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Refrigeration Cycle vs “Natural Cycle” – what is it?



In 1834, the first working vapor-compression refrigeration system was built. The first commercial ice-making machine was invented in 1854. In 1913, refrigerators for home use were invented.

In 1882 Curry Foley hit the first baseball cycle. In baseball, the cycle requires 4 basic components:

  1. a Single
  2. a Double
  3. a Triple
  4. a Home run

A baseball cycle is the accomplishment by one batter hitting all four of these components in the same game. Collecting the hits in that order is known as a “natural cycle”.

Whether household refrigerators, industrial freezers, ice makers, cryogenics, heat pumps or air conditioning chances are it is using a refrigeration cycle.

Like a baseball cycle the refrigeration cycle requires 4 basic components:

  1. Compressor
  2. Condenser
  3. Metering device (expansion value)
  4. Evaporator

With these 4 components all you need is a fixed supply of refrigerant in a closed system and you can either add heat or remove heat (cooling). The refrigerant can be a Freon, propane, or CO2 just to mention a few. Historically Freon has been used however, with tighter and tighter regulations from the EPA, manufactures are looking at alternatives. The best chemical refrigerant easily changes states from liquid to vapor and back again.

  • Liquids absorb heat when changed from liquid to gas
  • Gases give off heat when changed from gas to liquid

Within this refrigeration cycle there is a high side (output of compressor) and a low side (suction of compressor) separated by #3 above a metering device.

In our next blog we will get more into control and what is needed. For further information on similar subject, you can take a look at Dr. Tom Kwa’s slideshow presentations below. 

pdf-icon Pressure Sensors for Automative HVAC Systems

pdf-icon Challenges in Designing low-cost media-isolated MEMS Pressure Transducers for HVACR Application

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