An experimental investigation of the performance of a commercially available vapor absorption refrigeration (VAR) system is described. The natural gas-fired VAR system uses aqua-ammonia solution with ammonia as the refrigerant and water as the absorbent and has a rated cooling capacity of 10 kW. The unit was extensively modified to allow fluid pressures and temperatures to be measured at strategic points in the system. The mass flow rates of refrigerant, weak solution, and strong solution were also measured. The system as supplied incorporates air-cooled condenser and absorber units. Water-cooled absorber and condenser units were fitted to extend the VAR unit's range of operating conditions by varying the cooling water inlet temperature and/or flow rates to these units. The response of the refrigeration system to variations in chilled water inlet temperature, chilled water level in the evaporator drum, chilled water flow rate, and variable heat input are presented. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.