On the roof top of the University Of Arizona's (UA) student recreation center, a new solar thermal heating and cooling system is installed, which is the first of the similar systems installed in U.S. This system is expected to produce around 200 Kilowatt Hours of equivalent solar energy annually, which is an equivalent amount of energy required to power more than 180 households in U.S and could reduce the greenhouse gas emission by 1,317 metric tons per year.
Solar Thermal Heating And Cooling System In UA
This system serves two purposes for the university, first by fueling the campus cooling system and then by heating the main swimming pool located in the recreation center, which were previously powered by electricity. They used 346 argon filled vacuum tubes, which functions as the heat collectors, in this solar thermal pool heating and cooling system and calls it as the heart of the system. The collected energy then heats the water-glycol mix in the system. This heated mixture of water-glycol is then pumped through an absorption cooler, producing chilled water which is connected into the University's main chilled water loop to keep the university campus cool.
The byproduct produced from this cooling system is nothing but an excess of heat, which is the source for the UA's pool heating system. This heat energy from cooling system could cut the electric energy required to two third of the electric energy supplied for pool heating system, which is a huge amount of energy, according to Ralph Banks, assistant director for engineering at the UA’s Planning, Design and Construction Office, and manager of the UA’s Solar Initiative Project.
Source : UA
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