AC has three major parts, an evaporating coil, a compressor and a condensing coil. A condenser coil is used to condense a substance from its gaseous state to its liquid state, by cooling it. One of the confusing things when you reach an AC show room is whether to take a copper coil AC or aluminum coil AC. Until 1970’s copper condensing coils were used for the manufacturing of AC. After the entry of aluminum coils in the market, there is a debate as to which type of coil is better, Copper or Aluminum.
Air conditioning is the removal of heat from a space. Faster the heat is removed; the more effective will be the cooling. Thermal conductivity is the rate at which heat passes through a specified material. Thermal conductivity of copper is 401 W/m K and aluminum is 237 W/m K. That means copper exchange heat well than aluminum. So, copper coil can cool the room much faster than aluminum coil.
Tensile Strength of the Coil
Resistance of a material to breaking under tension is known as tensile Strength. Tensile strength of copper weighs in at 50,000 pounds per square inch compared to that of aluminum at 32,000 pounds per square inch. Copper is much stronger than aluminum. So, it can operate in extreme stress without any sign of breaking.
Cost of copper is higher than aluminum. Cost of copper per Kg is 455.85 paisa and for aluminum 138.70 paisa in the market. One of the factors that affect the high cost of the copper is its lower pliability. Bending and molding of copper coils is much harder than aluminum coil. Compared to copper, aluminum has an ability to be bend into the desired shapes. Also copper condensing coil will consume three times more material than one made of aluminum.
Maintenance of copper coil is much easier than aluminum coil. Condenser coils need regular cleaning for the better and efficient functioning. Aluminum coils are not strong, so it is placed inside a heavy-duty cabinet to protect them from damage. So it is very difficult to clean and maintain them. Therefore copper coils are easy to clean and maintain.
Corrosion is the gradual destruction of materials by chemical or electrochemical reaction with their environment. It damages the condenser coils and also results in leakage. Corrosion on copper coils can be avoided by proper maintenance and cleaning. If the copper coil is damaged due to corrosion, it is easy to repair and use again. But if the aluminum coil is damaged, it’s very hard to repair and in most of the cases have to replace with a new one. Corrosion damages are higher in humid climates and for people living near seacoasts and salty water bodies, as the moisture content in air is higher in such areas.
Repairing of copper coils is easy compared to aluminum coils. If the copper coil gets damaged then it can be repaired by proper cleaning and maintenance. But if the aluminum coil gets damaged, it’s very hard to repair and in most of the cases have to replace with a new one. Copper is more durable than aluminum.
Difference between copper coil and Aluminium coil AC
|Heat transfer is better than aluminum||Take time to heat and cool|
|Tensile strength is high||Tensile strength is low|
|Moe durable||Less durable|
|Easier to clean and maintain||Difficult to clean and maintain|
|Easy to repair||Difficult to repair. Most of the cases it may need complete replacement.|
|Material required is high||Material required is low|
|Heavier than aluminium||Lightweight|