Absorption chiller works on the so called absorption principle. An absorption fridge does not have a compressor. In fact, it has no moving parts and is hence very quiet.
Instead of compressor, it uses heat to propel the refrigeration cycle. Heat is generated either by gas (propane, LPG, natural gas, etc.) or electricity and there are two main types of absorption refrigerators:
1. Gas Refrigerator: mostly used in portable applications – RVs, motor homes, boats – and remote locations without electricity – hunting cabins, etc.
2. Electric absorption chiller: used where a very quiet refrigerator is desirable – hotel rooms for instance. In contrast to type 1, these are electric only units and normally run on 110V only. Their downside compared to compressor fridges is worse efficiency – they consume more power under same circumstances (same refrigerator size, same ambient temperature).
Other sources of heat can be used too – solar energy, waste heat from industrial processes (usually in form of steam or hot water), exhaust fumes heat, etc. Large industrial chillers and air conditioners are built using this principle. They are very economical where a source of waste heat is present and ecologically favorable since they do not need vast quantities of electricity like compressor driven air conditioners.
There are also some special kinds of absorption fridges:
Absorption wine cooler:
Since there is no compressor to generate vibrations, an absorption wine refrigerator is vibration less – this is especially beneficiary for storing young wines.