The development and calibration of a generic dynamic absorption chiller model

Borg, Simon Paul and Kelly, Nicolas (2012) The development and calibration of a generic dynamic absorption chiller model. Energy and Buildings, 55. pp. 533-544. ISSN 0378-7788

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    Although absorption cooling has been available for many years, the technology has typically been viewed as a poorly performing alternative to vapour compression refrigeration. Rising energy prices and the requirement to improve energy efficiency is however driving renewed interest in the technology, particularly within the context of combined cooling, heat and power systems (CCHP) for buildings. In order to understand the performance of absorption cooling, numerous models are available in the literature. However, the complexities involved in the thermodynamics of absorption chillers have so far restricted researchers to creating steady state or dynamic models reliant on data measurements of the internal chiller state, which require difficult-to-obtain, intrusive measurements. The pragmatic, yet fully-dynamic model described in this paper is designed to be easily calibrated using data obtained from the measurements of inflows and outflows to a chiller, without resorting to intrusive measurements. The model comprises a series of linked control volumes featuring both performance maps and lumped mass volumes, which reflect the underlying physical structure of the device. The model was developed for the ESP-r building simulation tool. This paper describes the modelling approach, theory and limitations, along with its calibration and the application of the model to a specific example.

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