A Thermodynamic air-standard cycle was envisaged for Ranque-Hilsh (R-H) or Vortex Tubes to provide relevant Thermodynamic analysis and tools for setting operating limits according to the conservation laws of mass and energy, as well as the constraint of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The study used an integral or control volume approach and resulted in establishing working equations for evaluating the performance of an R-H tube. The work proved that the coefficient of performance does not depend on the R-H tube operating mode, i.e., the same value is obtained independently if the R-H tube operates either as a heat pump or as a refrigeration device. It was also shown that the isentropic coefficient of performance displays optima values of cold and hot mass fractions for a given operating pressure ratio. Finally, the study was concluded by comparing the present analysis with some experimental data available in the literature for operating pressures ranging 2-11 atm. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.