Research Papers

Techno-Economic Analysis of Solar Cooling Systems for Residential Buildings in Italy

[+] Author and Article Information
Salvatore Vasta

CNR-Istituto di Tecnologie Avanzate per
l'Energia “Nicola Giordano,”
Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5,
Messina 98126, Italy
e-mail: salvatore.vasta@itae.cnr.it

Valeria Palomba

CNR-Istituto di Tecnologie Avanzate per
l'Energia “Nicola Giordano,”
Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5,
Messina 98126, Italy;
Department of Engineering,
University of Messina,
c.da Di Dio,
Messina 98166, Italy
e-mail: valeria.palomba@itae.cnr.it

Andrea Frazzica

CNR-Istituto di Tecnologie Avanzate per
l'Energia “Nicola Giordano,”
Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5,
Messina 98126, Italy
e-mail: andrea.frazzica@itae.cnr.it

Guido Di Bella

CNR-Istituto di Tecnologie Avanzate per
l'Energia “Nicola Giordano,”
Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5,
Messina 98126, Italy
e-mail: guido.dibella@itae.cnr.it

Angelo Freni

CNR-Istituto di Tecnologie Avanzate per
l'Energia “Nicola Giordano,”
Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5,
Messina 98126, Italy
e-mail: angelo.freni@itae.cnr.it

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received December 23, 2014; final manuscript received February 10, 2016; published online March 9, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Werner Platzer.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 138(3), 031005 (Mar 09, 2016) (11 pages) Paper No: SOL-14-1396; doi: 10.1115/1.4032772 History: Received December 23, 2014; Revised February 10, 2016

Solar cooling systems might represent a viable alternative for space cooling in residential buildings because the peak of cooling demand matches the availability of solar radiation. The use of adsorption chillers in this field gives another environmental benefit, since they employ natural refrigerants as water. However, the design of such systems is critical because it relates to several parameters and cannot be easily accomplished using traditional tools. In this work, a dynamic model for the simulation of a small solar cooling system employing adsorption chillers has been evaluated. The model, realized with the commercial software trnsys, has been implemented to quantify the effect of different operational and design parameters on the overall performances of solar cooling systems in three different Italian cities (Milan, Rome, and Messina). Particular focus was put on the comparison of different heat rejection systems, which was found to be a critical aspect in the design of such systems. In addition, an economic analysis has been performed for an optimized system, in order to evaluate the payback time of the systems compared to a traditional air conditioning system and provide indication on the possible outlooks by means of a sensitivity analysis.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Kalkan, N. , Young, E. A. , and Celiktas, A. , 2012, “ Solar Thermal Air Conditioning Technology Reducing the Footprint of Solar Thermal Air Conditioning,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 16(8), pp. 6352–6383. [CrossRef]
Henning, H. M. , 2007, “ Solar Assisted Air Conditioning of Buildings—An Overview,” Appl. Therm. Eng., 27(10), pp. 1734–1749. [CrossRef]
ASHRAE, 2007, Handbook of Applications, ASHRAE, Atlanta, GA.
Fong, K. F. , Chow, T. T. , Lee, C. K. , Lin, Z. , and Chan, L. S. , 2010, “ Advancement of Solar Desiccant Cooling System for Building Use in Subtropical Hong Kong,” Energy Build., 42(12), pp. 2386–2399. [CrossRef]
Finocchiaro, P. , Beccali, M. , and Nocke, B. , 2012, “ Advanced Solar Assisted Desiccant and Evaporative Cooling System Equipped With Wet Heat Exchangers,” Sol. Energy, 86(1), pp. 608–618. [CrossRef]
Cheng, Q. , and Zhang, X. , 2013, “ Review of Solar Regeneration Methods for Liquid Desiccant Air-Conditioning System,” Energy Build., 67, pp. 426–433. [CrossRef]
Wang, R. Z. , Ge, T. S. , Chen, C. J. , Ma, Q. , and Xiong, Z. Q. , 2009, “ Solar Sorption Cooling Systems for Residential Applications: Options and Guidelines,” Int. J. Refrig., 32(4), pp. 638–660. [CrossRef]
Choudhury, B. , Chatterjee, P. K. , and Sarkar, J. P. , 2010, “ Review Paper on Solar-Powered Air-Conditioning Through Adsorption Route,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 14(8), pp. 2189–2195. [CrossRef]
Papadopoulos, A. M. , Oxizidis, S. , and Kyriakis, N. , 2003, “ Perspectives of Solar Cooling in View of the Developments in the Air-Conditioning Sector,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 7(5), pp. 419–438. [CrossRef]
Sekret, R. , and Turski, M. , 2012, “ Research on an Adsorption Cooling System Supplied by Solar Energy,” Energy Build., 51, pp. 15–20. [CrossRef]
Jakob, U. , 2013, “ Sorption Heat Pumps for Solar Cooling Applications,” International Symposium on Innovative Materials for Processes in Energy Systems (IMPRES2013), Fukuoka, Japan, Sept. 4–6, pp. 238–244.
Calise, F. , 2012, “ High Temperature Solar Heating and Cooling Systems for Different Mediterranean Climates: Dynamic Simulation and Economic Assessment,” Appl. Therm. Eng., 32, pp. 108–124. [CrossRef]
Almeida, P. , Carvalho, M. J. , Amorim, R. , Mendes, J. F., and Lopes, V., “ Dynamic Testing of Systems—Use of TRNSYS as an Approach for Parameter Identification,,” Solar Energy, 104, pp. 60–70. [CrossRef]
Calise, F. , d'Accadia, M. D. , and Vanoli, L. , 2011, “ Thermoeconomic Optimization of Solar Heating and Cooling Systems,” Energy Convers. Manage., 52(2), pp. 1562–1573. [CrossRef]
Mateus, T. , and Oliveira, A. C. , 2009, “ Energy and Economic Analysis of an Integrated Solar Absorption Cooling and Heating System in Different Building Types and Climates,” Appl. Energy, 86(6), pp. 949–957. [CrossRef]
IEA SHC Task 38 Solar Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, 2010, “ C5: Heat Rejection Technical Report of Subtask C WP5,” Report No. International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, Paris.
Badiru, A. B. , and Omitaom, O. A. , 2007, Computational Economic Analysis for Engineering and Industry, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
GSE, 2016, “  Conto Termico,” Gestore dei Servizi Energetici GSE S.p.A., Rome, www.gse.it
Gazzetta Ufficiale, 2013, “Legge 27 dicembre 2013 no. 147,” Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Rome, www.gazzettaufficiale.it
European Commission, 2014, “ 20 Final: Commission Staff Working Document; Energy Prices and Costs Report,” European Commission, Brussels, Belgium, http://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/20140122_swd_prices.pdf
AEMC, 2013, “  Final Report: 2013 Residential Electricity Price Trends,” Australian Energy Market Commission, Sydney, Australia, http://www.aemc.gov.au
Eicker, U. , Colmenar-Santos, A. , Teran, L. , Cotrado, M. , and Borge-Diez, D. , 2014, “ Economic Evaluation of Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Cooling Systems Through Simulation in Different Climatic Conditions: An Analysis in Three Different Cities in Europe,” Energy Build., 70, pp. 207–223. [CrossRef]
Desideri, U. , Proietti, S. , and Sdringola, P. , 2009, “ Solar-Powered Cooling Systems: Technical and Economic Analysis on Industrial Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Applications,” Appl. Energy, 86(9), pp. 1376–1386. [CrossRef]
Costelloe, B. , and Finn, D. P. , 2009, “ Heat Transfer Correlations for Low Approach Evaporative Cooling Systems in Buildings,” Appl. Therm. Eng., 29(1), pp. 105–115. [CrossRef]
ASHRAE, 2000, ASHRAE Handbook: Systems and Equipment, ASHRAE, Atlanta, GA.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

The modeled apartment

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Sample layout of the modeled solar cooling system

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

System performance—dry cooler configuration, storage volume: 0.73 m3 and air flow rate: 2000 m3/hr

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Chiller efficiency at increasing storage volume with 16 collectors, air flow rate: 2000 m3/hr, and chiller efficiency at increasing dry cooler air flow rate with 16 collectors, storage volume: 1 m3

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

System performance—wet tower configuration, storage volume: 0.73 m3

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Chiller COP with increasing storage volume, solar field area: 25.72 m2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

System performance—geothermal probes configuration, storage volume: 0.73 m3 and preheating years: 2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Chiller efficiency—geothermal probes configuration, solar collectors' area: 25.72 m2 and 2 yrs preheating

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Comparison of the different systems for the city of Messina

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Sensitivity analysis on solar cooling systems—payback time versus installation cost change

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Sensitivity analysis on solar cooling systems—payback time versus electricity price change




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In