Current refrigeration and air conditioning systems are mostly based on the vapor compression cycle, which require electrical energy input. Absorption systems have gained new interest due to the possibility of utilizing waste heat as energy input. In addition, the environmental impact generated by such systems is recognized as much smaller than vapor compression systems. Therefore, this work developed and characterized an absorption refrigeration system with an innovative generator level optical control and variable working fluid mass flow rate, with potential for use in industrial, commercial and residential heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC & R) systems. The system is hybrid, since it was designed to be fed with heat from the burning of different fuels and/or waste heat sources in complementary fashion. The system consists of: a condenser, an evaporator, two expansion valves, two absorbers, a centrifugal pump, a regenerative heat exchanger, a generator, a rectifier, a generator level optical control system, and two liquid accumulators. The developed level control system consists of 3 light Dependent Resistors (LDR) positioned inside a box built around a transparent level meter, and illuminated internally by a low power light bulb. A frequency inverter and a centrifugal pump allow for the working fluid solution inside the generator to be within a safe range for efficient cooling cycle operation. The system measured refrigeration capacity rate was 2.3 TR, which qualifies as a good performance, since the equipment was originally designed for 1 TR.

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