Learning Objectives: Understand the principles of air conditioning and the operation of basic air-conditioning systems. Recognize the characteristics and procedures required to install, operate, and maintain air-conditioning systems
Air conditioning is the simultaneous control of temperature, humidity, air movement, and the quality of air in a conditioned space or building. The intended use of the conditioned space is the determining factor for maintaining the temperature, humidity, air movement, and quality of air. Air conditioning is able to provide widely varying atmospheric conditions ranging from conditions necessary for drying telephone cables to that necessary for cotton spinning. Air conditioning can maintain any atmospheric condition regardless of variations in outdoor weather.
This chapter explains the following subjects as they pertain to air conditioning: principles of air conditioning, heat pumps, chilled-water systems, periodic maintenance, cooling towers, troubleshooting, automotive air conditioning, and ductwork.
Learning Objective: Understand the basic principles of temperature, humidity, and air motion in relation to air conditioning.
Air conditioning is the process of conditioning the air in a space to maintain a predetermined temperature- humidity relationship to meet comfort or technical requirements. This warming and cooling of the air is usually referred to as winter and summer air conditioning.
Here, you are introduced to the operating principles of air-conditioning systems, the environmental factors controlled by air conditioning, and their effects on health and comfort. Refrigerative air conditioners and general procedures pertaining to the installation, operation, and maintenance of these systems are examined. Also, the operation and maintenance of the controls used with these systems are explained.
Temperature, humidity, and air motion are interrelated in their effects on health and comfort. The term given to the net effects of these factors is effective temperature. This effective temperature cannot be measured with a single instrument; therefore, a psychrometric chart aids in calculating the effective temperature when given sufficient known conditions relating to air temperatures and velocity.
Research has shown that most persons are comfortable in air where the effective temperature lies within a narrow range. The range of effective temperatures within which most people feel comfortable is called the COMFORT ZONE. Since winter and summer weather conditions are markedly different, the summer zone varies from the winter zone. The specific effective temperature within the zone at which most people feel comfortable is called the COMFORT LINE (fig. 7-1).
Air at a high temperature and saturated with moisture makes us feel uncomfortable. However, with the same temperature and the air fairly dry, we may feel quite comfortable. Dry air, as it passes over the surface of the skin, evaporates the moisture sooner than damp air and, consequently, produces greater cooling effect. However, air may be so dry that it causes us discomfort. Air that is too dry causes the surface of the skin to become dry and irritates the membranes of the respiratory tract.
HUMIDITY is the amount of water vapor in a given volume of air. RELATIVE HUMIDITY is the amount of water vapor in a given amount of air in comparison with the amount of water vapor the air would hold at a temperature if it were saturated. Relative humidity may be remembered as a fraction or percentage of water vapor in the air; that is, DOES HOLD divided by CAN HOLD.Continue Reading