Evaluation and Design of Large-Scale Solar Adsorption Cooling Systems Based on Energetic, Economic and Environmental Performance

Abdullah Ahmed Bawazir, Daniel Friedrich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In hot and dry regions such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the cooling demand is often responsible for more than 70% of electricity consumption, which places a massive strain on the electricity grid and leads to significant emissions. Solar thermal driven Silica-Gel/Water adsorption chillers, used for space cooling, could provide low carbon emission cooling and reduce the reliance on grid electricity. However, a meticulous design is required to make this both economically and environmentally beneficial. This paper aims to evaluate the solar thermal adsorption chiller performance based on large-scale cooling demand through a TRNSYS simulation for 1 year of operation. The proposed system consists of two main parts: first, the solar loop with evacuated tube solar collectors; and second, the adsorption cooling system with a silica-gel/water adsorption chiller. A neighbourhood of 80 typical 197 m2 villas in Riyadh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), was taken as a case study. The solar adsorption cycle’s performance has been compared to the conventional vapour compression cycle in terms of energy, economic and environmental performance. In addition, a parametric study has been performed for the main design parameters. Results reveal that the system can reach a solar fraction of 96% with solar collector area of 5500 m2 and a storage tank volume between 350 and 400 m3. Furthermore, the annual energy cost can be reduced by 74% for the solar adsorption system compared to the conventional vapour compression cycle. Meanwhile, the CO2 saving percentage for the solar adsorption cycle was approximately 75% compared to the conventional vapour compression cycle. Carefully designed solar thermal cooling systems can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while covering a large scale of cooling demands. This can reduce the strain on the electricity grid as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Article number2149
Issue number6
Early online date15 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2022


  • Solar adsorption cooling
  • Collector tilt angle
  • Parametric study
  • 3E comparison
  • collector tilt angle
  • solar adsorption cooling
  • parametric study

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