Research Topic

Advances in Refrigeration Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation

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About this Research Topic

The refrigeration sector plays a particularly strategic role for humanity. Although for many people 'refrigeration' is limited to household refrigerators, refrigerated display cabinets in supermarkets, ice rinks and snowmaking systems, these are but the tip of the iceberg. The refrigeration industry is

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The refrigeration sector plays a particularly strategic role for humanity. Although for many people 'refrigeration' is limited to household refrigerators, refrigerated display cabinets in supermarkets, ice rinks and snowmaking systems, these are but the tip of the iceberg. The refrigeration industry is present in many sectors, ranging from the food industry to air conditioning and plays a significant role across healthcare, energy and the environment.


The wide distribution of refrigeration systems does not equate to technological and scientific maturity. In fact, since the beginning of its widespread circulation, refrigeration has attracted ever-increasing attention from the scientific community, with a large community of researchers working towards the primary objectives of making refrigerating machines more efficient and more eco-compatible, and therefore improving their interaction with the surrounding world.


This leads us to focus on different aspects. The need to innovate refrigeration systems capable of covering a wide range of temperatures is a particularly current technical requirement. Although cascade vapour compression systems have traditionally filled this requirement, today's need to respond to international environmental regulations has resulted in the use of many novel refrigerant fluids. This is a primary source of research, both into the investigation of new refrigerants that can be used in existing systems and for the identification of new technological solutions. In particular, it is expected that innovative solutions will be reached by studying innovative compressors and optimising heat exchangers using either new geometries or novel materials. At the same time, studies into new, solid-state technologies have good prospects: magnetic, elastocaloric, electrocaloric and barocaloric refrigeration. Although the cutting-edge research is largely focused on new technological frontiers, it should be emphasised that in order to identify immediate responses to the problems listed above, the use of techniques from other sectors is increasingly asserting itself. In particular, researchers are proposing the use of innovative strategies for controlling refrigeration systems, such as using artificial intelligence.


Moreover, especially in the field of refrigerated transport but also in the process industry, the use of monitoring techniques based on the Internet of Things is increasingly widespread. In addition, in recent years the concept of solar cooling has been widely taken up, with the idea of integrating energy sources with refrigeration systems in an increasingly innovative and more efficient way. Because environmental needs actively drive innovation in the cold sector, there is a critical need to expand our knowledge of the environmental metrics of refrigeration systems by being able to compare the various solutions proposed to reduce environmental impact. A final aspect of particular interest is the aid provided by CAD techniques for the design and operation of refrigeration devices.


For all of these motivations, there is a strong need to make available to the scientific community a collection of the most recent research results in the field of refrigeration to mitigate climate change. Therefore, this Research Topic is both an opportunity for researchers to demonstrate their innovative proposals, and a necessary response to the need to safeguard our planet while continuing to satisfy of one of the essential human needs: refrigeration.


This Research Topic encourages submissions related, but not limited to the following themes:


  • System design:

    • Physical-based modelling of refrigeration systems

    • Computational fluid dynamics applied to the refrigeration sector

    • Artificial neural network-based modeling

    • genetic algorithm-based modelling.


  • Control strategies:

    • fuzzy logic

    • artificial intelligence

    • internet of things

    • hybrid techniques.


  • Applications of artificial intelligence for modelling and controlling refrigeration systems

  • Genetic algorithm-based modelling

  • Computational fluid dynamics applied to the refrigeration sector

  • Physical-based modelling of refrigeration systems

  • Experimental analysis of innovative refrigeration devices

  • Trans-critical refrigeration systems

  • Analysis of new refrigerants

  • Economic analysis of new technical solutions in the refrigeration sector

  • Environmental metrics:

    • Life Cycle Assesment (LCA)

    • Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP)

    • Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI)

    • Global Warming Potential (GWP)


  • Cold chain management and refrigerated transportation

  • Solid state refrigeration: magnetic, electrocaloric, elastocaloric, barocaloric, thermoacoustic

  • Peltier's cell

  • Cascade or Autocascade refrigeration system

  • Employment of renewable energies in the refrigeration sector

  • Refrigeration technology and healthcare

  • Cold storage and Phase Change Materials.


  • Cover image taken by Topic Editor, Prof Angelo Maiorino


    Keywords: vapor compression, solid-state refrigeration, refrigerants, environmental impact, sustainability


    Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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