Under the blazing sun of Dubai, the newly expanded offices of one business are keeping cool with an environmentally friendly technology powered by … the heat of the sun.
Dubai’s first solar cooling plant is providing air-conditioned comfort in the offices of ESAB, a global supplier of welding products. The technology, developed in Scandinavia, uses a salt- and water-based heat pump powered by the sun to keep temperatures in the building cool even when it’s scorching outside. The system also gets a boost from the new building’s use of energy-storing concrete.
The innovative system was installed by Scandinavian Cooling/Kylsystem and Paxkent in collaboration withClimateWell and Kingspan Renewables.
“We have cut the peak power needed in half by using the building as an energy storage and we have cut energy consumption in half by using solar cooling by ClimateWell,” said Lars Olof Johansson of Scandinavian Cooling/Kylsystem. “The result is the best indoor climate installation that we have ever done in our more than 30 years as indoor climate solution experts.”
Johansson added that the system “opens a new world of possibilities in countries with a good solar irradiation.”
“This is a stepping stone towards massive global growth for Solar Cooling,” said Gerard Whelan, managing director of Kingspan Renewables.
At the heart of ClimateWell’s chemical heat pump are two separate chambers: one containing hygroscopic (water-absorbing) salts, the other containing water. The two chambers are connected to take advantage of the fact that, when the water chamber is in a vacuum, the water will begin to boil to produce vapour as the salt absorbs moisture. That evaporation cools the water chamber, and coils of circulating water around that chamber are cooled in turn and can be used to cool the air.
ClimateWell claims the so-called 3-phase system provide excellent energy storage capabilities along with both high charge and discharge power. The technology, it says, can be used efficiently to deliver cooling and heating 24/7.