Modeling and experimental validation of a solar-assisted direct expansion air conditioning system

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Energy and Buildings, 2013, 66 pp. 524 - 536
Issue Date:
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Continuous increase in global electricity consumption, environmental hazards of pollution and depletion of fossil fuel resources have brought about a paradigm shift in the development of eco-friendly and energy-efficient technologies. This paper reports on an experimental study to investigate the inherent operational characteristics of a new direct-expansion air conditioning system combined with a vacuum solar collector. Mathematical models of the system components are firstly derived and then validated against experimental results. To investigate the potential of energy savings, the hybrid solar-assisted air-conditioner is installed and extensively equipped with a number of sensors and instrumentation devices, for experimentation and data collection. The influence on the system energy usage of the average water temperature, storage tank size and room set-point temperature are then analyzed. Once the air-conditioned room has achieved its desired temperature, the compressor turns off while the cooling process still continues until the refrigerant pressure no longer maintains the desired temperature. The advantages of the proposed hybrid system rest with the fact that the compressor can remain off in a longer period by heat impartation into the refrigerant via the water storage tank. Results show an average monthly energy saving of about between 25% and 42%. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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