Advances in Joule-Thomson Cooling

  • W. A. Litttle
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 35)


The Joule-Thomson (J-T) cooling effect from the expansion of a non-ideal gas, is one of the oldest methods known for the generation of cryogenic temperatures. It is the simplest to use, but, in many circumstances, is one of the least efficient. However, recent developments of J-T coolers using more complex cycles, multi-stage construction, use of special gas mixtures and, novel methods of fabrication have greatly improved the attainable efficiency of this type of cooler. These developments have made the J-T refrigerator competitive in many situations with other refrigerators which use, superficially more efficient, cooling cycles. In addition, the absence of mechanical noise or vibration, their Mate simplicity, their small size and low mass gives these J-T refrigerators a number of additional advantages over Stirling and other such refrigerators. We discuss these developments and the underlying reasons for these improvements.


Heat Exchanger Refrigeration Capacity Lower Operating Pressure High Speed Compressor Cooldown Time 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. A. Litttle
    • 1
  1. 1.Physics Department Stanford University StanfordUSA

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