How to Size Refrigeration Condensing Units


A refrigeration condensing unit pumps a fluid that absorbs heat from an area and releases it elsewhere The fluid rises in temperature as it goes through the system and a more powerful unit can produce a greater temperature rise. You also need a more powerful unit to pump the fluid through the system at a higher speed. The temperature rise and the flow rate together determine unit's cooling rate, which corresponds with the unit's total size.

  • Subtract the fluid's temperature when it leaves the refrigeration area from its temperature on entering it. If, for instance, fluid enters the chamber at 51 degrees Fahrenheit and leaves it at 62 degrees:

    62 - 51 = 11 degrees.

  • Multiply the temperature rise by the fluid's volumetric flow. With a flow, for instance, of 270 gallons per minute:

    11 x 250 = 2,750.

  • Multiply the result by 500, a conversion constant, to determine the total cooling requirements in British Thermal Units:

    2,750 x 500 = 2,750 x 500 = 1,375,000.

  • Divide the result by 12,000 to convert it to refrigeration tons:

    1,375,000 / 12,000 = 114.58.

    Rounding up, you need a 115-ton condensing unit.

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