Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

M. B. Pate

Second Advisor

H. N. Shapiro


A study was conducted to assess refrigeration technologies which are alternatives to vapor-compression for use in five application categories: domestic air conditioning, commercial air conditioning, mobile air conditioning, domestic refrigeration, and commercial refrigeration. A fundamental criteria for the selection of the alternative refrigeration technologies to be assessed was that they are environmentally safe;The study was conducted in three phases: a survey of U.S. patents, system modeling, and a technology assessment;Each refrigeration application was defined by a set of thermal source and sink temperatures. The U.S. patent survey was conducted from 1918 to the present. A method was developed for classifying refrigeration technologies found during the survey;Thermodynamic models were developed for the alternative refrigeration cycles. A computer program was written using these thermodynamic models to conduct a parametric study of the cycle efficiency of the alternative refrigeration technologies;A method for assessing and comparing the refrigeration technologies was developed. Six criteria were identified: State of the art, complexity, size/weight, maintenance, useful life, and energy efficiency;It was concluded that the most promising alternative refrigeration technologies were absorption and solid sorption. From an environmental and economic standpoint, none of the alternative refrigeration technologies were as attractive as the option of developing vapor-compression refrigeration with non-CFC refrigerants.



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Don Carlyle Gauger



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327 pages