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Originally published on December 10, 2013

In order to troubleshoot the materials of a warmth pump system, friend must first understand them. Since much of phibìc America has transitioned right into the heater season, that perfect timing to review a component commonly found in residential warmth pump systems: the suction accumulator.

What is a suction accumulator?

Suction accumulators are critical components of air-to-air and air-to-water warm pump systems.

What go a suction accumulator do?

Air-source warmth pumps must maintain a fragile balance and proper control of liquid refrigerant under short ambient heating problems to adequately provide cooling come the compressor, and also avoid extreme refrigerant floodback. If liquid refrigerant is enabled to flood with the system and return come the compressor without being evaporated, it can cause damage to the compressor. Relying on the kind of compressor, this damages could range from fluid slugging, ns of oil (in the compressor), or bearing washout.

To protect against floodbacks on systems breakable to fluid refrigerant damages such as heat pumps, the accumulator’s duty is to intercept the liquid refrigerant before it have the right to reach the compressor. Once a coil defrost is required, the compressor is exposed to sudden surges that liquid the can create extreme stresses in the system. The accumulator deserve to act as a receiver during the heating and defrost cycles when system imbalance or an overcharge native field business could an outcome in extreme liquid refrigerant in the system.

The accumulator have the right to store the refrigerant till needed and also feed it ago to the compressor at an agree rate. Major movements that refrigerant take ar at the initiation and also termination that a defrost cycle, and also while that is not essential or even preferable to protect against this movement, the is vital that the rate at which the fluid refrigerant is fed earlier to the compressor it is in controlled. Together with this proper metering, the accumulator can properly maintain the crankcase or bottom shell temperature at acceptable limits. A properly designed suction accumulator can provide excellent protection against both potential hazards.

What form or dimension of accumulator must be used?

This component must be located in the compressor suction line between the evaporator and also the compressor. It demands to have a volume/capacity big enough to host the maximum quantity of fluid that might return come it, and also must have provisions because that a positive return of oil to the compressor.

The actual refrigerant holding capacity needed for a offered accumulator is governed by the requirements of the specific application, and also the accumulator must be selected to organize the maximum liquid floodback anticipated. Typical accumulators produced for air air conditioning or commercial intake have oil return orifices in size from .0625 come .125 inch diameter. The smaller orifice indeed is an ext vulnerable to restriction from solder corpuscle or other foreign material in the system, and also an inlet display would it is in advisable, an especially on systems with field-installed piping. Treatment should additionally be take away to protect against solder and also flux from entering the accumulator, because excessive international material can plug the metering orifice, properly trapping the compressor oil in the accumulator.

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Note the refrigerant inlet is balance out from the height of the J tube. Together the refrigerant and also oil get in the vessel, velocity separation bring away place and the refrigerant expands due to the ambient temperature giving a heat source. At this point, the oil entering, (along with any kind of liquid refrigerant) separates indigenous the vapor refrigerant and falls come the bottom. The vapor refrigerant moves through the “J” tube together the compressor reasons a pressure distinction on between the inlet and outlet that the accumulator. Together the refrigerant travels with the “J” tube, this reasons a Venturi impact to take place across the orifice, drawing in oil native the bottom of the vessel. The vapor refrigerant dead the oil earlier to the compressor at a regulated rate.

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