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How Do Propane Refrigerators Work?

First off, what is a propane refrigerator? It is actually a closed system refrigerator and it operates basically on the same principles as your standard electric refrigerator that you have in your home kitchen. But the difference is that it doesn't use a pump that is electrically powered to drive the cooling agents through the pipes inside of the casing of the fridge. Instead, this kind of refrigerator takes propane and uses the application of heat through a modified series of different pressurized chambers to end up with the same results as your home unit. It is also known as an absorption refrigerator. You will most generally find these types of refrigerators in different recreational vehicles. They are extremely portable and they have several different miniaturized versions of the typical design and some that can even be used for outdoor picnics and other outdoor get togethers.

The internal workings of a propane refrigerator is composed mainly of a series of different pressurized pipes that run through the casing of the unit with five different primary components that are found interspersed through the unit. The components are the separator, condenser, evaporator along with the absorber. These are connected in line with each other and they all perform their own separate duties that are vital for the refrigerator to keep low temperatures inside of the fridge.

The refrigerator actually has a either a propane or a gas burner that is actually connected to it, just below the generator. This burner will heat the generator. Then inside the generator is a combination of water along with ammonia and these two begin to boil. Once this solution begins to boil it will pass down a pipe to the component called the separator and recognizing the difference in the water and the ammonia's molecular weights, it will then separate the two different materials. The ammonia will rise up in the form of a gas and the water won't. Because of this, the water then will head to the absorber and wait for its later use and the ammonia will travel to the condenser. This condenser is called an expansive device and it will allow for the ammonia's heat to disappear and then the ammonia will be condensed back down into liquid form.

The ammonia will next be sent to the evaporator and it will then mix with some compressed hydrogen gas and will evaporate one more time into a frozen vapor. This vapor is then pumped through the coils for cooling inside of the propane refrigerator. This is a result of the pressure that was first created by the generator. The generator is the main driving force for the entire process of cooling. After the vapor has passed through the cooling coils, it will then go to the absorber and this will then make it combine with the water again.

There is a chemical reaction that will take place when the ammonia comes back and combines with the water again. The hydrogen will then travel back up a pipe and into the evaporator and will wait to repeat the cycle. The ammonia and the water will again flow back together back into the generator to wait for the cycle to start all over again as well.

Kermit Solt commented on 23-Feb-2016 07:33 AM
superb. Thanks

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