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Condenser (heat transfer)

For other Condensers not involving heat transfer, see Condenser (disambiguation).

In systems involving heat transfer, a condenser is a heat exchanger which condenses a substance from its gaseous to its liquid state. In so doing, the latent heat is given up by the substance, and will transfer to the condenser coolant. For example a refrigerator uses a condenser to get rid of heat extracted from the interior of the unit to the outside air. Condensers are used in air conditioning, industrial chemical processes such as distillation, steam power plants and other heat-exchange systems. Use of cooling water or surrounding air as the coolant is common in many condensers.

  • A surface condenser is an example of such a heat-exchange system. It is a shell and tube heat exchanger installed at the outlet of every steam turbine in thermal power stations.
  • In chemistry, a condenser is the apparatus which cools hot vapors, causing them to condense into a liquid. Examples include the Liebig condenser, Graham condenser, and Allihn condenser. This is not to be confused with a condensation reaction which links two fragments into a single molecule by an addition reaction and an elimination reaction.
In laboratory distillation, reflux, and rotary evaporators, several types of condensers are commonly used. The Liebig condenser is simply a straight tube within a cooling water jacket, and is the simplest (and relatively least expensive) form of condenser. The Graham condenser is a spiral tube within a water jacket, and the Allihn condenser has a series of large and small constrictions on the inside tube, each increasing the surface area upon which the vapor constituents may condense. Being more complex shapes to manufacture, these latter types are also more expensive to purchase. These three types of condensers are laboratory glassware items since they are typically made of glass. Commercially available condensers usually are fitted with ground glass joints and come in standard lengths of 100, 200, and 400 mm. Air-cooled condensers are unjacketed, while water-cooled condensers contain a jacket for the water.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Condenser_(heat_transfer)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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