The Physics
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Power of an Air Conditioner

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Air Conditioner Comparision Guide. Crosley. [large chart] 1.3–9.5 kW
Quietmaster Electronic Product Specifications. Friedrich. [see chart below] 2.4–4.1 kW
Hill, James E. Air Conditioning. Discovery School. "The cooling capacity of air conditioners range from 4,000 to 36,000 Btu's per hour." 1.170–10.55 kW 
Alan Blackham. Air Conditioners in the UK. "they could supply me with an installed type room air conditioner (ie the sort you see in shops which is bolted to the wall and has a big condenser outside) of 9000 btu for around 600 ukp…." 2.64 kW
Quietmaster Electronic Product Specifications
Model Cooling Capacity
(Btu's per hour)
Volts Rated Cooling Amps
SS08J10R 8200 115 6.7
SS09J10B 9200 115 7.2
SS10J10R 10200 115 7.5
SS12J10AR 11750 115 9.8
SM14J10R 14000 115 12.0

Air conditioners are used to cool, control humidity, circulate the air, and also to filter the air. The most important application of air conditioners is their cooling capabilities. For example, certain industries require the air to be a certain temperature in order for the plant's production to go on. Thus, air conditioners allow you to keep the air at a certain temperature when the temperature outside is different. One of air conditioners main purposes is to provide relief from the heat.

Inside an air conditioner, air is taken in through the air intake and becomes filtered. The air then passes over a series of cooling pipes. Inside the pipes circulates some type of cold fluid that is usually between 4 and 10 °C. If the temperature needs to be below 0 °C, like in a freezer, cold brine is used. The air that passes over the pipes becomes cooler and less humid. A fan inside the unit then pushes the air into the room.

The size of an air conditioner required for a given job is determined by calculating the cooling load, which is the amount of cooling that the machine will have to put out to "condition" the space. The cooling load depends upon the size and shape of the space; the number and size of windows and their orientation toward the sun; the areas of walls, ceilings, floors and the extent to which they are insulated; local climatic conditions; the wattage of electrical equipment present; and the number of people who normally occupy the space.

The BTU per hour rating is the basic measurement in the United States for air conditioning, and it is used to specify the capacity of an air conditioner. One British thermal unit (BTU) equals the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water from 59 °F to 60 °F (15 °C to 16 °C). An air conditioner with a capacity of 12,000 BTU per hour can remove enough heat from the air it is conditioning to raise 12,000 pounds (5,440 kilograms) of water one degree Fahrenheit each hour. One BTU per hour is equal to 0293 watts. The cooling capacities of room air conditioners range from 1 to 10 kilowatts.

Ka Fung Kan -- 2001