Performance assessment of a two-bed silica gel-water adsorption refrigeration system driven by solar thermal energy is carried out under a climatic condition typical of Perth, Australia. A Fourier series is used to simulate solar radiation based on the actual data obtained from Meteonorm software, version 7.0 for Perth, Australia. Two economic methodologies, Payback Period and Life-Cycle Saving are used to evaluate the system economics and optimize the need for solar collector areas. The analysis showed that the order of Fourier series did not have a significant impact on the simulation radiation data and a three-order Fourier series was good enough to approximate the actual solar radiation. For a typical summer day, the average cooling capacity of the chiller at peak hour (13:00) is around 11 kW while the cyclic chiller system coefficient of performance (COP) and solar system COP are around 0.5 and 0.3, respectively. The economic analysis showed that the payback period for the solar adsorption system studied was about 11 years and the optimal solar collector area was around 38 m2
if a compound parabolic collector (CPC) panel was used. The study indicated that the utilization of the solar-driven adsorption cooling is economically and technically viable for weather conditions like those in Perth, Australia.
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