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Solar air conditioning has great potential. Sunlight is most plentiful in the summer when cooling loads are highest. Unfortunately, currently available technologies have not been able to economically use this huge resource. For example, photovoltaic (PV) cells are expensive and require a large portion of the roof to provide sufficient electrical power to drive an air conditioner.

The cost for these panels can be ten times that of a conventional air conditioner. The new solar air-conditioning system takes a much different approach. It is a thermally driven system that differs from earlier thermal systems in that it is designed to work with low-temperature solar collectors and includes low-cost energy storage.

Energy is stored in the form of a concentrated salt (desiccant, calcium chloride) solution that can be used to provide dehumidification. A cooler with a special heat exchanger design combines the dehumidification from the desiccant with cooling from evaporation of water to provide air conditioning. The preferred salt is calcium chloride. It is inexpensive and is commonly used as road salt.

The solar collector can be a shallow pool in a black plastic liner, which allows the sun to evaporate water from the salt solution. The concentrated salt solution is then stored in a tank until it is needed for cooling. If sunlight is not sufficient to concentrate the desiccant, off-peak electricity or natural gas can be used as a backup heat source. The overall objective of the project is to demonstrate a thermally driven solar air conditioner that has the potential of being economically viable compared to conventional electrically driven systems. The immediate objectives were to obtain component test data and modeling results that can be used to support the overall objective.


  • The demand for AC is likely to increase because worldwide temperature increases. While using soaring demand in energy, count on costs to continually advance.
  • Any a lot more feasible, long-term solution lies in harnessing solar energy to cool our atmosphere through any solar air conditioning solar panel array. Whenever you think about the idea, the days when you need air-cooling most are generally those days when the sun reaches its best.
  • The solar air conditioning can work precisely. Solar air conditioning makes use of the solar panel that soaks up and traps heat from the sun within the form of thermal power simply by warming normal water. This power can be delivered to the solar air conditioner along with heating the solution causing it to steam. Since it cools it creates a cooling effect that’s taken into an additional water loop.
  • Solar air conditioning provides a great package involving benefits. Installation expenses can be reduced through tax credits, deductions, and also refunds.
  • Solar AC is a wise method to help save the particular atmosphere and also satisfy the electrical power requirements each at the same time. Using solar energy solutions displays a company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and that responsibility is observed through probable along with existing clients.
  • Solar air conditioning does not use any Freon or other hazardous chemicals. Solar energy may be the best way to obtain replenished able power.
  • Desiccant cooling systems are energy-efficient and environmentally benign.
  • In humid regions, desiccant dehumidification can reduce electricity demand considerably by providing a drier, more comfortable, and clean indoor environment with a lower energy bill. Desiccant systems allow more fresh air into buildings, thus improving indoor air quality without using more energy.
  • Desiccant systems also displace chlorofluorocarbon-based cooling equipment, the emissions from which contribute to the depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer.
  • Desiccant dehumidification technology provides a method of drying air before it enters a conditioned space. When combined with conventional Vapour compression systems, desiccant dehumidification systems are a cost-effective means of supplying cool, dry, filtered air.
  • In the last decade, desiccant dehumidification technology has emerged as an alternative or as a supplement to conventional vapour compression systems for cooling and conditioning air in commercial and institutional buildings. A typical hybrid system combines a desiccant system with a conventional vapour compression cooling system.
  • Desiccant-based systems are cost-effective because they use low-grade thermal sources to remove moisture from the air. In general, the benefits of desiccant-based systems are greater where the thermal energy required for regenerating the desiccant is readily available, the electricity price is high, and the latent load fraction is high (>25%).

Limitations Of Solar Air Cooling:

  • In cloudy conditions solar collectors cannot work properly as sun rays are not uniform.
  • CaCl2 is mainly for dehumidifying the humid air but in dry conditions, it cannot dehumidify the air as no moisture is present.
  • Prolong use of CaCl2 may result in scale formation.
  • Slow working process as fewer moving parts.
  • Less efficient due to intermittent supply of suns radiation.
  • CaCl2 results in corrosion of heat exchanger parts.
  • Process dependent on the supply of sun’s radiation.
  • CaCl2 has a salty odor.
  • Precaution is to be taken while handling CaCl2 as it harms to skin and while making the solution it generates loads of heat.


  • researchers, designers, and manufacturers of refrigeration and air-conditioning systems and equipment today are focusing on new and alternative technologies given the phasing out of CFCs.
  • Desiccant-based and desiccant assisted air-conditioning systems are currently emerging from a 60- year industrial heritage and expanding into commercial applications. Today, both the user and the consultant opt to adopt a non-conventional approach case by case rather than sticking to the conventional method of designing systems.
  • Effort at all levels is being made to identify new slots/areas where the desiccant cooling system provides immediate applicability i.e. stand alone as well as provides an economical and efficient alternative, by way of lowering TR (Reduce impact of CFCs).
  • Energy shortage is something which we live with day in and day out. This energy shortage is expected to increase as more and more population shifts to air-conditioned buildings. This presents the air conditioning industry with several challenges. Among these are demands for increased energy efficiency and improved indoor air quality, growing concern for improved comfort and environmental control, increased ventilation requirements, phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and rising peak demand charges.


  • Desiccant technology has become an important alternative amongst the options available to the industry for space-conditioning. In many cooling applications, desiccant cooling units provide advantages over the more common Vapour compression and absorption units. For example, desiccant systems do not need ozone depleting refrigerants and are very effective at treating the large humidity loads resulting from ventilation air. Also, they use natural gas, solar thermal energy, or waste heat, thus lowering peak electric demand.
  • As a result, the use of desiccant cooling and dehumidification systems for building comfort conditioning has increased steadily during the past several years in the West. Recent advances in adsorptive materials, in conjunction with dehumidifier design innovations, are making the technology increasingly attractive.


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