This chapter gives an overview of the principles of low temperature refrigeration and the thermodynamics behind it. Basic cryogenic processes - Joule-Thomoson process, Brayton process as well as Claude process - are described and compared. A typical helium laboratory refrigerator based on Claude process is used as a typical example of a low-temperature refrigeration system. A description of the hardware components for helium liquefaction is an important part of this paper, because the design of the main hardware components (compressors, turbines, heat exchangers, pumps, adsorbers, etc.) provides the input for cost calculation, as well as enables to estimate the reliability of the plant and the maintenance expenses. All these numbers are necessary to calculate the economics of a low temperature application.