Part 1

This section explains in basic terms the principals that are used to create the refrigeration effect. Graphics and animation's are used in an attempt to make it easy to understand the concepts involved. First of all, did you know that there is no such thing as cold? You can describe something as cold and everyone will know what you mean, but cold really only means that something contains less heat than something else. All there really is, is greater and lesser amounts of heat. The definition of refrigeration is The Removal and Relocation of Heat. So if something is to be refrigerated, it is to have heat removed from it. If you have a warm can of pop at say 80 °F and you would prefer to drink it at 40 °F you could place it in your fridge for a while, heat would somehow be removed from it, and you could eventually enjoy a less warm pop. (oh, all right, a cold pop.) But lets say you placed that 40 °F pop in the freezer for a while and when you removed it, it was at 35 °F See what I mean, even "cold" objects have heat content that can be reduced to a state of "less heat content". The limit to this process would be to remove all heat from an object. This would occur if an object was cooled to Absolute Zero which is -460 ° F or -273 ° C. They come close to creating this temperature under laboratory conditions and strange things like electrical superconductivity occur.
The latter two are used extensively in the design of refrigeration equipment. If you place two objects together so that they remain touching, and one is hot and one is cold, heat will flow from the hot object into the cold object. This is called conduction. This is an easy concept to grasp and is rather like gravitational potential, where a ball will try to roll down an inclined plane. If you were to fan a hot plate of food it would cool somewhat. Some of the heat from the food would be carried away by the air molecules. When heat is transferred by a substance in the gaseous state the process is called convection. And if you kicked a glowing hot ember away from a bonfire, and you watched it glowing dimmer and dimmer, it is cooling itself by radiating heat away. Note that an object does not have to be glowing in order to radiate heat, all things use combinations of these methods to come to equilibrium with their surroundings. So you can see that in order to refrigerate something, we must find a way to expose our object to something that is colder than itself and nature will take over from there. We are getting closer to talking about the actual mechanics of a refrigerating system, but there are some other important concepts to discuss first.