The solar air conditioning system could use up to 50% less electricity than a regular vapour compression system, according to the University of Nottingham's developers. Dr Jie Zhu of the university's Department of Architecture and Built Environment and Prof. Tingxian Li of Shanghai Jiaotong University in China are funded by the Royal Society for the research.
Dr Zhu, said:
“A VC cooling system adopts a condensation dehumidification method to handle both sensible and latent heat loads. This means the system has to operate under lower evaporation temperatures, which results in lower cooling capacity, lower coefficient of performance (COP) and sometimes a reheating process is required to meet supply air requirements.
“We are proposing a temperature and humidity independent control technology to solve this problem. This system can save 25-50 per cent electrical consumption and COP increases about 40-60 per cent, thus greatly reducing operating costs, compared to the conventional VC system."
Dr Zhu summed up by saying:
“Solar air-conditioning is one of the promising technologies to alleviate the huge demand for energy resources. It has the potential to provide a viable alternative to conventional air-conditioning systems.”