How Refrigerators Work: Parts of a Refrigerator

Posted on 14 June 2009

The basic working of a refrigerator is quite similar to that of an air conditioner. Except that in the case of a refrigerator, there is an insulated box present to contain the things and maintain temperature inside.

Evaporation In Refrigerator

As it has been described in the earlier articles, a refrigerator uses the concept of evaporation of a liquid to absorb heat. When you put some water on your skin, it evaporates by taking the heat from your body and making you feel cool. If you put alcohol on your skin, it will make your skin feel even cooler as it evaporates at a lower temperature as compared to water. And the liquid used in a refrigerant evaporates at an extremely low temperature enabling the refrigerator to keep things cool and create freezing temperatures inside.

If you put some refrigerator’s refrigerant on your skin, it can freeze your skin as it evaporates (Don’t try to do it). Thus it is mainly due to the evaporation of the refrigerant that the things kept inside the refrigerator are kept cold. The heat from these things is carried by the refrigerant and a steady cold temperature is thus maintained.

parts of refregerators2

Main Parts Of Refrigerators

Similar to an air conditioning system, a refrigerator also has five main parts:

  • Compressor
  • Heat-exchanging pipes- coiled set of pipes outside the unit
  • Expansion valve
  • Heat-exchanging pipes- coiled set of pipes inside the unit
  • Refrigerant- the liquid that evaporates inside the refrigerator to create cold temperatures.

Many industries use pure ammonia as a refrigerant, which evaporates at –27 degrees Fahrenheit, i.e. –32 degrees Celsius. Many different kinds of refrigerants are used depending on the installations a factory has and it’s working.

refregirator parts

Basic Working Of Refrigerators

The basic working of a refrigerator is somewhat like this:

  • The compressor compresses the refrigerant gas used in the refrigerator. This compression increases the refrigerant’s temperature. The outside coil or the heat exchanging pipes are then used to dissipate the heat of the refrigerant.
  • As the refrigerant cools, it condenses into liquid form and flows through the expansion valve.
  • The liquid refrigerant is then allowed to move from a high-pressure zone to a low-pressure zone as it flows through the expansion valve. This makes the refrigerant expand and evaporate. The evaporation lets the refrigerant absorb heat and turn the temperature down.
  • The heat exchanging pipes that are inside the refrigerator allows the refrigerant to absorb heat thus making the temperature inside the refrigerator drop. The cycle goes on and the refrigerator is able to keep things cold.




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