Chillers of air-conditioning systems : An overview

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-127
Journal / PublicationHKIE Transactions Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


In tropical and subtropical regions, air-conditioning commonly consumes the most energy in buildings. The chillers used in existing air-conditioning systems are largely based on thermodynamic vapour compression cycle because the cycle is highly effective, efficient and practical. Moreover, the system installation and operation are convenient when grid electricity is available. Popular vapour compression chiller types include air-cooled, water-cooled, seawater-cooled and oil-free chillers. In addition, thermal-driven absorption and adsorption chillers have become available in the market. Viable sources of thermal energy input include fuel combustion, renewable solar energy, waste heat, and so on. This paper provides an overview of different types of chillers and system configurations in terms of mechanisms, characteristics, energy efficiency, environmental performance and costs. The technical information and comparisons should help engineers select the chiller type in air-conditioning system design for achieving high sustainability.

Research Area(s)

  • Absorption cooling, Adsorption cooling, Carbon footprint, Cost analysis, Energy efficiency, Oil free chiller, Vapour compression cycle

Bibliographic Note

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