How refrigerators work—understanding the fundamentals
Refrigerators keep food cold to slow the growth of bacteria so food lasts longer. The colder a refrigerator is, the
slower bacteria grows. Freezing temperatures stop bacteria growth all together. Food preservation is not only our
#1 consumer cue, it's also the purpose of any refrigerator.
Accurate temperatures and features that provide the ability to see a refrigerator's actual temperature reading are
key features of food preservation. Profile Arctica with the most accurate temperature management system available
supports this critical need.
Understanding how a refrigerator gets cold
How a refrigerator cools is very simple. Any time a liquid evaporates, it absorbs heat. Get out of a pool dripping wet
and you feel very cool. As the water evaporates off your skin, it is drawing heat away from you. This same principle
is how a refrigerator cools.
The liquid, or refrigerant, used in a refrigerator evaporates at extremely low temperatures, so low that it can create
freezing temperatures inside the freezer, sending cold air into the fresh food area.
The five basic parts:
Compressor Coils outside the refrigerator (B)
Expansion value (C)
Heat-exchange pipes inside the refrigerator (D)
Refrigerant – the liquid that is condensed and
evaporates to create cold temperatures
The five basic parts create the refrigeration cycle:
1. The compressor (A) compresses the refrigerant gas which
heats up as it is pressurized. The compressor coils (B) outside
the refrigerator allow the refrigerant to dissipate heat.
2. As it cools, the refrigerant condenses into a liquid and flows
through the expansion valve (C). One side is high pressure
and the other is a low-pressure area.
3. When it flows through the expansion valve, this liquid refrigerant moves from high-pressure to a low-pressure
zone. It immediately boils and vaporizes. In evaporating, it absorbs heat, making the refrigerant 27ºF.
4. The cold refrigerant flows up through the coils inside the refrigerator (D) making the inside of the
refrigerator cold. The cycle repeats as temperature readings indicate more cooling is needed.