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Electric Technologies: Chillers - How They Work

The refrigerant leaves the condenser as a high pressure liquid. On the way to the evaporator, the refrigerant flows through an expansion valve, lowering the refrigerants pressure. In the evaporator the refrigerant absorbs heat and is vaporized. This change of state causes the cooling effect. The compressor, powered by an electric motor compresses the refrigerant raising its pressure and temperature. At this point, the refrigerant is much hotter than the outdoor air. As it passes through the condenser coils, it changes back to liquid form, releasing the heat gained from the compressor and evaporator.