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Energies 2017, 10(7), 849; doi:10.3390/en10070849

Parametric Analysis of Design Parameter Effects on the Performance of a Solar Desiccant Evaporative Cooling System in Brisbane, Australia

1
School of Chemistry Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), 2 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
2
Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building, University of Technology Sydney, PO Box 123, Broadway, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 25 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thermal Simulation of Energy Systems)
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Abstract

Solar desiccant cooling is widely considered as an attractive replacement for conventional vapor compression air conditioning systems because of its environmental friendliness and energy efficiency advantages. The system performance of solar desiccant cooling strongly depends on the input parameters associated with the system components, such as the solar collector, storage tank and backup heater, etc. In order to understand the implications of different design parameters on the system performance, this study has conducted a parametric analysis on the solar collector area, storage tank volume, and backup heater capacity of a solid solar desiccant cooling system for an office building in Brisbane, Australia climate. In addition, a parametric analysis on the outdoor air humidity ratio control set-point which triggers the operation of the desiccant wheel has also been investigated. The simulation results have shown that either increasing the storage tank volume or increasing solar collector area would result in both increased solar fraction (SF) and system coefficient of performance (COP), while at the same time reduce the backup heater energy consumption. However, the storage tank volume is more sensitive to the system performance than the collector area. From the economic aspect, a storage capacity of 30 m3/576 m2 has the lowest life cycle cost (LCC) of $405,954 for the solar subsystem. In addition, 100 kW backup heater capacity is preferable for the satisfaction of the design regeneration heating coil hot water inlet temperature set-point with relatively low backup heater energy consumption. Moreover, an outdoor air humidity ratio control set-point of 0.008 kgWater/kgDryAir is more reasonable, as it could both guarantee the indoor design conditions and achieve low backup heater energy consumption. View Full-Text
Keywords: parametric analysis; design parameters; desiccant cooling; evaporative cooling; solar energy; building simulation; EnergyPlus parametric analysis; design parameters; desiccant cooling; evaporative cooling; solar energy; building simulation; EnergyPlus
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ma, Y.; Saha, S.C.; Miller, W.; Guan, L. Parametric Analysis of Design Parameter Effects on the Performance of a Solar Desiccant Evaporative Cooling System in Brisbane, Australia. Energies 2017, 10, 849.

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