Refrigeration unit

  Lowers the temperature through a mechanical process. In a typical refrigeration unit, electricity powers a motor that runs a pump to compress the refrigerant to maintain proper pressure. (A "refrigerant" is a substance that changes between liquid and gaseous states under desirable temperature and pressure conditions.) Heat from the compressed liquid is removed and discharged from the unit and the refrigerant then evaporates when pressure is reduced. The refrigerant picks up heat as it evaporates and it returns to the compressor to repeat the cycle. A few refrigeration units use gas (either natural gas or LPG) in an absorption process that does not use a compressor. The gas is burned to heat a chemical solution in which the refrigerant has been absorbed. Heating drives off there frigerant which is later condensed. The condensed refrigerant evaporates by a release of pressure, and it picks up heat as it evaporates. The evaporated refrigerant is then absorbed back into the chemical solution, the heat is removed from the solution and discharged as waste heat, and the process repeats itself. By definition, refrigerators, freezers, and air-conditioning equipment all contain refrigeration units.
  U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration's Energy Glossary

Energy terms . 2014.

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