Different types of refrigeration systems

The process of obtaining and maintaining a temperature below ambient with the goal of cooling a product or area to the required temperature is referred to as refrigeration. Artificial cooling is another term for it.

Refrigeration, in general, is the system of cooling, and it entails removing heat and disposing of it at a higher temperature. As a result, refrigeration is a technology that moves heat from a lower to a higher temperature. Refrigeration is used in air conditioning and heat pumps, in addition to cooling applications. Physics and thermodynamics are the fundamental principles, and they apply to all applications.

The preservation of perishable food goods by storing them at low temperatures is one of the most well-known applications of refrigeration. Refrigeration systems are also commonly employed to provide humans with thermal comfort via air conditioning.

Air conditioning is the process of treating the air to control its temperature, moisture content, cleanliness, odor, and circulation as needed by the occupants of a place, a process, or products all at the same time.

Refrigeration and air conditioning systems have a long history that dates back to the human need for sustenance and comfort. The history of refrigeration is fascinating since it includes issues such as refrigeration availability, advances in prime movers and compressors, and refrigeration methods.

Types of refrigeration system

In this article, you’ll learn the different types of refrigeration and the common methods of refrigerating.


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Types of refrigeration

The followings are the common types of refrigeration systems:

  • Mechanical compression refrigeration
  • Evaporative cooling
  • Absorption refrigeration
  • Thermoelectric refrigeration
  • Vapor compression refrigeration
  • Vapor absorption refrigeration

Mechanical compression refrigeration

Commercial and industrial refrigeration, as well as air conditioning, are typically served by mechanical compression refrigeration systems. A centrifugal, screw or reciprocating compressor compresses the refrigerant vapor in these sorts of refrigeration systems.

The compressor and pumps required for the cooling water circuit in mechanical refrigeration systems consume a lot of energy. After compression, the vapor flows via a condenser and condenses, after which it is expanded in an expansion valve to provide cooling.

Evaporative cooling

Water is used in evaporative types of cooling systems to chill air brought in from the outside. Evaporative cooling occurs when water is pumped onto a pad through which air flows and the air loses its heat to the water. The pumps and blower fans are then given electrical power.

Because it uses less power to cool the air, an evaporative cooling system is easier to use than an air conditioner-based refrigerant. It also has the advantages of bringing in fresh air and raising the humidity in dry weather.

Absorption refrigeration

Absorption refrigeration is a cooling system that relies on a heat source (such as solar electricity or a fossil-fueled flame) to generate the necessary energy. It employs two types of coolant, the first of which provides evaporative cooling before being absorbed by the second.

Heat is now required to bring the two coolants back to their original state. Using waste heat from gas turbines or water heaters, this approach is also utilized to air-condition buildings. Recreational vehicles, campers, and caravans frequently use absorption refrigeration systems.


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Thermoelectric refrigeration

The Peltier effect is the most common principle used in thermoelectric types of refrigeration. By transporting heat between the two conductor junctions, this action causes the temperature to change. To generate an electric current, a voltage is applied between the linked conductors.

Heat is removed from one junction and cooling occurs when current travels between the connections of two conductors. At the second joint, heat is now collected. However, cooling is the most common application of the Peltier effect. It can also be used to control the temperature, which might be hot or cold.

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Vapor refrigeration

Vapor such as ammonia, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, Freons, and others are used as working agents in these sorts.

Vapor refrigeration is further divided into the following categories:

  • Refrigeration by vapor compression
  • Refrigeration based on vapor absorption

Refrigeration by vapor compression

This type of refrigeration uses a liquid refrigerant in a closed system that compresses and expands the refrigerant in four phases to switch between vapor and liquid form without leaving the refrigerating area.

It absorbs heat from the cold body throughout the evaporation process and uses this heat as its latent heat to transition from liquid to vapor. The heat is rejected by external bodies during the condensing process, resulting in a cooling effect in the working fluid.

This technology is commonly utilized in building and automotive air conditioning. Furthermore, vapor-compression refrigeration systems are commonly used in oil refineries, chemical processing plants, and natural gas processing plants.


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Refrigeration based on vapor absorption

Evaporators, absorbers, generators, condensers, expansion valves, pumps, and reduction valves are all examples of refrigeration. Where high power is not easily accessible, vapor absorption refrigeration systems (VARS) are used.

Water-lithium bromide sets are often utilized in large-capacity air conditioning systems in VAR systems. Water is employed as the refrigerant, while a solution of lithium bromide in water is used as the absorbent in these systems. Heat energy is used for refrigeration in vapor absorption refrigeration systems, which is less expensive to generate than VCR systems. VAR systems are ideal for regions where low-cost thermal energy is accessible. These can be found in a lot of steam power plants.


That is all for this article, where the various types of refrigeration systems are been discussed. Remember, we discussed the types of refrigeration systems including mechanical compression, evaporative cooling, absorption refrigeration, thermoelectric, vapor compression, and vapor absorption refrigeration systems.

I hope you learn a lot from this article, if so, kindly share it with other students. Thanks for reading, see you around!


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