THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALUMINUM CONDENSER AND COPPER CONDENSER

Today we are discussing the difference Aluminum condenser and Copper condenser. Firstly we have to know the definition of a Condenser.

What is Condenser?

A mechanical function, especially a coil which can work in high pressure and temperature and works to condense the refrigerant vapor to eject heat from the refrigerant is called a Condenser.

Types of Condenser:

There are three types of condensers. It is important to know before discussing the difference Aluminum condenser and Copper condenser.

  1. Air-cooled Condenser
  2. Evaporative condenser
  3. Water-cooled condensers.
  1. Air-cooled Condenser: An air-cooled type of condenser gradually contains some pipes with attached fins, wires or plates which are connected with the refrigerant containing pipes. For this piping, the surface area of the condenser increases which can give it higher efficient heat ejecting or cooling.
  2. Evaporative Condenser: It is a system which has a combined air and water flow. The combination flows onto the content coil and the sprayed water is collected by a pumper. The air is compressed and thus the compressor works. It is usually used in big towers.
  3. Water-cooled Condenser: The condenser has one outer tube filled with vaporized refrigerant and an inner tube filled with cool water. The first pipe content flows over the inner pipe and the low-temperature water helps to reduce heat and compresses the refrigerant. In this system, we can expect a bit more cooling and heat transferring efficiency.

TYPES OF METAL CONDENSER:

The most used metal condensers are made of copper or aluminum. We are here to discuss that which condenser is good for AC. So now, let’s see what the Copper Condenser Coil and the Aluminum Condenser Coil is.

COPPER CONDENSER COIL:

In the time of past machinery mainly copper is used to making a condenser coil. We can say that there was only one good quality coil, Copper Condenser Coil. The Copper Condenser Coil is used in HVAC systems. Though it was efficient and had more benefits than any other, it was very expensive and everybody can’t afford it. 

ALUMINUM CONDENSER COIL

In the year of 1970, there arises a change in the whole air conditioner industry. The company General Electronic started making coils with Aluminum. It is a low-cost condenser so that AC became affordable to most of the people.  

the difference Aluminum condenser and Copper condenser

Functional difference Aluminum condenser and Copper condenser

Since the past, there has been a long debate about choosing Copper Condenser Coil and Aluminum Condenser Coil. It is a confusing question, which condenser is good for AC? We can discuss the characteristics of both.

1) Characteristics of heat transfer:

The coil is the only place where the heat transfer takes place. The coil making metal should be a very good heat transferring material. Though Copper condenser coil is expensive than aluminum one it is more efficient about heat transfer. Due to the higher heat transfer character, copper is better to use in making an Air Conditioner coil.

2) The quality of being easily bent, Pliability:

An important factor to judge a metal for making a coil is Pliability. It means the quality of being easily bent due to heat. Aluminum can be bent easily than copper and we can make any desired shape by it easily. But to make a desired copper condenser coil the same as aluminum one, many more amount of copper is needed. 

[Nowadays, for making low cost coil for air conditioner much thinner copper coils are made. It can reduce the cost of AC and can make it affordable to all.]

3) Reliability and Strength:

It is much easy to repair a copper coil than the aluminum condenser coil. Sometimes, damaged aluminum coils need total replacement due to no way to repair it. The coil made of copper is also more strong than the aluminum one. Both of them are durable but the copper one is more than an aluminum coil.

4) Maintenance and its cost:

The metal condensers are placed in the outer unit of the Air Conditioner. So the climate, environmental temperature, and dust can affect them. So they require regular cleaning for longevity and long-lasting good function. The copper condenser coil is easy to clean and there is no extra maintenance cost. While the coil made of aluminum is not as strong as the copper one. It requires good protection from damage and also very difficult to clean it. So the maintenance cost is high for the aluminum condenser coil.

5) Corrosion of the coil:

To determine the lifespan of any Air Conditioner, corrosion is very important. This character plays the role to damage the metal coils. Due to this damage, the heat transfer process becomes hampered and also leakage can happen. The coils should be protected from the corrosion, which is made from higher humid potential and salty water bodies (from the seacoast area). Though aluminum is affordable, it can’t resist corrosion more than a Copper Condenser Coil. So copper coil is better to make a long-lasting coil.

6) Cost of metal:

The price of copper metal is higher than aluminum. The coil of copper costs more than the aluminum one. So the use of copper condenser coil increases the price of an air conditioner. If we want to reduce the manufacturing cost, we have to go for an aluminum coil. Though the longevity of copper coil is more than aluminum, it costs much and makes the AC non-affordable to many.

So, it is till now confusing which condenser is good for AC. The copper one has more facilities but a higher cost.  The aluminum one has fewer facilities than copper coil but affordable cost. So, which condenser is good for AC? We can say that it depends on the budget of the buyer. 

Latest Technologies in Air Conditioner Coils

This is an era of technology. So, various kinds of affordable and useful condensers are made for our needs.

  • Microchannels: There’s a type of coils named Micro Channel which is aluminum coils. They contain flat tubes which are made of small aluminum-containing channels named micro-channels. Via these channels, the refrigerant flows.
  • Bluefin condensers: It is a type of condenser that has a coating upon the coil which makes them anti-corrosive. Panasonic, Blue star, etc use this kind of coil.
  • Gold fin condenser: it is actually a kind of bluefin condenser. The metal gold is used to make the coat on the coil, thus this is called Gold Fin Condenser.
  • Ocean black protection condenser: This is an important type of corrosion protected copper condenser used by LG. It is much useful for the coast area. 

FAQs

  1. How can evaporator coil leak fix in the home?

Ans: It is impossible to fix the leak. The coil must be replaced for the leakage. If not, it can be harmful to the total HVAC system.

  1. How long AC coils last?

Ans: A coil can last 10 to 20 years. It depends on its maintenance. Well maintained AC coils can last the total life of the system.

  1. How often one can clean the AC coil?

Ans: You can clean coil ones a year. This cleaning can minimize current usage and can prevent corrosion.

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