Parts of Split Air Condioners: Outdoor Unit


The split air conditioner is one of the most widely used type of the air conditioners. Earlier window air conditioner was used most widely, but the split air conditioner is now catching up with it. The major reasons behind the popularity if split air conditioner are their silent operation and elegant looks. Another advantage of the split air conditioner is that you don’t have to make the hole in the wall of the air conditioner and destroy the beauty of the room. These days the indoor units of the split air conditioner are available in wide range of color and designs.

There are two main parts of the split air conditioner: the indoor unit and the outdoor unit (see fig below). The indoor unit of the split AC is installed inside the room that is to be air conditioned or cooled while the outdoor unit is installed outside the room in open space where the unit can be installed and maintained easily. Apart from these two major parts there is copper tubing connecting the indoor and the outdoor units. Let us see the various parts of the indoor and the outdoor units of the split ACs.

Parts of Split Conditioner

Split AC
Split AC
Split AC

Outdoor Unit

As mentioned previously the outdoor unit is installed outside the room to be air conditioned in the open space. In outdoor unit lots of heat is generated inside the compressor and the condenser, hence there should be sufficient flow of the air around it. The outdoor unit is usually installed at the height above the height of the indoor unit inside the room though in many cases the outdoor is also installed at level below the indoor unit.

The outdoor unit contains the important parts of the split AC like compressor, condenser, expansion valve etc. Let us see these parts in more details:

1) Compressor:

The compressor is most important part of the any air conditioner. It compresses the refrigerant and increases its pressure before sending it to the condenser. The size of the compressor varies depending on the desired air conditioning load. In most of the domestic split air conditioners hermetically sealed type of compressor is used. In such compressors the motor used for driving the shaft is located inside the sealed unit and it is not visible externally. External power has to be supplied to the compressor, which is utilized for compressing the refrigerant and during this process lots of heat is generated in the compressor, which has to be removed by some means.

2) Condenser:

The condenser used in the outdoor unit of split air conditioners is the coiled copper tubing with one or more rows depending on the size of the air conditioning unit and the compressor. Greater the tonnage of the air conditioner and the compressor more are the coil turns and rows. The high temperature and high pressure refrigerant from the compressor comes in the condenser where it has to give up the heat. The tubing is made up of copper since it rate of conduction of heat is high. The condenser is also covered with the aluminum fins so that the heat from the refrigerant can be removed at more faster rate.

Condenser Coil

3) Condenser Cooling Fan:

The heat generated within the compressor has to be thrown out else the compressor will get too hot in the long run and its motor coils will burn leading to complete breakdown of the compressor and the whole air conditioner. Further, the refrigerant within the condenser coil has to be cooled so that after expansion its temperature become low enough to produce the cooling effect. The condenser cooling fan is an ordinary fan with three or four blades and is driven by a motor. The cooling fan is located in front of the compressor and the condenser coil. As the blades of the fan rotate it absorbs the surrounding air from the open space and blows it over the compressor and the condenser with the aluminum fins thus cooling them. The hot air is thrown back to the open space and the circulation of air continues unhindered.

4) Expansion Valve:

The expansion valve is usually a copper capillary tubing with several rounds of coils. In the split air conditioners of bigger capacities thermostatic expansion valve is used which is operated electronically automatically. The high pressure and medium temperature refrigerant leaves the condenser and enters the expansion valve, where its temperature and pressure drops suddenly.

Image Courtesy

1) 220V Appliances

2) The Elite Home

3) Great American Coil

This post is part of the series: Parts of the Split Air Conditioners. Installation of the Split Air Conditioner

This is the series of articles that describes parts of the split air conditioners like indoor unit, outdoor unit, refrigerant piping, compressor, condenser, expansion valve, cooling coil etc. It also describes the installation of split air conditioners.
  1. Parts of the Split Air Condioners: Outdoor Unit
  2. Parts of the Split Air Conditioner: Refrigerant Piping or Tubing
  3. Parts of the Split Air Conditioner: Wall Mounted Indoor Unit