Optimization of Thermally Driven Building Cooling Systems

Lead Research Organisation: Swansea University
Department Name: School of Engineering

Abstract

Air conditioning is one of the fastest growing consumer product markets in the world. This is due to a combination of growing wealth in sun belt countries, increased incidence of record high temperatures in both sun belt and higher latitude, as well as a reduction in unit costs. This has the effect that efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are being frustrated, and in places, reversed by this influential market trend. In addition, many of the hottest areas have no mains electricity or intermittent supply.

The advent of solar air conditioning is the prospective answer, requiring no external electricity supply. Despite the progressively falling costs of photovoltaic panels, they remain to be low efficiency devices. This means that to achieve the cooling power needed in certain places, a panel area greater than that available is needed.

A novel thermal solar cooling system that relies exclusively on thermal solar heat is a potential answer to the problems outlined. Given that solar collectors are significantly more efficient at collecting the desirable solar energy than commercial photovoltaics, the solar collector area requirements are accordingly less. Avoiding the use of photovoltaics, as well as mains power, provides the advantage of the reduced area requirements and all of the costs associated.

Solar thermal conditioning affords a large target market, given the opportunity to provide a zero-carbon cooling technology to those in need. Given the magnitude of this task, one of the fundamental challenges to overcome is the building integration aspect of the technology. This involves identifying and understanding how the technology can be integrated into designs for zero or carbon-negative housing development, as well as echoing that research toward retrofit design that can implement onto existing housing.

The Research Engineer will:

- Identify and understand the challenges associated with building integration of the solar thermal conditioning system.

- Design a range of potential solutions for the novel technology within both existing and new housing developments.

- Develop prospective solutions at in the form of product demonstrators for proof of concept.

- Develop a potential route to market strategy.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S02252X/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2273416 Studentship EP/S02252X/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Enock Ankamah Ebbah