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Kamal Nasr-El-Din Abdalla * and Fath-El-Rahman Ahmed El-Mahi * ABSTRACT Many parameters affect the performance of solar refrigeration systems. This paper presents theoretical analysis of a solar absorption refrigeration system, which use aqua-ammonia solution in an intermittent cycle. A computer program has been developed. This program is useful in studying the performance of any intermittent absorption system at different conditions of operation. The simulation program was used to predict the performance of an existing system and good agreement was obtained. Keywords: solar refrigeration, intermittent absorption, Aqua-Ammonia 1. INTRODUCTION

Condenser Generator

An absorption refrigeration system uses heat as a source of power, instead of mechanical energy,[1]. Figure 1, shows the basic absorption . refrigeration system, which consists of two cycles: 1-The regeneration cycle, during which, heat is supplied to the working solution, contained in a generator, to drive the refrigerant off the solution, which is then condensed and stored as a liquid in a receiver. 2- The absorption cycle, during which, the refrigerant vaporizes, and hence, produces cooling effect and flows back to be absorbed by the weak solution, contained in an absorber. In continuous absorption systems, the regeneration and absorption cycles, take place at the same time. In intermittent systems, the absorption cycle, takes place after the regeneration cycle has been completed [2]. Figure 2 shows a simple intermittent absorption cycle. Solar energy is suitable with intermittent absorption refrigeration systems, because, solar energy, itself, is intermittent in nature, [3]. Solar intermittent absorption refrigeration systems have been studied by Chinnappa[4], and Swartman and Swaminathan[5]. In their

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Evaporator Evaporato

Absorber

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Figure 1: Absorption Refrigeration Cycle

qg

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a- The regeneration cycle

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b- The absorption cycle Figure 2: Simple intermittent absorption cycle

* Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, University Of Khartoum ** Faculty of Engineering Technology, Nile Valley University

Sudan Engineering Society JOURNAL, August 2005, Volume 51 No.44

1

Tpm is the mean absorber plate temperature.44 . [3]: Cooling water condenser Solar collector Receiver/Evaporator Generator/Absorbe Figure 3: A schematic diagram of the refrigeration system 2 Sudan Engineering Society JOURNAL. through the same tube coil. of the generator. August 2005. cooling water is allowed to enter to the generator. is given by. to be absorbed by the weak solution in the absorber. through a coiled tube which is immersed in aqua-ammonia solution in the generator. is given by the expression. U L is the overall heat loss coefficient.{S − 3600U L (Tpm − Ta )} ( 5) Where rm = A m /A c is the model ratio.experiments. SYSTEM DESCRIPTION Figure 3 shows a schematic diagram of the system used in this study. I o is the solar radiation incident on a horizontal surface. during the regeneration cycle. during the absorption cycle. to be stored as ammonia liquid in a receiver. the generator was an integral part of a flat plate collector and they used separate vessels for the generator and the absorber. outside of the atmosphere. Q u = rm . where it condenses and flows by gravity.2 Generator analysis The actual heat received by the solution in the generator. hence. water is heated in a flat plate collector and allowed to enter the generator. ammonia liquid vaporizes in the receiver. Volume 51 No. I b and I d are the beam and diffuse radiation.033cos(360n / 365)} × {cos φ cos δ(sin ω2 − sin ω1 ) + (π(ω2 − ω1 ) sin φ sin δ) / 180} (4 ) 3. During the absorption cycle.Io Id = τ d Io (2) (3) 2. As a result ammonia vapor rises up and passes to a water cooled condenser. During the regeneration cycle. the temperature and pressure of the weak solution reduce and.1 The flat plate collector The total radiation absorbed by the absorber plate of the collector during one hour. In this study there is a single vessel performing both functions. and are given by the expressions: I b = τ b . 3. causing cooling effect there and flows back. and is given by. as a result. and the absorber. which now acts as an absorber. Io = (12 × 3600 / π)Gsc{1 + 0. MATHEMATICAL MODELING 3. S = I b R b ( τα) b + Id ( τα )d (1 + cos β) / 2 + ρ g (I b + I b )( τα)g (1 − cos β) / 2 (1) Where. for an hour period. Ta is the ambient temperature.

(1− Ur )S. x l2 . and h v . is: m v2 = ms1 (x l1 − x l2 )/(x v2 − x l2 ) ( 12) And the mass of the remaining solution. h l2 . Ts2 = rm . this Sudan Engineering Society JOURNAL. to reach the saturation temperature. can be found. the temperature of the solution at the end of the hour can be found as: Ts2 = {rm . After one hour. then. and to raise the temperature of the remaining solution. for the solution temperature.(1 − U r ) {S − 3600U L (T sat + T s2 )/2 − T a }} (10) Where m v is the mass of the ammonia vapor generated during the period (1− Ur ) .44 . h l2 and Pl2 . therefore: m s cp s (T s2 − T sat ) + m v h v = r m . the concentration of the ammonia vapor. is used to raise the solution temperature from Tsat to Ts2 at Ur = mscps (Tsat − Ts1 ) / If the final temperature. In this case. only a fraction of the useful energy available during one hour. a certain quantity of heat is transferred to the solution and the new state of the solution is defined by: Ts2 . is used to raise the solution temperature from Ts1 to fraction is also used to generate ammonia vapor. is used to raise the temperature of the solution to Ts2 .the properties of the aqua-ammonia solution.(1 − U r ){S − 1800U L (Tsat − 2 Ta )} + m s cp s Tsat − m v h v }/{m s cp s + 1800(1 − U r )U L rm } ( 11) Ts2 . Since the rate of energy is assumed to be uniform throughout each hour. If. is the enthalpy of the generated vapor. as obtained from equation (7). h v2 . is greater than the saturation temperature. x l2 . Tsat . and the evaporated ammonia. at the end of the hour. equals the saturation temperature of the solution. the solution temperature. for the next hour. and the 3 constant pressure Psat . At the same time. equation (6).3600UL {(Tsat + Ts1 ) / 2 − Ta }} ( 9) For the rest of the hour. of the solution at the end of an hour. at the pressure Psat . Volume 51 No. this fraction also gives the period of time required. These include the concentration of ammonia in the solution. the enthalpy of the solution.U r {S − 3600U L {(Tsat + Ts1 )/2 − Ta }} ( 8) Knowing the temperature Ts2 . Pl1 = initial pressure of the solution.At the initial state the following terms are defined: Ts1 = initial temperature of the solution. The mass of the generated ammonia vapor during the given period. then. becomes: m s cps (Tsat − Ts1 ) = rm . x v2 and. the remaining fraction of energy. h l1 = initial enthalpy of the solution. Let U r to represent this period. The energy balance equation for this case is.{S − 3600U From which. at the end of the hour. the whole available energy. no ammonia vapor will be generated and the whole energy. Ts2 . is less than the saturation temperature. x l1 = initial concentration of ammonia in the solution. Ts2 . Q u . then. the energy balance equation. is used to generate ammonia vapor. the enthalpy of the vapor. is: m s2 = m s1 (x v2 − x l1 )/(x v2 − x l2 ) ( 13) The amount of water vapor contained in the evaporated ammonia is given by: m w2 =m v2 (1 − x v2 ) ( 14) From which: rm {S .{S + (( m s cp s /rm ) − 1800 U L )Ts1 + 3600 U L Ta }/ (m s cp s + 1800 U L rm ) (7) L (T s2 + T s1 )/2 − T a } (6) If Ts2 . August 2005. then. after one hour of heating. and the energy balance equation is: m s cp s (T s2 − T s1 ) = r m . From equation (10).

and flows back to be absorbed by the weak solution. and. h v2 . The pressure of the solution at the end of one hour of absorption. h cd . which is prepared by G. Ps . is initial concentration of the solution.44 . and the new value of concentration of the solution x s2 . x v . the pressure of the weak solution in the absorber. Hence the mass flow rate of the cooling water during absorption is given by: m cwa = m s2 (h f1 − h f2 )/3600cp w ∆Tcwa • (22) Where. cp w . the energy balance equation. Sudan Engineering Society JOURNAL. which is given by: x s2 = x s1 + m av (x v − x s1 )/m s2 (20) Where. this is known as the heat of 4 Equation (21) gives the quantity of heat which must be removed by the cooling water during one hour of absorption. is the concentration of ammonia vapor. Considering one hour duration. of the cold water. in the absorber. after one hour. cp w is the specific heat of the cooling water and ∆Tcw is the rise in temperature. if there was no cooling. is found from the h-x chart. the enthalpy of the solution will be reduced to a value h f2 . h f1 can be found as: Q hr = m v (h v2 − h cd ) (15) Where. From equation(16). is the rise in the cooling water temperature. with U r =0. Brown[1]. is therefore. Volume 51 No.4 Absorber analysis After the regeneration cycle has been completed. which is absorbed during one hour of absorption and ms2 and h f1 are the mass and enthalpy of the solution. are given by equations (10) & (11). is the quantity of ammonia vapor which is generated during that hour. is the enthalpy of the generated ammonia vapor.3 Condenser analysis absorption. respectively. from the generated ammonia vapor in the condenser. during one hour is given by: where ms1 and h s1 . From equation(18).final temperature of the solution. during one hour. is the specific heat of the cooling water. [1]: m s1 h s1 + m av h g = h f1 m s2 (18) The quantity of heat which must be removed.G. condensed and stored in the receiver at a known condenser pressure Pcd and temperature Tcd . corresponding to the absorption temperature Tabs . is: ∆H = ms2 (h f1 − h f2 ) (21) 3. will be less than the pressure of the ammonia liquid in the evaporator. and ∆Tcwa . Due to this process . at the end of that hour. the mass of the cooling water required in the condenser is: m cw = m v (h v2 − h cd ) / cp w ∆Tcw (17) Equation (19) gives the enthalpy that the weak solution would have after one hour of absorption. Hence ammonia liquid starts to evaporate in the evaporator. are the mass and the enthalpy of the solution at the beginning of the hour. produces cooling effect there. x s1 . m v . Hence the heat of absorption . is the enthalpy of the condensed ammonia liquid. The quantity of heat absorbed by the cold water in the condenser. h g and m av are the enthalpy and the mass of ammonia vapor. a quantity of heat will be released in the absorber. Due to cooling. 3. so the energy balance equation in the condenser is: m cw cp w ∆Tcw = m v (h v2 − h cd ) (16) h f1 = h s1 + m av (h g − h s1 )/m s2 (19) where m cw is the total mass of the cooling water required in the condenser. Due to cooling. must be the same as the quantity of heat rejected by the ammonia vapor during that hour. and. August 2005. there will be a certain quantity of ammonia m vt evaporated.

The least square method of curve fitting. a temperature of 30ºC and a pressure of 2.5 Evaporator analysis The quantity of heat absorbed by the evaporated ammonia. then there will be no additional cost for provision of cooling water. but the working pressure will be high. 4. date.6 The simulation program Using the equations derived. is the equivalent mass of the cold water. are specific heats of pure ammonia. at higher condenser temperature. site. which uses ammonia as a refrigerant. The simulation program is written in the Fortran programming language. since the variation in the refrigeration effect is small for the three cases of condenser temperature. is the total mass of the remaining liquid of pure ammonia in the evaporator. to obtain a high coefficient of performance. and flows back to be absorbed by the weak solution in the absorber. cp a & cp w . This means that. and from the water surrounding the receiver. 4. 5 where Tc1 & Tc2 are the initial and final temperatures. h fg . during one hour. Below the saturation pressure. so that the overall cost is minimum. When heat is supplied. respectively. equals the quantity of heat removed from pure ammonia liquid in the receiver. if the condenser temperature is high. These results are plotted in Figures. Ammonia liquid starts to evaporate in the evaporator. and cold water. and the coefficient of performance increases as the condenser temperature. in the evaporator. during the same hour. then the condenser cooling water. until the regeneration cycle is completed. 20 and 15ºC.5 and 6. During the absorption cycle. is reduced. No ammonia vapor is generated. respectively. the input energy is high. [6]. the concentration starts to decrease and the temperature continues to increase.cp . to evaluate the properties of the fluids involved. is used in the program. The energy balance equation is therefore: mavh fg = cpa mca (Tc1 − Tc2 ) + cpw meq (Tc1 − Tc2 ) (23) Initially. the concentration and pressure of the weak solution increase. Volume 51 No. Comparing the results for the three cases of condenser temperature. to cool down the aqua-ammonia solution in the absorber. is at state(1).cp w ) (24) 3. The temperature in the evaporator after one hour is therefore: T c2 = T c1 − m (m ca av a h fg / + m eq . is the latent heat of evaporation of pure ammonia. and m av . to design a system. which is supplied to the generator. cooling water is used. The user is asked to enter data concerning: size. which means additional cost to the system. On the other hand.44 . ammonia vapor starts to rise up from the solution. it may be desirable. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The following table shows a summary of the output of the program. accounting for the metal in the evaporator. must be provided at a lower temperature.3. if the cost is significantly reduced. with a lower coefficient of performance. August 2005.3 bar. As a result. and the concentration of the solution. available cooling water temperature and the required absorption temperature. This continues until the whole ammonia liquid is returned back to the absorber. remains constant at 41%. it is usually required to design the system. in the receiver. at constant pressure. is the mass of ammonia vapor. in the previous sections. m eq . the temperature and the pressure of the solution increases until the saturation pressure is reached. Sudan Engineering Society JOURNAL. it is clear that. for condenser temperatures of 25. the aqua-ammonia solution. a simulation program was written for a solar refrigeration system. In solar refrigeration systems. When the saturation pressure is reached. which corresponds to a concentration of 41%. the whole quantity of heat. for individual components. m ca . and. to 20ºC. which is transferred from the evaporator to the absorber during one hour. is used to raise the solution temperature.

187 2 15 30 7.57 8.026 0.078 15 5 4. and operated by a flat plate collector.094 6 Sudan Engineering Society JOURNAL.and hence. 30ºC. Volume 51 No.1 41 30 74 78. for the three cases of condenser temperature.8 0.06. was found to be about 0. Table1: Summary of the output of the simulation program 25 Condenser Temperature (˚C) Duration (hours) Total mass of the solution (kg) Initial concentration of the solution (%) Initial temperature in the generator (˚C) Regeneration Saturation temperature (˚C) Cycle Maximum temperature in the generator (˚C) Initial pressure in the generator (bar) Saturation pressure (bar) Maximum pressure in the generator (bar) Total energy received(kJ) Quantity of the generated ammonia vapor(kg) Duration (hours) Absorption temperature (˚C) Absorption Initial evaporator temperature (˚C) Cycle Minimum evaporator temperature (˚C) Refrigeration effect (kJ) Coefficient of performance (cop) 7 4.1 10.6 0. about. using aqua-ammonia solution. also. Swartman and Swaminathan. with experimental work.062 2 6 16-24 86 10.3 10. show comparison of the theoretical predictions.1 41 30 67 73.1 2092 0. 5 and 6.019 0.5 2 16-23 15 0. at a condenser temperature of. Figures 4.3 8. Table 2 gives a summary of this experimental work.167 2 15 30 9. August 2005.4 1543 0.062 20 6 4. [1].4 2.078 3 5 11-18 82 9. In their system. In their experiment.2 0.4 129.3 7. experimentally studied the operation of an intermittent absorption refrigeration system.094 Table 2: Summary of test results Regeneration cycle Absorption Cycle Test number Duration (hours) Condenser cooling water temperature(ºC) Maximum solution temperature (ºC) Maximum solution pressure (bar) Duration (hours) Absorber cooling water temperature (ºC) Minimum evaporator temperature (ºC) Actual coefficient of performance Theoretical coefficient of performance 1 7 18-27 93 12. the coefficient of performance.4 7. which was carried out on a refrigeration system model.1 41 30 80 84 2. in addition the.44 .9 144.5 2 17-22 16 0.6 2.4 2 17-23 15 0. the generator and the absorber were separate vessels.02 0. the system must be designed to withstand this high pressure. which are obtained in this study.[5].57 1847 0.1 143.19 2 15 30 6. the solar collector was part of the system generator.

9 1 1. 57 b ar 7 3 6 2 Theoretical cycle Actual cycle 100 80 60 40 80 60 40 20 0 30 2.6 6 7 Theoretical cycle Actual cycle 100 80 60 2.44 7 .1 9 8 4 35 40 1 9 5 45 20 0 50 Concentration % Figure 5: Actual and theoretical cycle for Condenser temperature of 20 C 30 120 100 35 40 45 Temperature C 8.6 6 Temperature C 8. August 2005. Volume 51 No.9 1 1.1 9 4 35 40 Theoretical cycle Actual cycle 100 3 7 6 2 80 60 40 50 120 80 60 40 20 0 30 1 8 9 5 45 20 0 50 Concentration % Figure 6: Actual and theoretical cycle for Condenser temperature of 15 C Sudan Engineering Society JOURNAL. 9 1.30 120 35 40 45 50 120 1 5.1 9 48 40 1 9 5 40 45 20 0 50 35 Concentration % Figure 4: Actual and theoretical cycles for Condenser temperaure of 25 C 30 120 100 35 40 45 50 120 1 1.9 1 40 20 0 30 1. 9 1.5 7 b ar 6.1 5 2.5 4 100 b ar 3 6 2 Temperature C 80 60 1 1. 9 1.

the program gives the value of the theoretical coefficient of performance of the system. largely. is small. due to inaccuracy in measurements. The program calculates the properties of the fluids encountered in the experiment. CONCLUSION In this study. This may results in a low coefficient of performance. The program was run for different values of performance parameters. 8 but its main advantage is to avoid the additional cost of providing cooling water at a low temperature. it is better to design a solar intermittent absorption refrigeration system. and that the coefficient of performance is high. Volume 51 No. when the temperature of the condenser is high. the theoretical performance is higher than the actual one. which uses tap water.5. Nomenclature A surface area (m²) Ac collector area (m²) Am cop cp G sc h h h fg m n P p sat model area (m²) coefficient of performance specific heat (kJ/kgºC) solar constant (W/m²) heat transfer coefficient (W/m²ºC) specific enthalpy (kJ/kg) latent heat of vaporization (kJ/kg) mass (kg) day of year. which were taken during the experiment. It can be concluded that. to predict theoretical performance of an intermittent absorption refrigeration system. and it is found that. according to the given input data. a computer simulation program was written. In solar refrigeration systems. using the Fortran language.…etc. The difference between the two results is. and gave good results. when the condenser temperature is low. index of refraction pressure (bar) saturation pressure (bar) quantity of heat (J) absorbed solar radiation (kJ) temperature (ºC) saturation temperature (ºC) collector overall heat loss. obtained from the program. The results obtained from the program showed that the coefficient of performance of an intermittent absorption refrigeration system is high when the condenser temperature is low. It seems that. coefficient (W/m²ºC) concentration of ammonia in aquaammonia solution Q. q S T Tsat UL x Greek: α radiation absorptance β slope angle. for condenser cooling. the energy supplied to the generator of the system is high. for the three cases of condenser temperature. August 2005. were compared with actual performance of an existing apparatus. at low cost. the required length of the condenser coil. Finally. These include the quantity of the cooling water required in the condenser tank. This study showed that the variation in the refrigeration effect. it is desirable to design a system which can utilize solar energy. for intermittent absorption refrigeration systems. (degrees) γ surface azimuth angle (degrees) δ declination angle (degrees) θ angle of incidence (degrees) θz zenith angle (degrees) ρ radiation reflectance τ radiation transmittance φ latitude angle (degrees) ω hour angle (degrees) Subscripts: a b c d g l m s v ambient beam collector diffuse ground liquid model solution vapor Sudan Engineering Society JOURNAL. and gives values for different required quantities.44 . The theoretical results.

2nd edition-Wiley-Interscience. McQuiston F. Solar engineering of thermal process. Melbourne(1970). I. and Beckman W. 4. Modern Refrigeration and air conditioning. analysis and design. Dubrovskaya N. Kvasha O. Paper at the International Solar Energy Society Conference.C. C. Ventilating and Air conditioning. Heating.Swaminathan “Further Studies On Solar-Powered Intermittent Absorption Refrigeration”. S.. A. Swartman. August 2005. D. and C.Turnquist/Alfred Bracciano/ Andrew Daniel Althouse-Goodheart. Danilina N. and Smirnov G. volume 6. (2000).7 pages. A. Duffie J.. (1982). 3. Chinnappa J..(1988). . 2. 5.L. PP 143-150 (1962). Sudan Engineering Society JOURNAL. Mir Publishers.REFRENCES 1.V. 6. Moscow.. “Performance of an intermittent refrigerators operated by a flat-plate collector” Solar Energy. (1991).K. 6/114. and Parker J. Willcox . R.2nd edition –John Wiley& Sons. Computational mathematics.. Publisher. Volume 51 No. P.44 9 . Carl H.

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