This paper reviews the current trends and research efforts associated with the development of miniaturized mechanical vapor compression refrigeration systems. Over the past decade, there has been a significant number of studies devoted to the miniaturization of its components, the most critical being the compressor. The paper will focus on the thermodynamic and thermal aspects of the development of small compressors and other components of small-scale cooling cycles. Whenever appropriate, issues and challenges associated with different cycle and component designs will be addressed.

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