By eliminating heat, refrigeration creates a cooling environment. In order to avoid foodborne infections, it is mostly used to preserve food and other perishable commodities. Because germs grow more slowly at lower temperatures, it works.
Although there have been cooling techniques for food preservation for thousands of years, the contemporary refrigerator is a relatively new development. According to a 2015 International Journal of Refrigeration article, the demand for refrigeration and air conditioning accounts for about 20% of energy consumption globally.
Modern refrigerators altered everything by doing away with the necessity for ice houses and other antiquated methods of food cooling. How do the devices operate? Removing heat from a container or a substance in order to lower its temperature is known as refrigeration. A refrigerator employs the evaporation of a liquid to absorb heat in order to cool food. Cool temperatures are produced within the refrigerator as a result of the liquid or refrigerant evaporating at a very low temperature.
Technically speaking, a refrigerator creates chilly temperatures by compressing a liquid quickly to vapour. The rapidly expanding vapour needs kinetic energy, so it sucks it from the nearby surroundings, which subsequently starts to lose energy and cool. The main method of refrigeration used nowadays is cooling produced by the quick expansion of gases.
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William Cullen exhibited the first artificial form of refrigeration in 1748 at the University of Glasgow. Despite being brilliant, Cullen’s innovation was never put to use. Oliver Evans, an American inventor, created the first refrigeration machine’s schematic in 1805. However, Jacob Perkins didn’t create the first useful refrigeration device until 1834. With the use of a vapour compression cycle, the refrigerator produced chilly temperatures.
Oliver Evans created a refrigerator, and John Gorrie, an American doctor, produced one ten years later. For his patients with yellow fever, Gorrie employed the apparatus to chill the air. The method of liquefying gas, which is now a component of the foundation of refrigeration technology, was developed by German engineer Carl von Linden in 1876.
Thomas Elkins and John Standard, two African-American inventors, later filed patent applications for improved refrigerator designs.
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How does a fridge function?
According to SciTech, modern refrigerators operate quite similarly to those that were invented more than a century ago: by evaporating liquids. Low temperatures cause refrigerants, which are liquid compounds used to cool, to evaporate.
Through tubes, the liquids are moved through the refrigerator and start to evaporate. The heat is transferred away by the evaporating liquids as the gases move to a coil on the refrigerator’s exterior, where the heat is dissipated. The cycle is repeated once the gases are returned to a compressor, where they again convert into liquid.
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Safety of refrigerators
According to the U.S., early refrigerators used gases and liquids that were combustible, poisonous, extremely reactive, or a combination of these. Agency for Environmental Protection (EPA). American engineer and chemist Thomas Midgley looked into safer alternatives in 1926 and discovered that chemicals containing fluorides appeared to be significantly safer. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), sold under the brand name Freon by DuPont, gained popularity before, nearly 50 years later, it was discovered that they were dangerous to the ozone layer in the atmosphere.
According to the California Energy Commission, the majority of refrigerators made today employ hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are safer than CFCs and many other alternatives but are still not the best choice. The EPA maintains a list of approved substances that may be used as coolants in refrigerators.
According to the U.S., refrigerators only keep food safe when they are running at the right temperatures. Drug Enforcement Agency. When refrigerators aren’t maintained cold enough, dangerous germs that are present in perishable goods can quickly multiply and contaminate the food, leading to everything from minor discomfort to severe food poisoning if consumed. The FDA advises keeping a refrigerator’s temperature no lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius), keeping it from becoming extremely crowded, and cleaning up accidents as soon as possible.