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SOCOOL - Solid Sorption System for Cooling in Tri-generation
Boer, R. de; Critoph, R.E.; Chwieduk, D.; Malvicino, C.; Restuccia, G.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Energy Efficiency in Industry 1-11-2004
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--04-105 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Presented at: 3rd International Heat Powered Cycles Conference - HPC 2004, Larnaca, Cyprus, 11-13 oktober 2004.


The SOCOOL project is funded under the EU F5 Energy programme. It is focused on the development of a small-scale combined cold, heat and power (tri-generation) system, which utilises the engine waste heat for cold production. Development of this tri-generation system will lead to improved exploitation and more effective use of CHP systems.

In general, an increase in the overall energy efficiency of tri-generation systems of 15-20% can be realised by utilisation of the waste heat in CHP systems for the production of cold by means of solid sorption cooling technology. The new cooling machine being developed in SOCOOL must be low in cost, have a high efficiency, and operate with a high reliability.

The main scientific objectives are the increase of the power density of an adsorption heat pump from 10 kW/m3 (the state of the art) to 20-30 kW/m3 and the realisation of a small scale prototype (cooling power of 5 kW). To achieve these targets a study to optimise the heat and mass transfer in the sorbent material and in the system components has been carried out. Innovative methods for heat transfer enhancement, and new concepts for integration of a heat exchanger and solid sorbent material are required to achieve sufficient overall heat transfer.

Initial studies have resulted in a specification for two separate cooling systems, each of 5 kW cooling power: one to be driven by the engine cooling water and one to be driven by the engine exhaust. The former will utilise a low-pressure refrigerant-adsorbent system and the latter a high-pressure ammonia-carbon pair. The characteristics of the chosen pairs are discussed.

The two sub-systems are described in principle and their predicted performance is discussed. At a later stage of this project a prototype of this tri-generation system will be constructed and tested at the CRF site in Turin.

The system offers the possibility of saving 15-20% primary energy for cooling, heating and power demands. This figure, extended to all the EC Member States, means energy savings of 50·1015 Joule each year (i.e. 1.6·109 m3 natural gas equivalent to 250 million Euro and 3·109 Kg of CO2). In the long-term, a fall out in the automotive industry is expected related to the on-board application of the adsorption system firstly for trucks.

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