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Research Papers

Performance of the Merced Demonstration XCPC Collector and Double Effect Chiller

[+] Author and Article Information
Bennett Widyolar

School of Engineering,
University of California,
Merced, 5200 N. Lake Road,
Merced, CA 95340
e-mail: bwidyolar@gmail.com

Roland Winston

Schools of Engineering and Natural Science,
University of California,
Merced, 5200 N. Lake Road,
Merced, CA 95340
e-mail: rwinston@ucmerced.edu

Lun Jiang

School of Engineering,
University of California,
Merced, 5200 N. Lake Road,
Merced, CA 95340
e-mail: ljiang2@ucmerced.edu

Heather Poiry

School of Engineering,
University of California,
Merced, 5200 N. Lake Road,
Merced, CA 95340
e-mail: hpoiry@ucmerced.edu

1Present address: E&J Gallo Winery, 600 Yosemite Blvd, Modesto CA, 95354.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received October 3, 2012; final manuscript received May 13, 2014; published online June 3, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Werner Platzer.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(4), 041009 (Jun 03, 2014) (13 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1262; doi: 10.1115/1.4027726 History: Received October 03, 2012; Revised May 13, 2014

A solar thermal cooling system using novel nontracking external compound parabolic concentrators (XCPC) has been built at the University of California, Merced and operated for two cooling seasons. Its performance in providing power for space cooling has been analyzed. This solar cooling system is comprised of 53.3 m2 of XCPC trough collectors which are used to power a 23 kW double effect (LiBr) absorption chiller. This is the first system that combines both XCPC and absorption chilling technologies. Performance of the system was measured in both sunny and cloudy conditions, with both clean and dirty collectors. It took, on average, about 2 h for the collector system to reach operating temperatures between 160 and 180 °C. When operated in this temperature range, the XCPC collector array collected solar energy with an average daily efficiency of 36.7% and reached instantaneous efficiencies up to 40%. The thermal coefficient of performance (COP) of the system (including thermal losses and COP of absorption chiller) averaged at 0.99 and the daily solar COP of the entire system averaged at 0.363. It was found that these collectors are well suited at providing thermal power to drive absorption cooling systems and that both the coinciding of available thermal power with cooling demand and the simplicity of the XCPC collectors compared to other solar thermal collectors makes them a highly attractive candidate for cooling projects. Consequently, the XCPC technology is currently being commercialized in the U.S. and India. The XCPC's numerous potential applications include solar heating, cooling, desalination, oil extraction, electricity generation, and food processing.

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Figures

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Fig. 3

XCPC design rendering

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Fig. 4

XCPC collector efficiency

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Fig. 5

XCPC angular acceptance

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Fig. 6

Double effect absorption chiller schematic

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Fig. 7

Typical system performance (Aug. 22, 2012)

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Fig. 8

Typical system performance (Aug. 22, 2012)

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Fig. 9

System performance under conditions (Aug. 21, 2012)

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Fig. 10

System performance under cloudy conditions (Aug. 21, 2012)

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Fig. 11

System performance with dirty collectors (Aug. 15, 2012)

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Fig. 12

System performance with dirty collectors (Aug. 15, 2012)

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Fig. 13

System performance with clean collectors (Aug. 20, 2012)

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Fig. 14

System performance with clean collectors (Aug. 20, 2012)

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Fig. 15

System performance with 50 gal storage tank and natural gas powered chiller (Sept. 23, 2011)

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Fig. 16

System performance with 50 gal storage tank and natural gas powered chiller (Sept. 23, 2011)

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Fig. 17

Hourly cooling needs in Merced, CA based on TMY data

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Fig. 18

XCPC array at UC Merced castle research facility

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