Energy assessment based on semi-dynamic modeling of a photovoltaic driven vapour compression chiller using phase change materials for cold energy storage

A new journal publication presenting HYBUILD outcomes has just been released: Solar cooling systems are a promising solution for reducing the electrical consumption of conventional building cooling systems. Among various alternatives, photovoltaic driven vapour compression chillers are currently the most mature and economically feasible solar cooling technology. This study focuses on the semi-dynamic modelling of a vapour compression chiller coupled with a novel refrigerant-phase change material (PCM)-water heat exchanger (RPW-HEX) which replaces the conventional chiller’s evaporator, allowing the efficient storage of the produced cooling energy. A custom-build lumped parameter model was developed in TRNSYS and was used to assess the performance of the proposed system on annual basis. Using as benchmark a conventional PV driven vapour compression chiller with electrical storage, the retrofitted hybrid storage system showed improved performance, limiting the cooling demand peaks and enhancing the solar fraction, especially for partial cooling loads. Last, a comparison of the PCM thermal energy storage to conventional batteries was carried out, leading to enhanced performance characteristics for the latter.

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