Mechanical PE Exam - Refrigeration

Refrigeration Topics to Study for the
Mechanical P.E. Exam

What do I study? What is important material and what isn't?

Before you start, Choose your afternoon depth session.

The Mechanical P.E. license exam has (3) different afternoon depth sessions. It is important to choose which session you will be taking, before you start studying in order to provide a more focused approach to studying. The Mechanical P.E. license does not differentiate at all between the (3) depth sessions. If you obtain your Mechanical P.E. license, it will simply say that you are licensed to practice Mechanical Engineering. With that being said, you should pick the depth session that you are the most confident.

  • Mechanical: HVAC and Refrigeration
  • Mechanical: Thermal and Fluids
  • Mechanical: Mechanical Systems and Materials

Review NCEES Exam Specifications

Once you choose your afternoon depth session, then navigate to the NCEES P.E Exam website. Download the NCEES Exam Specifications for your afternoon depth session. This document will serve as the blueprint for your studying. This document shows the broad topics that can be tested on the exam. Although NCEES indicates that the list is not exclusive or exhaustive categories, it does provide a starting point to direct your studying.

Gather your references

The next step is to gather your references that are applicable to the broad topics given by NCEES. The recommended references for the HVAC and Refrigeration afternoon section are listed below and are analyze in greater detail throughout other articles on this website.

  • Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual
  • Engineering Unit Conversions
  • ASHRAE Handbooks
  • ASHRAE Codes (not recommended to take into the exam, just be familiar with the it)
  • NFPA Codes (not recommended to take into the exam, just be familiar with the it)
  • NCEES Sample Exam

Identify Key Skills and Concepts

Finally, review your references and identify the key skills and concepts necessary for the P.E. exam. How do you do this? In the P.E. exam guides on this website, the key skills and concepts from each of the NCEES topics are extracted and placed in an easy to use guide. The key skills and concepts are identified based on the following criteria

  • Must be part of an NCEES Exam Topic, not outside of the realm of the Depth Sessions
  • Must be testable within 6 minutes, not deeply involved
  • Must be commonly used in the field of practice, not rare and obscure
  • Must be the application of a theory, not the theory itself.

Refrigeration Key Skills and Concepts

The criteria presented above were used to extract the recommended items to study for the Mechanical PE Exam. These items include general knowledge of refrigerants, including the relationship between the boiling temperature and pressure of refrigerants. An important skill is also identified, which is being able to navigate a pressure enthalpy diagram, specifically with regards to the vapor compression cycle. Also presented are common calculations like calculating Coefficient of Performance, Net Condenser Effect, Compressor Work and Net Refrigeration Effect.

Recommended Refrigeration Topics for the Mechanical PE Exam

  • Refrigerants - HCs, CFCs, HCFCs, HFC,s (Flammability, Operating Pressure, Toxicity, etc.)
  • Relationship between boiling temperature and pressure.
  • Vapor Compression Cycle - Evaporator, Compressor, Condenser and Expansion Device
  • Pressure Enthalpy Diagram - Calculate COP, Net Refrigeration Effect, Net Condenser Effect, Compressor Work
  • ASHRAE 15 and the Montreal Protocol
										diagram for the mechanical PE exam

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