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Air Conditioners 1

Air Conditioners

Air Conditioners 2

Introductory Question

If you operate a window air


conditioner on a table in the middle
of a room, the average temperature
in the room will

A.

become colder
become hotter
stay the same

B.
C.

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5 Questions about Air


Conditioners

Why doesnt heat flow from cold to hot?


Why does an air conditioner need
electricity?
How does an air conditioner cool room
air?
What role does the electricity play?
How does an air conditioner heat
outdoor air?

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Question 1

Why doesnt heat flow from cold to


hot?
Does such heat flow violate the laws of
motion?
Does such heat flow violate some other
laws?

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Laws Governing Heat


Flow

The four laws of thermodynamics


are the rules governing thermal energy
flow
and establish the relationships between

disordered (thermal) energy and ordered


energy
heat and work

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0th Law of
Thermodynamics

The law about thermal equilibrium:


If two objects are in thermal
equilibrium with a third object, then
they are in thermal equilibrium with
each other.

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1st Law of
Thermodynamics

The law about conservation of energy


Change in internal energy equals heat
in minus work out
where:

Internal energy: thermal + stored


energies
Heat in: heat transferred into object
Work out: external work done by object

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Order versus Disorder

Converting ordered energy into thermal


energy
involves events that are likely to occur
is easy to accomplish and often happens

Converting thermal energy into ordered


energy
involves events that are unlikely to occur
is hard to accomplish and effectively never happens

Statistically, ordered always becomes


disordered

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Entropy

Entropy is the measure of an


objects disorder

Includes both thermal and structural


disorders

An isolated systems entropy never


decreases
But entropy can move or be
transferred

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2nd Law of
Thermodynamics

The law about disorder (entropy)


Entropy of a thermally isolated
system never decreases

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3rd Law of
Thermodynamics

The law about entropy and


temperature
An objects entropy approaches zero
as its temperature approaches
absolute zero

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More on the 2nd Law

According to the 2nd Law:


Entropy of a thermally isolated system
cant decrease
But entropy can be redistributed within
the system
Part of the system can become hotter
while another part becomes colder!

Exporting entropy is like throwing


out trash!

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Natural Heat Flow

One unit of thermal energy is more


disordering to a cold object than to a hot
object
When heat flows from hot object to cold
object,

the hot objects entropy decreases

and the cold objects entropy increases,


so the overall entropy of the system increases
and total energy is conserved

Laws of motion and thermodynamics satisfied

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Unnatural Heat Flow

When heat flows from cold object to hot


object,
the cold objects entropy decreases,
and the hot objects entropy increases
so the overall entropy of the system decreases
although total energy is conserved

The 2nd law of thermodynamics is violated


To save 2nd law, we need more entropy!
Ordered energy must become disordered
energy!

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Question 2

Why does an air conditioner need


electricity?

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Heat Machines

Air conditioners
use work to transfer heat from cold to
hot
are a type of heat pump

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Air conditioners

(Part 1)

An air conditioner
moves heat from cold room air to hot outside air
moves heat against its natural flow
must convert ordered energy into disordered
energy
so as not to decrease the worlds total entropy!
uses a working fluid (chlorofluorocarbons
freon-, hydrofluorocarbons)to transfer heat

This fluid absorbs heat from cool room air


This fluid releases heat to warm outside air

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Air conditioners

Evaporator

Condenser

is located in room air


transfers heat from
room air to working fluid
is located in outside air
transfers heat from working
fluid to outside air

Compressor

is located in outside air


does work on working fluid
and produces entropy

(Part 2)

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Question 3

How does an air conditioner cool


room air?

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The Evaporator

The evaporator is a long,


wide metal pipe

The working fluid

pipe is heat exchanger between


air and working fluid
arrives as a high pressure,
room temperature liquid
but loses pressure passing
through a constriction
and enters the evaporator as a
low pressure liquid

Loss of pressure destabilizes


the liquid phase
The liquid working fluid
begins to evaporate!

(Part 1)

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The Evaporator

Working fluid evaporates in the


evaporator

Heat flows from the hot room air


to the cold gas
Working fluid leaves the
evaporator

Fluid absorbs thermal energy while


evaporating,
so it transforms into a cold gas

as a low density gas near room


temperature
and carries away some of the rooms
thermal energy

Heat has left the room!

(Part 2)

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Question 4

What role does the electricity play?

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The Compressor

The compressor increases density


of a gas
Working fluid

Working fluid leaves the


compressor

arrives as a low density gas near


room temperature,
has work done on it by the
compressor,
and experiences a rise in temperature
as a result.

as a hot, high density gas


and carries away electric energy as
thermal energy

Ordered energy has become


disordered energy!

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Question 5

How does an air conditioner heat


outdoor air?

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The Condenser

The condenser is a long,


narrow metal pipe

The working fluid

pipe is heat exchanger between


air and working fluid
arrives as a hot, high density
gas
but begins to lose heat to the
cooler outdoor air

Loss of heat destabilizes the


gaseous phase
The gaseous working fluid
begins to condense!

(Part 1)

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The Condenser

Working fluid condenses in the


condenser

Working fluid leaves the


condenser

Fluid releases thermal energy while


condensing,
so it transforms into a hot liquid
and even more heat flows from fluid
into outside air

as high-pressure room-temperature
liquid
having released some of the rooms
thermal energy

Heat has reached the outside air!

(Part 2)

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Air Conditioner Overview

Evaporator located in room air

Compressor located in outside


air

transfers heat from room air to


working fluid

does work on fluid, so working


fluid gets hotter

Condenser located in outside


air

transfers heat from working fluid


to outside air,

including thermal energy extracted


from inside air
and thermal energy added by
compressor

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Introductory Question
(Revisited)

If you operate a window air


conditioner on a table in the middle
of a room, the average temperature
in the room will

A.

become colder
become hotter
stay the same

B.
C.

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Summary about
Air Conditioners

They pump heat from cold to hot


They dont violate thermodynamics
They convert ordered energy to
thermal energy