A Solar Ammonia Absorption Icemaker – Types of Refrigeration
A Solar Ammonia Absorption Icemaker. Refrigeration may seem complicated, but it can be reduced to a simple strategy: By some means, coax a refrigerant, a material that evaporates and boils at a low temperature, into a pure liquid state. Then, let’s say you need some cold (thermodynamics would say you need to absorb some heat).
Letting the refrigerant evaporate absorbs heat, just as your evaporating sweat absorbs body heat on a hot summer day. Since refrigerants boil at a low temperature, they continue to evaporate profusely — thus refrigerating — even when the milk or vaccines or whatever is already cool.
That’s all there is to it. The rest is details. One of these details is how the liquid refrigerant is produced. Mechanically driven refrigerators, such as typical electric kitchen fridges, use a compressor to force the refrigerant Freon into a liquid state. Heat-driven refrigerators, like propane-fueled units and our icemaker, boil the refrigerant out of an absorbent material and condense the gaseous refrigerant to a liquid.
This is called generation, and it’s very similar to the way grain alcohol is purified through distillation. After the generation process, the liquefied refrigerant evaporates as it is re-absorbed by an absorbent material. Absorbent materials are materials which have a strong chemical attraction for the refrigerant
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