and short straight lengths directly from level-wound coiled tubing of copper or aluminum that has outside tube diameters between 6.35 mm and 19.05 mm. A random straight length of tubing may also be employed. Additionally, the combination bender and the return bender are fully integrated systems that consist of an adjustable-length tube feeding and straightening section, a tube bending section, and a cutoff/bend ejection section.
- Return Bend Sizer and Ring Loader. The production application of the return bend sizer and ring loader is to, in a fully automatic manner, round the tangent legs of return bends and to apply the solder (brazing) ring to the sized tangent legs of the return bends. Additionally, this machine is fully integrated with a rotary index table, return bend feeding system, return bend sizing system, brazing ring feeding system, brazing ring loading system, and ejection system.
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Hole Pierce/Extrude Machine
The hole pierce or extrude machine provides a completely unique process for forming the tube holes in the header tube. These tube holes that are produced have both inward and outward extending flanges. And this configuration of the holes ensures the production of headers with both extreme strength and freedom from leaks.
The header or nipple fixture machine provides a depth location of the nipple into the main header tube and precisely locates the nipple during the brazing operation.
Accessories — Tube Fabrication
The primary function of the tubing uncoiler stand is to provide a device for smooth and even flow of tubing during the feed cycle. The design of the device provides controlled deceleration at the termination of the feed stroke, in order that good productivity and uniformity of tube cut length be maintained, with minimum scrap losses.
Tube Collector Table
The tubing runout/collector table consists of a specially designed air operated dump table of a tubular weldment frame design with a tube collection area. This device provides support for straight lengths of copper or aluminum tube. Without this particular support, the tubing can bend, thus creating lacing trouble on coils.
Tube Trim Saw
The tube trim saw consists of a stand with a precision saw motor. The way this machine operates is that after clamping the bend, the operator then rotates the clamped bend into the motorized circular saw, which trims the bend to the pre-set tangent leg length. It is generally recommended to make a bend at both ends of the tube since this method results in minimal material usage.
Every HVAC component is made up of so many parts and components, and in order for the entire system to work seamlessly, each of these components has to be in perfect condition. Of these components, two that need the utmost attention are the condensers and the evaporators. Generally speaking, the condenser is the one that either releases or collects heat — depending on the time of the year — while the evaporator is the one that absorbs heat.
Both of these components are essential for any HVAC system. And for that reason, it is crucial that HVAC systems are always equipped with the best condensers and evaporators. And one way to make sure of this is to have a production facility that is equipped with the best machines to manufacture these two HVAC components.
That is why if you own a company that builds HVAC systems or you deal with the manufacturing and selling of condensers and evaporators, it’s necessary for you to have all the necessary production machines. The ones mentioned above are some of the essential ones that you need to know about. So, check if your facility has the above-mentioned machines. If you really are dedicated to manufacturing or having the best condensers and evaporators for your customers, then you need to ensure that the manufacturing process is top-notch as well.
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