Vapor Absorption Cooling System

What is a Vapor Absorption Cooling System?

A refrigeration cycle uses mechanical compressor to help circulate the refrigerant. But in a Vapor Absorption Cooling System the pressure difference needed to achieve flow of the refrigerant is created using a heat source. Here we can say the cooling is achieved with heat.

Given below is a picture of the typical refrigeration cycle:

compression cycle










Given below is the diagram of a vapor absorption cycle:

 Vapor Absorption Cooling System











What makes an vapor absorption cooling system attractive is that it needs zero to little work input since a heat source can be found without the expense of mechanical energy. For example a solar panel can be used as a heat source and operate a vapor absorption cooler without spending any mechanical energy.

Advantages of Vapor Absorption Cooling System over Vapor Compression System:

  • Vapor absorption systems can utilize heat sources that would be otherwise discarded. For example a large factory with lots of thermal operations usually discards large amounts of heat generated. This heat can be utilized to work a vapor absorption cooling system.
  • Uses little or no work input
  • Reduced vaporization pressure and temperature
  • Constant performance even under load variation



  • Low efficiency (But since this system is mostly used where waste heat is generated low efficiency doesn’t matter in a practical sense)
  • Takes more time to provide cooling compared to compression systems

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