Solar cooling : scool

Royes Moreno, Álvaro
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The global air conditioning (AC) market is still a rapidly growing one. People in countries like India and China also want the luxury of living and working in air conditioned rooms, which will create a huge energy demand. With the limited resources of fossil energy left, there is a need for a different approach for cooling. Due to the limited time and resources it is not possible to focus on the project in a general way; thus it is approached in a practical fashion, exploring the possibility of cooling a building of the Technical University of Lodz by only using green energy taken from the sun to power an AC device. In detail, the task was to first compute the actual cooling needs of the building. After that, a proper technique that could provide these amounts of cooling needs was found, as well as the appropriate device that could be implemented in the building. Finally, a business part of the project was done and the project was evaluated on a financial basis. For the calculation of the cooling needs, some research was done to all the data and formulas that contribute to a building heat gains and losses. After acquiring the ones the team had access to, MATLAB was used to program a thermal model of the building, in reverse engineering was applied to estimate missing values and finally calculate the actual cooling needs of the building. This was then used to choose a suitable air conditioning device based on research and inquiries with the manufacturers. The final part, the business plan, consists of Microsoft Excel calculations based on Polish energy costs, prices of acquiring and installing solar panels and the solar irradiation in the area. It was possible to show that the project, even when calculated with the worst case scenario, will turn a profit within 20 years after installation of the solar panels, most likely even earlier. Considering the longevity of modern panels, which exceeds 25 years, and a number of additional benefits coming from a self-energy generating building, the realisation of this project is strongly recommended. Furthermore, it is meant to encourage anyone to think about whether private solar panels would make sense in their situation and provide a small tool for that purpose on the team’s website as well ​
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