Energy performance evaluation of a demo solar desiccant cooling system with heat recovery for the regeneration of the adsorption material

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Since July 2008, a Solar Desiccant Evaporative Cooling (DEC) system has been operating as a test plant at the solar laboratory of the Dipartimento di Energia (ex DREAM) of the University of Palermo. The system is composed of an air handling unit (AHU) designed for ventilation of the laboratory coupled with a radiant ceiling that provides most of the required sensible cooling/heating energy. Flat plate collectors deliver part of the regeneration heat of the desiccant wheel during the summertime and are used for space heating during the wintertime.The system was designed for high humidity loads because of the typical climate conditions at the site and the need to support a radiant ceiling for sensible cooling. A hybrid configuration was chosen that uses two auxiliary cooling coils fed by a conventional compression chiller. One coil is used for pre-dehumidification. The other coil controls the air temperature if the desired supply temperature cannot be reached through indirect evaporative cooling alone. A specific feature of the system is the use of the heat rejected by the chiller to preheat regeneration airflow.The plant was monitored continuously after installation and start up phases were completed. This paper presents instantaneous, daily and monthly energy performance indicators for five summer months and three winter months. Monthly results are also presented and elaborated upon according to a monitoring procedure developed in the framework of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Task 38 " Solar Air Conditioning and Refrigeration" of the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. Seasonal performance indicators such as electric and thermal COP and primary energy savings for cooling and heating operation are presented. It was found that about half of the total cooling energy delivered by the AHU was covered by the DEC process. Primary energy savings in summer, in comparison to a conventional AHU, came up to nearly 50%.The recovery of the heat rejected by the refrigerator was found as a good solution, permitting to reduce solar collector area in the design phase.Finally, main issues arisen from plant monitoring and possible solutions to enhance its energy performances are discussed.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)40-52
Numero di pagine13
RivistaRenewable Energy
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2012

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