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One of the widely used household appliances is domestic refrigerator. In this study we will use the Computational Fluid Dynamics(CFD) tools to analyse the design of the refrigerator cavity. The objective of this study is to predict the warm and cold zones in a domestic refrigerator using convective heat transfer solver. This objective can be reached by the characterisation of air flow and heat transfer in the appliance .
The schematic diagram of the refrigerator is given below.
Fig. 1. Heat flow inside a domestic refrigerator (source: Laguerre and Flick, 2004)
Three different configuration of the refrigerator will be used for this study. The dimensions of the refrigerator can be found in the image blow.
Fig. 2. Domestic refrigerator geometry: (a) empty refrigerator; (b) refrigerator fitted with glass shelves; © refrigerator with glass shelves and products .
External dimensions (height × width × depth): 149 cm × 60 cm × 59 cm
Internal dimensions (height × width × depth): 136 cm × 52 cm × 44 cm
Dimension of the package: 10cm × 10cm × 5 cm
Dimensions of the evaporator: 90 cm × 48 cm
Thermostat setting: 5 °C
Constant evaporator temperature: −0.5 °C
Number of shelves: 4
The purpose of this project is to validate the accuracy of the solver for convective heat transfer. The velocity and temperature distribution of inside the refrigerator are to be compared with the proposed results.
Fig. 3. Path lines: (a) on the symmetry plan of the empty refrigerator; (b) on the symmetry plan of the refrigerator fitted with glass shelves; © on the symmetry plan of the refrigerator loaded with products; (d) on the plan situated at 8 cm from the side wall of refrigerator loaded with products .
Fig. 4. Temperature field (radiation not taken into account): (a) on the symmetry plan of the empty refrigerator; (b) on the symmetry plan of the refrigerator fitted with glass shelves; © on the symmetry plan of the refrigerator loaded with the “test product”; (d) on the plan situated at 8 cm from the side wall of the refrigerator loaded with products .
Computational fluid dynamics, CFD, Refrigeration, Domestic refrigerator
Literature & Sources
 O. Laguerre, S. Ben Amara, J. Moureh, D. Flick, Numerical simulation of air flow and heat transfer in domestic refrigerators, Journal of Food Engineering, Volume 81, Issue 1, 2007, Pages 144-156, ISSN 0260-8774, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2006.10.029.