Design and simulation of solar thermal powered cooling system
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Currently, 1.1 billion people are not electrified globally; over half reside on the African continent. In Uganda, only 41.3% in 2019 had access to electricity. (World Bank, 2019) The large use of electrically driven cooling equipment is mainly accountable for high peak electricity demand which often reaches the capacity limit. The use of solar energy to drive cooling cycles for space conditioning of most buildings has been an attractive concept since cooling requirements are roughly in phase with the solar radiation. The utilization of solar energy for heating and cooling applications has been an attractive solution that can participate to the increase of renewable energy shares in building energy while reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and the environmental impacts of conventional systems. Basically, solar cooling can be realized by two general methods; the first method entails utilizing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that convert solar radiation into electricity, this is then used to drive the motor that rotates the compressor of a vapor compression chiller. The second method relies on solar thermal collectors that produce heat, this heat is then drives a thermally driven chiller that can be absorption, adsorption or desiccant cooling system.