Use of solar powered absorption refrigeration to augment data center afternoon cooling has three advantages: (1) it replaces non-renewable electrically powered cooling with cooling provided by renewable power, (2) it reduces operating costs by reducing consumption of costly peak load electrical power, and (3) use of a carbon free energy source reduces the carbon footprint of the data center. In the investigation summarized here, a computational model of a lithium bromide (LiBr) and water absorption system performance was used to explore the advantages of using nighttime cooling and cold storage to enhance the performance of solar powered absorption refrigeration for peak cooling in data centers. In this study, the model accounts for thermodynamic property effects on the absorption cycle performance and finite heat exchanger effectiveness. The model is used to explore the impact of parametric changes on system coefficient of performance (COP) and system payback. The results indicate that COP enhancements above 15% can be achieved with simple cold storage strategies. The results indicate that that when optimally designed, this type of system achieves energy efficiency, offering environmental and economic advantages that make it an attractive initial step in incorporating solar powered absorption cooling into green data center designs. Strategies for maximizing the positive contributions of cold storage suggested by the results are discussed.

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