A condenser transfers the heat to a cooling medium. The heat is from heat exchanged by the evaporator and the heat transformed by the compressor work. Cooling medium, generally is air or water. It can be divided into air-cooled and water-cooled condensing form.
Compared with air-cooled and water-cooled form, we have some explanations with following.
l From the view of system structure, the air-cooled units are cooled by air (cooling by condenser’s’ fans). The water cooling units are cooled by water. The cooling water is from the circulation of water pump and cooling tower. The air-cooled cooling units only need air-cooled condensers, but the water-cooled cooling units need cooling tower, water pump and piping. They are more complex than air-cooled.
l From the view of capacity of cooling, no matter which way you use, the capacity production are same when the compressor is working on same status.
l From the view of power consumption, the power consumption of air-cooled unit equals power input of compressor plus the power input of air-cooled condenser. The power consumption of water-cooled unit equals the power input of compressor. But you should plus the power input of water pump and cooling tower. So, you can not say which way is better to save power.
l From the view of the application, air-cooled cooling units are better suitable for the area with short of water. And they are better suitable for running during winter when the environment temperature below zero. The water-cooled cooling unit is difficult to start below zero if it hasn’t an anti-frozen treatment. Normally, small and medium cold stores will adopt the air-cooled way. The large scale with many cold stores are better adopted water-cooled.
l But the water-cooled way has higher request on water quality, especially for an open circulation system. Due to the water is exposed to air after absorbed heat, the dissolved oxygen and turbidity in the water increased. The cooling water has the problems with corrosion, incrustation, bacterium and sludge. The water need to be treated regularly, otherwise the heat exchange rate will be reduced. The cooling effect is not good and power consumption will be increased.