The aim of this paper is the optimization of Solar Absorption Cooling (SAC) system’s performances. Over the past decade the electricity consumption has significantly increased in Reunion Island during the summer months, which is mainly due to the use of standard air conditioning systems. SAC systems present a good alternative for reducing this consumption. Solar cooling systems are environmentally friendly as they use water and lithium bromide solution as the working fluid.

The purpose of this work is to undertake a sensitivity analysis to identify parameters which have a significant influence on the SAC systems performances. The sensitivity analysis has been carried out on numerical models developed at the PIMENT laboratory and validated using RAFSOL experimental data (experimental plant is set up at the IUT in St-Pierre). The results of the sensitivity analysis are used to establish the design and create the control rules to allow for the optimization and ensure the performance of future SAC systems.

Firstly, this paper presents the modelization of the SAC system and the sensitivity analysis method used. Secondly, it displays the results from the sensitivity analysis that has been applied to all main components of the plant separately (solar collector field, solar loop and absorption chiller) and to the entire system. Finally, the results are analyzed and discussed.

Two types of influential parameters have been distinguished: variables factors and geometrical properties of the plant. This study highlights that the compactness of the installation, the quality of the solar collector, and the control of the temperature at the output of the distribution loop are essential.

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