A vortex tube was designed and built to construct a refrigeration cycle, and its overall performance was investigated.
For various values of the inlet pressure and cold flow fraction, the flow rate and temperature at inlet and outlet of the vortex tube were measured by a Venturi meter and thermocouples. The outside wall of the tube operated at room temperature is watercooled.
It is found that cooling has significant effect lowering the hot flow temperature, but no effect on the cold flow is observed. For a refrigeration system constructed as an open cycle, where the cold flow is recirculated for precooling the inlet air, the maximum coefficient of performance of total system was obtained when the cold flow fraction is about 0.5.