The Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenic Engineering was initially a research group established in 1958 in the Department of Engineering Physics at Zhejiang University, specializing in hydrogen liquefaction and separation of stable isotopes. In 1963, it was combined into the Department of Chemical Engineering was established. The research group performed researches in high effective cryogenic thermal insulation techniques and cryogenic storage vessels for the Ministry of Chemical Industry and the Ministry of Aerospace. It was named to Cryogenic Engineering Major by the National Commission of Education in 1974. Graduate programs started in 1978. In 1984, it was renamed as a major of “Refrigeration Equipment and Cryogenic Technology” by the National Commission of Education. The area covered in the major extended from cryogenic engineering to general refrigeration in order to meet the national economic needs for cryogenic and general refrigeration technological professionals. The present institute was established in 1990. There are about 20 faculty member and staffs, which include 9 people with higher professional titles, and 5 full professors. There are two master-degree programs, two doctoral programs (refrigeration and cryogenic engineering and heating ventilation and air conditioning engineering), and a post-doctoral station. Before 1980, we mainly studied the technologies of cryogenic super-insulation and high effective cryogenic fluid storage vessels, which awarded the National Science Congress prize. The research on cryosurgery also awarded the same prize. After 1980 “rotary jet expander”, “heat separator”, “180-liter bi-function cryogenic vessel”, “the development of a multi-orientation cryosurgical apparatus”, “double-orifice pulse tube refrigerator” and “thermal physical properties of cryogenic fluids” won National or Provincial Prizes. The following achievements have passed the appraisal: plastic cryocooler, cryogenic grinding technique, the study of cryocoolers at liquid helium temperature, freeze-drying technique, energy saving technique of cold storage, double-function chiller unit, air source heat pump water chiller and heater and full-automatically portable ice-maker. Dr. Limin Qiu was awarded “Karl von Linde Prize” of IIR (International Institute of Refrigeration) in 1999 and “Top 100 National excellent doctoral thesis” in 2000. In 1989 and 1998, the Institute successfully organized the International Conference on Cryogenic and Refrigeration (ICCR’89 and ICCR’98), which raised our world reputation and bordered international cooperation. The third ICCR will be held in Zhejiang University in April 2003. In the Institute, more than 500 papers were published in the national and international journals and conferences, and more than 30 books were published as well. Our studies on pulse tube refrigerator, cryogenic thermal insulation techniques and cryogenic vessels, cryocoolers, thermoacoustic refrigeration, cryogenic free-drying and grinding techniques, heat separators are unique in the Nation, some of which have reached international advanced level. In the past years, the Institute undertook more than 20 research projects annually, which mainly came from National Natural Science Foundation, National R&D Project, 863 Project of Science and Technology, international cooperation, factories and enterprises etc. Nowadays, the Institute has new undergraduates of 40 to 50 every year, as well as 20-30 graduate students.
Main research fields:
Cryogenics: cryogenic refrigeration system, gas-liquefaction system, cryocoolers, thermoacoustic refrigeration, cryogenic heat transfer and insulation, properties of cryogenic fluid, cryogenic liquid storage and transfer system, rocket precooling technology, etc.
Refrigeration and air conditioning: vapor compression refrigeration, absorption refrigeration, new refrigerant and novel refrigeration cycle, heat pump (air-source, water-source and ground-source), computer simulation of refrigeration system, food freezing and preserving technology, cryobiological technique, cryosurgery, etc.
Air conditioning and energy storage: water chiller and heat pumps for air conditioning system, system and equipment of the building air conditioning, energy saving of the building air conditioning system, indoor air quality and cold air distribution, etc.
Measurement and automation: cryogenic measurement, refrigeration system automation, CAI and CAD of refrigeration system, etc.
Refrigeration machinery: refrigeration compressor and expander, freezing recovery technology of petroleum gas, application of scroll expander in the conventional refrigeration, etc.
Current research projects:
1. Pulse tube refrigeration technology
2. Thermoacoustic refrigeration technology
3. Research on biomaterial cryopreservation with ultrasonic wave
4. Research and fabrication of biomaterial cryopreservation chamber (-120??~ -40??)
5. Research on deep freezing absorption refrigeration (below -20??)
6. Research on high efficient air-cooled heat pump system
7. Research on ground-source heat pump
8. Research on environment-friendly refrigeration technology
9. Research on reverse Brayton cycle with mixtures
10. Research on heat pump drying technology
11. Research on energy storage air conditioning technology
12. CAD of mini refrigeration system