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How does a refrigerator work?

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May 25, 2017 8:19AM

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


Answer 2.

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
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  • 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

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