History of refrigeration

In the 1800s natural refrigeration was a vibrant part of the economy. Natural ice harvested from the pristine rivers and lakes of the northern United States, particularly those in New England, was in demand. Harvested ice was stored in large quantities in ice houses and covered with sawdust for insulation. Later, merchants loaded the ice in sailing ships as ballast. Again, the ice was covered with sawdust. Ice was delivered to as far away as India, where it was welcomed, and to England, where interest was low. The supply of harvested ice was erratic, depending on the weather where it was harvested. During the 1800s many mechanical-type refrigeration systems were being invented and used refrigerants such as sulfur dioxide, methyl chloride, ether, carbon dioxide, as well as wine, brandy, vinegar, etc. The early refrigeration systems designed between 1850 and 1920 produced ice year-round to compete with harvested ice. The harvested ice pro […]


World Refrigeration Day announced as June 26

Industry trade associations and professional bodies from across the globe have come together to establish June 26 as World Refrigeration Day, which will be celebrated the world over as an annual event. The entire worldwide industry is encouraged to take the opportunity to promote the significant role of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps in the well-being of mankind. It is intended that World Refrigeration Day will serve as a means of raising awareness and understanding to the general public of the significant role that the industry and its technology play in modern life and society, with RACHP and HVACR organizations and professionals around the world undertaking a range of activities. The term ‘refrigeration’ here is being used in its widest sense as the process of achieving and maintaining a required temperature below that of its surroundings. An example of refrigeration is the preservation and distribution of perishable […]


Magnetic cooling enables efficient, ‘green’ refrigeration

Magnetic cooling is a promising new refrigeration technology boasting several advantages – ranging from lower energy consumption to eliminating the use of hazardous fluids – that combine to make it a much more environmentally friendly option than today’s standard fluid-compression form of refrigeration. One novel magnetic cooling approach, developed by a team of Canadian-Bulgarian researchers, relies on solid magnetic substances called magnetocaloric materials to act as the refrigerant in miniaturized magnetic refrigerators. As the team describes in the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, these materials are the key to the development of a “green” cooling technology whose efficiency is able to scale directly with the generated magnetocaloric effect. The magnetocaloric effect is “the thermal response of a magnetic material to the change of an external magnetic field, which manifests as a change i […]

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