Heat and humid weather have given discomfort to man since millennia. Man too has thus worked to find solution to this problem since the beginning of society. Hand held fans have found mention in history throughout all civilizations. Further improvising on this, man developed techniques to harness the cooling properties of liquids such as water to cool his quarters. Examples include wet grass being employed on windows so that every passing gust of wind would itself take the form of a cool breeze. In Egypt, water from aqueducts would be made to pass through pipes along walls of houses which would keep the interiors cool. All these and many more are examples of indigenous methods to control air temperatures and thus control his climate. These are the earliest known specimens of air conditioners.
Coming back to today, we have employed latest technology in our modern air conditioners. They are today, much more powerful in controlling air temperatures. They are so miraculously effective that they have the ability to make one feel as if one is in Antarctica while sitting in a room situated in the Thar Desert. However, there are limits to these wondrous devices. They consume huge amounts of power and thus are unsuited for use in energy deficient areas. Moreover, they might cool the interiors of the room but are characteristically responsible for rise in Earth’s temperatures due to the phenomenon of global warming owing to their emission of greenhouse gases.
The problem of today
However far we may have gone but we have still been unable to find a clean energy alternative. Though we have indeed advanced enough to have designed air conditioners which are much more energy efficient than the conventional ones. Inverter air conditioners are one such method using which higher energy efficiency is guaranteed.
A tiny speck of hope
Inverter air conditioners may better be called variable speed compressor air conditioners. Their operation involves converting 50 Hz alternating current to direct current and then re-converting it to alternating current of variable frequency. The speed of compressor motor may be altered by respective changes in input frequency and thus depending on requirements of surrounding air speed of compressor and flow of refrigerant is adjusted continually. This optimizes energy usage in operating the AC as the compressor never works on its full capacity. This also has the effect of quickly making the surrounding temperature equal to the set temperature. Also the fluctuations in temperature which are otherwise witnessed in a conventional AC are not witnessed here.
Factors which affect its performance
Thus, the performance of an inverter air conditioner is mainly affected by surrounding temperature. If set temperature is well ahead of actual temperature motor works at full capacity and as the actual temperature reaches close to set temperature the speed of motor decreases so does the flow of refrigerant into the compressor.
A smooth functioning of the AC would however be guaranteed only when outside temperatures are not beyond the limits defined for the particular system. Some air conditioners are rated to work even at 52 degrees Celsius while some perform only till 46-48 degrees Celsius. Also, a stable power supply is imperative else the motor winding of the compressor might be damaged.
The refrigerant levels inside the compressor need to be maintained at required levels. For this, regular servicing of air conditioners is recommended.
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