Power of Condensation

The power of condensation – condensation and evaporation are what allows refrigeration to occur.  Condensing combustion appliances gain significant advantage via this mechanism as significant heat energy is transferred when water vapor (a byproduct of combustion) condenses on the secondary or condensing heat exchanger.

Latent Heat of Vaporization of Water:  It takes 1 BTU to increase 1 pound of water’s temperature by 1 degree.  So to increase the temperature of a pound of water from 211 degrees to 212 takes 1 BTU of heat energy.  To take that same pound of water at 212 and convert it to steam at 212 takes nearly 1000 BTU’s.

When the process is reversed and gas changes back to a liquid (condensation), that energy it took to convert to steam is released.

One of the primary byproducts of natural gas combustion is steam.  By designing a device to harness the energy of this steam through condensation a tremendous amount of previously wasted energy can be captured and used to heat our homes.

So, a lot of energy is absorbed through evaporation and released through condensation (principles used for cooling).  Having that condensation occur within a combustion heating device and capturing that heat rather than simply pumping it outdoors makes a LOT of sense.

For more – Read Principals of home inspection, introduction to heating.

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