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absolute filter
filter having an efficiency of 99.90% or higher, capable of dealing with particle sizes down to 0.01 micrometer; a HEPA filter. See HEPA filter.
absolute humidity
In a mixture of water vapor and dry air, the ratio of the mass of water vapor to the volume occupied by the mixture.
absolute pressure
a positive value of a pressure when the datum pressure is absolute zero.
absolute temperature
temperature as measured above absolute zero.
absolute vacuum
space totally void of matter (theoretical).
absolute viscosity
see dynamic viscosity.
absolute zero temperature
zero point on an absolute temperature scale. See Kelvin temperature; Rankine temperature.
absorbate
that substance absorbed by an absorbent.
absorbent
material that, due to an affinity, extracts one or more substances from a liquid or gaseous medium with which it is in contact and which changes physically or chemically, or both, during the process. Calcium chloride is an example of a solid absorbent, while solutions of lithium chloride, lithium bromide, and the ethylene glycols are examples of liquid absorbents.
absorber
(1) device containing fluid, or other material, for absorbing refrigerant vapor or other vapors. (2) part of the solar collector receiving the incident radiation energy and transforming it into thermal energy. It may possess a surface through which energy is transmitted to the transfer fluid; however, the transfer fluid itself can be the absorber.
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About ASHRAE Terminology

ASHRAE Terminology, a free resource, is a comprehensive online glossary of more than 3700 terms and definitions related to the built environment, with a focus on heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), as well as refrigeration, building envelope, electrical, lighting, water and energy use, and measurement terms.

This searchable glossary was designed for use by engineering professionals but is also useful for architects, building owners and operators, educators, public officials, and homeowners.

The terms in ASHRAE Terminology have been assembled and defined and are updated on an ongoing basis by ASHRAE Technical Committee (TC) 1.6, Terminology. TC 1.6 is concerned with terminology, nomenclature, definitions, abbreviations, symbols, and the International System (SI) and Inch-Pound (I-P) units used in the fields of heating, ventilating, air conditioning, water heating, and refrigeration.

To request a free electronic file of the complete list of terms and definitions, email ashraetermseditor@ashrae.org.