The vortex tube as a classic thermodynamic refrigeration cycle Academic Article uri icon


  • Vortex tubes are commonly used as refrigeration devices. We show that the thermal and fluid dynamics of the vortex tube bear the signature of a classic cooling cycle, and quantify its performance as a thermodynamic machine. In the process, we develop simple analytic formulas for the temperature and pressure profiles within the tube. The principal model predictions compare favorably against experimental measurements.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000