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Research Papers

Effect of Solar Fraction on the Economic and Environmental Performance of Solar Air-Conditioning by Adsorption Chiller in a Tropical Region

[+] Author and Article Information
Firdaus Basrawi

Energy Sustainability Focus Group,
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
Universiti Malaysia Pahang,
Pekan Pahang 26600, Malaysia
e-mail: mfirdausb@ump.edu.my

Thamir K. Ibrahim

Energy Sustainability Focus Group,
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
Universiti Malaysia Pahang,
Pekan Pahang 26600, Malaysia
e-mails: thamirmathcad@yahoo.com;
thamir@ump.edu.my

Giok Chui Lee

Energy Sustainability Focus Group,
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
Universiti Malaysia Pahang,
Pekan Pahang 26600, Malaysia
e-mail: gclee@ump.edu.my

Khairul Habib

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Universiti Technology Petronas,
Bandar Seri Iskandar,
Tronoh 31750, Perak, Malaysia
e-mail: khairul.habib@petronas.com.my

Hassan Ibrahim

Energy Sustainability Focus Group,
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
Universiti Malaysia Pahang,
Pekan Pahang 26600, Malaysia
e-mail: drhassan@ump.edu.my

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 May 22, 2015; final manuscript received September 2, 2015; published online October 15, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Jorge E. Gonzalez.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(6), 061009 (Oct 15, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1153; doi: 10.1115/1.4031707 History: Received May 22, 2015; Revised September 02, 2015

Solar air-conditioning (AC) is an attractive AC system but it has intermittent output, and therefore, a conventional heater is needed as a backup. This study presents the effect of ratio of heat delivered by solar (Qsolar) to the total heat delivered to an adsorption chiller (Qsolar + Qheater) or solar fraction (SF) on the economic and environmental performance of a solar AC. This solar AC is not a solar-assisted AC, and therefore, it needs to fully cover the cooling load. The cooling demand of an office building in Kuala Lumpur, and the performance of flat-plate collectors and the adsorption chiller were calculated by equest and watsun software and by a mathematical model, respectively. Economic performance was analyzed by life-cycle cost analysis, whereas the environmental performance was analyzed by using typical emissions rate of energy systems used. It was found that a boiler was a better solution than an electric heater as a backup heater. Furthermore, the net profit (NP) at lower SF was higher because of its lower capital investment, but more emissions were released compared to the conventional AC because of the boiler operation. Thus, when economic and environmental performance were fairly considered, it is appropriate to have solar AC with an SF around 0.74.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Weather data of Kuala Lumpur: (a) weather throughout a day, (b) ambient temperature and global horizontal, (c) direct normal and diffuse horizontal, and (d) relative humidity and total sky cover

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Fig. 2

Overall image of the simulated office building

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Fig. 3

Relation between regeneration temperature with cooling capacity and COP: (a) cooling capacity and regeneration temperature and (b) COP and regeneration temperature

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Fig. 4

Schematic diagram of the solar water heater

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Fig. 5

Cooling load of the building throughout the year

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Fig. 6

Heat balance throughout a day for different SF values: (a) SF = 0.33, (b) SF = 0.50, (c) SF = 0.74, (d) SF = 0.89, and (e) SF = 0.98

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Fig. 7

Heat balance throughout a year for different SF values: (a) SF = 0.33, (b) SF = 0.50, (c) SF = 0.74, (d) SF = 0.89, and (e) SF = 0.98

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Fig. 8

Result of life-cycle cost analysis

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Fig. 9

Comparison of emissions released from solar AC with different SF values, and conventional systems: (a) CO2 emissions, (b) NOx emissions, and (c) CO emissions

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