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Choose Condenser

Sep 08, 2020

The most difficult challenge in building an efficient system is to install a large enough condenser where the air is cool enough to fully flow through the condenser to remove heat and fully condense the refrigerant. The condenser must provide a low resistance path for the condensate in order to avoid pressure buildup on the system refrigerant. (Excessive pressure here tends to reduce heat loss, thereby reducing condensation.)


The confusion between the old vertical and horizontal tubes in the 03040-vfc_lr condenser is at work here. On tube-fin condensers, the tubes must run horizontally. On a parallel flow condenser, the water tank runs vertically, but the pipe must also run horizontally. why? Because the lubricating oil flows with the refrigerant in the system and will precipitate in the lower circuit of the condenser, which hinders the flow of liquefied refrigerant. We have seen that this single factor increases the internal pressure of the high-pressure part of the air conditioner by 50%, thereby reducing its ability to work normally.

As the R-12 refrigerant in the automotive air conditioning system is converted to HFC-134a refrigerant, we have to increase the surface contact area of the traditional tube and fin condensers by about 20% to maintain proper efficiency, but Unfortunately, many classic car and truck applications will not allow the increase in size. The new condenser is the right solution, and Vintage Air is the first to use this technology in the performance aftermarket.


Our new design SuperFlowTM condenser was launched in 1991, which can increase capacity without increasing external dimensions! By using flat tubes with manifolds together so that the refrigerant flows through multiple tubes at a time, we actually make the refrigerant 100% contact with the condenser tube wall. This design also has very low restrictions on the path through the condenser. In fact, the efficiency of the SuperFlow condenser is 40% higher than that of a conventional copper tube fin condenser of the same size. This means that we can get more capacity with less space, which is a good thing for small vintage cars and trucks!


The condenser must have good air circulation and must be installed correctly. A standard aftermarket evaporator must be used to match it with a compressor of approximately nine (9) cubic inches or smaller. Using this as the basic minimum standard, we tailored an optimized combination of components for each system to provide the best performance. We always recommend using the largest parallel flow condenser possible. The condenser should cover as many radiator cores as possible.


The air flow into the condenser is as important as the size: more is better. For air conditioning condensers, the ambient air temperature (outside air temperature) is more important than the engine cooling radiator, because when the refrigerant is exposed to temperatures above about 100°F, the chemicals will be very rapid and disproportionate. Expansion, thereby affecting system performance. Due to the higher boiling point, the water/antifreeze expands more proportionally at a much higher temperature than the refrigerant. Therefore, we place the condenser in front of the radiator, or in the coolest possible air flow, to keep the ambient air flowing through the condenser at a level that may be below or close to the century mark. Choosing a condenser takes more time and effort than any other part of the system.