How do marine air conditioning systems work? | CoolTech

How marine air conditioning systems work

Get a better understanding of how your air conditioning system works.

Marine air conditioning systems are available in a variety of shapes and sizes but there are two main types available on the market – refrigerants and evaporators.

A marine refrigerant air conditioner, much like all air conditioning units, is made up of three main components including a fan and evaporator, liquid (refrigerant or water), and a condenser. Making use of one of the two liquids, the cooling system works by cooling and evaporating the liquid inside a set of metal coils. The liquid turns the coils very cold and a fan blows on the coils, producing cool air. This is a closed loop system that repeats itself to continually produce the cool air.

The hot air triggers the thermostat to produce cold air, in turn turning the blower on to produce cool air. The warm air is drawn out of a room and circulated through a system and over the evaporator coils where cool refrigerant flows. This, in turn, creates cool air.

The system is highly dependent on the components working efficiently with each other and if one of them breaks, and amount of difficulties can be experienced. To avoid simple breakdowns, ensure that maintenance is conducted regularly, which is easy and can be done without a technician.

The different variations of refrigerant marine air conditioners are:

  • Chiller units are the larger variation of cooling systems found on bigger boats and leisure yachts. They feature more complex systems of fan coils that travel throughout the boat to cool areas as and where they are needed.
  • Portable units are mobile, carry-on variations that are compact and do not need to be fixed to the boat. They resemble home air conditioning units and require power.
  • Self-contained units have all the components built-in as one unit and are more compact, often sized to fit in small spaces.
  • Split system units are more complex and require installation by a technician as their components are located in different areas and need expert connections.

Air conditioning systems will always work best if they are appropriately sized for the space that they are going to be used in. They also work best if they are kept away from direct sunlight.