Condensers with Integrated Receiver Driers

Our last tech tip reviewed the evolution of condenser designs and discussed why parallel flow condensers trap debris from a worn or failed compressor.  Severe contamination of a parallel flow condenser can reduce the capacity of the condenser and restrict oil circulation that is vital to the life of the compressor.  In this tip we will review some of the considerations when servicing the attached/integrated receiver driers which are now common place in both domestic and import applications.

All system applications which use a thermal expansion valve (TXV) to control refrigerant pressure in the evaporator also incorporate a receiver drier in the circuit.  In an effort to reduce space and mass while providing improved performance, newer sub-cool condenser designs have integrated receiver driers which are located between the last two passes of the condenser.  Some sub-cool designs have detachable receiver driers which can be replaced as a component.  See photos below.

 Condensers with detachable Receiver Drier

Other designs have receiver driers that cannot be detached and are serviced by removing a plug from the lower end of the receiver.  Service kits include new a new plug, desiccant bag, and filter.  See photos below.

Condenser with serviceable Receiver Driers


Regardless of whether the receiver drier is detachable or serviceable, in most applications the condenser must be removed from the vehicle to service the receiver drier.  If the condenser is mounted to the radiator it may also be necessary to remove the cooling module and, in severe cases, bumper covers and grills have to be removed to provide access to service the condenser.  

Furthermore, as discussed in our last tech tip, parallel flow condensers cannot be cleaned effectively.  If the condenser is a sub-cool design like those shown in the above photos, a new replacement condenser will generally include a new receiver drier as part of the assembly.  Because of the probability of condenser contamination and the part/labor cost related to servicing an integrated receiver drier, replacement of the condenser/receiver drier assembly is the best overall repair strategy whenever a new compressor is installed.

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  • By AC System Driers | Iceman Cooling Journal on March 19, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    […] In actual practice drier types 3 & 4 are always used in systems which have parallel flow condensers (PFC).   Since these condensers cannot be cleaned they often require replacement and the new condenser will generally be supplied with an attached drier.   For more information about these types of condensers please refer to the tech tip titled “Condensers with Integrated Receiver Driers”. […]

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