This paper investigates the technical feasibility of using a compact, air-cooled, solar-assisted, absorption air conditioning system in Puerto Rico and similar regions. Computer simulations were conducted to evaluate the system’s performance when subjected to dynamic cooling loads. Within the computer model, heat and mass balances are conducted on each component of the system, including the solar collectors, thermal storage tank, the air-cooled condenser, and the air-cooled absorber. Guidance on component design and insight into the effects of such operating factors as ambient air temperature were gained from exercising the simulation model. Comparisons are made with an absorption air conditioning system that uses a cooling tower instead of air-cooled components. The particular absorption system of study is one that uses lithium bromide and water as the absorbent and refrigerant, respectively. The heat input to the absorption system generator is provided by an array of flat plate collectors that are coupled to a thermal storage tank. Systems having nominal cooling capacities of 10.5, 14, and 17.5 kW were considered. Useful information about the number of collectors needed, storage tank volume and efficiency of the overall system is presented.

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