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Solar-Powered Absorption Chillers for Air-Conditioning Applications: Simulation and Techno-Economic Evaluation

[+] Author Affiliations
Ali Shirazi, Robert A. Taylor, Graham L. Morrison

University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia

Sergio Pintaldi, Gary Rosengarten

RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Stephen D. White

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Energy Centre, Newcastle, Australia

Paper No. ES2015-49637, pp. V002T15A006; 7 pages
  • ASME 2015 9th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2015 Power Conference, the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, and the ASME 2015 Nuclear Forum
  • Volume 2: Photovoltaics; Renewable-Non-Renewable Hybrid Power System; Smart Grid, Micro-Grid Concepts; Energy Storage; Solar Chemistry; Solar Heating and Cooling; Sustainable Cities and Communities, Transportation; Symposium on Integrated/Sustainable Building Equipment and Systems; Thermofluid Analysis of Energy Systems Including Exergy and Thermoeconomics; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 28–July 2, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5685-7
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


This study investigates the techno-economic feasibility of solar-powered absorption cooling and heating systems for a large-sized hotel building in Sydney, Australia. The proposed plant primarily consists of evacuated tube solar collectors, a hot water storage tank, a single-effect absorption chiller, and a backup gas burner. Dynamic simulation of the system has been carried out using the TRNSYS environment. Several control strategies have been implemented in the model to increase the overall efficiency of the system. Solar fraction and levelized total cost of the system have been considered as energetic and economic indicators, respectively. The parametric study results reveal that the optimal values of the storage tank volume and specific collector area are 70 L/m2 and 4 m2 per kW cooling capacity of the chiller, corresponding to the solar fraction of ∼72% and levelized total cost of ∼874,000 AUD/year. Finally, the payback period of the solar equipment is calculated to be 30.8 years, reiterating this technology still needs a great deal of subsidy in order to be economically competitive with conventional air-conditioning systems.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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