Fridge and freezer

Purpose of the fridge freezer:

Gone are the days when we had to rely on the shipping of large blocks of ice to keep product cool. Believe it or not, refrigeration has made a major impact on our daily lives, our food supply and illness worries are much less due to the refrigerator invention.

Cold temperatures keep food fresher for longer and reduce risk of bacteria. An example given is that if you left a carton of milk out at room temperature for a matter of hours it would start to grow bacteria. However if it is kept stored in the refrigerator it should last for up to two weeks. The same procedure goes for freezing. If a loaf of bread is stored in a cool dry place it will last for up to a week, store it in the freezer and it will last for months.

Fridge freezer parts and the refrigeration cycle:

Refrigerant is a coolant that is stored inside a chain of coils, the coolant runs through these coils in a sequence that changes the form from liquid to gas repeatedly. fridge_resizedThe diagram above demonstrates how the refrigerant moves around the refrigeration process.

To generate this process a fridge freezer uses five key mechanisms:

  • Compressor– operated by an electric motor, presses the refrigerant gas around the system which results in energy released in a heat form.
  • Coils– the radiator on the back of the appliance is referred to as condenser coils. These coils give off heat into the room allowing the gas to cool back down into a liquid. This cooled liquid then gets passed through a dryer that then removes any dirt and is transported through a tube under pressure.
  • Walls and compartments– the cold gas is transported through the evaporator coils which then flow through the walls of the fridge freezer. The cold gas is then heated by heat generated within the walls.
  • Compressor– the gas then flows back down to the compressor to repeat the process again.
  • Thermostat– this is what allows you the control the fridge or freezers temperature.

Fridge Fact: Pure ammonia is a highly toxic gas so it isn’t used in home refrigerators as it would be hazardous if there was a leak. CFC is a nontoxic refrigerant that is used as a replacement for home refrigeration but in the 1970’s it was discovered that CFC’s are actually harmful to the ozone layer. As of the 1990’s; all new models now use a refrigerant that is less harmful to the environment.

Other forms of refrigeration:

Another type of refrigeration to get your head around is- Solar Powered Refrigeration.  Believe it or not this type of refrigeration is widely available and used by many people around the globe without access to electricity. There are different types of solar power refrigeration such as the SunDazer which requires around 5 hours of sunlight a day to function; although it has the capability of storing excess power to stay cold for around a weeks’ time.  There is also the battery powered option route if needed.

Quite recently discovered in 2009 by a British student, was another form of refrigeration referred to as ‘The Eco Fridge’. This discovery purely relies on the sun’s heat and water to function, one clever little invention indeed.

Read on to find out how do you clean a fridge freezer. 

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