How does compression cool water in a household water cooler?

In summary, compression of the refrigerant in a household water cooler does not directly cool the water. Instead, the evaporation of the refrigerant cools the water. This process involves a compressor, a heat exchanger, and a throttling valve, which work together to circulate the refrigerant and cool the water in the reservoir. The compressor turns the warm gas back into a liquid, and the heat is expelled from the water cooler. It is important to ensure that the refrigerant is free of moisture, as this can cause issues in the cooling process.
  • #1
olgkd123
4
0
How does compression cool water in a household water cooler? I was reading and it says, "
The water inside the water cooler is fed into a reservoir, where it is cooled using a refrigerant. A refrigerant is a cooling medium that is circulated in pipes that are located close to the reservoir in the water cooler. The refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas as it moves in the pipes towards the reservoir because of the pressure in the pipes created by a compressor inside the water cooler. The cooled gas in the water pipe is forced through a valve to make it even colder.

When the refrigerant is in a gas form and is circulating in the pipes, it has the ability to absorb the heat away from the mineral water in the reservoir, leaving cool and refreshing water that is readily available. The heat in the refrigerant is then expelled from the water cooler." Could someone not only explain the science behind this, but also the general engineering behind it? Thank you!
 
Engineering news on Phys.org
  • #2
olgkd123 said:
How does compression cool water in a household water cooler? I was reading and it says, "
The water inside the water cooler is fed into a reservoir, where it is cooled using a refrigerant. A refrigerant is a cooling medium that is circulated in pipes that are located close to the reservoir in the water cooler. The refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas as it moves in the pipes towards the reservoir because of the pressure in the pipes created by a compressor inside the water cooler. The cooled gas in the water pipe is forced through a valve to make it even colder.

When the refrigerant is in a gas form and is circulating in the pipes, it has the ability to absorb the heat away from the mineral water in the reservoir, leaving cool and refreshing water that is readily available. The heat in the refrigerant is then expelled from the water cooler." Could someone not only explain the science behind this, but also the general engineering behind it? Thank you!
As your source says, compression of the refrigerant doesn't cool the water, evaporation of the refrigerant does. Any liquid, including water, cools itself when it evaporates (that's why sweat cools you). Some chemicals are better at it than others, but if you expand and reduce the pressure with a throttling valve, a liquid can boil and get colder. Then you run it through a heat exchanger to complete the boiling, cooling the water. The compressor turns the warm gas back into a liquid, which also heats it, allowing you to reject that heat into the atmosphere, completing the cycle. Basically all refrigerators use the same principle:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vapor-compression_refrigeration
 
  • #3
Depending on the refrigerant, you may find the 'plumbing' of your heat-pump is more complex than the usual drawings. There's often an un-labelled 'sausage' with two or three connections that serves no obvious purpose. If you dig really, really deep with your preferred search engine, you should find this whatsit is a combined mist-catcher and dessicant pack. Without it, condensate spray can get to parts of system where it should only be gas, and traces of moisture in the refrigerant may ice-up and choke the 'expander' valve. A damp 're-gas' after a repair and/or excessive jolting / vibration can overwhelm the dessicant or collapse the whatsit's brittle internal matrix, causing baffling fault symptoms. We had a fridge-freezer's pump replaced twice under warranty before the service guy figured the real cause of the unit's cooling 'stalling out' around freezing point instead of '~20 below' (C')...
 

Related to How does compression cool water in a household water cooler?

1. How does compression technology work to cool water in a household water cooler?

Compression technology uses a compressor and refrigerant gas to lower the temperature of water in a household water cooler. The compressor compresses the refrigerant gas, causing it to become hot and high-pressure. As the gas flows through the condenser coils, it dissipates heat and turns into a liquid. This liquid then passes through an expansion valve, where it rapidly expands and cools down. The cold liquid then flows through the evaporator coils, where it absorbs heat from the water, cooling it down before being recirculated back to the compressor.

2. How does a household water cooler maintain a consistent temperature?

A household water cooler maintains a consistent temperature by using a thermostat. The thermostat measures the temperature of the water and signals the compressor to turn on or off to maintain the desired temperature. When the water temperature rises above the set temperature, the compressor turns on and cools the water. Once the water reaches the set temperature, the compressor shuts off until the water temperature rises again.

3. Can compression cooling technology be used for hot water in a household water cooler?

No, compression cooling technology is only used for cooling water in a household water cooler. To provide hot water, a separate heating element is used to heat the water. This is because compression cooling works by removing heat from the water, not adding heat to it.

4. How does the size of the compressor affect the cooling capacity of a household water cooler?

The size of the compressor directly affects the cooling capacity of a household water cooler. A larger compressor can compress more refrigerant gas, resulting in a greater cooling effect. However, a larger compressor also consumes more energy, which can impact the operating cost of the water cooler.

5. Is compression cooling technology energy-efficient in a household water cooler?

Yes, compression cooling technology is generally considered to be energy-efficient in a household water cooler. This is because the compressor only runs when the water temperature needs to be cooled, as opposed to traditional cooling methods that continuously run. Additionally, newer models of household water coolers use energy-saving features such as inverter compressors, which adjust the cooling capacity based on the water temperature, resulting in further energy savings.

Similar threads

Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
32
Views
2K
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Mechanics
Replies
3
Views
888
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
28
Views
2K
  • Other Physics Topics
Replies
9
Views
13K
Replies
13
Views
3K
  • DIY Projects
2
Replies
39
Views
8K
  • General Engineering
Replies
13
Views
13K
  • Classical Physics
Replies
2
Views
1K
Back
Top