In an air conditioning system the refrigerant is circulated under pressure through five major components in a closed circuit.
At these five points in the system the refrigerant goes through pressure and temperature changes.
The compressor (Item 1) Page 70-10-3 takes in heated, low pressure refrigerant gas through the suction valve (low pressure side) and as the name indicates, pressurizes the heated refrigerant and forces it through the discharge valve (high pressure side) on the condenser (Item 2) Page 70-10-3.
Ambient air passing through the condenser removes the heat from refrigerant resulting in physical state change in the refrigerant from a gas to a liquid.
The liquid refrigerant moves on to the receiver / drier (Item 3) Page 70-10-3 where impurities such as moisture and dirt are filtered out. The receiver / drier also serves as the storage tank for the liquid refrigerant. The liquid refrigerant (still under high pressure) flows to the expansion valve (Item 4) Page Page 70-10-3.
The expansion valve meters the amount of refrigerant into the evaporator coil (Item 5) Page 70-10-3. As the refrigerant passes through the expansion valve, it again changes its physical state. It becomes a low temperature, low-pressure liquid and saturated vapor. The low pressure liquid immediately starts to boil and vaporize as it enters the evaporator. The hot humid air of the machine’s cab is drawn through or blown into the evaporator by the evaporator fan (Item 6) Page 70-10-3. Since the refrigerant is colder than the air, it absorbs the heat from the air and produces cooled air, which is pushed into the cab by the fan. The moisture in the air condenses on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan, which directs the water out of the cab.
The refrigerant cycle is completed when the heated low pressure gas is again drawn into the compressor.