Five Essential Keywords That Characterize the Refrigeration Sector


The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) has worked closely with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for the past year to establish five essential keywords characterizing the refrigeration sector.

After numerous discussions, the experts agreed on the following:

  1. Cooling:
    • (1) Removal of heat, usually resulting in a lower temperature and/or phase change.
    • (2) Lowering temperature.
  2. Refrigeration:
    • (1) Cooling of a space, substance or system to lower and/or maintain its temperature below the ambient one (removed heat is rejected at a higher temperature).
    • (2) Artificial cooling
  3. Chilling:
    • Cooling of a substance without freezing it.
  4. Freezing:
    • Solidification phase change of a liquid or the liquid content of a substance, usually due to cooling.
  5. Cold Chain:
    • Series of actions and equipment applied to maintain a product within a specified low-temperature range from harvest/production to consumption.

“It was important that the differences that might exist in these definitions between the IIR and ASHRAE be erased for more consistency. It now seems important to us to reach even greater harmonization on an international level in order to establish universal definitions,” said Jean-Luc Dupont, head of the IIR’s Scientific and Technical Information Department.

The IIR calls on all national and regional organizations and associations to adopt and disseminate these definitions. IIR says it will disseminate these definitions as widely as possible, adopt them in all its publications, and promote them including during the next International Congress of Refrigeration which is scheduled to be held in Montreal, Canada between August 24-30, 2019. The Science and Technology Council of the IIR officially endorsed the new definitions on February 8.

The IIR, like the ASHRAE, has its own dictionary which contains 4,300 words in all fields of refrigeration and is available in both English and French.

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