Air conditioning system – We are answering mechanics’ questions part 1

22 Oct 2020

Why are the air conditioning condensers getting smaller? Can compressor performance be variable? Is there enough oil in the new compressor? Technical trainers of Valeo, a leading manufacturer of air conditioning components, decided to answer these and other questions asked by the mechanics.

One of the most frequently asked questions during the training sessions concerned the size of air conditioning condensers. Why are these components found in newer cars are getting smaller and smaller?

With the development of production technology, it has become possible to produce smaller and thinner condensers, while at the same time allowing even better refrigerant cooling. A smaller condenser also reduces the amount of refrigerant in the system, which is important for vehicle manufacturers (due to the increase in refrigerant prices). The amount of space available in the front of the vehicle is also very important for car manufacturers. A smaller condenser means more space under the mask for other components. Of course, smaller dimensions are also associated with lower condenser strength, which is, however, a consequence of vehicle manufacturers’ design decisions. So, you can say that downsizing has its advantages, but also its drawbacks.

Some mechanics have also asked the service question, how long can an AC system remain open (without gas) so that it is not necessary to replace system components due to corrosion?

Unfortunately, there is no precise information on the subject, whether it is half an hour, 40 or 20 minutes. It is assumed that the system can be open for the time of repair, but it is difficult to say exactly how many minutes it will be because it is impossible to predict the conditions at the time of repair. The key problem is of course the hygroscopicity of the filter-drier. This means that it binds water from the air, and if it gets wet, moisture will be present throughout the system, leading to corrosion of key system components.


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