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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

May 12, 2020

In this short podcast, Bryan talks about the impacts of compression and airflow changes. He also discusses some of the ramifications of those changes.

In order for us to energize the second stage of a compressor, we need to energize both Y1 AND Y2. On stage 2, we're running that compressor at full speed (350-450 CFM per ton). The compressor will also perform at rated capacity. When you stage down to stage 1, your blower should ramp down, and the compressor should produce less capacity (move less refrigerant). When moving less refrigerant, the compressor should use less current but still be cooled properly.

Naturally, the suction pressure goes up while the head pressure goes down when we ramp down the compressor. However, when you reduce the blower speed at the same time, your evaporator coil picks up less heat. In that case, the suction pressure would drop. You normally don't want the suction pressure to go up in the low stage from the high stage.

The impacts of compression changes are multifaceted, and there are several moving parts to think about when it comes to capacity. When the compressor slows down, it moves less refrigerant over the same period of time; your compression ratio goes down if your airflow over the evaporator coil remains the same. However, if the airflow drops proportionally, then your suction pressure should stay close to the same. If the compressor pumps the same amount of refrigerant, the suction pressure will drop. If the compressor pumps less refrigerant proportionally to the airflow, then the suction pressure should remain the same theoretically, but it usually increases.

An increase in suction pressure results in a lower compression ratio, which is good for efficiency.

Bryan also discusses:

  • Floating the evaporator temperature
  • Broken valves on reciprocating compressors
  • Improperly seated scrolls
  • Improper tonnage ratings across components
  • Oversized coils

Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

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