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How Thickness of Copper Pancake Coil Can Affect Cooling System in Air-Conditioning Unit


Copper Pancake Coil
Copper Pancake Coil

When it comes to the intricate systems that make our lives more comfortable, even the smallest details matter. The thickness of a copper pancake coil, a crucial component in air conditioning units, is no exception. This seemingly minor factor can significantly impact the cooling efficiency of the entire system.


What is Copper Pancake Coil?


Copper pancake coils, known for their excellent heat conductivity and malleability, are an integral part of the heat exchange process in air conditioning units. These coils carry refrigerant and facilitate the transfer of heat between the indoor and outdoor units. The thickness of these coils plays a pivotal role in determining how effectively the system can cool your living space.


Is Thicker the Copper Coil, Necessarily the Better?


Thicker copper pancake coils might seem like a better choice due to their increased surface area for heat exchange. However, this isn't always the case. The thickness of the coil affects both heat transfer and system performance. Here's how:


1. Heat Transfer Efficiency: Thicker coils do offer more surface area for heat transfer, theoretically allowing for better cooling. However, there's a trade-off. Thicker coils can also lead to increased pressure drop and reduced flow rates of the refrigerant, resulting in less effective heat exchange. This can negate the benefits of the increased surface area.


2. Airflow Resistance: Thicker coils can impede the flow of air through the system. As air passes over the coils, it carries away the heat. If the coil thickness restricts airflow, it can lead to reduced cooling capacity, making the air conditioning unit work harder to achieve the desired temperature.


3. Energy Efficiency: The cooling efficiency of an air conditioning unit directly impacts its energy consumption. If a thicker coil reduces the system's efficiency due to the factors mentioned above, the unit will consume more energy to maintain the desired temperature. This can result in higher utility bills and increased environmental impact.


4. System Design and Optimisation: The thickness of the copper pancake coil should be carefully considered during the design and optimisation of the air conditioning unit. Engineers and manufacturers need to strike a balance between coil thickness, heat transfer efficiency, airflow resistance, and overall system performance.


Considering these factors, a common range for copper pancake coil thickness in HVAC installations is as follow:

0.022 (24 SWG), 0.024 (23 SWG), 0.028 (22 SWG), 0.032 (21 SWG). However, it's essential to consult with HVAC professionals, manufacturers, and experts familiar with the local climate conditions in Singapore. They can provide personalised recommendations based on the specific requirements of your HVAC system, ensuring that you achieve optimal cooling efficiency while considering factors such as airflow, energy efficiency, and system durability.


In conclusion, the thickness of copper pancake coils in air conditioning units is a critical factor that affects cooling efficiency. While thicker coils may seem advantageous, they can introduce challenges related to heat transfer, airflow resistance, and energy efficiency. Engineers must carefully design and optimise coil thickness to ensure the system functions at its best, providing effective cooling while minimising energy consumption and costs. So, the next time you enjoy a comfortably cool indoor environment, you'll know that even the thickness of a copper coil has a role to play in keeping you comfortable.

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