Integration of Solar Energy into Absorption Refrigerators and Industrial Processes

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Abstract

Absorption refrigeration is gaining increasing attention in industrial facilities to use process heat for partially or completely driving a cooling cycle. This paper introduces a systematic approach to the design of absorption refrigeration systems for industrial processes. Three sources of energy are considered to drive absorption refrigerators: excess process heat, solar energy, and fossil fuels. To handle the dynamic nature of solar energy, hot water tanks are used for energy storage and dispatch. Thermal pinch analysis is performed to determine the amount of available excess heat and the required refrigeration duty. Next, a multiperiod optimization formulation is developed for the entire system. The procedure determines the optimal mix of energy forms (solar versus fossil) and the dynamic operation of the system. Three case studies are solved to demonstrate the effectiveness and applicability of the devised procedure.

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