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Research Papers

Energy Saving Potential of a Combined Solar and Natural Gas-Assisted Vapor Absorption Building Cooling System

[+] Author and Article Information
Gaurav Singh

Indian Institute of Technology Ropar,
Rupnagar 140001, Punjab, India
e-mail: gaurav.singh@iitrpr.ac.in

Ranjan Das

Mem. ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Ropar,
Rupnagar 140001, Punjab, India
e-mail: ranjandas81@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

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 April 28, 2018; final manuscript received July 30, 2018; published online September 14, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Gerardo Diaz.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(1), 011016 (Sep 14, 2018) (14 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1192; doi: 10.1115/1.4041104 History: Received April 28, 2018; Revised July 30, 2018

A building energy simulation study is carried out to analyze the performance of a triple-hybrid single-effect vapor absorption cooling system (VACS) operated by solar, natural gas, and auxiliary electricity-based cogeneration. A high capacity small office building subjected to different climatic conditions is considered. The system is designed to continuously maintain a specified building comfort level throughout the year under diverse environmental conditions. Simulations are done at different generator temperatures to investigate the performance in terms of total annual electric energy consumption, heating energy, and the coefficient of performance (COP). The performance of the present VACS is compared with the conventional compression-based system, which demonstrates the electric energy and cost saving potentials of the proposed VACS. Simulation outcomes are well-validated against benchmark data from national renewable energy laboratory and energy conservation building code. Interestingly, it is found that beyond a certain collector area, surplus energy savings can be acquired with the present triple-hybrid VACS as compared to the compression-based cooling. Results also show that COP of the simulated system is in line with experimental values available in the literature. Finally, recommendations are given to operate the complete system on solar and biomass resources, which provide encouraging opportunity for agriculture-based countries.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Three-dimensional modeling of building geometry, (b) layout for mode 1, and (c) layout for mode 2

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Fig. 2

(a) Comparison of defined and attained temperatures and (b) comparison of defined and attained temperatures humidities (for modes 1 and 2)

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Fig. 3

Psychometric representation of air cooling process

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Fig. 4

Variation of water temperature at the evaporator inlet

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Fig. 5

Variation of hot water temperature at inlet and outlet of the generator

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Fig. 6

Variation of water mass flow rate through the evaporator

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Fig. 7

Variation of water mass flow rate through the generator

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Fig. 8

Total annual electric energy consumption by various components at defined generator temperatures: (a) warm and humid zone at 70 °C, (b) warm and humid zone at 80 °C, (c) composite zone at 70 °C, and (d) composite zone at 80 °C

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Fig. 9

Cooling load supplied by the system for (a) warm and humid zone and (b) composite zone

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Fig. 10

Variation of annual heating energy supplied to generator at different average generator temperatures with area of solar collector: (a) warm and humid zone at 70 °C, (b) warm and humid zone at 80 °C, (c) composite zone at 70 °C, and (d) composite zone at 80 °C

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Fig. 11

Comparison of required and supplied heating energy with solar collector area for: (a) warm and humid zone and (b) composite zone

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Fig. 12

Coefficient of performance of the system at different collector areas and average generator temperatures: (a) warm and humid zone and (b) composite zone

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Fig. 13

Solar fraction of the system at different collector areas and average generator temperatures: (a) warm and humid zone and (b) composite zone

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Fig. 14

Heating rate provided by boiler for both climate zones

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