Refrigerators can be divided into different types. It is better to start with the design features. This is how we proceed.
At least there are 5 types of refrigerators:
- Single-chamber refrigerator;
- Two-chambered (classic) fridge;
- French Door.
A single-chamber refrigerator consists of only one chamber and the freezer inside it. Of cause, the freezer is small in such devices or absent at all.
Two-chambered fridges have a refrigerator compartment and a freezer, and each has its own door. The freezer can be located above or under the main chamber – it depends on the model.
Wherein the refrigerator main compartment can be divided into two (or even more) parts:
- Zone for vegetables and fruits where high humidity prevails (90%);
- Zone for meat and fish (humidity near 50%).
Three-chambered models consist (who would have thought) of three chambers:
- refrigerator compartment;
- freshness camera.
The freshness camera intended for chilled food saving, and the temperature there is about 0 degrees. In such conditions foods keep their freshness and do not loose beneficial features. The freshness zone can be divided into two cells: dry (low humidity) and wet (high humidity).
Side-by-side fridges came from America. Such a device looks like a two-door wardrobe, and a freezer and the refrigerator chamber are located one near another (not above or under). Usually a freezer is located on the left side.
Side-by-side fridge with a winy cabinet
Side-by-side models are intended for people with large families, cause freezer space is so great that it will be enough for freezing a lot of products. There are drawers, door shelves, ice machine there. Outside the door of the freezer compartment there is a dispenser for supplying ice cubes and cold water.
Side-by-side fridge eliminates the necessity of buying a freezer as a simple appliance, and this is the main advantage. Also they are hi-tech in the majority. It means they can not only cool food in simple way. User can adjust the needed temperature in each compartment. Functionality of such fringes excels capabilities of other refrigerators. So they are more expensive.
French Door fridges become more popular in last decade. The name of these models comes from the three-winged wardrobes for storage of ice produced by the company “Frigidaire” in 1930, which are widely used in France.
Such wardrobes were intended only for ice keeping, and they worked without electricity.
In these fridges cooling chamber is usually located above the freezer (rarely under), in contradistinction to side-by-side models, where compartments are located one near another. As consumers claim, French Door fridges are more convenient and compact. But because of its construction it is possible to put large dishes on shelves.
French Door Refrigerators at the same height and depth have a useful volume of 400 liters, while the conventional refrigerators volume is about 300-350 liters. Small Side by Side models have a large volume (500 liters), which is achieved through its width.
So French Door refrigerator is an intermediate option between small conventional fridges and large side-by-side models. As refrigerators Side by Side, French Door devices are often equipped with icemaker and water dispenser, and because of the impressive size and swing doors, French Door refrigerators are often confused with Side by Side models.
Refrigerators differ from each other on a defrost system too. There are three types:
Hand system is uses in old or cheap models. If the ice was formed inside the cameras, the device has to be disconnected from the electricity. In next two-three hours ice would be thawed.
Semi-automatic is more modern system. Once in a week user must click on the button. Then the fridge will make everything itself.
Automatic defrost can be realized in two ways:
- Drop principle – frost forms on the wall of the refrigerator. While the compressor is switched off, the frost on the wall (evaporator) melts, and the water runs down to the groove.
- No-Frost system suggests fan using, which creates a circulation of cold air, thereby preventing the formation of frost. This system also proposes high energy consumption because of working of fun and heater.
Number of compressors
There are refrigerators with one or two compressors.
Single-compressor refrigerators have a single temperature regulator, so it is impossible to set up a temperature in a cooling chamber without changing the temperature in a freezer. User can just indicate the work capacity of the compressor. Also it is impossible to defrost each camera separately.
In two-compressor refrigerators there is a compressor on each chamber. So user can regulate the temperature separately in each chamber as well as separate defrost one of the cameras. Also, if one of the compressors will break down, another one will work for two circuits.
Due to a small load on the compressor, the refrigerator has lower power consumption, and compressors operate optimally without overloaded.
Type of cooling
Cooling system can be realized in different ways. At least there are four systems of cooling that are used in fridges:
- Steam jet.
The most simple is compression type of refrigerator. To ensure a coolant to circulate a compressor and electric engine is used. It is the most widespread type of a fridge.
Absorption type – here a heater is used for a coolant circulation. Cooling and movement of the refrigerant occurs due to heater temperature and pressure. Nowadays such type of fridges is not produced, because there are many disadvantages. First of all it is not safe. As a coolant ammonia is used here, and the production process is very complicated that implying a big price of a device.
Thermoelectric and steam jet fridges almost not used, so we will not dwell on them. Almost all modern refrigerators have a compression type of cooling.
Type of control
- Mechanical control type;
- Internet refrigerator.
Mechanical is the most simple and cheap type of control. Here temperature is regulated with a special mechanical thermostat. User just selects mode cooler or warmer.
Electronic type of control – user can select specific value of the temperature on the display. It allows setting the desired value.
Internet refrigerator. With an increasing number of functions of modern refrigerators a need for easier control was arisen. So refrigerators with a touch screen and Internet access were designed. In fact they have integrated tablets.
Fridges computer may have a database of all foods; also there is a webcam and a barcode scanner. Such devices may become a real helper that makes your ration truly useful. It can determine the calorific value of food you eat and warn you if it is necessary.
Also such appliance has a wi-fi receiver that provides internet access. It allows making purchases in the Internet shops and finding recipes for cooking.
Power consumption of the refrigerator depends on the volume of freezer and the main compartment, the greater volume the greater the power consumption.
Also the power consumption depends on the amount of food in the cameras; full loaded refrigerator will consume more energy than empty one.
Typically the refrigerator power consumption represent a kilowatt / hours per day at ambient temperatures of 25 degrees. Modern models consume about 1100-1500 watts per day, or 45-60 watts per hour.
Refrigerators are divided into classes according to power consumption:
- Class A, A +, A ++ – low power consumption.
- Class B – economical;
- Class C – economical;
- Class D, E, F and G – high consumption.
Also modern fridges are distinguished by the climate class:
- Class N – normal (16-32 C) (working temperature of the device);
- SN – subnormal (10-32 C);
- ST – subtropics (18-38 C);
- T – tropics (18-43 C).
If you live in tropical country, you have to choose a fridge with climate class “T”. Device with “N” class will not be effective or even it may break.