Refrigeration is a process of the rejection of heat from a low temperature source and transferring it to a high temperature source.
The main driving force for the heat transfer process is mechanical energy input. The application of refrigeration can be observed in many appliances that exists in our everyday life. For example, there are household fridges and freezers, air conditioner, industrial freezers and cryogenics equipment.The most primitive method of refrigeration can be traced back to the time earlier than 1000 B.C. During that time, the ancient civilizations utilize ice and snow, caves and cellars to store food at a low temperature.
It was not until the year 1755, the history of man-made refrigeration first pioneered by a Scottish professor, William Cullen when he invented a small refrigerating machine. Professor William Cullen’s invention of artificial refrigerator utilizes a pump to generate a partial vacuum over a vessel of diethyl ether which then boiled and absorb surrounding heat from the atmosphere. Subsequently, in the year of 1758, two chemistry professors from Cambridge University, England, namely Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley, worked in partnership on a project and made a breakthrough related to refrigeration.
They discovered that the evaporation of very volatile liquids as a method to swiftly cool down the temperature of a substance past the freezing point of water.In the year of 1820, an English scientist, namely Michael Faraday liquefied ammonia and other gases to trigger refrigeration. Then, in the year of 1834, Jacob Perkins developed the first functioning vapor-compression refrigeration system in the history. Although the prototype system developed by Jacob Perkins was functioning, it failed commercially. In the year of 1842, an American physician, namely John Gorrie built a system that can freeze water to produce ice.
Again, John Gorrie’s invention did not succeed commercially. In the year of 1856, a British journalist, namely James Harrison patented the first feasible vapour – compression refrigeration system which make use of ether, alcohol, or ammonia. From there onwards, researchers and inventors from all over the world were inspired to involve themselves into the field of refrigeration technology. Consequently, more sophisticated refrigeration system was created and enhanced which led to what is commonly seen as household refrigerator and air conditioner nowadays. As a result from the evolution of refrigeration system, the refrigeration system today functions by compressing gas into liquid which will absorb heat and after heat absorption the liquid is converted back into gas. And so, the cycle repeats over and over again.