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B How a steam jet refrigeration system works explain.


Steam jet refrigeration system

This system uses the principle of boiling the water below 100 0C. If the pressure on the

surface of the water is reduced below atmospheric pressure, water can be made boil at

low temperatures. Water boils at 6 0C, when the pressure on the surface is 5 cm of Hg

and at 10 0C, when the pressure is 6.5 cms of Hg. The very low pressure or high

vacuum on the surface of the water can be maintained by throttling the steam through

jets or nozzles. The general arrangement of the system is shown in the Fig..

Consider a flash chamber contains 100 kg of water. If suddenly 1 kg of water is

removed by boiling, as pressure is reduced due to throttling of steam through nozzles.

Approximately 2385 kJ of heat will be removed from the water, which is equivalent to
heat of evaporation of water. The fall in temperature of the remaining water will be,

Q m C pdT

Evaporating one more kg of water reduces the remaining water temperature by 5.7 0C
further. Thus by continuing this process, the remaining water can be made to freeze.

Water is the refrigerant used in the steam jet refrigeration system. As water freezes at
00C, then either refrigeration has to be stopped or some device is required to pump the


High pressure steam is supplied to the nozzle from the boiler and it is expanded. Here,

the water vapor originated from the flash chamber is entrained with the high velocity

steam jet and it is further compressed in the thermo compressor. The kinetic energy of

the mixture is converted into static pressure and mass is discharged to the condenser.

The condensate is usually returned to the boiler. Generally, 1% evaporation of water in

the flash chamber is sufficient to decrease the temperature of chilled water to 60 C. The
chilled water in the flash chamber is circulated by a pump to the point of application.

The warm water from the load is returned to the flash chamber. The water is sprayed

through the nozzles to provide maximum surface area for cooling. The water, which is

splashed in the chamber and any loss of cold water at the application, must be replaced

by makeup water added to the cold water circulating system.


a) It is flexible in operation; cooling capacity can be easily and quickly changed.

b) It has no moving parts as such it is vibration free.
c) It can be installed out of doors.
d) The weight of the system per ton of refrigerating capacity is less.
e) The system is very reliable and maintenance cost is less.
f) The system is particularly adapted to the processing of cold water used in
rubber mills,, distilleries, paper mills, food processing plants, etc.
g) This system is particularly used in air-conditioning installations, because of
the complete safety of water as refrigerant and ability to adjust quickly to load
variations and no hazard from the leakage of the refrigerant.


a) The use of direct evaporation to produce chilled water is usually limited as

Tremendous volume of vapour is to be handled.
b) About twice as much heat must be removed in the condenser of steam jet per
Ton of refrigeration compared with the vapour compression system.
c) The system is useful for comfort air-conditioning, but it is not practically
feasible for water temperature below 40 C.

1. Explain working principle and components of thermo electric

refrigerating system.


In 1821 the German physicist T.J. Seebeck reported that when two junctions of
dissimilar metals are kept at two different temperatures, an electro motive force (emf)
is developed, resulting in flow of electric current. The emf produced is found to be
proportional to temperature difference. In 1834, a Frenchmen, J. Peltier observed the
reverse effect, i.e., cooling and heating of two junctions of dissimilar materials when
direct current is passed through them, the heat transfer rate being proportional to the
current. In 1838, H.F.E. Lenz froze a drop of water by the Peltier effect using antimony
and bismuth (it was later found that Lenz could freeze water as the materials used were not
pure metals but had some impurities in them). In 1857, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin)
proved by thermodynamic analysis that Seebeck effect and Peltier effect are related and he
discovered another effect called Thomson effect after his name. According to this when
current flows through a conductor of a thermocouple that has an initial temperature
gradient in it, then heat transfer rate per unit length is proportional to the product of
current and the temperature. As the current flow through thermoelectric material it gets
heated due to its electrical resistance. This is called the Joulean effect, further, conduction
heat transfer from the hot junction to the cold junction transfers heat. Both these heat
transfer rates have to be compensated by the Peltier Effect for some useful cooling to be
produced. For a long time, thermoelectric cooling based on the Peltier effect remained
a laboratory curiosity as the temperature difference that could be obtained using pure
metals was too small to be of any practical use. Insulating materials give poor
thermoelectric performance because of their small electrical conductivity while metals
are not good because of their large thermal conductivity. However, with the discovery
of semiconductor materials in 1949-50, the available temperature drop could be
increased considerably, giving rise to commercialization of thermoelectric refrigeration
systems. Figure 1.8 shows the schematic of the thermoelectric refrigeration system
based on semiconductor materials. The Russian scientist, A. F. Ioffe is one of the
pioneers in the area of thermoelectric refrigeration systems using emiconductors.
Several domestic refrigerators based on thermoelectric effect were made in USSR as early
as 1949. However, since 1960s these systems are used mainly used for storing
medicines, vaccines etc and in electronic cooling. Development also took place in
many other countries. In USA domestic refrigerators, air conditioners, water coolers,
air conditioned diving suits etc. were made

using these effects. System capacities were typically small due to poor efficiency. However
some large refrigeration capacity systems such as a 3000 kcal/h air conditioner and a 6 tonne
capacity cold storage were also developed. By using multi staging temperatures as low
as -1450 C were obtained. These systems due to their limited performance (limited by
the materials) are now used only in certain niche applications such as electronic cooling,
mobile coolers etc. Efforts have also been made to club thermoelectric systems with
photovoltaic cells with a view to develop solar thermoelectric refrigerators.
2. Explain working principle and components of vortex tube
refrigeration system.

Vortex Tube (Non-Conventional):

It is one of the non-conventional type refrigerating systems for the production of

refrigeration. The schematic diagram of vortex tube is shown in the Fig.6.9. It consists of
nozzle, diaphragm, valve, hot-air side, cold-air side. The nozzles are of converging or
diverging or converging-diverging type as per the design. An efficient nozzle is designed
to have higher velocity, greater mass flow and minimum inlet losses. Chamber is a
portion of nozzle and facilities the tangential entry of high velocity air-stream into hot side.
Generally the chambers are not of circular form, but they are gradually converted into spiral
form. Hot side is cylindrical in cross section and is of different lengths as per design. Valve
obstructs the flow of air through hot side and it also controls the quantity of hot air through
vortex tube. Diaphragm is a cylindrical piece of small thickness and having a small hole of
specific diameter at the centre. Air stream travelling through the core of the hot side is
emitted through the diaphragm hole. Cold side is a cylindrical portion through which cold air
is passed.


Compressed air is passed through the nozzle as shown in Fig.6.9. Here, air expands

and acquires high velocity due to particular shape of the nozzle. A vortex flow is created

in the chamber and air travels in spiral like motion along the periphery of the hot side.

This flow is restricted by the valve. When the pressure of the air near valve is made
more than outside by partly closing the valve, a reversed axial flow through the core of

the hot side starts from high-pressure region to low-pressure region. During this

process, heat transfer takes place between reversed stream and forward stream.

Therefore, air stream through the core gets cooled below the inlet temperature of the air

in the vortex tube, while air stream in forward direction gets heated up. The cold stream

is escaped through the diaphragm hole into the cold side, while hot stream is passed

through the opening of the valve. By controlling the opening of the valve, the quantity of

the cold air and its temperature can be varied.


1) It uses air as refrigerant, so there is no leakage problem.

2) Vortex tube is simple in design and it avoids control systems.
3) There are no moving parts in vortex tube.
4) It is light in weight and requires less space.
5) Initial cost is low and its working expenses are also less, where compressed
air is readily available.
6) Maintenance is simple and no skilled labours are required.


Its low COP, limited capacity and only small portion of the compressed air appearing as

the cold air limits its wide use in practice.


1) Vortex tubes are extremely small and as it produce hot as well as cold air. It
may be of use in industries where both are simultaneously required.
2) Temperature as low as -50 0C can be obtained without any difficulty, so it is
very much useful in industries for spot cooling of electronic components.
3) It is commonly used for body cooling of the workers in mines.