Performance Prediction of Solar Absorption Cooling Systems Assisted by Gas Heaters

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

UECTC'09 - Proceedings of 2009 US-EU-China Thermophysics Conference - Renewable Energy




There has been a renewed interest in solar absorption cooling systems for refrigeration and space cooling applications in recent years due to the increased fossil fuel costs and environmental concerns. The required thermal energy to operate these absorption cooling systems can be provided through a combination of solar collectors and gas heaters. A simulation code to predict the performance of solar absorption cooling systems and sizing different units of the system for various weather conditions is useful. In this study a simulation code has been developed to predict the performance of a solar absorption system assisted by a gas heater. Mathematical models used in the code for the absorption cooling unit and the solar collectors were based on the manufacturer's performance data of the units. The developed code integrated the local weather data (TMY3) with the mathematical models of the system. One of the issues with a solar absorption cooling system is the requirement of big storage capacity and collector area for 24 hour operations in certain weather conditions. An economical and reliable alternative to this issue is the use of auxiliary gas heater which will assist the generator during off the sun periods which will allow an economical∕practicable collector area and storage volume options. The fraction of gas heating required can also be predicted for the given weather conditions, using the developed simulation code. The required load profile of the buildings for the simulations can be obtained using the building energy simulation codes such as Energy 10, TRNSYS, EnergyGauge USA etc. The capabilities of the developed code included: the performance prediction of a solar absorption system including the solar fraction and gas fraction; sizing different units of the solar absorption system for the required cooling loads. Simulation results of a solar absorption system for Las Vegas weather conditions for a typical building load profile are presented in this paper.


Absorption; Cooling systems; Mathematical models; Solar air conditioning; Solar energy


Energy Systems | Heat Transfer, Combustion | Mechanical Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Sustainability




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