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Reference materials to understand methods of solar-powered cooling

  1. May 16, 2013 #1
    I am working on a concentrated solar heater using a linear fresnel reflector.
    I want to learn how I can harness this heat to power a cooling system, preferably with minimal use of electricity. I am in India, so this has a huge ground for application.

    I was looking at ideas here, and while neat concepts are presented, the details of how to model them are not.
    http://www.machine-history.com/Solar%20Powered%20Air%20Conditioning [Broken]

    I'd be very much obliged if someone can list some good technical resources on solar cooling. If someone knows about an open-source solar cooler, or wants to start designing one, that'd be frickin' awesome too.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2013 #2
    I found a pretty nice PDF, but it mostly covers efficiency and cost (yes, I know those are important). I can't find many resources detailing the physics behind these systems. Perhaps I'm not looking correctly.
  4. May 16, 2013 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    The thermal energy you get from the solar power unit will need to run a compressor for the air conditioning portion. I don't think you need to convert it to electricity first, just mechanically turn the compressor shaft...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. May 19, 2013 #4
    That makes sense.

    After some research I think I'm going to go with an Einstein refrigerator to do the cooling - it has no moving parts and is a closed system. Whatever it may lack in efficiency it makes up for in reliability, and I'll be using free solar energy to power it anyway ^_^
  6. May 20, 2013 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

  7. May 20, 2013 #6
    Neither had I, lol. I found it purely by accident. But it is extremely promising.
    This fellow, Andrew Delano, built one for his Master's / Ph.D. He got below freezing on his first try, apparently.
  8. May 21, 2013 #7
    The guy's research on the Einstein refrigerator is quite nice.
    The problem is, I understand the concept just fine but I'm having trouble following all the equations, haha. And I need to understand the equations to calculate the pressures required and the amounts of water, butane, and ammonia to be used.

    I don't suppose someone would be willing to break it down for me? lol
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