Refrigeration Basics

SKU: RVI-11516Duration: 20 Minutes

The refrigeration cycle is used in many different applications to transfer heat from one fluid to another. One common application is to provide cooling in HVAC systems. This interactive online course discusses the theory, equipment, and processes related to the vapor-compression refrigeration cycle.

Course Details


Training Time: 20 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the basic refrigeration cycle
  • Describe the heat exchangers commonly used in HVAC systems
  • Describe the functionality of the two types of cooling systems
  • Explain thermodynamics

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What is the most common method of refrigeration?
By far the most common method of refrigeration is the Vapor-Compression Refrigeration Cycle. Also called The Mechanical Refrigeration Cycle.

What are thermodynamics?
Thermodynamics is a branch of science that deals with the movement of thermal energy between objects or systems, and any related property changes. It deals with large scale responses that are observable and measurable.

What are the three methods of heat transfer?
1. Conduction - Where heat transfers directly from one object to another, when the two objects are at different temperatures and contact each other. 2. Convection - Where the movement of a fluid (gas or liquid) transfers heat from one object or area to another object or area. 3. Radiation - Where heat energy passes through space from one object to another, without direct or indirect contact.

What are heat exchangers?
Heat exchangers are devices that allow heat energy to transfer from one fluid to another.

What is a condenser?
A condenser converts gas refrigerant to liquid refrigerant.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

In chiller systems, a chiller unit uses the refrigeration cycle to produce chilled water that is pumped to the cooling coil in the air handler. At the cooling coil, the chilled water absorbs thermal energy from the building air, and then it returns to the chiller unit, where it transfers thermal energy to the refrigerant in the evaporator. Chillers can be air-cooled or water-cooled. Air-cooled chillers release thermal energy from the refrigerant in the condenser to outside air, while water-cooled chillers release thermal energy from the refrigerant in the condenser to a cooling water loop, which is pumped to a cooling tower where it is cooled for re-use. Water-cooled chillers are more costly to install but more efficient, so are more often used on larger commercial properties with higher cooling loads. The main difference between DX systems and chiller systems is that chiller systems have one or two extra water loops involved in the heat transfer process. Because the refrigerant receives thermal energy from liquid water instead of air, a different type of heat exchanger is used.
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