There is a very clear possible difference between air conditioning and refrigeration, but still, the main concept behind these two is to lower the temperature in comparison to the surroundings. We easily can see such phenomena can in our domestic and industrial appliances like ACs and Refrigerators etc. In the refrigeration process, the apparatus supplies thermal energy from one place to a place of higher temperatures. On the other hand, the air conditioning process takes the thermal energy from the air for making the air cool. Thus, thermal energy flows from a place of higher temperature to a place of lower temperature. Such electrical appliances are using the heat pump and refrigerator applications. This article will explain the concepts in a simple way with the difference between air conditioning and refrigeration.
What is Air conditioning?
It is the process of changing the air conditioner with the removal of the heat and moisture and hence to get a more comfortable inner environment. The air conditioning process is usually to distribute the air-conditioned air in different indoor spaces to achieve certain comfort and air quality. In a broader sense, this term covers any possible technology which alters the state of air with its dehumidification, cleaning, heating, cooling, and ventilation. In simple terms, we may say that air conditioners draw the hot air and then cool it by the evaporation process.
It has two main components as evaporator and condenser both are working some kind of exchanger. The whole system circulates the working substance i.e. coolant in various aggregate states such as liquid and gaseous. Its cooling process is the analogy with heat pumps for heating and both are based on the Carnot cycle. The evaporator separates the heat from the air and hence making the air as well its surrounding space cool.
What is Refrigeration?
Refrigeration (also termed as cooling) is the technology that deals with the phenomena and processes of body cooling. Thus cooling means reducing the internal energy of an object by removal of energy. It is being done by lowering its temperature.
For the process of refrigeration, such equipment uses the liquids which are usually converted to gas at very low temperatures. Mostly these are using chlorofluorocarbons i.e. freons as coolants. The fridge has a maze of hermetically sealed interconnected tubes, and inside this tube, Freon is constantly circulating. Freon is transferred from the liquid state to the gas state and vice versa without being heated. This liquid Freon absorbs the heat, and with a rise in temperature, it turns into a gas. As a result the temperature of the substances kept inside it also falls.
Difference Between Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
The important difference between air conditioning and refrigeration
|Definition||It takes the thermal energy away from the place to keep the air cooler.||It transfers the thermal energy from one place to a place of higher temperatures.|
|Type||It is a special kind of refrigeration used to cool a large area.||It helps to flow thermal energy against the natural flow of heat.|
|Working||It maintains the temperature of a certain volume of air while maintaining purity and humidity.||It mainly regulates the temperature of air such as cooling and freezing of products.|
|Compressor and Condenser||The compressor and condenser both are separate units from the evaporator.||The compressor and condenser, both are as a single unit with an evaporator.|
|Cooling Mechanism||Its mechanism is supplied with gas from the tubes.||Internal chemicals as well as the air is supplied from the surrounding.|
|Movement of cold air||Cold air is pushed away from the main unit.||Cold air is kept inside its main unit.|
Some more information:
- AC maintains the temperature and humidity of the surrounding space. It needs an indoor unit, an outer unit, and a pipe connection. In cooling mode, the compressor compresses the heated gas into the condenser. Its heating process is the same but in the opposite direction.
- Refrigerators serve cooled products. Its compressor compresses the steam, as the pump pushes the air into the compressor. It then raises the steam temperature. Then hot and compressed air goes into the condenser to become cooled liquid. This liquid flows into the evaporator for vaporization. The process is repeated continuously to give a cooling effect.
FAQs about air conditioning and refrigeration:
Q.1: What is the main difference between cooling and refrigeration?
Solution: Cooling is the process of bringing down the temperature of some object. On the other hand, the refrigeration process brings the temperature of the object down to a lower temperature than its surroundings. Hence it maintains this temperature throughout.
Q.2: What are the main design based difference between air conditioning and refrigeration?
Solution: Refrigerators consist of condenser, compressor, and evaporator as a single unit. But, AC consists of a compressor and condenser as separate units from the evaporator.