ADWEA pilots solar air-con tech

ADWEA pilots latest international solar air-con tech

An example of a Chromasun solar panel
An example of a Chromasun solar panel

Chromasun Inc. of California is collaborating with the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) to showcase its latest solar technology at the subsidiary Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) Distribution Management Centre.

The centre provides management and direct control of ADDC processes and activities. The building is presently air-conditioned by conventional electrically-driven, screw-type chillers which have significant peak power demands on hot days.

Chromasun will install a solar-driven system to supplement building air-con load and offset this peak electrical consumption with clean renewable energy. The Chromasun MCT is a solar thermal collector that utilises a Fresnel reflector optic to obtain 25 times sun concentration.

The optic comprises lightweight, highly-reflective aluminium mirrors which pivot in unison to follow the sun. The entire optic is enclosed in a sealed glazed canopy which protects the mirrors from wind, rain and dirt. Solar energy is collected from the mirrors in a high performance receiver tube and sent to the plant room at 175̊C.

The project will involve fitting Chromasun’s MCT collectors on the roof spaces, which will in turn provide high-grade thermal energy to the air-con plant room. Inside the plant room, a double-effect absorption chiller will be fitted that will convert the heat coming from the MCT panels into chilled water that supplements the cooling for the building.

Chromasun CEO Peter Le Lièvre claimed that this is “the first showcase demonstration of commercial solar air-con in the UAE.”

He added: “I believe that advanced solar air-con technologies such as the Chromasun MCT can significantly reduce the peak electricity power demands of buildings, and hence improve the operational stability of modern grid systems which are under the greatest stress on hot summer days.

“This showcase project will prove the viability of such systems and pave the way for far greater adoption of solar air conditioning in the UAE,” said Le Lièvre.

Founded in 2008, Chromasun is a leading developer and manufacturer of rooftop-friendly, high-performance solar solutions. Its unique MCT HT solar collector provides high-grade thermal energy, but in a familiar flat-panel format with no external moving parts.

The MCT HT is designed to drive high-performance air-con absorption chillers and other industrial process heat applications directly from sunlight. It is billed as the most space-efficient solar technology available, and can produce more energy per unit of roof area than any competing technology.

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