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Construction and field test activities of an innovative single-room solar driven air-conditioning system


During the last decades in most European countries the energy consumption for air conditioning purposes was increasing remarkably. In 1996 about 11.000GWh of primary energy were spent in Europe alone for small room air conditioners (i.e. up to 12 kW); Italy contributed to this figure by more than 40%. The concern for increasing electricity peak demand raised in the last years, pushing decision makers to look at new technological solutions for air-conditioning. In this conditions the use of solar thermal energy for air conditioning in buildings has gained interest recently. The most promising technologies are based on thermal driven sorptive processes. Moreover recent developments provided small sorptive heat pumps adapt for the realization of solar driven room air-conditioning systems.

This project aims to construct and test under real conditions, a novel plant scheme based on this technology. The system presents a simplified plant scheme, where the heat source (i.e. solar collector e.g. window integrated) and the heat pump are directly connected. The peculiarity of the system will result in lower equipment volume (i.e. no solar storage) crucial for "split" room air-conditioners. During the project the system design will be carried out, and the optimal con figuration will be chosen through the use of computer simulations. The dynamic simulations will ensure the optimisation of the system's size and best coupling with the cold distribution system.

The system will be constructed and installed at an office building of Politecnico di Milano. The plant will be monitored and the results of the experimental activities will be used for the validation of the performance assessment carried out through the computer simulations. The ISSA concept aims to overcome traditional reliability problems of solar assisted systems due to the simplified plant scheme and provide a very cost effective option for the use of solar energy in air-conditioning systems.

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Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32

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