Experimental results for a hydraulic refrigeration system using n-butane

David S. Chau, Warren Rice, Patrick Phelan, Kent L. Whitfield, Byard D. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The hydraulic refrigeration system (HRS) is a vapor-compression system that accomplishes the compression and condensation of the refrigerant in a unique manner, by entraining refrigerant vapor in a down-flowing stream of water and utilizing the pressure head of the water to compress and condense the refrigerant. A multi-stage HRS was designed, fabricated, and tested using n-butane as the refrigerant. In general, both the refrigeration rate and the coefficient of performance (COP) increased with a corresponding decrease in the compression fluid temperature of the third and final stage. The refrigeration rate and COP were also found to increase with a corresponding increase in evaporator temperature. The predictions of an enhanced model incorporating two-phase hydraulic losses show excellent agreement with the experimental data with a maximum error of ±20%. The results of the experimental investigation indicate that the HRS offers an attractive and feasible alternative to conventional vapor-compression systems, especially in applications where direct-contact heat exchange in the evaporator is desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-337
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Refrigeration
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2001


  • Butane
  • Compression system
  • Design
  • Hydraulic
  • Multi-stage system
  • Performance
  • Refrigerant
  • Refrigerating system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental results for a hydraulic refrigeration system using n-butane'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this