Develop a Concentrated Solar Power-based Thermal Cooling System via Simulation and Experimental Studies

EPA Grant Number: SU835728
Title: Develop a Concentrated Solar Power-based Thermal Cooling System via Simulation and Experimental Studies
Investigators: Tang, Yan , Boetcher, Sandra , Compere, Marc , Engblom, William
Institution: Embry - Riddle Aeronautical University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: II
Project Period: August 15, 2014 through August 14, 2016
Project Amount: $89,996
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2014) Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Energy , Sustainability

Objective:

The proposed Phase II project is to transition the solar refrigeration system developed through Phase I to a solar air conditioning system with storage to achieve 24 hours of operation. The air conditioning system is to operate a 1-ton Lithium-Bromide chiller unit using the existing 16kW parabolic troughs and a customized thermal storage system which sustains the operation at nigh-time. The laboratory scale solar thermal air conditioning system will provide a valuable research platform from which to pursue greater feasibility for the US and European markets. The educational benefits of the project will be achieved by recruiting an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty advisors to prove the feasibility both technologically, economically and socially.

Approach:

We will replace the absorption refrigerator used in Phase I with a 1-ton Lithium-Bromide air conditioning system and customize a storage tank to improve the efficiency and extend the operation hours. The existing solar collector tracking system needs to be redesigned to achieve better performance. Lifecycle cost analysis will be conducted to quantify benefits for the consumer by the implementation of the solar cooling system to evaluate the possibility of diffusing the project into practice. An interdisciplinary team will be involved to work on the project and evaluate the technical, social, and economic benefits of the project. The sustainability concepts involved in the project will be shared among participants and surrounding communities through outreach activities to promote sustainability education and environmental justice.

Expected Results:

The 16kW solar collector along with the storage tank is capable of operating the 1-ton Lithium-Bromide chiller for 24 hours. The cost analysis results will be used as a reference to evaluate the commercial potentials.

Relevant Websites:

Phase 1 Abstract
Phase 1 Final Report

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2015
  • Final

  • P3 Phase I:

    Develop a Concentrated Solar Power-based Thermal Cooling System via Simulation and Experimental Studies  | Final Report