How does a refrigerator work?
The design of the household fridge is based around two things
that you will have experienced.
1. If you wet your skin then after a short time your skin will
feel cold. This is because when a liquid evaporates it absorbs heat
from its surroundings.
2. When you pump up the tire on a bicycle the pump's body gets
hot. This is because when a gas is compressed it gets hotter.
The fridge contains a liquid which evaporates very easily at
around the freezing point of water. This passes through a heat
exchanger inside the fridge (usually in the ice making compartment)
where it evaporates, sucking heat out from the fridge. The cold gas
circulates to another heat exchanger located outside the fridge.
There it is compressed. This turns it back into liquid, and also
produces heat, which the exchanger transfers to the outside
In the kitchen of nearly every home in America there is a
refrigerator. Every 15 minutes or so you hear the motor turn on,
and it magically keeps things cold. Without refrigeration, we'd be
throwing out our leftovers instead of saving them for another
The refrigerator is one of those miracles of modern living that
totally changes life. Prior to refrigeration, the only way to
preserve meat was to salt it, and iced beverages in the summer were
a real luxury.Related Topics
- 5 Tips for Keeping Vegetables Fresh
- PlanetGreen.com: Bottom Freezer Refrigerators
The basic idea behind a refrigerator is very simple: It uses the
evaporation of a liquid to absorb heat. In this article, you'll
find out how your refrigerator performs its magic based on this
simple principle. We'll also look at cold packs, electronic coolers
and the propane refrigerators found in