QUT engineer develops electricity-free home cooling system

Aug 29, 2012
QUT engineer develops electricity-free home cooling system

(Phys.org)—A QUT researcher is developing a solar cooling and heating system for the home that will run independently of the electricity grid and generate domestic hot water as a by-product.

Paolo Corrada, a PhD student in QUT's Faculty of Science and Engineering said the system he has designed cuts by 90 per cent.

"My target is to make it 100 per cent so that the system is self-sufficient to run off the main grid, costing the home owners nothing to run," Mr Corrada said.

"Heating and cooling account for about 65 per cent of energy consumption in a house, whereas cooking accounts for only 6 per cent so it is easy to see why air conditioning devices are the main targets to reduce our energy consumption."

He said the system is based on the use of an absorption chiller which is a well-proven, efficient technology.

"An absorption chiller uses a chemical process to reject heat and, when using or heat generated by renewable energy, is more effective than the more common mechanical process of vapour compression at deflecting heat," he said.

"By using renewable we are providing an excellent technology to slash and the peak demand, especially in subtropical remote areas.

"The design is revolutionary because it incorporates also a desiccant wheel to remove moisture from the air and it uses the rejected heat from the absorption chiller to regenerate itself and to produce hot water for the house."

The combination of the two technologies together increases the unit's efficiency by 40 per cent when compared with the current solar cooling systems on the market, he said.

Mr Corrada said the system's meant it was also much quieter because it used a small pump instead of a compressor like the standard split systems.

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User comments : 9

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dschlink
4.5 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2012
Is this new? Exactly the same system was installed on a house in Tucson, AZ in 1980. We toured it as part of a Solar Engineering class. The collector occupied the entire roof and there were two huge water tanks in the basement for hot and cold water. Plus a large room full of controls, plumbing and pipes. The owner was an engineer.
ormondotvos
not rated yet Aug 30, 2012
Not new at all. I engineered and installed a complete heating, cooling, refrigeration and hot water system on Big Pine Key in Florida in 1981.

Used highly efficient ammonia absorption system driven by solar panels running synthetic oil at about 400F. Main machinery from ArkLa, who made million of kerosene-powered refrigerators (the ones with the big fin can on the top).

We also supplied photovoltaic for lights, washing machines, TV, etc.
Polentone
not rated yet Aug 30, 2012
Hi Dschlink,it is not clear what you saw in 1980. Solar cooling system have been around for some time, in the article it is specified that the innovation of this system is the production of heat from the absorption chiller to be used in as domestic hot water and to regenerate a desiccant wheel which is used to remove the humidity from the air.
Polentone
not rated yet Aug 30, 2012
Ormondotvos, I understood that you used solar panels to produce hot water at 400F to be used in the absorption ! which kind of panels did you use ? also how did you produce the hot water in your system for domestic purpose?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2012
I considered adapting an old C-band TV dish with a reflector and Stirling engine to drive a hydraulic pump that would run an A/C compressor.

A similar system described in the article used natural gas to dry the desiccant and as for being off grid, a natural gas electric generator is being marketed for A/C and hot water.
http://articles.l...itioning
Eikka
not rated yet Aug 30, 2012
the innovation of this system is the production of heat from the absorption chiller to be used in as domestic hot water and to regenerate a desiccant wheel which is used to remove the humidity from the air.


That's not news either. Googling around gives you tons of absorption systems being sold for solar or other waste heat recovery applications, where they produce both heat and cold.
extinct
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2012
I've been saying for a while that there is a suppression of technology going on - specifically, technology which would help the individual common person, while having no benefit to the military industrial complex. some of the comments here are reinforcing my as-of-yet unprovable theory. one of my favorite examples is this series of stories: in 1998, "Fluorescent Mice May Help With Alzheimer's". in 2008, "Fluorescent Cats May Help With Alzheimer's". in 2011, "Fluorescent Dogs May Help With Alzheimer's". basically a triple perversion of nature and zero help to Alzheimer's or anything else. there may have been some reason in 1998 to believe that the genes in question had something to do with degenerative disease or immune deficiency, but it's obvious that actual research was subsequently put on the back burner and replaced with non-news, and animal abuse. up next? "Fluorescent Horses May Help With Alzheimer's".
Polentone
not rated yet Aug 30, 2012
Hi ryggesogn2, I read the article you suggest, totally different system. Have you ever thought to the cost of running that gas fires A/C ? And maintenance for the engine ???
Polentone
not rated yet Aug 30, 2012
the innovation of this system is the production of heat from the absorption chiller to be used in as domestic hot water and to regenerate a desiccant wheel which is used to remove the humidity from the air.


That's not news either. Googling around gives you tons of absorption systems being sold for solar or other waste heat recovery applications, where they produce both heat and cold.


Hi Eikka, you right there are tons of absorption chiller using solar and waste heat ! This system reuse the heat rejected by the condenser and absorber of an absorption chiller !! This is the innovation not the solar cooling which is specified is a well proven technology !!

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