Design of a charcoal/methanol solar refrigerator

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The research deals with the application of solar energy in refrigeration, specifically the design of a charcoal/methanol adsorption solar refrigerator. Equations for the design of the collector, the condenser and the evaporator box of the charcoal/methanol solar refrigerator are developed. A collector simulation computer programme is written to simulate the performance of the solar collector and to determine the performance of the condenser and the COP of the refrigerator. A computer programme is also written to determine the performance of the evaporator box. The collector simulation programme is used to simulate the performance of the solar collector of a charcoal/methanol solar refrigerator, which has been built and tested at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok. The simulation is carried out for two typical days, i.e. 17th and 29th October 1987. A comparison of the simulation and experimental results indicates a very good agreement, validating the simulation programme. Numerical results are produced with the simulation and the evaporator box design computer programmes using Kumasi meteorological data and 1 m collector surface area. The numerical results indicate that charcoal/methanol solar refrigeration is feasible in Ghana, specifically Kumasi. A charcoal/methanol solar refrigerator is designed, and economic analysis is done. The analysis shows that the refrigerator will be economically viable when it is produced and used for commercial purposes. It is recommended that the designed charcoal/methanol solar refrigerator be constructed, tested and developed. The collector simulation computer programme is also recommended for development.
A Thesis presented to the School of Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering, 2000