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Home Education Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Technical Terms - C

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Cadmium Cell: A device whose resistance changes according to the amount of light sensed.

Calibrate: To adjust an indicator so that it correctly indicates the variable sensed.

Calorie: The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water, one degree Celsius.

Capacitor: Type of electrical storage device used in starting and/or running circuits on many electric motors.

Capillary Tube: A type of refrigerant control consisting of several feet of tubing having small inside diameter.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2): A non-toxic product of combustion.

Carbon Monoxide: A chemical resulting from incomplete combustion (CO). It is odorless, colorless, and toxic.

Cascade System: One having two or more refrigerant circuits, each with a compressor, condenser, and evaporator, where the evaporator of one circuit cool the condenser of the other (lower-temperature) Circuit

Celsius: The metric system temperature scale

Centimeter: Metric unit of linear measurement which equals .3937 in.

Centrifugal Compressor: Compressor which compresses gaseous refrigerants by centrifugal forces.

CFM: Cubic feet per minute

Charge: The amount of refrigerant in a system

Charging Cylinder: A device for charging a predetermined weight of refrigerant into a system

Check Valve: A one-direction valve.

Chimney Effect: The Tendency of air or gas in a duct or other vertical passage to rise when heated.

Circuit: A tubing, piping or electrical wire installation which permits flow from the energy source back to energy source.

Circuit Breaker: A device that senses current flow, and opens when its rated current flow is exceeded.

Circulator: A pump

Clearance: Space in cylinder not occupied by piston at end of compression stroke

Closed loop: Any cycle in which the primary medium is always enclosed and repeats the same sequence of events

Coeficience of performance (COP): Usable energy output divided by the energy input.

Coil: A wound conductor, which creates a strong magnetic field with current passage.

Cold: cold is the absence of heat.

Cold Junction: That part of the thermoelectric system which absorbs heat.

Combustion: The rapid oxidation for fuel gases accompanied by the production of heat.

Combustion Air: Air supplied for the combustion of a fuel

Combustion Products: Constituents resulting from the combustion of a fuel gas with the oxygen in air, including the inert, but excluding excess air.

Comfort Chart: Chart used in air-conditioning to show the dry bulb temperature and humidity for human comfort.

Commercial Buildings: Such buildings as stores, shops, restaurants, motels, and large apartment buildings.

Commutator: A ring of copper segments insulated from each other and connection the armature and brushes of a motor or generator. It passes power into or from the brushes.

Compound Gauge: Pressure gauge that has scales both above and below atmospheric pressure

Compound Refrigeration System: System which has several compressors in series.

Compression Ratio: The absolute discharge pressure divided by the absolute suction pressure for a compressor.

Compressor tank: (See Air Cushion Tank)

Compressor: The pump of a refrigeration mechanism which draws a vacuum or low pressure on cooling side of refrigerant cycle and squeezes or compresses the gas into the height pressure or condensing side for the cycle.

Compressor Displacement: The volume discharged by a compressor in one rotation of the crankshaft

Compressor Seal: Leak proof seal between crankshaft and compressor body.

Condensible: A gas which can be easily converted to liquid form.

Condensate Pump: Device used to remove fluid condensate

Condensation: Liquid which forms when a gas is cooled below its dew point.

Condenser: The part of refrigeration mechanism which receives hot, high pressure refrigerant gas from compressor and cools it until it returns to liquid state.

Condenser Water Pump: Forced water moving device used to move water through condenser.

Condensing Pressure: The refrigerant pressure inside the condenser coil

Condensing Temperature: The temperature at which refrigerant condensation is taking place inside the condenser

Condescending Unit: Refrigeration unit consisting of a compressor. Condenser and controls

Conductance (Thermal): “c” factor- the time rate of heat flow per unit area through a material.

Conduction (Thermal): Particle to particle transmission of heat.

Conductivity: The ability of a substance to allow the flow of heat or electricity

Conductor: Material or substance which readily passes electricity.

Connected Load: The sum of the capacities or continuous ratings of the load-consuming apparatus connected to a supply-ing system

Connecting Rod: That part of compressor which connects piston to crankshaft

Constrictor: Tube or orifice used to restrict flow.

Contact: the part of a switch or relay that carries current.

Contactor: A device for making or breaking load-carrying contacts by a pilot circuit through a magnetic coil.

Containment: A substance (dirt, moisture, etc.) foreign to refrigerant or refrigerant oil in system.

Controller: Measures the difference between sensed output and desired output and initiates a response to correct the difference.

Controls: Devices designed to regulate the gas, air, water or electricity.

Convection: Transfer of heat by means of movement of a fluid.

Cooling Anticipator: A resistor in a room thermostat that causes the cooling cycle to begin prematurely

Cooling Tower: Device which cools water by evaporation in air; Water is cooled to wet bulb temperature of air.

Coulomb: An electrical unit of charge, one coulomb per second equals one ampere or 6.25x 1018 electrons past a given point in one second.

Counter EMF: Counter electromotive force; the EMF induced in a coil, which opposes applied voltage.

Counter flow: Flow in opposite directions.

“Cracking” a Valve: Opening valves a small amount.

Crankshaft Seal: Leak proof joint between crankshaft and compressor body.

Current: The flow of electrons through a conductor.

Cut-In: The temperature or pressure at which an automatic control switch closes.

Cut-Out: The temperature or pressure at which an automatic control switch opens.

Cylinder Head: Part which encloses compression end of compressor cylinder.

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