Solar-Driven Desiccant and Evaporative Cooling: Technology Overview and Operational Experiences

T. Bader, C. Trinkl, W. Zörner (Germany), and V. Hanby (UK)


Solar Energy, Solar Cooling, DEC-System, Air Conditioning, State-of-the-Art, Focus of Research


Most of the worldwide energy supply for air-conditioning processes is based on non-renewable energy sources, as today the commonly used technology for air-conditioning is electrically driven compression type refrigeration. This technology, with its consumption of fossil primary energy affects the depletion of resources and contributes to the global warming through CO2-emissions. Solar air conditioning is an approach, which uses solar-thermal heat, in contrary to electricity, to drive air-conditioning systems. The CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCH at Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences (Germany) investigates a solar-driven desiccant and evaporative cooling system (DEC-system) in a multipurpose building, operated with two arrays of solar thermal flat-plate collectors. This paper initially gives an overview on the solar-driven DEC-Technology and its single components. Based on this information, an overview on recent research activities on solar-DEC systems is presented. An in-situ monitoring of a solar driven DEC-plant in Ingolstadt with its gained experiences finally lead to the deducted needs of research concerning an energetically and economically optimised system. An outlook to the future relevance of such systems for Southern Africa concludes the paper.

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