Research Papers

Reduction in Auxiliary Energy Consumption in a Solar Adsorption Cooling System by Utilization of Phase Change Materials

[+] Author and Article Information
Amin Haghighi Poshtiri

Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Guilan,
P.O. Box 3756,
Rasht 41996 13776, Iran
e-mail: haghighi_p@guilan.ac.ir

Azadeh Jafari

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Guilan,
P.O. Box 3756,
Rasht 41996 13776, Iran
e-mail: azadeh.jr@gmail.com

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 November 28, 2015; final manuscript received May 14, 2016; published online June 14, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Jorge E. Gonzalez.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 138(5), 051002 (Jun 14, 2016) (14 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1402; doi: 10.1115/1.4033711 History: Received November 28, 2015; Revised May 14, 2016

This study investigates the efficiency of application of phase change materials (PCMs) in a solar cooling system. The proposed system consists of an adsorption chiller and a latent heat storage unit (LHSU) containing PCMs. The PCM stores solar energy during daytime and at nighttime, the thermal energy stored in the PCM is utilized to drive the adsorption chiller. An auxiliary heater is also used to provide the required energy in addition to the LHSU. To verify the accuracy of the obtained results, the modeling of the solar adsorption system and the PCM unit are validated separately. Moreover, the whole system performance is verified by evaluation of the conservation of energy in the system. The performance of the system is compared with a similar solar adsorption chiller lacking LHSU. Also, the parameters which affect the performance of the LHSU are studied. It is found that application of LHSU decreases auxiliary energy consumption and increases solar fraction. Solar fraction goes up more if larger amount of PCM is used. However, there exists a maximum mass of PCM which can be charged during the sunshine hours. The maximum chargeable mass of PCM goes up by increasing the solar collector area, which leads to decreasing auxiliary energy consumption and increasing solar fraction. The results also show that enlargement of the hot water storage tank reduces auxiliary energy consumption and enhances solar fraction, but decreases thermal storage efficiency. In order to achieve higher thermal storage efficiency and also less auxiliary energy consumption, it is suggested to use average-sized hot water storage tanks.

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the system

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Fig. 2

(a) LHSU and (b) schematic representation of the LHSU's modeling domain

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Fig. 3

(a) Comparison of solar radiation simulation of the present study with experimental data of Ref. [32], (b) comparison of the outlet temperatures of adsorption chiller obtained by Ref. [2] and the present study, (c) comparison of the stratified tank temperature obtained by Ref. [11] and the present study, and (d) comparison of the PCM's temperature obtained by Ref. [33] and the present study

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Fig. 4

Variations of PCM's liquid fraction during charging and discharging period

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Fig. 5

Auxiliary energy consumption in the nighttime (with and without LHSU)

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Fig. 6

Adsorption chiller's cyclic average cooling capacity with and without LHSU

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Fig. 7

Auxiliary energy consumption in the nighttime with use of three PCM capsules

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Fig. 8

Variations of PCM's liquid fraction during charging period for different hot water tank volumes

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Fig. 9

Temperature of hot water storage tank's top layer for different tank volumes

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Fig. 11

(a) Flowchart of the computer program and (b) flowchart of the computer program (simulation of LHSU)

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Fig. 12

Incident solar radiation and ambient temperature in Tehran on 15 July

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Fig. 10

Variations of PCM's liquid fraction during charging period for different solar collector areas



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