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SunLab - Solar Cooling technology Lab for building conditioning opens up to the public!

SunLab is an open laboratory of advanced solar cooling technologies for building air conditioning, which aims to test and promote its use as well as the adoption of a wide range of innovative products and plants for commercial buildings conditioning.

Thanks to SunLab it is possible to study the behaviour and performance of a solar cooling plant based on an adsorption chiller. The adsorption machine installed on SunLab, thanks to the use of non-toxic substances such as silica gel, zeolite (a microporous mineral), and water as the refrigerant, uses solar energy for the production of chilled water, without the need, therefore, for additional gases.

The system installed in the premises of the Campus of Basovizza (Trieste), uses as its energy source the hot water produced by a thermal solar field, composed of collectors using vacuum tube technology, to ensure the maximum performance. The hot water produced by the solar field, with a temperature between 50 °C and 90 °C is conveyed by a heat exchanger and by an accumulation tank to an absorption chiller with a 24KW refrigeration power, able to produce cold water at temperatures of 6-10 °C. Using a second accumulation tank the water then arrives at an air treatment system that produces air-conditioning inside the building laboratories. To favour the processing of heat produced by the chiller, a 50KW thermal dissipater is installed on the system.

This technology permits energy savings during high consumption periods of peak use by exploiting greater summer solar radiation exactly when the greatest cooling needs are required, thus improving environmental sustainability of buildings. Taking advantage of the coincidence in the summer between elevated solar radiation and the cooling requirements of the building, this system has a significant impact on the reduction of energy consumption, increasing the environmental sustainability of the building.

 
 
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