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The Science behind Cooling

By Finserv MARKETS - Apr 3,2019
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The Science behind Cooling

How Does a Refrigerator Work? A Mechanical Guide

To explain the working principle of a refrigerator in a simple, easy-to-understand manner, it is the process by which heat is removed from one region and deposited in another. That is, when you pass a low-temperature liquid close to objects that you want to cool, heat from those objects is transferred to the liquid, which evaporates and takes away the heat. Even the best refrigerator in India works on this very basic principle.

The science behind this process is that gases heat up when you compress them and cool down when they expand. This explains why a bicycle pump feels warm when you use it to pump air inside a tyre, while a deodorant when sprayed feels cold.

To make our understanding more simple, evaporation is a cooling process. Whenever something evaporates, it sucks up the heat to do so. That’s why you get cold if you are wet. You feel even colder when the wind blows because that wind is causing the water to evaporate.

But this evaporation has its limits.

Hence, you can only get things to become colder to a point.  But, thanks to some chemicals, gases at room temperature turn to liquid when you put them under pressure. This is critical because if you take a pressurised liquid and remove the pressure, that liquid will quickly evaporate, and that means it will cool quickly.

Now that you know the working principle of the refrigerator, you can check out the fridges on sale online at Finserv Markets. Before you go, let us see what a new fridge is made up of. A refrigerator has five basic components:

 

  • Fluid refrigerant
  • Compressor, which controls the flow of refrigerant
  • Condenser coils located on the outside of the refrigerator
  • Evaporator coils located on the inside of the refrigerator
  • Expansion valve or flow control device

These five components interact in the following manner to keep your new fridge cool:

>  The compressor constricts the refrigerant vapour which raises its pressure and pushes it into the coils located on the outside of the refrigerator. When the hot gas in the coils meets the cooler air temperature of the kitchen, the gas turns into a liquid.

>  The refrigerant, which has now transformed itself into a liquid, cools down as it flows through the coils inside the refrigerator and the freezer. As the refrigerant flows through the coils inside and absorbs the heat inside the refrigerator, the temperature of the air inside comes down.

> In the reverse cycle, the refrigerant evaporates into gas and flows back to the compressor. Once this happens, the compressor restarts the process. This is a continuous cycle.

Inverter Technology of Compressor

There are two more things you need to know that are linked to the workings of a refrigerator. One is the inverter technology used with compressors. In regular fridges, you will mostly see ‘single speed’ compressors which turn on or off –triggered by a device called thermocouple, which acts depending on the temperature in the fridge. Being equipped to handle opening of the door and peak load conditions like that of summer, these compressors work fulltime on-peak mode by default.

However, a new inverter technology allows the compressor to stay ‘on’ all the time, merely adjusting the speed to either cool faster and slower – thus keeping the temperature stable and consuming less electricity while also emitting less noise.

Refrigerant Used as Coolant

The second is about the refrigerant used in the refrigerator. It is commonly referred to as the coolant. It is a specially designed liquid chemical that keeps the refrigeration cycle going. It has the ability to alternate between being a gas and a cool liquid. For much of the 20th century, fluorocarbons were used as refrigerants. They have since given way to more environment-friendly substances like ammonia (R717), R-290 and R-600A.

It is not enough to know the utility and price details of household appliances like refrigerators; you should also take the initiative to understand how exactly they work.  With these factors in mind, you will be equipped to know why one product is chosen by reviewers as the best refrigerator in India. Test your newly acquired knowledge by going through the range of refrigerators listed on Bajaj Finserv EMI Store.

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