The Layout of Typical Domestic Refrigerators
Domestic refrigerators, once considered a luxury, are now a necessity of daily life. They have usage in homes, hotels, office, laboratories, hospitals, shops restaurants, etc. They are manufactured in several sizes, and many brands are available. The different models are rated on the basis of gross volume, such as 100 litres, 165 litres, 200 litres, 250 litres, and so on.
What is a domestic refrigerator used for?
For food to be fresh, the immediate atmosphere needs a low temperature to decrease the reproductive rate of harmful bacteria. A refrigerator transfers heat from inside to outside, which is why touching the back side of the fridge where the metal pipes are makes it feel hot; you’ll see how it works in a moment.
Description of Domestic Refrigerator
The construction of a household refrigerator, with the location of its main components.
1. Evaporator: The evaporator is located in the freezer box in the form of a coil. The liquid refrigerant is evaporated in the evaporator by absorbing heat from the contents of the domestic refrigerator in the cabinet. The evaporator consists of copper metal rubbings surrounding the freezing and cooling compartments.
2. Condenser: The condenser is located as zigzag tubes behind the refrigerator on a mesh. In the condenser, the heat from the refrigerant at a higher temperature is rejected into the atmospheric air.
3. Compressor: The compressor is located at the base, at the rear end. It compresses the refrigerant vapour at a high pressure. A reciprocating compressor is used for low capacity domestic refrigerators.
4. Expansion Valve or Throttling Valve: An expansion valve is used to reduce the temperature and pressure of the liquid refrigerant, before it passes to the evaporator. The expansion capillary is located inside the refrigerator body, against the wall. The capillary tube is a small diameter tube used as an expansion device.
5. Refrigerator Cabinet: The refrigerator cabinet is thermally insulated to minimize heat flow from the atmosphere into the refrigerator. The insulation is glass fiber, and the external body is stainless steel.
The Working Principle of the Domestic Refrigerator
The refrigerator works on the vapour compression refrigeration cycle. The refrigerant vapour is first compressed in the compressor. The compressor is a special one known as the hermetic compressor. In this unit, the compressor is housed in a sealed casing along with an electrical motor to run. This seal prevents leakage of refrigerant and lubrication oil. The pressure and temperature of the refrigerant increase after compression and the refrigerant is subsequently condensed in a condenser. In the condenser, the refrigerant rejects heat to coolant and cools down and finally gets condensed.
The condensate is then allowed to pass through the capillary to reduce temperature and pressure by the expansion of the refrigerant. The refrigerant is filtered before entering the capillary tube. The pressure of the refrigerant, when it leaves the capillary, is maintained above atmospheric pressure and temperature and corresponds to saturation temperature so that the refrigerant can absorb heat in the evaporator. The refrigerant enters the evaporator and is heated by the heat absorbed from the body or space, thereby producing the refrigeration effect. The vapour refrigerant enters the compressor again and the cycle is completed.
When power to the compressor is switched on, a humming sound is heard, and the refrigerator is functional. The refrigerant flows through its circuit and ice is produced in the freezer. Frost, i.e., moisture from ambient air, gets deposited on the evaporator coil. Defrosting removes this frost. The water from defrosting is collected in a tray to be removed manually. Articles to be refrigerated are placed on shelves. Fruits and vegetables, which contain moisture, are stored at the base. The temperature here is around 8 °C. Thus, there are temperature gradients in the refrigerator, a negative temperature in the freezer and a positive temperature at the base.
What is the refrigerant, and how does each kind of refrigerant differ?
Coolant is the fluid or gas used in a refrigeration coil of a domestic refrigerator. If your unit includes R404, R134a, or R600a refrigerant in a professional kitchen, it does not really make any difference.
In general, the product’s total output and capability are much more significant purchasing decisions. However, some kinds of coolant are more ecological than others. R290 is generally regarded as environmentally friendly, while other refrigerant forms also produce greenhouse gases.
How do domestic and commercial refrigerators differ?
A commercial refrigerator is designed to be used much more frequently. A house refrigerator can be opened only a dozen times a day, while, over a few hours, a commercial refrigerator can be constantly opened. Commercial refrigerators are equipped with powerful compressors, construction that is much more robust and are often supported by fans. This commercial refrigerator makes an unwanted noise, which is a disturbing factor.