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Is a second A/C condenser required in hot climates?


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Chris Bolton (Duc Hunter on Pelican) is based in Florida and has fitted a Classic Retrofit Electrocooler kit to his 911. This post by Chris was submitted as part of the huge Classic Retrofit electric air conditioning thread on Pelican Parts. Here's what Chris has to say about adding a second A/C condenser:

One condenser should be enough for 99% of the people around the world for sure, as others have said. Keep in mind that I live in Florida in the USA, my car is currently painted black, and has absolutely no soundproofing or heat proofing in it right now. Also it had an entirely stripped interior when I bought it, so most of the rubber gaskets, and other accoutrements that prevent heat and air from getting from the frunk into the cabin were missing.

Here in Florida it is very common for me to see over 39°C in your terms, and at the same time have +70% humidity. The humidity is the real killer. I wrote up a very extensive review of the system when I initially got it installed and tested it which you should be able to fine with a quick search. My only challenge has been in the very heat of the summer here in Florida, after the car is been heat soak to a cabin air temperature well above 48c. At those times the frunk body paddle in the sun, measured right in front of the air vent is 64c.

Under those circumstances it can take 5 to 10 minutes for me to get really cold evaporator and center vent temperatures. The only reason I want to go to a second condenser is to test and see if I can get the evaporator to cool much more quickly under those circumstances. 99% of the globe does not have those circumstances.

I also have a friend in Arizona with the same system. Because of the lack of humidity, his system on one condenser works amazingly well. Again I’m just entertaining the second condenser to see if I can get my performance closer to his given the massive humidity I have in Florida.

In my other car I have someone else’s modified factory air-conditioning system. It can get the evaporator cooled much more quickly than my Classic Retrofit, and that car has an all factory 1989 interior, and it’s painted silver. Even with it’s seemingly better ability to get the evaporator cold more quickly, Jonny’s Classic Retrofit system in my black and white car actually makes my body and my cabin much cooler much more quickly.

I would say buy a system with a single condenser with total confidence, run it and enjoy it. If you live in the tropics like I do, do the same, and drive it and see how it does. From there, if you want to try to improve the A/C performance, as others have mentioned you must make sure you get no outside air leaking into the cabin or frunk. If your car has not had its interior completely stripped out at some point you’re probably fine other than one or two holes someone may have cut to run a stereo wiring harness through. However if your car been stripped to be a racecar, or similarly stripped, make sure you plug all of those holes. In my case this made a massive difference in my car‘s performance. By the way this also includes the doors and vapor barrier behind the door panels.

My belief is that 99% of all people will be totally satisfied with the system as it’s sold, regardless of where they live. I hope that helps.

PS- my friends and I have a saying that I think applies here. We have to remind each other to stop “ Taking the fly **** out of the pepper!” I am as guilty as anyone of doing this when trying to make decisions on buying something like this air-conditioning system, and believe me I did on the system.

Jonny's system works wonderfully and I would not overthink it too much. I am also a tinkerer and as you can see from my other post I spent a lot of time working on the system, learning exactly how it works etc. By adding the second condenser is an exercise for my brain, and to see if I can contribute any improvement to the system that’s already fabulous. I also live in an environment that is very hard for Jonny and company to duplicate for testing. And throughout this process I’ve committed to try and help him test various things that he cannot test unless I do the testing, someone else in a climate like mine does the testing, or he creates a car up and brings it to somewhere near the equator that’s also stupidly humid.

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  • classicretrofit changed the title to Is a second A/C condenser required in hot climates?
  • 11 months later...

I live in Austin, Tx and  I am considering dual condensers.  After reading I was wondering it I should try just one condenser at first. Is it feasible to add a second one later?   

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