Solar air-conditioning systems - Focus on components and their working principles
Rapport, 2004

Air-conditioning is one of the major consumers of electrical energy in many parts of the world today and already today air-conditioning causes energy shortage in for example China. The demand can be expected to increase because of changing working times, increased comfort expectations and global warming. Air-conditioning systems in use are most often built around a vapor compression systems driven by grid-electricity. However, most ways of generating the electricity today, as weil as the refrigerants being used in traditional vapor compression systems, have negative impact on the environment, Solar air-conditioning might be a way to reduce the demand for electricity. In addition many solar air-conditioning systems are constructed in ways that eliminate the need for CFC, HCFC or HFC refrigerants. Alternatives to using solar energy are to use waste heat from different industrial processes such as refineries, garbage treatment facilities etc. Even driving the airconditioning systems directly with fossil fuels might in some cases be a more environmental friendly alternative than using electricity This report deals with a wide range of components, from room air-conditioners to solar collectors, which can be used as subcomponents in a solar air-conditioning system. However, most of the components and subsystems covered are not only suitable for solar air-conditioning. Some components are used for electrically, mechanically or heat driven airconditioning, And of course other sources of mechanical energy or heat could be used for powering these components. Other components are used for solar energy collection and storage, which can be used in solar energy system with other purposes than just driving a solar air-conditioning system. An aim of the report is to describe and explain the working principles of the components and subsystem in such general terms that the report is usable not only to those specifically interested in solar air conditioning, but to anyone interested in air conditioning, heat driven air-conditioning and solar energy. The last section of the report briefly deals with how the components can be combined to form a complete solar air-conditioning system.

solar heat engines

thermal heat pumps

waste heat utilization


soalr energy

heat driven air-conditioning

solar equipment


absorption chiller system

solar air conditioning


Nathan Rona

Chalmers, Institutionen för installationsteknik



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