Cooling potential of ventilated PV facade and solar air heaters combined with a desiccant cooling machine

Li Mei, D.G. Infield, Ursula Eicker, Dennis Loveday, Volker Fux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Thermal energy collected from a PV-solar air heating system is being used to provide cooling for the Mataro Library, near Barcelona. The system is designed to utilise surplus heat available from the ventilated PV facade and PV shed elements during the summer season to provide building cooling. A desiccant cooling machine was installed on the library roof with an additional solar air collector and connected to the existing ventilated PV façade and PV sheds. The desiccant cooling cycle is a novel open heat driven system that can be used to condition the air supplied to the building interior. Cooling power is supplied to the room space within the building by evaporative cooling of the fresh air supply, and the solar heat from the PV-solar air heating system provides the necessary regeneration air temperature for the desiccant machine. This paper describes the system and gives the main technical details. The cooling performance of the solar powered desiccant cooling system is evaluated by the detailed modelling of the complete cooling process. It is shown that air temperature level of the PV-solar air heating system of 70 °C or more can be efficiently used to regenerate the sorption wheel in the desiccant cooling machine. A solar fraction of 75% can be achieved by such an innovative system and the average COP of the cooling machine over the summer season is approximate 0.518.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1278
Number of pages14
JournalRenewable Energy
Issue number8
Early online date11 Aug 2005
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • solar energy
  • ventilated PV facade/shed
  • desiccant cooling
  • energy balance calculation

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