ESPEC's larger and high-performance test chambers typically are water cooled systems. The water is used to cool the refrigeration system at its condenser. (See our last newsletter for details about water-cooling.) Our smaller, standard chambers avoid water-cooling by expelling the heat directly to the room via an air-cooled condenser. For larger refrigeration systems, this would create too much heat and be too large to be acceptable.
In instances where water-cooling is impractical, ESPEC can provide a remote air-cooled condenser. This condenser is placed outside, much like many buildings' air conditioning condensers are. The refrigerant is piped to the condenser, where high velocity fans cool it before it is returned to the system. Because we use less common refrigerants with special capabilities to allow extremely low temperatures, our condensers are much more sensitive to outdoor temperatures. Typically, we limit our performance guarantee for a system to a maximum outdoor temperature of 35°C (95°F). As the temperature increases above this point, the performance of the chamber drops, eventually shutting down at around 40°C (104°F).
To keep the ambient air at your condenser at its lowest possible and keep the system running efficiently, plan ahead. Locate the condenser in a shady location, preferably on the north or east side of your building. If placing the condenser on the roof, a reflective surface, like white pebbles, is best. Of course, allow adequate spacing for good airflow. Only for the most demanding, high production applications, should this be a serious concern. In regions where the design standard is higher than 95°F, ESPEC will need to oversize the refrigeration condenser and/or adjust the pressure limits of the system. To learn more, check out this web page: http://www.howstuffworks.com/ac.htm