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Published On: Tue, Oct 15th, 2013

Solar Assisted Vapor Absorption Ac system and Circuit.

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Air conditioning systems are nowadays common; it has become a human tendency to show affection to moderate cooling effect rather than facing the scorching sun especially for people living in the gulf countries and the subcontinent countries. Most commonly used air condition units use a compressor as prime mover to compress the refrigerant before expansion process. But in-order to drive the compressor we need external power source like electricity. These kinds of systems are broadly classified under Vapour Compression Refrigeration and air conditioning cycle.
On contrary another system or cycle called the vapour adsorption air-conditioning system can also be employed to create the same effect. This system does not have a compressor and instead it uses a Generator. The diagram below shows how a vapour absorption cycle works.

Simple Vapour Absorption System

Vapor Absorption Ac system.

Absorption cycle consists of four major parts, i.e., a generator, a condenser, an evaporator and an absorber. These major components are divided into three parts by one heat exchanger, two expansion valves and a pump. Initially a generator is used to produce heat to separate the water vapour, stream number 2, from the lithium bromide solution, stream number 3, in the generator at high temperature and pressure resulting in higher lithium bromide solution concentration. Then, the water vapour passes to the condenser where heat is removed and the vapour cools down to form a liquid, stream number 4. The liquid water at high pressure, stream number 4, is passed through the expansion valve, stream number 9, to the evaporator, where it gets evaporated at low pressure, thereby providing cooling to the space to be cooled. Subsequently, the water vapour, stream number 5, goes from the evaporator to the absorber. Meanwhile, the strong lithium bromide solution, stream number 3, leaving the generator for the absorber passes through a heat exchanger in order to preheat the weak solution entering the generator, and then expanded to the absorber, stream number 6. In the absorber, the strong lithium bromide solution absorbs the water vapour leaving the evaporator to form a weak solution, stream number 7. The weak solution, stream number 8, is then pumped into the generator and the process is repeated. Generally, the heat is removed from the system by a cooling tower. The cooling water passes through the absorber first then the condenser. The temperature of the absorber has a higher influence on the system efficiency than the condensing temperature of the cooling tower where the heat is dissipated to the environment.

Sun is the most abundant source of energy and unfortunately many don’t realise it. Now that the world is keen on renewable energy sources and people are desperate to come up with auxiliary sources other than primary ones. Sun’s energy can be harvested and utilized in an vapour absorption system hence reduction in relying on primary source of power. For a solar powered Vapour Absorption a/c system we make use of a solar collection which can harvest heat energy which can be utilized to replace the function of a generator in conventional system.

Solar Assisted Vapour Absorption System

Solar Assisted Vapor Absorption Ac system
A shown above, the collector receives energy from sunlight and heat is accumulated in the storage tank. Subsequently, the energy is transferred through the high temperature energy storage tank to the refrigeration system.

These type systems are now widely used in foreign nations and it has yet to find its pace in our part of the world. They are energy efficient and can be used for large scale industrial purposes. A dual system using both sun’s heat and generator heat energy can be incorporated where the demand is high there by reducing the overall energy consumption in-terms of huge electricity consumption for cooling purposes alone.

Author: Mr. Thomaskutty Jaison

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