The Advantages of a Thermal Expansion Valve for Enclosure Cooling Systems

thermal_expansion_valve-1Many enclosure air conditioners are designed similarly to residential cooling systems. They use a compressor to pump refrigerant through a condenser and an evaporator and remove heat from the enclosed air.

The evaporator coil is located in the enclosure air path, where the refrigerant exists in the form of a vapor that removes heat from the environment. The refrigerant is then compressed and pumped to a condenser located outside the enclosure where it returns to liquid form and releases all the heat it absorbed from inside the enclosure. The refrigerant then changes from a liquid into a vapor as it passes into the evaporator through a small orifice. This process is continuously repeated to maintain a consistently cool temperature within the enclosure.

While this system can use a capillary tube with a fixed orifice to change the refrigerant from the liquid phase to the vapor phase, a better way to achieve the reliable cooling required in an electrical enclosure is to use a thermal expansion valve.

Four Benefits of a Thermal Expansion Valve

A thermal expansion valve is designed to sense the temperature of refrigerant as it is leaving the evaporator. Based on this temperature, the valve adjusts the flow of refrigerant from the condenser to the evaporator. Controlling refrigerant flow in this way presents four significant benefits in an electrical enclosure cooling application:

  1. Efficiency is improved over a broad range of temperatures and heat loads. When higher temperatures occur, more refrigerant is allowed to flow through the system. When the temperature drops, less refrigerant flow means your cooling system doesn’t have to work so hard.
  2. Refrigerant is more effectively returned to the compressor, which is especially important for cooling at higher temperatures.
  3. The possibility of liquid slugging, which can damage the compressor, is reduced. This protects your equipment, giving it a longer life and providing you with a better return on your investment.
  4. Because the valve actively adjusts refrigerant flow rate, variations in refrigerant charge are less critical than on units without a thermal expansion valve. This is especially important for smaller cooling systems.

Thermal Edge uses a thermal expansion valve on every enclosure air conditioner we produce, no matter what size it is. This means that you can be confident that your enclosure cooling system will work at optimal efficiency no matter how much the external temperatures vary throughout the day or the year.

In addition to a thermal expansion valve, every Thermal Edge air conditioner also has a condensate evaporation system and a programmable digital controller. All of these features combined give you peace of mind that your enclosure cooling system will operate efficiently, reliably, and with less maintenance required. Contact us today to learn more or get a free quote.

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