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What Happens When Something is Cooled?Seems simple enough we may be compelled skip this post and move on to something less elementary, but when this question was posed to me, just of late, I had to take a pause, all the mechanics of the fluids interacting and transferring the energy from one point to another made me realize, I don’t have a simple answer for that, so I thought I would reduce the process to its simplest form.
Cooling is when we use a means to remove the energy from an object, or substance, to lower the bulk temperature of said object or substance.
As simple as I can put it, but I don’t think that statement will mean much to most who read it. So, here I will try to paint a broader picture as painlessly as possible.
To discuss what happens when something is cooled, we may need to look at what makes things hot while avoiding a physics lesson. Consider that when we add energy, in the form of heat, to an object, the temperature of that object increases.
The excess energy, or heat, we added to the object remains stored up in the object we heated until we give it an avenue to escape.
It’s a physical law that energy will travel from a higher point of energy to a lower point of energy, or in the case of heat, heat will always travel to a lower point of heat (notice I said “lower point of heat”, not “cold”, cold is a sensation, an individual perception or point of reference).
Given our object, we just heated up, if it was surrounded by air at a lower temperature, the object would cool by convection moving the heat energy to the air surrounding the object until the object and the air where the same temperature, this is called equilibrium, the process is called cooling.
The concept herein is foundational to refrigeration, if the evaporator isn’t a lower temperature than what it is cooling, then it won’t work, if the condenser isn’t hotter than the air or water cooling it, then the condenser won’t work.
I worked for over thirty years in the HVACR industry. I have designed, installed, serviced, and trouble shot units of various types throughout the years. The posts here are information based on that experience, I hope you find them useful. If you have a different experience, please comment.