Refrigerators have been around for a long time now. With the first-ever use of artificial refrigeration dating back to the 17th century the first practical implementation of artificial registration began in the mid-1750s and was slowly developed by the early 1800s. It wasn’t until 1913 that the first commercial refrigerator was launched. Before going commercial, refrigerators were only available to factories and manufacturing plants where they used it to preserve raw food materials for a longer period of time.
In the early days, refrigerators were mainly a self-contained unit that supplied cold air to keep food items cold and fresh for longer periods of time but it was in 1940 that the first separate freezer compartment was introduced and was mainly used for making ice cubes.
Though in the past century, refrigerators have evolved a lot but the fundamental principle on which the refrigerators works, remains the same. Refrigerators use a compressor that serves as an engine that powers a refrigeration cycle. A refrigeration cycle consists of two phases wherein the first phase the air from inside the refrigerator is removed and cooled down and in the second phase, the same air is passed again around inside the refrigerator thus maintaining a cool temperature. This air can also be replaced with refrigerant which is a more efficient way of cooling the refrigerator.
What are inverter compressors?
For the past decade, mostly all refrigerators had a single-speed compressor that was used to power the refrigeration cycle. Whenever the temperature inside the refrigerator exceeded a certain temperature limit, the compressor would kick in and transfer refrigerant throughout the refrigerator via the heat exchange pipes. Whenever the temperature was stable and below the temperature limit the compressor would automatically shut down and would not start until the temperature exceeded a certain limit again.
The main problem with single-speed compressors was efficiency. At the time of starting a normal single-speed compressor motor would take thrice the normal operating wattage and frequent startup and shutdown of the compressor motor would cause high spikes in the power usage.
To solve this problem the digital inverter compressor was invented. A digital inverter compressor can operate at variable speeds as it is operated with a digital inverter. Unlike a single-speed compressor that needs to constantly shut down and startup whenever the temperature crosses a certain threshold, a digital inverter compressor can continuously run at variable speeds increasing the efficiency of the refrigerator drastically.
A single-speed compressor had only two speeds, either it ran on its full potential that is about 3600 rpm or it would be completely off. Whereas a digital inverter compressor has the ability to switch its speed as needed and can operate at different speeds ranging from 1100 to 4300rpm. Whenever the temperature inside the refrigerator is closer to the required limit the digital inverter compressor would lower down its speed but won’t shut down completely, similarly when the temperature becomes increasingly hot inside the refrigerator the digital inverter compressor would increase its speed to cool down the refrigerator quickly.
Benefits of a digital inverter compressor
A digital inverter compressor is more efficient than a single speed compressor as it provides constant and consistent cooling without consuming more power. Unlike a single-speed compressor that startups and shuts down multiple times a day, a digital inverter compressor only starts up when the refrigerator is turned on and only stops when the refrigerator is shutdown. This drastically reduces the power required to start the compressor motor.
The other benefits of using a digital inverter compressor are that it does not produce any noise like the single-speed compressors. These compressors also produce far fewer greenhouse gases as compared to their older counterparts. This is because the digital inverter compressors don’t have to work as hard as their counterparts as they can gradually increase and decrease the speed when needed.
This also helps to increase the life-span of the digital investor compressors as there are less wear and tear. This helps to increase the overall life span of the refrigerator. Constant cooling provided by a digital inverter compressor helps to keep the food fresh for longer.
Less Known facts about Inverter technology
- Single-speed compressor motors require 3 to 4 times more power than the digital inverter compressor which also increases the size of inverter or generators needed to run these motors. The digital inverter compressor requires much less energy and therefore the size of the generator or inverter needed to run them is also small.
- The single-speed compressor motors also have a high power factor which results in high power consumption where are used a digital inverter compressor usually has a power factor close to unity (1) which decreases the power consumption drastically.
- If you are considering going completely green by using solar energy as a primary source of energy then having a refrigerator with digital inverter compressor is it the best choice for you. Not only it consumes less electricity but will also help you to reduce the size of solar panels required.