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Internal vs. Externally Equalized Valves – Short 106

In this short podcast episode, Bryan compares internal and externally equalized valves. He also covers how forces act upon the TXV.

Equalization does not happen on the off cycle. When we talk about equalization, we are merely talking about a force that balances against the bulb force. A TXV sets the superheat within an operating range at the evaporator outlet; the sensing bulb on the TXV detects temperature and pressure at the evaporator outlet. So, those readings apply an opening force to the bulb. (Think of this process as being quite similar to you measuring the superheat and suction pressure.)

The equalizing force is a closing force. When the closing force is applied to the TXV, it balances against the opening force provided by the sensing bulb. So, we have two ways of providing the closing force: within the valve at the evaporator inlet (internal) or externally.

In an internally equalized TXV, the closing force that equalizes the bulb's opening pressure is taken at the evaporator inlet. The measurement is internal to the valve at the evaporator inlet. However, in externally equalized valves, the closing force comes from the evaporator outlet, which is beyond the valve. Externally equalized valves work best on systems with significant pressure drops within the evaporator coil or on systems with distributors. If we were to use internally equalized TXVs in those cases, it would be like measuring superheat at the wrong location.

If you don't have a significant pressure drop, then you can use an internally equalized valve. These systems will usually be small (less than one ton) and won't have distributors. Most of the time, we will see externally equalized TXVs; these will ideally take readings within six inches of the bulb.

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