Solar cooling research center is being developed on CSEM-UAE outdoor research facility in RAK/UAE. The research center is capable to test system from 1 TR cooling capacity to 10 TR cooling capacity. The source of heat is solar radiation and heat pipe type evacuated tube solar collectors are used to collect the solar energy.
Solar station controls and circulates water in solar collectors and helps charge the hot water stratified tank. While in operation of the solar cooling facility, circulation pumps for hot water, chilled water and rejection circuit have to be continuously operated along with fan coil units, solar station, chiller and cooling tower. These all components require continuous electrical power. Currently, the entire electrical power requirement is supplied by a diesel generator.
Since the center is for research activities, most of the time solar cooling center is on no load condition. Thus solar collectors are subjected to saturation. To prevent heat collection during no load conditions solar collectors are covered.
Research project carried out to design of the renewable energy powered system to ensure the electricity availability for all the components so that the facility can be operated continuously without fossil fuel. UAE climate is sunny throughout the year thus Photovoltaic will be most prominent as a renewable source in generating electrical power.
The PV is subjected to UAE harsh hot and dust environment which affect the performance of the PV. Thus the performance variations of PV due to dust deposition and temperature have analyzed. A matlab simulink model has developed to analyze the energy generation in UAE environment with available weather data. Technical and economical analysis has done for different PV technologies and find out the optimum PV design for the solar cooling center.
To prevent the saturation of the solar collectors, a heat rejection unit have designed and installed. The control system for the automatic operation also implemented.
Author: Rathnasooriya, Prageeth