Life Cycle Assessment of a compact Desiccant Evaporative Cooling system: The case study of the “Freescoo”

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Abstract

The paper aims at exploring the performances of a compact Desiccant Evaporative Cooling system called “Freescoo” (Free Solar Cooling) in comparison to standard conventional technologies. The Freescoo – that aims at applications in the residential sector and in small office buildings and includes a photovoltaic–thermal system – is analyzed, its monitored performance discussed and reported: under cooling conditions an Energy Efficiency Ratio of 12.8 is calculated, that reaches 50.7 if also photovoltaic generation is considered. To assess the performance of the proposed system a Life Cycle Assessment study was performed to investigate the system covering all its life, from the production, going through its use and its disposal. Results are compared to those obtainable by standard conventional systems with comparable heating and cooling power outputs to further explore the performances of the system.The electricity consumption of the investigated solar cooling system proves to be equal to only the 5% of the equivalent conventional system having the same thermal output during a year. The production phase of the Freescoo shows a predominant role among the other life cycle steps, reaching a 95% share on the total for some indicators, such as human toxicity.If the life cycle phase of a conventional system is compared with the whole life cycle of the Freescoo system, the former would report many indicators values higher by 200% in comparison to the latter.If use of water is considered, although the Freescoo system would require 2590 l of fresh water during a year in comparison to none consumed by a conventional system, the higher water footprint of conventional systems would result in water uses higher by three times if compared to the Freescoo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Volume156
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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