If you glance at the world around you, one can notice that the world has become a smarter place to live in today, when compared to an earlier generation.
In this context, the refrigerator does not like to be left behind. It has also become smarter with the use of Inverter technology.
We shall discuss this technology in refrigerators and see how it benefits us in more ways than one.
The Compressor – The Heart and Soul of the Refrigerator
Everyone knows that the compressor is the heart of the refrigerator. Take it out, and you have nothing. Therefore, one should be aware of how the compressor works.
The role of the compressor is to compress the refrigerant gas into a hot liquid.
This liquid passes through a condenser unit to cool it before propagating inside the refrigerator.
As this cold liquid circulates inside the coils, it removes the heat from inside the refrigerator and makes the atmosphere cool. In the process, it expands into a gas.
This gas finds its way back to the compressor where the entire process repeats itself.
The refrigerator and the air conditioner have a similar way of functioning.
The Standard Compressor
Usually, a significant majority of refrigerators come with the standard compressor. Here is how it functions inside the fridge.
We have seen the scientific working of the compressor. Let us see the mechanical side of it.
The compressor turns on when the temperature inside the refrigerator reaches a specific threshold limit. It keeps working until it cools down the heat to calibrated levels.
On achieving this temperature, the compressor switches off automatically. This process continues with the compressor switching on and off at regular intervals.
Whenever, the compressor switches on, it causes a spike in the current consumption.
At the same time, it makes a noise, as well. You can hear the distinct sound of the compressor working throughout.
This continuous switching on and off of the compressor causes wear and tear.
The Inverter Compressor
Initially, one might feel that the inverter compressor is one that is capable of functioning on the home inverter. However, it is not so.
The home inverter does not have anything to do with the functioning of the inverter compressor.
The inverter compressor technology is one that makes the compressor a smart one.
The inverter compressor is different because it does not switch on and off like the standard compressors.
The technology keeps the compressor running at different speeds. You can compare the inverter compressor technology with that of a car accelerator.
The benefits of an inverter compressor
When compared to the standard compressor, the Inverter compressor is beneficial in many ways.
- The inverter compressor does not switch on and off at regular intervals. It keeps on working but at varying speeds. Therefore, the compressor does not make any noise.
- Secondly, there is no spike in the current consumption because it does not have to switch on and off. Thus, there are savings in electricity consumption.
- The best aspect of the inverter compressor is that it saves electricity as the temperature stabilizes.
- The variable speed of the BLDC motors ensures to save between 20% to 40% of electricity.
- In India, you get subsidies on consuming less power. For example, users consuming less than 500 units bi-monthly get subsidies from the Government as an incentive. Using refrigerators and ACs with Inverter compressor technology can help reduce your consumption considerably.
- These inverter compressors do not switch on and off frequently. Hence, there is less wear and tear on the compressor motor.
- Refrigerators with inverter compressors can work on the home inverter with batteries having lower capacities.
The inverter compressor has a drawback, as well (if you can call this a disadvantage).
The refrigerators with inverter compressor are comparatively expensive to those with standard compressors.
However, consumers benefit because they can save on power consumption when they use fridges working on the inverter compressor. The power saving over the entire life span of the refrigerator easily compensates the difference in the purchase price.
Different types of Inverter Compressor
All inverter compressors work on a similar principle. However, there can be small variations in the technology used, thereby giving rise to different types of inverter compressors.
Secondly, the fridge manufacturers like to give brand-specific names to the inverter compressor technology in use.
Digital Inverter Compressor – Samsung
Samsung manufactures refrigerators that use microprocessors with algorithms to control the inverter compressor. Hence, it is known as a digital inverter compressor.
Samsung offers seven different speeds that define the cooling precision of its refrigerators.
The standard compressors operate at full speed that is generally 3600 rpm. On the other hand, digital inverter compressors operate at speeds ranging between 1100 rpm and 4300 rpm.
Therefore, you get higher efficiency and consistent temperature inside the fridge.
Samsung refrigerator compressors come with nine sensors track variables. These sensors track the internal and external temperature, usage patterns, and humidity levels to conserve energy while preserving your food for extended periods.
Samsung digital inverter compressors consume up to 24% less energy than the conventional compressors.
Nutrifresh Inverter – Godrej
Godrej uses a similar digital inverter compressor technology in its refrigerators. They call this technology as Nutrifresh technology to distinguish it from what Samsung and other manufacturers offer.
These compressors come with specialised sensors that can provide personalised cooling depending on the food inside the fresh. It enables the food to stay fresh for longer durations. Hence, the name Nutrifresh.
Smart Inverter – LG – (Single Door Refrigerators)
LG uses the same digital inverter technology that Samsung and Godrej use. However, they have given it a new name, Smart Inverter. The use of the microprocessor is to maintain optimum cooling control.
The single-door refrigerators come with Smart Inverter. The premium LG refrigerators come with a different type of inverter compressor.
Inverter Linear Compressor – LG (Premium Refrigerators)
LG uses different technology in manufacturing inverter compressors for its premium refrigerators. All inverter compressors work on compressing the refrigerant.
The linear compressor uses a linear arrangement of an electromagnet that attracts the plate where the piston is fixed.
The conventional inverter compressor involves four friction points, whereas the electromagnet setup reduces the friction point to one point. Therefore, it saves energy and improves efficiency. Thus, the food remains fresh for extended periods.
Intellisense Inverter – Whirlpool
Whirlpool uses the Intellisense terminology for all its appliances, including the refrigerators and washing machines. This technology uses three sensors for optimum control.
- One sensor obtains information about the internal temperature of the fridge.
- The second sensor estimates the food load inside the refrigerator.
- The third sensor senses the user pattern to determine the speed control of the compressor.
Plasma Inverter – Whirlpool
The Plasma Inverter is an improvement over the Intellisense Inverter. Whirlpool refrigerators introduced after 2019 come with plasma inverters.
Besides the three sensors that Intellisense inverters come with, the plasma inverter compressor comes with an additional layer of plasma coating on its compressor rod.
It improves the longevity of the compressor. Such inverters can last for a minimum of 25 years, whereas the conventional inverter compressors have a lifespan of around 20 years.
How does an inverter compressor save electricity?
Everyone knows that the refrigerators and the ACs are two home appliances that consume the maximum power. It is primarily because of the use of compressors.
Whenever a compressor switches on, it causes a massive spike in current consumption.
A standard compressor works by switching on and off at regular intervals. On average, it switches on and off at least five to six times in 24 hours.
One can well imagine the amount of power it consumes every time it switches on. Secondly, the standard compressor works at full potential all the time it is on.
On the other hand, the inverter compressor does not switch off at all. It reduces its running speed. Therefore, it continuously consumes less power.
This compressor does not switch on frequently. Hence, there is no question of a spike in power consumption.
Therefore, the inverter compressor conserves energy. Statistics show that intelligent usage of the refrigerator helps in saving between 20% to 40% of electricity.
When we say smart utilisation of the fridge, we refer to the following.
- Not opening the refrigerator door frequently
- Keeping the fridge door closed whenever you do not need it
- Having a high-quality gasket on the refrigerator door to prevent leakage of cold air
- Not overloading the refrigerator
- Not keeping hot food inside the fridge
- Opting for an Auto-defrost refrigerator
- Purchasing the refrigerator of the ideal size depending on the family
We have discussed the functioning of inverter compressor technology in refrigerators. This discussion shows that opting for such a fridge is a sensible thing to do.
These fridges can be expensive initially, but they end up saving a lot of money due to reduced power consumption. Finally, we can now add that the refrigerator has also become smarter than before.
VS Chaitanya is a Computer engineer, creator, and editor in chief of Kitchenarena. He is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert and has experience of Ten years in technology news reporting and his area of expertise includes Large Appliances and Electronics.