Rapid urbanization, global warming and enhanced quality of life have significantly increased the demand of indoor thermal comfort and air conditioning systems are not a luxury anymore, but a necessity. In order to fulfil this need, it is imperative to develop affordable and environmentally friendly cooling solutions for buildings. In this work, the 3E performance (energetic, economic and environmental) of electrically driven water-cooled vapour compression systems and thermally (solar) driven vapour absorption cooling systems are evaluated and the parameters affecting the performance of solar-driven vapour absorption systems are investigated. TRNSYS is used to simulate the performance of both systems in order to fulfil the cooling needs of an industrial manufacturing building for the typical climate conditions for Lahore, Pakistan. Primary energy saving, initial investment, operational cost, and carbon footprint indices are used to analyse the performance of both systems. In addition, a parametric code is written in Python and linked with TRNSYS to perform a parametric study to investigate the effects of various parameters such as solar field size, storage tank volume, optimum annual and monthly collector angles, and flow rate for solar field on the solar-driven vapour absorption chiller performance. The results reveal that around 5% more energy can be absorbed per collector surface area by changing the solar tilt angle on a monthly basis compared to one fixed angle. The analysis shows that electrically driven vapour compression-based cooling systems have much higher running cost and are potentially hazardous for the environment but have lower capital costs. On the other hand, solar thermal systems have lower running costs and emissions but require further reductions in the capital costs or government subsidies to make them viable.
- Solar thermal driven absorption chiller
- Optimum collector tilt angle
- Parametric study
- Heating, ventilation & air conditioning
- Solar cooling