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Heat is produced by various factors surrounding us. It may include total heat given off by the people, lights and equipment in the conditioned space plus the heat entering the space through the outside walls, windows, doors, roof, etc.
To preserve the appropriate temperature and humidity in the conditioned space, the cooling cycle is described as: The supply air (which is approximately 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler than the air in the conditioned space) leaves the cooling coil and goes through heating coil (which is off), through the supply air fan, down the duct and into the conditioned space. The cool supply air picks up heat in the conditioned space. The Heated air makes its way into the return air inlets, then into the return air duct and back to the air handling unit. The return air goes through the return air fan into the mixed air chamber and mixes with the outside air. The mixed air goes through the filters and into the cooling coil. The mixed air flows through the cooling coil where it gives up its heat into the chilled water tubes in the coil. This coil also has fins attached to the tubes to facilitate heat transfer. The cooled supply air leaves the cooling coil and the air cycle repeats.
The water, after picking up heat from the mixed air, leaves the cooling coil and goes through the chilled water return pipe to the water chiller's evaporator. The heated water flows into the chiller's evaporator (also known as water cooler) where it gives up the heat (from the mixed air) into the refrigeration system. The newly cooled water leaves the evaporator, goes through the chilled water pump and is pumped through the chilled water supply piping into the cooling coil to pick up heat from the mixed air and the water cycle repeats.
The evaporator is a heat exchanger that allows heat from the flow by conduction into the refrigerant pipes. The liquid refrigerant in the tubes boils off to a vapour removing heat from the water and transferring the heat to the compressor and then to the condenser. The heat from the condenser is conveyed to the cooling tower by the condenser water. Finally, outside air is drawn across the cooling tower, removing the heat from the water through the process of evaporation.
An Air Conditioning system is simply a group of components working together to move heat to where it is wanted i.e. the conditioned space or to remove heat from where it is not wanted i.e. the conditioned space and put it where it is innocuous i.e. the outside air.