Analysis and Simulation of a Solar-Powered Refrigeration Cycle


  • Jude T. Sommerfeld Georgia Institute of Technology


The application of solar power as the driving force in a refrigeration or air conditioning cycle is explored in this article.  In such a cycle, the conventional mechanical compressor is replaced with a thermal compressor or jet ejector, thereby eliminating the cost of electric power to drive the compressor motor.  The HYSYS computer-aided process design (CAPD) system was used to simulate this solar-powered cycle, investigating four different refrigerants, to determine the various heat exchanger duties, coefficients of performance (COPS), and loop circulation rates.  This study is an excellent application of CAPD systems in a thermodynamics course.

Author Biography

Jude T. Sommerfeld, Georgia Institute of Technology

Jude T. Sommerfeld is a professor of chemical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he has also served as Associate Director of the School. He received his BChE degree from the University of Detroit, and his MS and PhD degrees (both also in chemical engineering) from the University of Michigan. His primary interest is computeraided design of chemical processes, and he has published approximately 150 papers in this and other areas.