Mixed-refrigerant joule-thomson (MR JT) mini-cryocoolers

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This paper presents the progress in our ongoing research on Mixed-Refrigerant (MR) Joule-Thomson (JT) cryocoolers. The research begun by exploring different MRs and testing various compressors: oil-lubricated and oil-free, reciprocating and linear, custom-made and commercial. Closed-cycle JT cryocoolers benefit from the fact that the compressor might be located far from the cold-end and thus there are no moving parts, no vibrations, and no heat emission near the cold-end. As a consequence, the compressor may be located where there are no severe size limitations, its heat can be conveniently removed, and it can be easily maintained. However, in some applications there is still a demand for a small compressor to drive a JT cryocooler although it is located far from the cooled device. Recently, we have developed a miniature oil-free compressor for MR JT cryocoolers that weighs about 700 g and its volume equals about 300c. The cryocooler operates with a MR that contains Ne, N 2 , and Hydrocarbons. This MR has been widely investigated with different compressors and varying operating conditions and proved to be stable. The current research investigates the performances of MR JT mini-cryocooler operating with the MR mentioned above, driven with our miniature compressor, and a cold-finger prototype. A Dewar with heat load of about 230 mW is cooled to about 80 K at ambient temperatures between 0°C and 40°C. The experimental results obtained are stable and demonstrate the ability to control the cooling temperature by changing the rotation speed of the compressor.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cryogenic Engineering - Transactions of the Cryogenic Engineering Conference - CEC, Volume 59
EditorsSusan Breon, Jennifer Marquardt, Thomas Peterson, Michael DiPirro, John Pfotenhauer, Jonathan Demko, James Fesmire, Arkadiy Klebaner, Sidney Yuan, Al Zeller, Peter Kittel, Gregory Nellis, Mark Zagarola
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780735412019
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2013 Joint Cryogenic Engineering and International Cryogenic Materials Conferences, CEC/ICMC 2013 - Anchorage, United States
Duration: 17 Jun 201321 Jun 2013

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings


Conference2013 Joint Cryogenic Engineering and International Cryogenic Materials Conferences, CEC/ICMC 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Closed cycle cryocooling
  • Cryocooler
  • Joule-thomson
  • Mixed refrigerant

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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