Compressor clutches are sometimes referred to as a magnetic clutch because they operate like an electro-magnet. The clutch has three components.
• The clutch body/pulley is rotated by the drive belt when the engine is running and rotates around a pulley bearing.
• The compressor clutch coil is simply a large coil of copper wire. When the driver requests AC, the system provides power to the clutch coil, thereby generating a magnetic field.
• The clutch plate connects to the AC compressor shaft and drives the compressor when it mates against the clutch body
When the clutch coil receives power and generates a magnetic field, it pulls a portion of the clutch plate against the clutch body/pulley, causing it to rotate the compressor shaft.