Have you thought which gas is used in refrigerators? And what is its role in maintaining cold and fresh conditions? After a long day in the heat, do you enjoy the refreshing blast of cold air when you open your refrigerator?
It feels so good to grab a cold drink and go. It’s all because of the development of technology. All refrigerators and freezers, from mini-fridges to those with single and double doors, rely on refrigerants to keep their interiors cool.
Before purchasing any household appliance, a savvy customer should research thoroughly to make an informed decision. The gas inside refrigerators is what really saves the day when it comes to keeping things chilly and crisp.
This post will give you more knowledge on what kind of gas fridges run on and how they operate.
What Is a Refrigerant?
A refrigerant is a liquid or fluid utilized in a refrigerator to absorb energy from its surrounding environment and transfer that heat to another location. In addition, you will often locate refrigerants in air conditioning units and freezers because of their ability to deliver refrigeration or air conditioning.
In the past, people used hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as refrigerants in refrigerators. However, these chemical coolants caused a significant risk to the earth’s ozone layer. As a result, their use was ultimately disapproved of or declared invalid.
Refrigerants Have a Brief History
In freezers made between 1800 and 1920, people used only poisonous gases as refrigerants. These gases were a mixture of chlorofluorocarbons, fluorine, and carbons. By 1970, however, people had realized that deadly gases such as these posed a threat to the atmosphere. These dangerous gases undergo a chemical transformation when released into the atmosphere. In addition, these gases contribute to the greenhouse effect and the degradation of the ozone layer.
After some time, manufacturers developed many types of refrigerant gases that could fix this issue. When this happened, HCFC and HFC refrigerant gases entered the scene for the first time.
Fluorine, carbon, chlorine, and hydrogen are the four elements that makeup HCFC gas, which has a shorter half-life. As a result, the damage it produces is tolerable.
On the other hand, no chlorine is present in HFC gas, a combination of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon. Due to this, it will not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer in any way. Hence, refrigerators manufactured nowadays use HCFC and HFC gases as their refrigerant.
Now, before we go too much into the specifics of the gas utilized in refrigerators, let’s first grasp the different types of refrigerant gases.
What Are the Different Types of Refrigerant Gases?
Here are the primary types of refrigerant gases:
HCFC or R-22
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons, often known as HCFCs, are a class of gases that have a negligible effect on the ozone layer and the process of its depletion. The longer you expose them to the atmosphere, the shorter their lifespan becomes. R-22 is the HCFC that is used as a refrigerant the most frequently.
HFC or R-134A
The HFCs, also known as hydrofluorocarbons, are yet another group of refrigerants that do not include chlorine. Even though they are strong greenhouse gases, they are a much better option than HCFCs because they do not contribute to the loss of the ozone layer.
R-134A or R438A is the HFC used in refrigerators more frequently, and both are superior to R-22.
Isobutane or R-600A
R-290 and R-600A are the types of hydrocarbons (HCs) that you can purchase on the market in India. These are the refrigerants that are the least harmful to the environment. R-290 is referred to by its chemical name, propane, while R-600A is referred to by its chemical name, isobutane.
The fact that these refrigerants do not include halogens is their finest feature. Also, because they have little potential for ozone depletion and limited potential for contributing to global warming, they are gaining more and more popularity.
These refrigerants have great energy efficiency and significant potential for ignition. People generally refer to them as the greenest refrigerants and prospective substitutes for other refrigerants currently available on the market.
Which Gas Is Used In Refrigeration?
Tetrafluoroethane, often known as norflurane, is the refrigerant that is used in most refrigerators. Previously, people used ammonia and several other poisonous gases as refrigerants. However, these gases harm the atmosphere and cause a rise in the temperature of the surrounding environment, which in turn causes damage to the ozone layer.
In addition to tetrafluoroethane, people use several other gases that are far less hazardous.
How Does a Refrigerator Work?
The proper operation of refrigerators depends upon the refrigerant gas. The refrigerant gas passes through several processes, including evaporation and condensation. During this cycle, it dissipates the heat, ensuring the refrigerator’s temperature remains low.
Let us help you comprehend it better. We are all aware that refrigeration is the fundamental function of a refrigerator and any other cooling equipment. That implies that it should maintain a chilly temperature inside the refrigerator for the items stored there, which it can only do successfully when a cold fluid circulates continually around the item.
In this section, we will discuss a throttling device, one of the most important parts of a refrigerator, and a compressor.
The throttling device is a simple component that you can find in the very center of the refrigerator. But not all refrigerators have a direct throttling device. Instead, most refrigerators include a capillary tube as the throttling device.
The liquid refrigerant goes through this throttling mechanism or capillary tube as it moves through the system. This device makes it difficult for fluid to pass through it, resulting in a significant pressure reduction. As a result of this loss in pressure, the boiling point of the refrigerant drops, which causes it to begin evaporating.
The refrigerant temperature drops because the heat necessary for evaporation originates from inside the substance itself.
The Next Cycle
The next step in using a refrigerant is to move this cold fluid through to the component that uses heat. During this phase of heat absorption, the refrigerant undergoes more evaporation and transforms into a state of pure vapor. This method is effective in producing the necessary refrigeration for the refrigerator.
This low-pressure vapor refrigerant must return to its initial condition so that the refrigerator can repeat this procedure. This statement indicates that the vapor should eventually return to the condition of being a high-pressure liquid before it enters the throttling mechanism.
When the refrigerant reaches this point, the compressor in the refrigerator starts doing its job. The compressor brings the pressure to where it was before it started working. However, in addition to increasing the pressure, it also raises the temperature because of the compression of the gas. Once again, the refrigerant arrives at a point in the state of high-pressure vapor. The next phase in this process is to return the vapor refrigerant to its liquid condition, which requires an additional heat exchanger.
People often install a heat exchanger outside the refrigerator. This results in the heat releasing into the environment, causing the vapor to condense into a liquid state.
Now that the refrigerant has returned to its original condition, in the form of a high-pressure liquid, the refrigerator may again use the refrigerant. This process, known as the vapor compression cycle, involves a cycle that is repeated over and over again to provide continual cooling.
A refrigerator is an extremely important piece of household equipment that uses refrigerant to preserve and chill food products.
You will better understand the appliance and make a choice that is in your best interest if you learn about the method by which it operates and the gas used in the refrigerator before making the purchase.
These days, today’s refrigerators make use of refrigerants that are both safe for humans and good for the environment. In this area of study, there has been a lot of in-depth research done. As a result, the most recent models of refrigerators today are considerably safer and more environmentally friendly than the models that were accessible in the past.
Also, if you want to know which refrigerator is best for you LG or Whirlpool specifically, check out our guide