In this study, a detailed thermodynamic analysis of the water/lithium bromide absorption refrigeration cycle is performed. The influences of operating temperature and effectiveness of heat exchanger on the thermal loads of components, coefficients of performance (COPc, COP) and efficiency ratio (eta) are investigated. It is concluded that the COPc and COP values increase with increasing generator and evaporator temperatures but decrease with increasing condenser and absorber temperatures. The eta value varies with these temperatures. Also, the effects of solution and refrigerant heat exchangers on the performance, efficiency ratio of the system and fluid temperatures are compared. As a result, it is found that the solution heat exchanger (SHE) has more effect on the investigated parameters than the refrigerant heat exchanger (RHE). While the SHE increases the COP value up to a maximum 44%, the RHE has an effect of only 2.8%. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.