The refrigerator is found in most homes to store food, beverages, fruits, vegetables, and much more. In several ways, the refrigerator operates like an air conditioner. Parts of the refrigerator can be categorized as either external or internal.
The internal parts do the actual working of the refrigerator. You will find some of these parts at the back of the refrigerator and others inside the main refrigerator compartment.
What are the parts of a refrigerator?
- Refrigerant: This fluid flows through all the interior parts of the refrigerator. The refrigerant causes the cooling effect by absorbing heat from the material to be cooled in the freezer. The refrigerant circulates continuously through the internal parts in the cycle.
- Compressor: This part is found at the back and in the bottom area of the refrigerator. The compressor is an engine. Its function is to jumpstart the cooling process. The compressor draws the refrigerant from the evaporator and releases it at high temperature and pressure. It is run by an electric motor, the main energy-consuming device in the refrigerator.
- Condenser: This refers to the thin copper tubing coil located behind the refrigerator. The refrigerant enters the condenser from the compressor and is cooled by the air, thus losing absorbed heat. The condenser is finned externally to enhance the rate of heat exchange.
- Capillary tube /Expansion valve: The cooling agent leaving the condenser gets into the expansion valve or the capillary tube in a domestic refrigerator.
- Evaporator or chiller: This keeps the cooling agent at a low temperature, and pressure enters the freezer or chiller. The evaporator, made up of many turns of aluminum or copper tubing, acts as the heat exchanger. In domestic fridges, the plate types of evaporators are used. The cooling fluid absorbs heat from the stored substances in the evaporator, vaporizes, and then gets sucked out by the compressor.
- Thermostat or temperature control device: To regulate the refrigerator’s inside temperature, there is a control sensor connected to the evaporator. The thermostat is adjusted by the round knob in the refrigerator. When the temperature in the fridge reaches the set temperature of the fridge, the temperature control device cuts the power supply to the compressor and when the temperature goes below a certain value, the supply resumes.
- Defrost system: This system helps remove the excess frost from the surface of the evaporator. You can operate this system manually using the thermostat button or use an automatic system composed of a timer and electric heater.
How do refrigerators work?
There are five main components of a fridge: a compressor, fluid refrigerant, the condenser coils, the evaporator coils, and an expansion device. Here is how the refrigerator works.
- The compressor compresses the vaporized refrigerant, increasing its pressure, and forces it into the condenser coils.
- Hot vaporized refrigerant in the condenser coils interacts with the cooler air of the kitchen and liquefies.
- The liquid cools down as it flows back into the coils in the fridge.
- The cooling fluid absorbs the heat in the fridge, cooling the air.
- Lastly, the refrigerant vaporizes and flows to the compressor, and the cycle continues.