Numerical investigation of the solar activated carbon/methanol adsorption refrigeration system in Tehran’s climate

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

2 School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Solar adsorption refrigeration systems are used to extract heat using solar radiation based on the adsorption phenomena. In these systems, the temperature of the solar collector plays an important role in the efficiency of a system. In this study, two different models, including the lumped and the distributed ones, are investigated to predict the temperature distribution in a specific solar collector. The operating conditions are the same for both cases. Moreover, for the solar radiation as one of the boundary conditions, the data for Tehran solar irradiation is used. The results of the temperature analysis show that the distributed model predicts a less maximum collector temperature than the lumped model which clearly results in a lower system performance. In addition, it can be concluded that because of using steel as a main material for the collector and its high thermal capacitance, it takes almost 3 days for the system to reach the periodic operating conditions.


[1] M. Pons, J.J. Guilleminot, "Design of an experimental solar-powered, solid-adsorption ice maker", Solar Energy Engineering, vol. 108, pp. 332-337, 1986.
[2] Hu, E. J. (1998). A study of thermal decomposition of methanol in solar powered adsorption refrigeration systems. Solar Energy, 62(5), 325-329.
[3] Li, M., Wang, R. Z., Xu, Y. X., Wu, J. Y., & Dieng, A. O. (2002). Experimental study on dynamic performance analysis of a flat-plate solar solid-adsorption refrigeration for ice maker. Renewable energy, 27(2), 211-221.
[4] F. Buchter, Ph. Dind, M. Pons, "An experimental solar-powered adsorptive refrigerator tested in Burkina-Faso", International Journal of Refrigeration , vol. 26, pp. 79-86, 2003.
[5] A.P.F Leite, M. Daguenet, "Performance of a new solid adsorption ice maker with solar energy regeneration," Energy and Conversion Management , vol. 41, pp. 1625-1647, 2000.
[6] E. Anyanwu, U.U. Oteh, N.V. Ogueke, "Simulation of a solid adsorption solar refrigerator using activated carbon/methanol adsorbent/refrigerant pair", Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 42, pp. 899-915, 2001.
[7] M. Li, R.Z. Wang, "Heat and mass transfer in a flat plate solar solid adsorption refrigeration ice maker", Renewable Energy , vol. 28, pp. 613-622, 2003.
[8] El Fadar, A., Mimet, A., & Pérez-García, M. (2009). Modelling and performance study of a continuous adsorption refrigeration system driven by parabolic trough solar collector. Solar Energy, 83(6), 850-861.
[9] El-Sharkawy, I. I., Saha, B. B., Koyama, S., He, J., Ng, K. C., & Yap, C. (2008). Experimental investigation on activated carbon–ethanol pair for solar powered adsorption cooling applications. International Journal of Refrigeration, 31(8), 1407-1413.
[10] H.Z. Hassan, A.A. Mohamad, R. Bennacer, "Simulation of an adsorption solar cooling system", Energy, vol. 36, pp. 530-537, 2011.
[11] R. Wang, L. Wang, J. Wu, Adsorption refrigeration technology, First ed., Wiley, 2014, pp. 56-58.
[12] N.T. Dhokane, S.U. Shinde, S.B. Barve, "Design and Development of Intermittent Solid Adsorption Refrigeration System Running On Solar Energy", in International Journal of Innovation Reasearch in Science, Engineering and Technology, 2014.
[13] Bergman, T. L., Incropera, F. P., Lavine, A. S., & Dewitt, D. P. (2011). Introduction to heat transfer. John Wiley & Sons.
[14] V. Agarwal, D. Larson, "Calculation of the top loss coefficient of a flat-plate-collector", Solar Energy, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 69-71, 1981.
[15] Z. Tamainot-Telto, R.E. Critoph., "Adsorption refrigerator using monolithic carbon-ammonia pair", International Journal of Refrigeration, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 146-155, 1997.