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International Journal of Refrigeration 30 (2007) 86e95

www.elsevier.com/locate/ijrefrig

Study on an activated carbon fibereethanol adsorption


chiller: Part I e system description and modelling
B.B. Saha*, I.I. El-Sharkawy, A. Chakraborty, S. Koyama
Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering Sciences, Kyushu University, Kasuga-koen 6-1, Kasuga-shi, Fukuoka 816-8580, Japan
Received 3 April 2006; received in revised form 2 June 2006; accepted 7 August 2006
Available online 16 October 2006

Abstract
This article presents the transient modelling for a two-bed, activated carbon fiber (ACF)eethanol adsorption chiller. This
innovative adsorption chiller employs pitch based ACF of type A-20 as adsorbent which is a fibrous adsorbent having the
advantages of fast adsorption rate, high porosity and ease of handling when compared with granular adsorbents and powdered
adsorbents. Ethanol is used as refrigerant as it has no harm to environment, it is a non-toxic substance, moreover, ethanol has
comparatively higher vapor pressure even at low temperature. This innovative system utilizes effectively low-temperature waste
heat sources of temperature between 60 and 95  C along with a coolant at 30  C. We have found that, regardless of the initial
mass distribution, the ACFeethanol adsorption chiller is able to achieve the same cyclic-steady-state within three cycles or
1890 s.
2006 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Adsorption system; Carbon fibre; Ethanol; Chiller; Design; Modelling

Etude sur un absorbeur a` adsorption employant des fibres


de carbone actifs/ethanol: Partie I e description et
modelisation de la performance
Mots cles : Syste`me a` adsorption ; Fibre de carbone ; Ethanol ; Refroidisseur de liquide ; Conception ; Modelisation

1. Introduction
The severity of the ozone layer destruction problem due
to CFCs, HCFCs or HFCs has been calling for rapid

* Corresponding author. Tel.: 81 92 583 7832; fax: 81 92 583


7833.
E-mail address: bidyutb@cm.kyushu-u.ac.jp (B.B. Saha).
0140-7007/$35.00 2006 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ijrefrig.2006.08.004

developments in environment friendly air conditioning technologies. Adsorption cooling and heat pump systems have
the advantages of being environmentally benign, having
zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) as well as zero global
warming potential (GWP) due to the use of natural refrigerants or alternative refrigerants of CFCs, HCFCs or HFCs.
The working pairs of adsorption cooling and heat pump
are mainly dominated by silica gelewater, zeoliteewater,
activated carboneammonia, activated carbonemethanol

B.B. Saha et al. / International Journal of Refrigeration 30 (2007) 86e95

87

Nomenclature
A
COP
Cp
D
Dso
Ea
h
ksav
M
m
m_
P
Ps
Q
R
Rp
T
tcycle
t
U
w
W
W0
DHst

area (m2)
coefficient of performance (e)
specific heat capacity (J kg1 K1)
exponential constant (K1)
pre-exponential constant (m2 s1)
activation energy (J kg1)
enthalpy (J kg1)
mass transfer coefficient (s1)
mass (kg)
mass (kg)
mass flow rate (kg s1)
pressure (Pa)
saturated pressure (Pa)
power (W)
gas constant (J kg1 K1)
fiber radius (m)
temperature (K)
cycle time (s)
time (s)
overall heat transfer coefficient (W m2 K1)
instantaneous uptake (kg kg1)
equilibrium uptake (kg kg1)
maximum uptake (kg kg1)
isosteric heat of adsorption (J kg1)

and activated carbon fiber (ACF)eammonia pairs. A considerable number of studies have been conducted on adsorption
cooling and heat pump systems using the above mentioned
adsorbenterefrigerant pairs. The followings are some representative examples [1e15], which are furnished in Table 1.
Among the systems shown in Table 1, the utilization of
water and methanol as refrigerant in adsorption systems
makes those possible to be powered by waste heat source
below 100  C. However, the water based adsorption cooling
system requires the development of very low vacuum system
and the uptake of water on porous adsorbent is limited usually
up to 40% of dry adsorbent mass [16]. Methanol has been
used before but reservations exist on its toxicity. On the other
hand, the utilization of ethanol as refrigerant in adsorption
cooling systems has couple of advantages, such as, ethanol
is environmental friendly, non-toxic and it has a relatively
high vapor pressure even at low temperature levels [17]. To
select suitable adsorbent for ethanol adsorption, the porous
characteristics of two silica gels and two pitch type activated
carbon fibers are presented in Table 2 [1]. As can be seen from
Table 2, the ACF of type A-20 has the biggest surface area and
pore volume which is followed by ACF of type A-15 in comparison with other adsorbents. The average pore diameters of
all four adsorbents are similar.
From the above perspective, the present study deals with
the performance investigation of a two-bed, non-regenerative
ACF (A-20)eethanol adsorption chiller. A cycle simulation

cond
dMref
=dt
evap
dMref
=dt

mass flow at condenser (kg s1)


mass flow at evaporator (kg s1)

Subscripts
acf
activated carbon fiber
ads
adsorption
c
critical
chill
chilled water
eff
effective
f
liquid phase
g
gaseous phase
i
adsorption or desorption
in
inlet
j
cooling source or heating source
liq
liquid
o
outlet
v
vapor
w
water
Superscripts
ads
adsorber
bed
sorption heat exchanger
cond
condenser
des
desorption
evap
evaporator

computer program of the innovative two-bed ACFeethanol


chiller is developed to analyze the cooling capacity and COP
variations by varying heat transfer fluid (hot and cooling
water) inlet temperatures and adsorption/desorption cycle
time. The transient behavior of heat transfer fluids and
chilled water are also examined.
2. Description of the ACFeethanol cooling system
The schematic of the two-bed ACFeethanol cycle is
shown in Fig. 1(a). The cycle consists of four heat exchangers, namely evaporator (evap) e sorption element 1
(SE 1) and condenser (cond) e sorption element 2 (SE2).
The cycle has four modes, Mode A, B, C, and D. In Mode
A as shown in Fig. 1(a), valves V1 and V3 are opened, while
valves V2 and V4 are closed. In this mode, evaporator and
SE 1 is in adsorption process and condenser and SE 2 is in
desorption process. In the adsorptioneevaporation process
which takes place at pressure, Pevap; refrigerant (ethanol)
in evaporator is evaporated at evaporation temperature,
Tevap; and seized heat, Qevap from the chilled water. The
evaporated vapor is adsorbed by activated carbon fiber, at
which cooling water removes the adsorption heat, Qads.
The desorptionecondensation process takes place at pressure Pcond. The desorber (SE 2) is heated up to the desorber
temperature Tdes which is provided by the driving heat
source Qdes. The resulting ethanol vapor is cooled down to

B.B. Saha et al. / International Journal of Refrigeration 30 (2007) 86e95

88

Table 1
Developments in adsorption cooling and heat pump systems
Adsorbent/refrigerant pair

System type

Remarks

Source

Silica gelewater
Silica gelewater
Silica gelewater

Non-regenerative system
Non-regenerative system
Multi-stage system

Saha et al. [1,2]


Saha et al. [1]
Saha and Kashiwagi [3,4]

Zeoliteewater

Cascaded cycles

Zeoliteewater

Activated carboneammonia
Activated carboneammonia

Combination of two
independent single
adsorption systems
Regenerative system
Regenerative system

Three-bed system
Multi-bed, dual-mode system
Can operate with regeneration
temperature of 40  C
Heating application; adsorption
heat is 3700 kJ kg1
Locomotive cooling application

Jones and Christophilos [7]


Miles and Shelton [8]

Activated carboneammonia
Activated carbonemethanol

Regenerative system
Solid adsorption refrigerator

Activated carbonemethanol

Solar ice maker

Activated carbonemethanol

Adsorption ice maker driven


by diesel engine waste heat
Cooling applications

Four-bed system
Thermal wave system, required
regeneration temperature is very high
Convective thermal wave system
Solar powered system with
very low efficiency.
Solar refrigeration COP is
between 0.1 and 0.12
System COP is between
0.085 and 0.179
Refrigeration capacity is about
three folds higher than that
of the ACemethanol system.
Topping cycle regeneration
at 280  C and bottoming cycle
regeneration at 150  C
Solar COP is around 0.3

Activated carbon fibere


methanol pairs
Zeoliteewater and Activated
carbon fiber Bisofit e
ammonia
Activated carbon fiber
Bisofiteammonia

Combined solar adsorption


cycles
Two-bed solar-gas heat pump

temperature Tcond in the condenser by the cooling water,


which removes condensation heat, Qcond. When the refrigerant concentrations in the adsorber and the desorber are at or
near their equilibrium levels, the cycle is continued by
changing into a short duration (30 s) named pre-heating or
pre-cooling mode (Mode B), where all refrigerant valves remain closed. In Mode B, heat transfer fluids (hot and cooling
water) flows are redirected to ensure pre-heating and precooling process of SE 1 and SE 2, respectively. When the
pressures of desorber and adsorber are nearly equal to the
Table 2
Porous characteristics of silica gels and ACFs
Porous characteristics
Total pore
Adsorbent Adsorbate BET
surface area volume
(m3 kg1)
(m2 kg1)
Silica
gel (3A)
Silica
gel (RD)
ACF
(A-15)
ACF
(A-20)

Average pore
)
diameter (A

N2

0.69  106

4.22  104 24.48

N2

0.74  106

4.48  104 24.27

N2

1.41  106

7.65  104 21.75

N2

1.93  106

10.28  104 21.60

Douss and Meunier [5]


Wang et al. [6]

R.E. Critoph [9]


Anyanwu and Ezekwe [10]
Li and Sumathy [11]
Wang et al. [12]
Wang et al. [13]

Vasiliev et al. [14]

Vasiliev et al. [15]

pressures of condenser and evaporator, respectively, then


valve between SE 2 and evaporator, as well as the valve between SE 1 and condenser are opened to flow the refrigerant.
The mode is denoted as Mode C. In Mode C, valves V2 and
V4 are opened, while valves V1 and V3 are closed. In this
mode, the condenser and the SE 1 is in desorption process
and the evaporator and the SE 2 is in adsorption process.
As can be noticed from Fig. 1(b) and Table 3, in Mode C,
all four refrigerant valves operations and the processes of
SE 1 and SE 2 are exactly opposite to those of Mode A. After
the completion of Mode C, pre-heating of SE 2 or pre-cooling
of SE 1 starts, which is opposite of Mode B and known as
Mode D. After Mode D, the adsorption cooling system returns to Mode A. Table 3 shows the state of the refrigerant
valves and the choice of hot or cooling water application.
3. Mathematical modelling
3.1. Adsorption isotherms
The DubinineRadushkevich (DeR) equation is used to
estimate the equilibrium uptake of ACF (A-20)eethanol pair.
The numerical values of W0 and D are evaluated experimentally by El-Sharkawy et al. [18] which are found to be
0.797 kg ethanol/kg ACF and 1.716  106 K2, respectively.

B.B. Saha et al. / International Journal of Refrigeration 30 (2007) 86e95


Condenser

(a)

Cooling
water in

Cooling
water out
V3
SE2

SE1

V2 Cooling
water out
Liquid
refrigerant

Hot
water out
Cooling
water in
Hot
water in

Table 3
Operation schedule of refrigerant valves and sorption elements
Cycle
(duration)

Mode A
(600 s)

Mode B
(30 s)

Mode C
(600 s)

Mode D
(30 s)

Valve
Valve
Valve
Valve
SE 1

Open
Closed
Open
Closed
Cooling
water
Hot water

Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Hot
water
Cooling
water

Closed
Open
Closed
Open
Hot
water
Cooling
water

Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Cooling
water
Hot
water

1
2
3
4

SE 1
V4

89

V1

Evaporator

[20]. It is found that the numerical values of F0 is 11, considering the cylindrical shape of ACF. The surface diffusion Ds
is calculated by using the Arrhenius equation and the numerical values of Dso and Ea are found to be 1.8  1012 m2 s1
and 306.7  103 J kg1, respectively.

Chilled
water in

Chilled
water out
Condenser

(b)

Cooling
water in

Cooling
water out
V2

V3
Cooling
water out

SE2

SE1

Hot
water out

Liquid
refrigerant

V4

V1

2b

where,
2c

3.3. Isosteric heat of adsorption

Evaporator

Chilled
water out

2a



Ea
Ds Dso exp 
RT

Hot
water in

Cooling
water in

vw
ks av W  w
vt
Ds
ks av F0 2
Rp

The isosteric heat of adsorption is extracted from the


experimental isotherms of ACF (A-20)eethanol and can
be described as [21]:

Chilled
water in

Fig. 1. (a) Schematic diagram of the two-bed ACFeethanol adsorption cycle (Mode A). (b) Schematic diagram of the two-bed
ACFeethanol adsorption cycle (Mode C).


DHst  hfg E lnW0 =W1=n aT=Tc b

2d

Table 4
Values adopted in the cycle simulation program

 
 2 
Ps
W W0 exp D T ln
P

Symbols

3.2. Adsorption kinetics


The adsorption rate is estimated by using the well known
LDF equation (Eq. (2a)). The key parameter in the LDF
model is the determination of the overall mass transfer coefficient, ksav. E. Glueckauf, [19] showed that there is a constant
relationship between ksav, and the diffusion time constant,
Ds/R2p. The present authors studied the kinetics of ACF
(A-20)eethanol pair using a thermo-gravimetric analyzer
(TGA) from which the diffusion time constant and consequently, the overall mass transfer coefficient is evaluated

Dso
D
Ea
W0
Rp
Macf
mC
_ p j
_ p chill
mC
MCp bed
eff
MCp cond
eff
MCp evap
eff
bed
UAi
(UA)cond
(UA)evap

Value

Unit
12

1.8  10
1.716  106
306.7  103
0.797
6.5  106
60
6270
2926
86.7  103
(9341 5  cpl,ethanol(T))
(4825 80  cpl,ethanol(T))
2952
15,330
4870

m2 s1
K2
J kg1
kg kg1
m
kg
W K1
W K1
J K1
J K1
J K1
W K1
W K1
W K1

90

B.B. Saha et al. / International Journal of Refrigeration 30 (2007) 86e95

where, a 6.717, b 9.75, the adsorption characteristic,


E 138 (kJ kg1), Tc 489.15 (K), W0 0.797 (kg ethanol/kg ACF), and n 2.
3.4. Adsorption and desorption energy balance
Using the lumped approach for the adsorption bed, which
comprises the activated carbon fiber, the heat exchanger fins
and tubes, the energy balance equation, is given by:


bed dTibed

dT bed
mCp i-phase i
eff
dt
dt
 bed 



dwi
fMacf
DHst  mC
_ p j Tj;o  Tj;in ;
dt

MCp

where the flag f 0 during switching and f 1 during


adsorption/desorption cycle operation, i indicates the adsorption/desorption bed and j defines the cooling/heating
source. The left hand side of the adsorber/desorber energy
balance equation (Eq. (3)) provides the rate of change of
internal energy due to the thermal mass of adsorbent(s),
the refrigerant (ethanol) as well as adsorber/desorber
heat exchanger during adsorption and desorption. The first
term on the right hand side of Eq. (3) represents the release
of adsorption heat during adsorption process or the input of
desorption heat during desorption operation. The second
term on the right hand side of Eq. (3) indicates the total
amount of heat released to the cooling water upon adsorption or provided by the hot water for desorption. For a small
temperature difference across the cooling/heating fluid such
as water, the outlet temperature of the source is sufficiently
accurate to be modeled by the log mean temperature difference (LMTD) method and it is given by:
#
"


UAbed
bed
bed
i


Tj;o Ti Tj;in  Ti exp
:
4
_ p j
mC
Hence Eq. (4) expresses the importance of heat transfer parameters, namely heat transfer area, Abed and overall heat
transfer coefficient, Ubed.
3.5. Condenser energy balance
The condenser is a water-cooled shell-tube heat exchanger which liquefies the vapor refrigerant emanating
from the desorber during desorption, delivering the condensed liquid to the evaporator via U tube. The mathematical
modelling of condenser is coupled with the thermodynamic
states of desorption beds and the pressure difference between
the condenser and the evaporator. The energy balance equation for the condenser can be expressed as:




cond dT cond
dwbed
des
MCp eff
f hfg Macf
dt
dt


_ p w Tw;o  Tw;in :
 mC

Hence the left hand side of Eq. (5) represents the rate of
change of internal energy required by the metallic parts of
heat exchanger tubes due to the temperature variations in
the condenser. On the right hand side, the first term gives
the latent heat of vaporization due to the amount of refrigerant desorbed from the desorption bed and the amount of heat
that the liquid condensate carries away when it leaves the
condenser to the evaporator, and finally the last term represents the total amount of heat released to the cooling water.
In the current design, the condenser heat exchanging tubes
have been chosen to be corrugated, with the enhanced surface inevitably retaining a thin film of condensate on the surface, which ensures that the condenser and the desorber are
always maintained at the refrigerant (ethanol) saturated
vapor pressure. Using log mean temperature difference
approach, the outlet temperature of the condenser heat
exchanging tube is written as:
#
"


UAcond
bed
bed


Tw;o Tads Tw;in  Tads exp
:
6
_ p w
mC

3.6. Evaporator energy balance


The overall energy balance of the evaporator is governed
mainly by the heat and mass interactions between the evaporator and the adsorption bed. The heat released from the
condenser is also taken into account. The energy balance
of the evaporator can be expressed as Eq. (7).


h
evap idT evap
dwbed
ads
MCp eff
fhfg Macf
dt
dt


_ p chill Tchill;o  Tchill;in
 mC
7
The left hand side of Eq. (7) represents the change of internal
energy due to the sensible heat of the liquid refrigerant and
the metal of heat exchanger tubes in the evaporator. On the
right hand side, the first term gives the latent heat of evaporation for the amount of refrigerant adsorbed, the second
term shows the cooling capacity of the evaporator. The
chilled water outlet temperature is given by:
Tchill;o T evap Tchill;in  T evap exp


UAevap


:
_ p w
mC

3.7. Mass balance


The overall mass balance of refrigerant (ethanol) is governed by the mass interactions during (i) the switching interval, and (ii) adsorption/desorption operation period. The rate
of change of mass of refrigerant is equal to the amount of
adsorbate adsorbed during adsorption as well as how much
refrigerant is desorbed during desorption. Neglecting the
gaseous phase, the mass balance equation for the cooling
system is expressed by Eq. (9).

B.B. Saha et al. / International Journal of Refrigeration 30 (2007) 86e95


Initial temperatures
Tads= 30C
Tdes= 30C
Tevap= 30C
Tcond= 30C

Start

Data storage

Initial uptake
Pevap=f(Tevap)
Pcond=f(Tcond)
Wads =f (Tads,Pevap)
Wdes =f (Tads,Pevap)
Initial values of heat added
and rejected
Qads=0
Qdes=0
Qcond=0
Qevap=0

Initial Conditions at
(time=0)

No

For adsorber, desorber, condenser


and evaporator
Solving
(1) Energy balance equation
(2) Heat balance equation
For the system
Solving
(3) Mass balance equation
(4) Heat balance equation

If time = 0

Yes
Loop starting from
time = 0 to
time = the end of the
operation cycle time

Calculation of
adsorption kinetics

Solving a set of differential


equations using DIVPAG in IMSL

End

Data output

Ti -Ti-1<0.01

91

Calculation of
adsorption isotherms

Yes

Calculation of
ethanol properties;
(1) latent heat
(2) Saturated pressure
(3) Specific heat

Stop

No
A

Fig. 2. Flow chart of the simulation program.


 bed
dMref
dwads dwbed
Macf
des
dt
dt
dt

3.8. Simulation procedure


Here the symbol f 1 for operation (adsorbent beds
are connected to the evaporator and the condenser for adsorption and desorption, respectively); and f 0 for
switching (no mass transfer occurs between adsorber and
evaporator, and desorber and condenser). The energy balance equations of the major components such as the

adsorber/desorber bed, the condenser and evaporator are


solved numerically. The computed values of the key systems variables are constantly updated by numerical integration with time. The calculation procedures
commenced with the initialization of variables, the system
geometries and the adsorption characteristics of adsorbenteadsorbate systems. A series of subroutines are used to
calculate the adsorption isotherms and kinetics. It is emphasized that the coupled ordinary differential equations
for energy and mass balances are solved by an iterative
scheme, employing the fifth order Gears Differentiation
Formulae (GDF) method found in the DIVPAG subroutine
of the IMSL Fortran Developer Studio software. Double

B.B. Saha et al. / International Journal of Refrigeration 30 (2007) 86e95

92

Pre-heating
(Tpre-heating)initial=(Tads)final

Pre-cooling
(Tpre-cooling)initial = (Tdes)final

Start switching operation


Set the initial values
(taken from the data of the previous
operation)

For adsorber/desorber heat


exchanger
Solving
(1) Energy balance equation
(2) Heat balance equation
For the overall system
Solving
(3) Mass balance equation
(4) Heat balance equation

Loop starting from


time = end of the pervious
operation time to
time = the end of the
switching cycle time

Calculation of
adsorption kinetics

Pre-heating
Solving a set of differential
equations using DIVPAG in IMSL

Calculation of
adsorption isotherms

Calculation of
ethanol properties;
(1) Latent heat
(2) Saturated pressure
(3) Specific heat

Pre-cooling
Solving a set of differential
equations using DIVPAG in IMSL
For adsorber/desorber heat
exchanger
Solving
(1) Energy balance equation
(2) Heat balance equation
For the overall system
Solving
(3) Mass balance equation
(4) Heat balance equation

End

Data output

Ti -Ti-1<0.01

Yes

Stop

No
C

Fig. 2. Continued.

precision has been used, and the tolerance set to 1  106.


Only the initial conditions are specified in the problem,
and the total system is allowed to operate from transient
to cyclic-steady-state conditions. As the cycle is operated
in a batched manner, i.e. streams of hot and cold coolant
flows are being alternated between beds at the end of
each cycle period, the computer code adopts a special
tracking pointer or passing-variable routine to sequence
the computed variables or data from one cycle to another.
The values of the symbols used in the present simulation

model are furnished in Table 4 and a flow chart of the


computer program is shown in Fig. 2.
Due to the lack of a practical design of ACFeethanol
system, the physical design parameters of the evaporator,
condenser and adsorber/desorber heat exchangers are extracted from Ref. [22], which is a commercially available
single-stage silica gelewater based adsorption cooling system. However, the overall heat transfer coefficient of the
ACFeethanol pair is measured experimentally by the present authors [23] employing a flat plate heat exchanger.

B.B. Saha et al. / International Journal of Refrigeration 30 (2007) 86e95


C

93

Start operation mode


Set the initial values
(taken from the data of the previous
switching mode)

For adsorber
Solving
(1) Energy balance equation
(2) Heat balance equation
For the overall system
Solving
(3) Mass balance equation
(4) Heat balance equation

Loop starting from


time = end of the pervious
switching time to
time = the end of the current
operation mode

Calculation of
adsorption kinetics

Solving a set of differential


equations using DIVPAG in IMSL

End

Calculation of
adsorption isotherms

Calculation of
Ethanol properties;
(1) Latent heat
(2) Saturated pressure
(3) Specific heat

Data output

No

Ti -Ti-1<0.01
Yes
End

Fig. 2. Continued.

4. Results and discussion


4.1. Chiller transient response
Fig. 3(a) shows the chiller response in terms of the
temporal histories for the reactors (adsorber/desorber heat
exchangers), the condenser, and the evaporator by using
the mathematical model presented herein. Hot and cooling
water inlet temperatures are taken as 85 and 30  C, respectively. It can be seen from Fig. 3(a), the ACFeethanol
single-stage adsorption chiller is able to reach from transient
to nearly steady state within three half cycles or 1890 s,
where adsorption/desorption cycle time is taken as 600 s
and switching time is taken as 30 s.
Fig. 3(b) shows the outlet temperature profiles for heat
transfer fluids. The cooling water outlet temperature from
the adsorber after 600 s, which is the rated adsorption/
desorption cycle time, is about 3  C higher than the coolant

inlet temperature and the hot water outlet temperature from


the desorber is about 2.7  C lower than the hot water inlet
temperature. During the steady state condition, the cycle
average delivered chilled water temperature is obtained
10.5  C for the rated operating conditions (see Table 5),
where the refrigeration capacity is 12.53 kW.
4.2. Duhring diagram
Fig. 4 depicts the cyclic-steady-state Duhring diagram
simulated from our current mathematical formalism. The
switching time and cycle time were set to be 30 and
600 s, respectively. In Fig. 4, the various modes of a complete cycle are designated by numbers: desorption mode
(1e2), pre-cooling mode (2e3), adsorption mode (3e4)
and pre-heating mode (4e1). It can be observed that during
the cold-to-hot thermal swing of the bed, momentary adsorption takes place at the inception even though heat

B.B. Saha et al. / International Journal of Refrigeration 30 (2007) 86e95

94
100

60
40
Inlet cooling water Condenser
Adsorber
Inlet Chilled water

Evaporator

2000

1000

4000

3000

6000

5000

Saturated Vapor Pressure [mbar]

Temperature [C]

80

20

Concentration
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
2
0.1
0.05

1000

Desorber

Inlet hot water

100

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

atio

entr

c
Con

10

Cycle Time [s]

ratio

Satu

0.01

90

Adsorbent Temperature [C]


100

Fig. 4. Duhring diagram of the ACFeethanol adsorption chiller for


rated conditions.

Hot water inlet

Temperature [C]

80

Hot water outlet

60
Condenser cooling water outlet

40

Adsorber cooling water outlet


Cooling water inlet

20

Chilled water inlet


Chilled water outlet

100

200

300

400

500

is that the adsorbent temperature at the end of adsorption


is about 5  C higher than the cooling water inlet temperature, and at the end of desorption the adsorbent temperature
is about 4.5  C lower than the hot water inlet temperature.
This occurs because the sorption element must periodically
switch between adsorption and desorption temperatures
within the relatively short time intervals.

600

5. Conclusions

Cycle Time [s]

Fig. 3. (a) Temperature profiles for different components of the


ACFeethanol adsorption chiller for rated conditions. (b) Outlet
temperature profiles of heat transfer fluids for the ACFeethanol
adsorption chiller for rated conditions.

source is already applied. Subsequently, the thermal swing is


assumed to be dictated by the isosteres (dashed parallel lines
in Fig. 3). The hot-to-cold thermal swing is also assumed to
be isosteric. The pre-heating/pre-cooling phase is stopped
before the beds are sufficiently heated and cooled so that
they do not reach the pressures in the condenser and evaporator. Consequently, there is a momentary period when the
condensate on the condenser tube bundles is evaporated
and adsorbed by the heated bed. This evaporation maintains
the pressure in the bed and condenser. Similarly, from Fig. 3
it is observed that at the end of the switching phase, there is
a sudden drop in the bed pressure. This causes the adsorbate
in the cool bed to momentarily desorb and condenses into
the evaporator. Another observation from the same figure

This paper describes the mathematical modelling of an


innovative ACFeethanol based adsorption chiller. The main
advantage in the ACFeethanol adsorption cycle is its ability
to utilize effectively low-temperature waste heat sources.
Regardless of the initial mass distribution, the ACFe
ethanol adsorption chiller is able to achieve the same
cyclic-steady-state within three half cycles or 1890 s. The
operation modes of the chiller are depicted succinctly on
a Duhring diagram. However, it can be observed from the
Duhring diagram that at the end of the switching phase, there
is a sudden drop in the bed pressure. This causes the adsorbates in the cool bed to momentarily desorb and condense
into the evaporator.
The innovative ACFeethanol adsorption chiller has a significant market potential as it can be used as the bottoming
cycle of existing power generation cycles. From the above
perspectives, the use of unexploited low-temperature waste
heat may offer an attractive possibility for improving energy
efficiency.

Table 5
Rated operating conditions
Hot water inlet

Cooling water inlet


1

Chilled water inlet

Temperature ( C)

Flow rate (kg s )

Temperature ( C)

Flow rate (ads cond) (kg s )

Temperature ( C)

Flow rate (kg s1)

85

1.5

30

(1.5 1.5)

14

0.7

1

Half cycle time: 630 s


Adsorption/desorption cycle time: 600 s

Switching time: 30 s

B.B. Saha et al. / International Journal of Refrigeration 30 (2007) 86e95

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