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Course Descriptions - ME 5101 (4 credits)

Course Title:

Vapor Cycle Systems

Terms Offered:

Not previously offered. Will be offered alternate Spring semesters beginning Spring 2003


ME 3303 or ME 3321 Thermodynamics, IT upper division or Grad student.

Catalog Description:

Vapor compression and absorption refrigeration systems; heat pumps, vapor power cycle analysis, regeneration, reheat, compound cycle modifications, combined gas turbine – vapor cycle systems.

Textbooks/Required Material:

Text: “Thermal Environmental Engineering”3rd Edition,
By T. H. Kuehn, J. W. Ramsey and J. L. Threlkeld, Prentice Hall 1998

References: ASHRAE Refrigeration Handbook


Prepared By: Professor Thomas Kuehn

Date of Preparation:

February 13, 2001

Course Leader(s):

Professors T. H. Kuehn

Class/Laboratory Schedule:

Four 50 minute sessions per week.

Contribution of Course to Meeting Professional Objectives:

100 % Engineering Topics

Course Topics:

  1. Vapor compression refrigeration
  2. Absorption refrigeration cycles.
  3. Heat pumps.
  4. Vapor power cycles.
  5. Compound cycle modifications
  6. Combined gas turbine - vapor cycles.
Course Objectives:
  1. Teach the principles of operation of vapor compression refrigeration systems.
  2. Study the performance of components such as compressors, refrigerants, expansion devices, heat exchangers and controls.
  3. Teach the principles of absorption refrigeration cycles.
  4. Study the use of heat pumps to provide energy transfer and space heating.
  5. Teach the principles of vapor power cycles.
  6. Study cycle modifications such as regeneration, reheat and compound cycles.
  7. Explore interactions such as between a gas turbine and a vapor cycle system.
Course Outcomes:

(Numbers shown in brackets are linked to program outcomes 1-9.)

  1. The understanding of the construction, operation and performance of typical vapor compression refrigeration systems. [1, 3, 9]
  2. The understanding of the basic principles of the absorption refrigeration cycle. [1]
  3. Evaluate when an absorption system would be preferable to a vapor compression refrigeration system. [3, 5, 6]
  4. To understand and be able to evaluate the performance of heat pumps and modes of operation such as defrosting. [1, 3]
  5. To understand and be able to evaluate the basic principles of vapor power cycles. [1]
  6. Ability to make comparisons between a simple cycle and a more complex cycle that may include reheat and regeneration. [3, 5]
  7. To understand and evaluate the interactions between a vapor cycle system and another power cycle such as a gas turbine. [3, 4, 9]

Assessment Tools:

  1. Homework and/or weekly quizzes.
  2. Two exams during the semester.
  3. Final exam.
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