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HISTORY OF REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS

1700 BCE Zimri-Lin, ruler of Mari in Syria commanded the construction of one
of the first ice houses near the Euphrates.
500 BCE first yakhchals appear in Persia. They were a type of evaporative cooler.
1396 CE - Ice storage warehouses called "Dong-bing-go and Seo-bing-go were
built in Han-Yang (todays Seoul, South Korea). They held ice from the frozen Han
River and are not used as warehouses since 1898 AD but their buildings stand
even today.
1650 Otto von Guericke designed and built the world's first vacuum pump and
created the world's first ever vacuum known as the Magdeburg hemispheres to
disprove Aristotle's long-held supposition that 'Nature abhors a vacuum'.
1656 Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke built an air pump on this design.
1662 Boyle's law (gas law relating pressure and volume) is demonstrated using
a vacuum pump.
1665 Boyle theorizes a minimum temperature in New Experiments and
Observations touching Cold.
1702 Guillaume Amontons first calculated absolute zero to be 240 C using an
air thermometer, theorizing at this point the gas would reach zero volume and
zero pressure.
1756 William Cullen held the first documented public demonstration of artificial
refrigeration.
1782 Antoine Lavoisier and Pierre-Simon Laplace invent the ice-calorimeter.
1784 Gaspard Monge liquefied the first gas producing liquid sulfur dioxide.
1787 Charles's law (Gas law, relating volume and temperature) was formulated.
1802 John Dalton wrote "the reducibility of all elastic fluids of whatever kind,
into liquids".
1802 Gay-Lussac's law (Gas law, relating temperature and pressure) was
formulated.
1803 The first domestic ice box appeared.
1805 Oliver Evans designed the first closed circuit refrigeration machine based
on the vapor-compression refrigeration cycle.
1809 Jacob Perkins patented the first refrigerating machine.
1810 John Leslie freezes water to ice by using an airpump.
1811 Avogadro's law was formulated.
1823 Michael Faraday liquified ammonia to cause cooling.
1824 Sadi Carnot proposed the Carnot cycle.
1834 Jacob Perkins obtained the first patent for a vapor-compression
refrigeration system.
1834 Jean-Charles Peltier discovers the Peltier effect.
1844 Charles Piazzi Smyth proposes comfort cooling.
1850 Michael Faraday makes a hypothesis that freezing substances increases
their dielectric constant.
1851 John Gorrie patented his mechanical refrigeration machine in the US to
make ice to cool the air.
1856 James Harrison patented an ether liquid-vapor compression refrigeration
system and developed the first practical ice-making and refrigeration room for
use in the brewing and meat-packing industries of Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
1857 Carl Wilhelm Siemens proposed the Siemens cycle.
1858 Julius Plcker observed for the first time some pumping effect due to
electrical discharge.
1859 Ferdinand Carr invented the first gas absorption refrigeration system
that uses gaseous ammonia dissolved in water (also known as "aqua ammonia").
1862 Alexander Carnegie Kirk invents the Air cycle machine.
1864 Charles Tellier patented a refrigeration system using dimethyl ether.

1869 Charles Tellier builds a cold storage plant in France.


1871 Carl von Linde built his first ammonia compression machine.
1876 Carl von Linde patented equipment to liquefy air using the Joule Thomson
expansion process and regenerative cooling.
1877 Raoul Pictet and Louis Paul Cailletet, working separately, develop two
methods to liquefy oxygen.
1882 William Soltau Davidson fitted a compression refrigeration unit to the New
Zealand vessel Dunedin.
1883 Zygmunt Wrblewski condenses experimentally useful quantities of liquid
oxygen.
1885 Zygmunt Wrblewski published hydrogen's critical temperature as 33 K;
critical pressure, 13.3 atmospheres; and boiling point, 23 K.
1888 Loftus Perkins develops the "Arktos" cold chamber for preserving food,
using an early ammonia absorption system.
1892 James Dewar invents the vacuum-insulated, silver-plated glass Dewar
flask,
1898 James Dewar condenses liquid hydrogen by using regenerative cooling
and his invention, the vacuum flask.
1905 Carl von Linde obtains pure liquid oxygen and nitrogen.
1906 Willis Carrier patents the basis for modern air conditioning.
1908 Heike Kamerlingh Onnes liquifies helium.
1911 Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discloses his research on metallic lowtemperature phenomenon characterized by no electrical resistance, calling it
superconductivity.
1915 Alfred Mellowes starts Guardian Frigerato and begins building first selfcontainer refrigerator for home use.
1920 Edmund Copeland and Harry Edwards use iso-butane in small
refrigerators.
1922 Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters invent the 3 fluids absorption chiller,
exclusively driven by heat.
1923 - Kelvinator, an early type of refrigerator, held 80%of the market for electric
refrigerators at the time.
1926 Albert Einstein and Le Szilrd invent the Einstein refrigerator.
1926 Willem Hendrik Keesom solidifies helium.
1926 General Electric Company introduced the first hermetic compressor
refrigerator
1929 - David Forbes Keith of Toronto, Ontario, Canada patented The Icy Ball, a
type of early refrigerator that didnt use electricity for cooling but a burning cup
of kerosene. It helped hundreds of thousands of families through the time of Dust
Bowl.
1933 William Giauque and P. Debye first suggested the principles of adiabatic
demagnetization refrigeration.
1937 Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, John F. Allen, and Don Misener discovered
superfluidity using helium-4 at 2.2 K.
1937 Frans Michel Penning invents a type of cold cathode vacuum gauge
known as Penning gauge.
1944 Manne Siegbahn invents the Siegbahn pump.
1951 Heinz London invents the principle of the dilution refrigerator.
1955 Willi Becker proposed the turbomolecular pump concept.
1972 David Lee, Robert Coleman Richardson and Douglas Osheroff discovered
superfluidity in helium-3 at 0.002 K.
1978 Laser cooling was first demonstrated in the groups of Wineland and
Dehmelt.
1983 - Orifice-type pulse tube refrigerator was invented by Mikulin, Tarasov, and
Shkrebyonock.

1986 Karl Alexander Mller and J. Georg Bednorz discovered high-temperature


superconductivity.
1995 Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman create the first BoseEinstein condensate,
using a dilute gas of Rubidium-87 cooled to 170 nK. They won the Nobel Prize for
Physics in 2001 for BEC.
2014 - NASA proposes the Cold Atom Lab to fly on board the International Space
Station to go to 100 pK.

METHODS OF REFRIGERATION
1. Ice Refrigeration
In this method the ordinary ice is used for keeping the space at temperature
below the surrounding temperature. The temperature of ice is considered to be 0
degree Celsius hence it can be used to maintain the temperatures of about 5 to
10 degree Celsius. To use the ice for refrigerating effect a closed and insulated
chamber is required. On one side of the chamber ice is kept while on the other side
there is a space which is to be cooled where some material to be cooled can be
placed. If the temperature below 0 degree Celsius is required, then the mixture of ice
and salt is used. This method of cooling is still being used for cooling the cold drinks,
keeping the water chilled in thermos, etc.
2. Mechanical Refrigeration
Mechanical refrigeration, often referred to simply as refrigeration, is a process
by which heat is removed from a location using a man-made heat-exchange system.
The system of refrigeration can be cyclic, non-cyclic, thermoelectric or magnetic
depending on the application for which refrigeration is needed. It typically involves
cyclic heat absorption using a fluid refrigerant and a compressor system. Common
air conditioners use an electric motor to operate a compressor and also drive air flow
over heat sink coils. The actual cooling principle is based on the phase change of the
refrigerant. The compressor causes pressure changes between two segments of a
cooling loop maintained at different pressures. When the refrigerant enters the low
pressure cooling coil, the refrigerant changes state into a vapor and absorbs heat.
The compressor then moves the vapor into a higher pressure condenser where the
refrigerant is condensed back into a liquid, liberating its heat into a heat exchange
coil before being re-circulated back into the low pressure evaporator coil.
3. Thermo-electric Refrigeration
Thermo-electric refrigeration type employs Peltiers effect. When two
dissimilar metals are joined on either ends and a direct current is circulated through
it, one joint gets cooled while the other gets heated. Antimony (Sb) and Bismuth (Bi)
are commonly used metals as they are electro-chemically opposite in their polarity. If
the cold end is placed in a closed space, it gets cooled. If the magnitude of current is
increased and a series of such strips are placed together a good cooling effect can
be produced.
4. Steam Jet Refrigeration
The principle of steam jet refrigeration is that the boiling point of water can
be reduced by reducing the pressure. At standard atmospheric pressure, the boiling
point of water is 100C. If the atmospheric pressure is lowered, the boiling point is
considerably reduced. For example, at pressure of 6.5 cm of water, the boiling point
of water is considerably reduced to 5 cm of water; its boiling point reduces to 6C.
The pressure reduction in the system is achieved by a steam nozzle and
ejector assembly. Due to the extremely high velocity of steam in ejector assembly all
the gases and vapors present in the flash chamber are removed thereby creating
partial vacuum. This results in the reduction of the boiling point of water. Due to the
evaporation of water at low temperature, the remaining water in the flash chamber
gets cooled which is circulated to the refrigerated space and the warm water
received from it is sprayed in the flash chamber.
5. Vapor Compression Cycle
The vapor compression cycle is the mostly widely used method of
refrigeration in the modern applications. Your household refrigerator, water cooler,

deep freezer, air-conditioner etc., all run on vapor compression cycle. The cycle is
called as vapor compression cycle, because the vapors of refrigerant are compressed
in the compressor of the refrigerator system to develop the cooling effect.
6. Vapor Absorption Cycle
Before the development of the vapor compression system of refrigeration,
vapor absorption cycle was very widely used. The vapor compression system
replaced vapor absorption system because it has high coefficient of performance
(COP). The vapor absorption system requires very less amount of electricity but large
amount of heat; hence it can be used very effectively in industries where very large
stocks of excessive steam are available. In such cases there is not only effective
utilization of steam, but also lots of savings in electricity costs. Of late the vapor
absorption systems are being employed by a number of industries to save on their
electric bills. However, the vapor absorption system is useful only where large scale
refrigeration in excess of at least 20 tons is required.
7. Magnetic Refrigeration
Magnetic refrigeration is based on the Magnetocaloric Effect (MCE). The MCE
implies that the temperature of suitable materials (Magnetocaloric Materials, MCM)
increases when they are exposed to a magnetic field and decreases when they are
removed from it, that is, the effect is reversible and almost instantaneous.
In a Magnetic Refrigeration System, a controlled magnetic field applies a
series of Magnetization-Demagnetization cycles to the magneto-caloric alloys. Each
of these cycles creates a temperature gradient in the material. A rapid succession of
these cycles produces the final and stabilized hot and cold temperatures in the
refrigerated system. An environmentally friendly coolant fluid (glycol water) ensures
the heat transfer between the cold to the hot sources. Similar to a heat pump
process, Magnetic Cooling can be adapted to any kind of refrigeration system
(professional fridge, display case, home appliance...).
8. Evaporative Refrigeration
Evaporative refrigeration makes use of the principle that when a liquid
evaporates, it absorbs heat equivalent to its latent heat of vaporization from the
surroundings, thereby cooling it. Evaporation cooling may be defined as the
adiabatic transfer of heat from air to water. It is utilized in cooling towers where
condenser water is cooled by spraying it from top and forcing a current of air from
below. Another application is evaporative type of condensers. Yet another application
is in desert coolers or room coolers. Dry air is passed through wet pads. Due to
evaporation, air gets cooled. The principle is also utilized in making artificial snow
9. Vertex Tube System of Refrigeration
Vertex tube is a simple straight piece of tube into which compressed air flows
tangentially and is so throttled that the central core of the air steam can be
separated from peripheral flow. The central core of the air is separated either by uniflow or counter flow method. The central core of the air steam is cold as compared to
the hot gases at the periphery.
References:
http://www.historyofrefrigeration.com/refrigeration-history/timeline-of-refrigerators/
http://me-mechanicalengineering.com/methods-of-refrigeration/
http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/definition/Mechanical-refrigeration
http://www.brighthubengineering.com/hvac
http://www.cooltech-applications.com/magnetic-refrigeration-principle.html