Evacuated Tube Solar Adsorption Heat Pump


Hot climate areas and increasing temperatures across the globe are rapidly adopting the use of conventional cooling systems for comfortable living. However, current cooling systems use chemicals and refrigerants that are proven to be responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer and global warming. Furthermore, conventional cooling and refrigeration systems are responsible for the major energy consumption during the summer months for residential and commercial buildings. Other solutions such as solar cooling systems have been struggling to be extensively used for their higher costs and inability to meet demands. Conventional cooling systems and their effects on global warming are driving an urgency for a more environmentally friendly thermal energy system.

Researchers at Arizona State University have developed an environmentally friendly alternative cooling system that meets increasing thermal energy demands worldwide. The system consists of tubes that use the phenomenon of adsorption as a thermal compressor for cooling. Tubes are separated by two sections to perform adsorption. The first section of the tube is lined with an adsorbent bed (such as silica gel), while the second section contains the refrigerant. As the adsorbent bed is exposed to solar radiation refrigerant is vaporized within the bed, condensing the tube. Additionally, the vaporized refrigerant pressurizes the tubes providing a heating effect that can be used in for example, hot water. As solar radiation is minimized the bed again is filled with refrigerant providing a cooling effect.

Potential Applications

  • Refrigeration
  • Air Conditioning
  • Thermal Energy Conversion

Benefits and Advantages

  • Environmentally Friendly – System uses environmentally friendly refrigerant and low-grade solar energy
  • Adaptable – Functional system composition allows for either heating or cooling
  • Efficient – The system is able to meet demands with very low operating and maintenance costs
  • Versatile – Innovative design allows the system to be implemented in convenient or remote locations

For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see

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Alternative Energy

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