Performance analysis of a feasible air-cycle refrigeration system for road transport

Stephen Spence, W.J. Doran, David Artt, Geoffrey McCullough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of an air-cycle refrigeration unit for road transport, which had been previously reported, was analysed in detail and compared with the original design model and an equivalent Thermo King SL200 vapour-cycle refrigeration unit. Poor heat exchanger performance was found to be the major contributor to low coefficient of performance values. Using state-of-the-art, but achievable performance levels for turbomachinery and heat exchangers, the performance of an optimised air-cycle refrigeration unit for the same application was predicted. The power requirement of the optimised air-cycle unit was 7% greater than the equivalent vapour-cycle unit at full-load operation. However, at part-load operation the air-cycle unit was estimated to absorb 35% less power than the vapour-cycle unit. The analysis demonstrated that the air-cycle system could potentially match the overall fuel consumption of the vapour-cycle transport refrigeration unit, while delivering the benefit of a completely refrigerant free system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-388
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Refrigeration
Volume28 (3)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Performance analysis of a feasible air-cycle refrigeration system for road transport'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this