Air-cooled Condensers

Remove heat from a gas stream

Air-cooled condensers cool a gaseous process stream to below its dewpoint and discharge it with most of the material in a liquid form. In this type of condenser, multiple axial flow fans supply the cooling ambient air.

Air-cooled condensers can cool various mediums, depending on the process. Most of the applications for this type of condenser are in the oil & gas, petrochemical, power generation and refrigeration industries.

How air-cooled condensers work

An air-cooled condenser uses ambient air to remove heat from the gas stream. In commercial refrigerant applications, the superheated refrigerant is cooled and condensed in a finned tube array.

One specific application is steam condensation. An air-cooled steam condenser takes low-pressure steam after a process and condenses it to allow discharge as condensate. Other materials from the process may contaminate this resulting condensate. In these instances, you can further treat the stream before releasing it to the environment.

Applications of air-cooled condensers

Most of the uses for air-cooled condensers are in the following :

In commercial refrigerant applications, the superheated refrigerant is cooled and condensed in a finned tube array.

In the petrochemical industry, most applications are for steam condensation, which presents its specific considerations. It limits the number of design solutions, and the enhancement of internal tube surfaces may not be possible. Tube material diameters and wall thicknesses may be strictly controlled. At Sterling TT, we work closely with you to discuss your specific requirements when designing any air-cooled condenser.

Design considerations

As an air-cooled condenser designer and manufacturer, we make decisions relating to:

  • fan selection,
  • mechanical builds, and
  • general specification requirements of the equipment.

These are determined by the specific application for which the condenser is required.

The specification of fans may vary significantly. We consider axial fan coverage, overall efficiency, fan tip speed and generated noise, in addition to the geometry associated with plenum arrangements. All factors must be in full compliance with the appropriate specifications and identified environmental conditions.

At Sterling Thermal Technology, we enhance the internal surface of the finned tubes to optimise the condensation of refrigerants. In conjunction with the potential for fouling and corrosion, the design pressure of the system determines the tube and external fin arrangements.

Why choose Sterling TT as your partner for air-cooled condensers


We determine the appropriate construction of your air-cooled condensers by considering the details of the application and process. That way, we ensure the equipment has the optimum reliability.


We have vast experience in meeting codes and specifications. Therefore, we make sure we appropriately address all building requirements to satisfy you, the third parties or the statutory authorities.


We optimise our designs within any constraints due to plant layout, operational requirements or maintenance considerations.


We offer equipment with options to suit the requirements for minimal maintenance intervention and extended design life.

As a recognised heat exchanger manufacturer, we can help you to get the best air-cooled condenser for your application. Contact us for a quote today.

If you feel you need another type of heat exchanger, visit our products and services page or contact us.

photo of anphoto of an air cooled condenser designed and manufacture by Sterling Thermal Technology

air cooled condenser

photo of an air cooled condenser showing the fan, designed and manufacture by Sterling Thermal Technology

air cooled condenser showing the fan

Customised heat exchangers

Over 100 years of design & manufacturing knowledge

Your partner for the entire lifecycle of your business

Ease of design is essential for us. We know that Sterling Thermal Technology air cooled condensers are designed to our individual project requirements ensuring that the installation meets all regulatory specifications. Sterling has a proven ability to meet the most rigorous standards of quality and has delivered products that have exceeded our requirements in terms of design life.

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