Abstract

This paper addresses the potential of integrating parabolic trough collector (PTC) with variable effect absorption chiller assisted with ice thermal energy storage (ITES) for the purpose of space cooling in residential buildings. In this work, the thermal performance of the proposed integrated system was evaluated in order to assess the system’s capability to fulfil the cooling demands. The proposed system was modelled numerically and simulations were performed using TRNSYS software. Initially during the day, the chiller was operated in a single stage mode to provide required direct cooling to the building. Once the thermal output of the PTC is adequate, a double-effect absorption cooling was activated, with the production of sub-zero evaporator temperatures in order to charge the ice storage prior to providing chilled water to the load during night time. The obtained results showed that the proposed system is capable to provide a continuous space cooling for 20 hours from which 11 hours of cooling were generated using the absorption chiller, whilst the ice storage acts as a backup source of cooling for additional 9 hours during nighttime. For the remainder of the time of almost 4 hours, a biomass auxiliary heater was used to activate the chiller during startup period thus eliminating completely the need of a conventional cooling system. The performed cost analysis proved the feasibility of the proposed system with pay-back period of 3.5 years.

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