Adsorption refrigerators, Simulation, Optimization
Adsorption cooling system can be driven by solar energy or waste heat, so it will effectively reduce fossil fuel consumptions when total system is well-designed. On the other hand, the system tends to have a large size, which will be an obstacle to install adsorption cooling systems to small to medium scale cooling demands, such as automobiles, houses, or shops. The study was aiming at the reduction of system size of adsorption cooling systems for refrigeration and air-conditioning applications. To simplify the system, we investigated one-bed configuration of adsorption cooling system. In general, one-bed adsorption cooling system would result in a large temperature fluctuation at chilled water outlet. To overcome that drawback and to maximize the cooling capacity, the cycle time, namely, pre-heating, desorption, pre-cooling, and adsorption times, of one-bed adsorption cooling system was optimized. In case of two-bed adsorption cooling system, two adsorbers operates in reverse phase each other, which means that the degree of freedom for cycle time optimization is two. In case of one-bed adsorption cooling sytem, four processes can be independently optimized. In our study, activated carbon-ethanol pair was chosen as the adsorbent-refrigerant pair because of a high adsorption capacity of activated carbons against ethanol. Using adsorption isotherms and kinetic data of activated carbon-ethanol pair measured by our research group, a lumped parameter model of one-bed adsorption cooling system was developed. The four parameters of cycle time were optimized using global optimization method, and the optimal time settings were effectively found. The results showed the effect of cycle time optimization on the cooling performance of one-bed adsorption cooling system.