Economic and thermal performance analysis is used to determine cost goals for typical commercial active solar cooling systems to be installed between the years 1986 and 2000. Market penetration for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems depends on payback period, which is related to the expected return on investment. Postulating a market share for solar cooling systems increasing to 20 percent by the year 2000, payback and return on investment goals as a function of year of purchase are established. The incremental solar system cost goals must be equal to or less than the 20-year percent value of future energy savings, based on thermal performance analysis, at the desired return on investment. The methodology is applied to determine the allowable incremental solar system cost for commercial-scale, 25-ton absorption cooling systems based on the thermal performance predicted by recent simulation analysis, Methods for achieving these cost goals and expected solar cooling system costs will be discussed.

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