The job of an accumulator has many facets, one is to prevent the compressor/compressors from getting flooded with liquid refrigerant, and the other job is to aid in oil return to the compressor as well. Below are some examples of what an accumulator looks like inside.
CUT AWAY VIEW
CUT AWAY VIEW 2
This is what the inside of a suction line accumulator looks like, the purpose of it is prevent liquid refrigerant from making its way to the compressor/compressors.
Another inside view of a suction line accumulator.
A full size view of an accumulator.
Notice the the screen at the “U” bend this is for oil return as well as partial refrigerant return.
CLOSE UP VIEW
A close up view of the metered orifice for oil return and liquid to be atomized to return to the compressor.
This is a cut away view again of an accumulator, notice in the top left corner how there is an opening, this is the incoming opening for the suction line, now if any liquid should make its way here there is a metered orifice at the bottom of the “U” bend of the piping to allow for oil return. At the top of the left side again notice how there is a opening at the top, this is where the vapor (Refrigerant) will return to the compressor. Most generally the accumulator will mostly be filled with refrigerant vapor.
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