The Science of Cold inside Commercial Refrigeration Industry

The Science of Cold inside Commercial Refrigeration Industry

The Science of Cold Inside the HVAC/R Industry

Commercial refrigeration is an essential part of the food industry, ensuring that perishable goods are stored at the right temperature to maintain their quality and safety. But how does it work? In this blog post, we will dive into the science behind commercial refrigeration, discussing concepts such as heat transfer, thermodynamics, and the role of refrigerants in the cooling process.

Heat Transfer

People often think that refrigeration equipment produces cold air, but in reality, it is removing heat from the air and leaving what’s left - the cold. Heat transfer is the process by which heat is moved from one place to another. In commercial refrigeration, heat is transferred from the inside of the refrigeration unit to the outside. This is done through a series of components that work together to move heat, including the compressor, condenser, and evaporator.


Thermodynamics is the study of the relationship between heat, energy, and work. In commercial refrigeration, thermodynamics plays a critical role in the cooling process. The refrigeration cycle is based on the principles of thermodynamics, which describe how temperature and pressure changes affect the state of refrigerant in a sealed piping system. The four laws of thermodynamics are:
  1. The zeroth law of thermodynamics: If two systems are in thermal equilibrium with a third system, then they are in thermal equilibrium with each other.
  2. The first law of thermodynamics: Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred or converted from one form to another.
  3. The second law of thermodynamics: Heat flows from hot to cold objects, and it is impossible to convert heat completely into work.
  4. The third law of thermodynamics: As the temperature of a system approaches absolute zero, the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value.


Refrigerants are chemicals that are used in commercial refrigeration systems to transfer heat from one place to another. They are chosen for specific properties, and how they behave is critical to the heat removal process. By manipulating temperature and pressure, refrigerants can change from a liquid to a gas and back again, absorbing and releasing heat in the process.The role of refrigerants in commercial refrigeration is critical. They are responsible for absorbing heat from the inside of the refrigeration unit and releasing it to the outside.

Different refrigerants have different properties, and the choice of refrigerant can impact the efficiency and environmental impact of the refrigeration system.In conclusion, commercial refrigeration is a complex and fascinating field that relies on the principles of heat transfer, thermodynamics, and refrigerants to keep perishable goods at the right temperature. By understanding the science behind commercial refrigeration, we can appreciate the technology that makes the food industry possible.

Back to blog