The need for air conditioning in a car is critical. If you are having a stressful day at work. And you get into your car, turn on the AC, it automatically eases your stress, cools you down, and make you feel better. They are like tranquilizers.
Car Air Conditioning works the same in all cars basically. Refrigerant is the gas that all the systems run on. Within an AC System you have a compressor, condenser, and evaporator which all work concurrently to make it happen. Before driving into how a car air conditioning works, let’s first understand what a car air conditioning is.
What Is Car Air Conditioning?
Car air conditioning is a system in your car that provides a cooler environment for the occupant by cooling the interior air of the car. The air conditioning you have in your car is the same as the one in your home.
Why You Need Air Conditioning System?
Air conditioning is one of the essential features of modern vehicles. Apart from cooling the inside of the vehicle and the occupants, an AC offers protection against the unbearable summer weather. Is it a necessity or a luxury? The answer is relative.
No doubt, everyone needs a comfortable and cooler experience while driving. One of the things drivers and car owners look to enjoy is a comfortable drive. The air conditioning system offers great comfort. You won’t have to sweat or struggle in the highs of the summer. With an Ac system, you can conserve or reduce the extra energy you put into winding your car window up and down.
Safety is another thing you’ll love about using an air conditioning system in your vehicle. Being too warm or drowsy can be dangerous for a driver. An AC protects you against these conditions by offering cleaner, fresher, and cooler air to keep you focused on the steering wheel.
Again, the air scares away the mist that settles on your vehicle’s windscreen. Of course, dampness on the car can cause an accident and Ac will help you de-mist the car to ensure a safe drive.
How Does A Car Air Conditioning Work?
The mechanisms of the AC in all vehicles are the same. It uses the refrigerant, which is the high-pressure gas to work. For a car air conditioner to function properly, it must have four things in place. They are:
- Compressor: This is considered the heart of the air conditioning system and it wraps the high-pressure gas into a fluid.
- Condenser: take heat away from the refrigerant to the expansion valve.
- Evaporator: This component transfer heat to the refrigerant after pulling heat from the core-bound air. The evaporator is responsible for the cool and cold airflow.
- Orifice Tube: This is also known as the expansion valve and it helps to return the high-pressure gas to its natural gaseous state. It takes the refrigerant to the accumulator or driver.
All these components work hand-in-hand for better performance. If any of them develops a fault then the entire AC system becomes nonfunctional.
The processes involved for a car air conditioning to work begins with the compressor. As you know, the compressor is the heart of the AC system, and that plays a major role in getting the air conditioner to function.
It does that by compressing the refrigerant until it turns from a gaseous state into a liquid state. The compressor is connected to the crankshaft through the driving belt. It gets its power from the engine.
Next is the condenser. This is the most visible part of a car AC system because it is very easy to access. It looks a lot like a radiator. Its work is to reduce the vaporized refrigerant or high temperature that comes out from the compressor. The condenser removes the heat from the air that flows through it and cools it down.
Then the evaporator is the only part of an AC system that is found in the passenger’s space. The cold and dry air that comes from the receiver-drier passes through the evaporator. As the air circulates, it’s blown towards the evaporator, and eventually released.
The cooling fan help blow the cold air through the AC vents, cooling the passenger cabin. Then finally, the refrigerant moves back to the compressor and continues the cycle.
The History of Car Air Conditioning System
No one would consider buying a car without an air conditioning system. It has become a necessity. The Air Conditioning System in Vehicles has become more critical over the last decade or two.
The first practical Automotive AC System was developed in 1939. They were the first manufacturers to have an AC unit installed in cars. It was called the Weather Conditioner. The Bishop and Babcock Co Company took over and completed it. It didn’t draw many customers because of the numerous mechanical problems and constant servicing it needed, so the project was stopped after 1941.
From 1947-1953, AC unit manufacturing picked up, and General Motors automobile started installing AC system in all their car models. In 1954, Pontiac and Nash became the first companies to ever fix an air conditioning unit in front of the car, no longer at the back.
They combined both heater and air conditioner into a line system and called it ” All-weather Eye”. Other manufacturers loved the invention and they bought the idea. This gained popularity and the product was marketed by different companies. And this went on till date.
The air conditioning system has become the most desired and treasured in a car. Manufacturers no longer produced automobiles without implanting an AC unit in them. This is because people no longer patronize cars without an AC system in them.
Getting a car without a cooling system is like throwing money into the gutters, it’s completely off and no longer in trend. The downside of the air conditioning system is the increased fuel consumption. The AC can’t work without fuel. It’s estimated that it consumes as much as 20% of the fuel your car uses.