Energy and economic assessment of desiccant cooling systems coupled with single glazed air and hybrid PV/thermal solar collectors for applications in hot and humid climate

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92 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents a detailed analysis of the energy and economic performance of desiccant cooling systems (DEC) equipped with both single glazed standard air and hybrid photovoltaic/thermal (PV/t) collectors for applications in hot and humid climates. The use of ‘solar cogeneration’ by means of PV/t hybrid collectors enables the simultaneous production of electricity and heat, which can be directly used by desiccant air handling units, thereby making it possible to achieve very energy savings. The present work shows the results of detailed simulations conducted for a set of desiccant cooling systems operating without any heat storage. System performance was investigated through hourly simulations for different systems and load combinations. Three configurations of DEC systems were considered: standard DEC, DEC with an integrated heat pump and DEC with an enthalpy wheel. Two kinds of building occupations were considered: office and lecture room. Moreover, three configurations of solar-assisted Air Handling Units (AHU) equipped with desiccant wheels were considered and compared with standard AHUs, focusing on achievable primary energy savings.The relationship between the solar collector’s area and the specific primary energy consumption for different system configurations and building occupation patterns is described. For both occupation patterns, sensitivity analysis on system performance was performed for different solar collector areas. Also, this work presents an economic assessment of the systems. The cost of conserved energy and the payback time were calculated, with and without public incentives for solar cooling systems. It is worth noting that the use of photovoltaics, and thus the exploitation of related available incentives in many European countries, could positively influence the spread of solar air cooling technologies (SAC). An outcome of this work is that SAC systems equipped with PV/t collectors are shown to have better performance in terms of primary energy saving than conventional systems fed by vapour compression chillers and coupled with PV cells.All SAC systems present good figures for primary energy consumption. The best performances are seen in systems with integrated heat pumps and small solar collector areas. The economics of these SAC systems at current equipment costs and energy prices are acceptable. They become more interesting in the case of public incentives of up to 30% of the investment cost (Simple Payback Time from 5 to 10 years) and doubled energy prices.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1828-1846
Numero di pagine19
RivistaSolar Energy
Volume83 (2009)
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2500.2500???

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