How the refrigerator works: principles, cycles, modes

While the technology is functioning properly, the user does not care how it works. Knowledge of how the refrigerator works will be necessary when there is a breakdown: help to avoid a serious malfunction or quickly determine the location. Proper operation also depends largely on the user's awareness. In the article we will consider the device of a domestic refrigerator and its work.

Content of the material:

  • 1How is the compressor refrigerator
    • 1.1Single and double chamber refrigerator
    • 1.2How long the compressor works
    • 1.3Absorption refrigerator
    • 1.4Models with No Frost and a "weeping" wall
    • 1.5Superfreeze
    • 1.6Electrical circuit

How is the compressor refrigerator

"Atlant "Stinol "Indesit" and other models are equipped with compressors that start the cooling process in the chamber.

Scheme of operation of a compressor refrigerator of popular brands and sizes by a single principle

The main constituent parts are:

  • Compressor (motor). It can be inverter and linear. Thanks to the start of the motor Freon moves through the tubes of the system, providing cooling in the chambers.
  • Condenser - a tube on the back of the body (in recent models can be placed on the side). The heat that the compressor generates during operation, the condenser gives to the environment. So the refrigerator does not overheat.

That's why manufacturers forbid to install equipment near batteries, radiators and furnaces. Then overheating can not be avoided, andthe motor will quickly fail.

  • Evaporator. Here, freon boils and turns into a gaseous state. In this case, a large amount of heat is collected, the tubes in the chamber are cooled together with the air in the compartment.
  • Valve for thermoregulation. Maintains the preset pressure for refrigerant flow.
  • Refrigerant is a gas-freon or isobutane. It circulates through the system, promoting cooling in the chambers.

Diagram of a standard refrigerator and how the refrigerant circulates through the radiator tubes on the back of the model

It is important to understand correctly how the technique works: it does not produce cold. Air is cooled by the selection of heat and its return to the surrounding space. Freon passes into the evaporator, absorbs heat and passes into the vapor state. The motor drives the motor piston. The latter compresses Freon and creates pressure for its distillation through the system. Getting into the condenser, the coolant cools (the heat goes out), turning into a liquid.

To set the desired temperature mode in the chambers, a thermostat is installed. In models with electronic control (LG, Samsung, Bosch), it is enough to set the values ​​on the panel.

Passing to the filter drier, the coolant gets rid of moisture and passes through the capillary tubes. After that, it again enters the evaporator. The motor overtakes freon and repeats the cycle until the optimum temperature is established in the compartment. As soon as this happens, the control board sends a signal to the start-up relay, which turns off the motor.

Single and double chamber refrigerator

Despite the same structure, there are differences in the principle of work. Old two-chamber models are equipped with one evaporator for both chambers. Therefore, if, during defrosting, mechanically clean up the ice and touch the evaporator, the entire refrigerator will break down.

The new two-chamber cabinet has two compartments, each of which is equipped with an evaporator. Both cameras are isolated from each other. Usually in such cases the freezer is located below, and the refrigerator compartment is on top.

An example of a common double-chamber refrigerator with a bottom freezer and large handles

Since the refrigerator has zones with zero temperature (read what is the freshness zone in fridge), freon is cooled in the freezer to a certain level, and then moves to the upper separation. As soon as the indicators reach the norm, the thermostat triggers, and the starting relay switches off the motor.

The most demanded devices with a single engine, although with two compressors are also gaining popularity. The latter function in the same way, just for each chamber there is a separate compressor.

Large two-door refrigerators operate on two compressor motors in such a scheme on the photo

But not only in the two-chamber technology it is possible to set the temperature separately. There are such devices (Minsk, 126, 128 and 130), where electromagnetic valves are installed. They shut off the supply of freon to the refrigerator compartment. Based on the readings of the temperature controller, cooling is performed.

How does the supply of refrigerant to the pipes of the refrigerator work with the closed valve function in the mode

A more complex design involves placing special sensors that measure the temperature from the outside and regulate it inside the chamber.

How long the compressor works

Accurate readings are not indicated in the manual. The main thing is that the motor power is enough for normal freezing of products. There is a general coefficient of work: if the device functions for 15 minutes and rest for 25 minutes, then 15 / (15 + 25) =, 7.

If the calculated values ​​are less, then you need to adjust the thermostat readings. More, indicates a violation of the tightness of the camera.

The compressor operates continuously for 15 minutes, after which it needs to rest almost twice in time

Absorption refrigerator

In this design, the working fluid (ammonia) evaporates. The refrigerant circulates through the system due to the dissolution of ammonia in the water. Then the liquid passes into the desorber, and then to a reflux condenser, where it is again separated into water and ammonia.

Refrigerators of this type are rarely used in everyday life, since the basis is poisonous components.

Absorption refrigerator is rarely used in everyday life because of the presence of toxic substances

Models with No Frost and a "weeping" wall

Technique with the Noë Frost system today is at the peak of popularity. Because the technology allows you to defrost the refrigerator once a year, only to wash. Features of the functioning ensure the moisture outlet from the system, therefore, ice and snow do not form in the chamber.

The photo shows a diagram of the circulation of air currents in refrigerators with a no-frost defrost system

In the freezer compartment there is an evaporator. The cold that it produces, spreads through the refrigerator compartment with the help of a fan. In the chamber at the level of the shelves, there are holes where the cold flow comes out and is evenly distributed throughout the compartment.

After the operation cycle, the defrost starts. The timer starts the evaporator heater. The ice melt melts, and the moisture is discharged to the outside, where it evaporates.

"Crying evaporator." The name is based on the principle that during the compressor operation an ice sheet is formed on the evaporator. As soon as the motor shuts down, the ice melts, and the condensate drains into the drain hole. The defrost method is called a drop method.

In refrigerators with a drip defrost system it is important to ensure that the filter is free of blockages


Function is also called "Quick freeze". It is implemented in many two-chamber models "Haer "Biryusa "Ariston". In electromechanical models, the mode is started by pressing the button or turning the knob. The compressor starts non-stop operation until the products completely freeze both inside and outside. After that, the function must be disabled.

Some models of modern refrigerators have a function of super freezing, creating a load on the work of the motor

It is recommended to turn on the mode for up to 72 hours.

Electronic control automatically turns off the super-frost, according to the signals of thermoelectric sensors.

Electrical circuit

To find the cause of the problem on your own, you will need knowledge of the electrical circuit.

Standard electrical scheme for the operation of a domestic refrigerator for diagnosis and troubleshooting

The current fed to the circuit passes this way:

  • goes through the contacts of the thermal relay (1);
  • defrost buttons (2);
  • thermal relay (3);
  • starting relay (5);
  • is fed to the working winding of the motor motor (4.1).

The working scheme of the engine of the compressor motor of household refrigerators

The non-working motor winding passes the voltage higher than the set value. This triggers the starting relay, closes the contacts and starts the winding. After reaching the desired temperature, the thermostat contacts open and the motor stops the motor.

Now you understand the device of the refrigerator and how it should work. This will help to properly operate the device and extend the period of its use.

Refrigerator operation: rules

Refrigerator operation: rulesRefrigerators

Do you think it is enough to buy a refrigerator, put it in the kitchen, load the products and everything - the appliances will work for many years? This is not quite true: you need not only to del...

Read More
Review of Vestel refrigerators: models, features, reviews

Review of Vestel refrigerators: models, features, reviewsRefrigerators

Vestel refrigerators are not the most popular ones against famous and popular brands. But they are in demand because of the low price. We offer to learn more about the technology "Vestel" - who is...

Read More
Review Liebherr refrigerators: characteristics, models, reviews

Review Liebherr refrigerators: characteristics, models, reviewsRefrigerators

Planning to buy a Liebherr refrigerator and do not know which one to choose? Today's review focuses on features, faults and popular models. The range of single-door, two-door, recessed and freesta...

Read More