Refrigerators are one of the most commonly used electric appliances in households all over the world. There are different types of refrigerators available in the market today.
Mini refrigerators, French door fridges, double door refrigerators, walk-in refrigerators, pantry refrigerators, and even wine coolers are all different types of refrigerators available in the market. The working of the refrigerator is quite simple.
Working of the Refrigerator
The refrigerant in the expansion valve enters the evaporator coils which then absorb the heat from the food stored in the refrigerator. The refrigerant which is in a gaseous form then transfers to the compressor where it is compressed into a high-pressure hot gas which then enters the condenser coils.
The condenser coils on the outside release the heat into the atmosphere and the refrigerant gas is converted into the liquid form as it reenters the expansion valve.
The Refrigerant Gas in the Fridge
As mentioned above, for the refrigerator to work, the refrigerant gas or the coolant is very important in the entire process and functioning of refrigerators.
Refrigerants have been used in a fridge since refrigerators have been introduced into the market as the basic functioning of the refrigerator has not changed as much for the last hundred years. There are different types of gasses that have been used as coolants and refrigerants over the last few years:
Early Gasses Used in Refrigerators
Refrigerants have been used in the earliest forms of refrigerators as the basic principle of the working of the fridge requires a coolant liquid that converts into gases in the refrigerators. When refrigerators were first invented many inventors were researching in this field and they were using different types of coolants which they thought were ideal for the machine.
Ether, sulphur dioxide, ammonia, and methyl chloride were used in the past but because of their toxicity, these gasses are not used in modern refrigerators. In older refrigerators sometimes gasses or refrigerants like methyl formate, chloromethane, dichloromethane were also used but these gasses have also been phased out and are no longer used in the latest refrigerators.
Gasses Stopped to Protect the Environment
Chlorofluorocarbons have been connected to the depletion of the ozone layer and in the 1990s as a part of the Kyoto Protocol, the nations have decided to phase out refrigerants that have substances which are harmful to the atmosphere.
Many types of refrigerants gradually were phased out in different countries to heal the ozone layer and stop climate change. The best refrigerator in any country in the world today does not have harmful chemical refrigerants.
Phased Out of Gasses Used in Refrigerants
Different generations of refrigerants have been slowly phased out in the world. This includes chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which were the first to be phased out and in the 1990s and most developing countries phased this gas out by 2010 from refrigerators. There is a gradual phase-out of hydro-chlorofluorocarbons and these will be phased out in the next decade or so.
Another type of refrigerant is the hydrofluorocarbons which are gradually being reduced or phased out as they are part of the list of refrigerator gasses or coolants which need to be completely removed for stopping climate change. Climate change and ozone depletion is a very dangerous reality and these gasses are not being used in modern refrigerators today.
Current Gasses Used in Refrigerators
There are different blends of hydrofluoro-olefins and HFCs that are used in different types of refrigerators. Modern refrigerators use different blends of HFCs which are much better for the environment in comparison to the gasses used in the past.
Tetrafluoroethane is a very common type of refrigerant gas that is used by refrigerator brands in many developed countries all over the world.
Isobutane is another popular choice in refrigerator gasses or coolants used in many types of refrigerators but there is a risk of a leak which very dangerous with this type of coolant. There are a large number of refrigerant gasses or coolants that are used in different refrigerators.
It is important for the refrigerant to be non-combustible and not harmful to the environment. Other types of HFCs are also used in various types of refrigerators. Coolants determine how cool the food in the refrigerator is likely to become as the strength of refrigerant gasses vary.
As mentioned above, the refrigerant gas plays an important role in the overall process of cooling and freezing food in the refrigerators since refrigerators have been in use in the last hundred years. There have been many different types of refrigerants or gasses that have been used over the last few decades.
Today modern refrigerators use the safest and most environmentally friendly refrigerants available in the market. There is a lot of research that has taken place in this field and modern refrigerators are energy efficient, use cleaner refrigerant gasses and are safer than the ones used in the past.