An Introduction to the Basics of Refrigeration

A qualified and experienced refrigeration engineer North Wales will be able to tell you the complexities of any air conditioning unit or refrigeration system. However, if you don’t have access to an engineer and would like to start fro the beginning, here we will go into further detail and present an introduction to the basics of refrigeration.

The main function of a refrigeration system is quite simple; to cool items or substances down to, and subsequently maintain them, at a temperature lower than that of the ambient room temperature. Simply put, once again, refrigeration can be defined as a process that removes heat from a space. The oldest and most basic refrigerants are ice, water, and air. It was the Chinese who first discovered the fact that ice increased the longevity and improved the taste of drinks, and the fact that food could be conserved by freezing.

At the beginning of the previous century, terminology such as bacteria, yeast, mould, and enzymes were known. Because of this knowledge, it was soon discovered that temperature played a vital role in the growth of micro-organisms. Growth slows as the temperature begins to fall, and declining to its slowest below temperatures of +10°C. From this newly discovered knowledge, people were able to use natural ice as a method of refrigeration to conserve food.

The first mechanical refrigeration systems that were designed for the production of ice appeared around 1860. By 1880, the first ammonia compressors and insulated cold systems were put into use in the United States of America. The use of electricity started to play a significant role in mechanical refrigeration systems used throughout various industrial sectors such as breweries, slaughter houses, and fisheries. At the end of the Second World War the development of smaller refrigeration systems evolved into what we know as the fridge/freezer systems that we see in homes today. Fridges and freezers are now regarded as necessary household appliances.

The list of uses for refrigeration systems has grown significantly over the years. Below are some of the countless applications for refrigeration systems:

  • Conservation of food products
  • Process refrigeration
  • Air conditioning
  • Drying
  • Fresh water installations
  • Refrigerated containers
  • Production of ice
  • Blast cooling or freezing
  • Refrigerated transportation

It has become increasingly difficult for people in this modern age to imagine a life without air conditioning, freezing and refrigeration systems. Their significant impact on our day-to-day lives is far greater than most people can comprehend.

All refrigeration systems contain substances that exist in three different forms; solid, liquid, and vapour. Water is the most natural example of a substance used every day within refrigeration systems. Water has three different names for each form; the solid form is called ice, the liquid form is simply water, and the vapour is called steam. Each has the same chemical formula of H20. A quality refrigeration system will utilise the various properties of each form, with a process to transform the water into said forms.

Should you require further information on the basics of refrigeration, you would benefit from contact your nearest air conditioning North Wales and refrigeration company. These experts are on hand to discuss their products and help you figure out the best system for your property or business.