What are Gas Refrigerators?

Harriette Halepis

Gas refrigerators use gas or propane as the main source of energy. These refrigerators are primarily used in homes or recreational vehicles that are not equipped with electricity. Unlike conventional refrigerators, gas refrigerators rely upon burning propane to cool down the inside of the refrigerator.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

A gas refrigerator consists of four essential components including the generator, condenser, evaporator, and absorber. These four parts combine to create a cycle of ammonia, hydrogen, and water. As the generator generates ammonia, the separator separates the gas from the water. Eventually the gas is cooled and condensed into liquid ammonia by the condenser. After the liquid is condensed, it is sent the the evaporator where the ammonia evaporates. The absorber ensures that the refrigerator will stay cool by absorbing the ammonia gas that is inside of the unit.

Traditional refrigerators use a type refrigerant rather than gas in order to keep the inside of a unit cold. Refrigerants are compounds that were largely discovered during the 1980s. While older refrigerants effectively polluted the environment, most modern refrigerants are environmentally safe. In contrast to a gas refrigerator, refrigerant refrigerators include movable parts, though they are only suitable for stationary homes.

Gas refrigerators do not have any movable parts, which makes them ideal for any kind of moving vehicle. Still, there is some concern that portable gas refrigerators pose a possible safety danger. On occasion, portable gas refrigerators can give off small amounts of carbon monoxide. If a gas refrigerator is used within an enclosed space, carbon monoxide can become trapped inside of that space. Thus, these refrigerators must be only be used in an open-air environment.

Propane refrigerators come in a number of shapes and sizes, though it is recommended that consumers purchase a gas fridge that is proportionate to a home or other vehicle. Since these refrigerators are operated by gas, they can be quite expensive to run on a continual basis. Therefore the size of the refrigerator is important cost-wise.

Generally, most gas refrigerators are available with various parts and accessories. In addition, modern gas units tend to include lots of extra space, though this wasn't always the case. The first gas units were extremely compact, but they have evolved since that time. Before purchasing a gas unit, the size, shape, and tank size should be considered. Also, it is important to measure the space where a gas unit will go, since these units can be dangerous if they are placed within a space that is too small.

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