Solar desiccant evaporative cooling with multivalent use of solar thermal heat




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


Solar DEC (Desiccant and Evaporative Cooling) air-conditioning is a renewable technological approach to the future air-conditioning of buildings driven with solar-thermal heat. The principal acceptance of solar airconditioning has led to system prototypes mainly across Europe, however the diffusion of this innovative technology is proceeding slowly due to little field testing experience. In climates with coexisting heating demand particularly, a multivalent system approach that utilizes solar-heat not only for air-conditioning but also for hot water preparation and heating has potential as a feasible concept. However, previous research focused on systems using solar heat exclusively for the DEC-process. This research contributes to the advancement of the solar DEC-technology with multivalent use of solar thermal heat. The investigation consists of an initial detailed in-situ monitoring analysis of a system prototype operated in an industrial environment, followed by the development of optimised system concepts and a climate-specific analysis of the solar DEC-technology. The monitoring provided in-depth knowledge about the system operation, revealing the reasons for the insufficient refrigeration capacity achieved in practice. A detailed simulation model for an entire multivalent solar DEC-system including the heat sinks, DEC-system, heating and hot-water preparation was developed and a DEC-control strategy has been formulated. A new optimised control strategy for multivalent systems with simultaneous sink supply concept was devised. A sensitivity analysis was carried out to investigate the key design parameters for the dimensioning of multivalent solar DEC-systems. The research concluded that the auxiliary primary energy consumption of the optimised system was lower by one third compared to the initial system. Finally, a methodological zoning approach was developed, to systematically produce design-specific outline data for the application of the solar DEC-technology at climatically different sites.



Solar cooling, air-conditioning, DEC-system, DEC control, desiccant evaporative cooling, solar-thermal heat, multivalent system, in-situ monitoring, simulation, supervisory control, global effectiveness, climate-specific system planning



Research Institute