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Understanding airflow pattern and temperature distribution in domestic refrigerators – A review analyzing recent developmen...

by Muneeshwaran Murugan, Cheng-min Yang, Kashif Nawaz, Chi-chuan Wang
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Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
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Refrigerators have become an essential appliance in every household, and they consume approximately 30% of total electricity among other domestic appliances such as clothes washers, dryers, and air conditioners. With the refrigerator’s comparatively high energy consumption compared with other appliances, existing research has mainly focused on improving the energy efficiency of refrigerators by changing the design of the compressor, heat exchanger, refrigerant, and insulation. However, previous studies have paid very little attention to the research and development of the temperature distribution in the refrigerator, which is a key parameter in determining energy consumption and food safety. Therefore, this review aims to present an overview of recent design developments to improve the temperature distribution and air circulation in domestic refrigerators, including static refrigerators and no-frost refrigerators. This review article discusses the various operation and design factors that can affect the air circulation and temperature uniformity of the refrigerator, including shelf arrangement, the compressor on/off cycle, thermostat settings, evaporator design, ambient conditions, door opening frequency, and product loading temperatures. Additionally, this review provides a summary of the advanced vapor compression cycle based refrigerators that are expected to provide better energy efficiency and independent temperature control in freezer and refrigerator compartments. This review elaborates on the significance of improving the performance of the domestic refrigerator in terms of temperature distribution and air circulation.