India achieves major breakthrough in solar thermal cooling system technology

Minister of New & Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah on 1st July 2011 inaugurated the world™s highest efficiency solar thermal cooling system at the Solar Energy Centre in Gurgaon in Haryana. Minister of Power, Shri Sushilkumar Shinde was also present on the occasion.

The new 100 kw Solar Air-Conditioning System works at 30% higher efficiency than the current available systems and has several unique features. It is based on the new triple effect absorption cooling technology. The system has indigenously built medium temperature high efficiency parabolic troughs for collection of solar energy and effective solar thermal energy storage in the form of Phase Change Materials.

The present system will cater to air-conditioning needs of 13 rooms of solar Energy Centre. To achieve this, 288 sq mtr of Solar Collector area has been installed which generates nearly 60 kW of 210 °C Pressurized hot water. This heat is used in Vapour Absorption Machine to generate 7 °C Chilled water which in turn circulates through the Fan coil unit installed in the thirteen rooms. The major attraction of this system is that the hottest days have the greatest need for cooling and simultaneously, offer the maximum possible solar energy gain.

The system has been developed in joint collaboration by Solar Energy Centre with M/s Thermax Limited, Pune and is expected to meet the growing demand for air-conditioning in India in highly efficient and cost effective way through use of direct solar energy.

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