Over the past few decades there have been considerable efforts to use adsorption (solid/vapor) for cooling and heat pump applications, but intensified efforts were initiated only since the imposition of international restrictions on the production and use of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons). Up to now, only the desiccant evaporative cooling system of the open type has achieved commercial use, predominantly in the United States. Closed-type adsorption refrigeration and heat pump systems are rarely seen in the market, or are still in the laboratory testing stage. Promising recent development have been made in Japan for the use of porous metal hydrides and composite adsorbents. In this paper, a short description of adsorption theories along with an overview of present status and future development trends of thermally powered adsorption refrigeration cycles are outlined putting emphasis on experimental achievements. This paper also addressed some advanced absorption cycles having relatively higher COP, and also summarizes fundamental concepts of GAX cycles and various GAX cycles developed for heat pump applications.