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Content archived on 2024-06-16

Dehumidification and cooling driven by solar/waste heat using liquid desiccants


The provision of comfort cooling is responsible for a considerable and increasing portion of the world energy demand. To substitute electrically driven vapour compression machines with their high electrical energy consumption, the use of solar energy or wa ste heat from small scaled combined heat and power plants (CHP) or stationary fuel cells is a promising opportunity. At the Sustainable Energy Research Centre of the University of South Australia, a cooling and dehumidification system driven by liquid desi ccants using a special solar air collector for the regeneration has been developed and investigated. However, this system seems to be too complex and expensive to use in one or two-family buildings. Thus, with computer simulations it is proposed to investi gate the practical and economic feasibility of the system for medium size buildings with high moisture removal requirements. To use alternative heat sources it is necessary to develop a new regeneration device for the liquid desiccant. Using solar water co llectors has the advantage that even in times when there is no cooling demand, the solar energy can be used for providing domestic hot water or even for space heating. Using waste heat from CHPs or fuel cells has the same advantage and leads to improved ov erall utilisation efficiencies of the CHP and fuel cells respectively due to the production of electricity and heat. Additionally, both systems can possibly replace oil or gas for space heating and domestic hot water. Thus, besides the construction of the new regeneration device, extensive thermal system simulations shall be carried out, in order to develop suitable cooling systems with an optimal sizing and performance for different building types and locations (Australia, Southern and for passive building s even Central Europe). For this, an extensive review of available CHPs, fuel cells and solar collectors as well as a collection of typical heating and cooling loads for the different locations is necessary.

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