Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30124
Multi-Objective Optimization of a Solar-Powered Triple-Effect Absorption Chiller for Air-Conditioning Applications

Authors: Ali Shirazi, Robert A. Taylor, Stephen D. White, Graham L. Morrison


In this paper, a detailed simulation model of a solar-powered triple-effect LiBr–H2O absorption chiller is developed to supply both cooling and heating demand of a large-scale building, aiming to reduce the fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in building sector. TRNSYS 17 is used to simulate the performance of the system over a typical year. A combined energetic-economic-environmental analysis is conducted to determine the system annual primary energy consumption and the total cost, which are considered as two conflicting objectives. A multi-objective optimization of the system is performed using a genetic algorithm to minimize these objectives simultaneously. The optimization results show that the final optimal design of the proposed plant has a solar fraction of 72% and leads to an annual primary energy saving of 0.69 GWh and annual CO2 emissions reduction of ~166 tonnes, as compared to a conventional HVAC system. The economics of this design, however, is not appealing without public funding, which is often the case for many renewable energy systems. The results show that a good funding policy is required in order for these technologies to achieve satisfactory payback periods within the lifetime of the plant.

Keywords: Economic, environmental, multi-objective optimization, solar air-conditioning, triple-effect absorption chiller.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1146


[1] R. Hitchin, C. Pout, D. Butler. Realisable 10-year reductions in European energy consumption for air conditioning. Energy and Buildings. 86 (2015) 478-91.
[2] A.D. Carvalho, P. Moura, G.C. Vaz, A.T. de Almeida. Ground source heat pumps as high efficient solutions for building space conditioning and for integration in smart grids. Energy Conversion and Management. 103 (2015) 991-1007.
[3] Z. Sayadi, N. Ben Thameur, M. Bourouis, A. Bellagi. Performance optimization of solar driven small-cooled absorption–diffusion chiller working with light hydrocarbons. Energy Conversion and Management. 74 (2013) 299-307.
[4] R. Gomri. Simulation study on the performance of solar/natural gas absorption cooling chillers. Energy Conversion and Management. 65 (2013) 675-81.
[5] R. Gomri, R. Hakimi. Second law analysis of double effect vapour absorption cooler system. Energy Conversion and Management. 49 (2008) 3343-8.
[6] R. Gomri. Investigation of the potential of application of single effect and multiple effect absorption cooling systems. Energy Conversion and Management. 51 (2010) 1629-36.
[7] F. Calise, A. Palombo, L. Vanoli. Design and dynamic simulation of a novel polygeneration system fed by vegetable oil and by solar energy. Energy Conversion and Management. 60 (2012) 204-13.
[8] G.A. Florides, S.A. Kalogirou, S.A. Tassou, L.C. Wrobel. Modelling and simulation of an absorption solar cooling system for Cyprus. Solar Energy. 72 (2002) 43-51.
[9] F. Assilzadeh, S.A. Kalogirou, Y. Ali, K. Sopian. Simulation and optimization of a LiBr solar absorption cooling system with evacuated tube collectors. Renewable Energy. 30 (2005) 1143-59.
[10] P.J. Martínez, J.C. Martínez, M. Lucas. Design and test results of a low-capacity solar cooling system in Alicante (Spain). Solar Energy. 86 (2012) 2950-60.
[11] O. Ayadi, M. Aprile, M. Motta. Solar Cooling Systems Utilizing Concentrating Solar Collectors - An Overview. Energy Procedia. 30 (2012) 875-83.
[12] Y.L. Liu, R.Z. Wang. Performance prediction of a solar/gas driving double effect LiBr–H2O absorption system. Renewable Energy. 29 (2004) 1677-95.
[13] F.J. Cabrera, A. Fernández-García, R.M.P. Silva, M. Pérez-García. Use of parabolic trough solar collectors for solar refrigeration and air-conditioning applications. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 20 (2013) 103-18.
[14] S.K. Agrawal, R. Kumar, A. Khaliq. First and second law investigations of a new solar-assisted thermodynamic cycle for triple effect refrigeration. International Journal of Energy Research. 38 (2014) 162-73.
[15] T.A.H. Ratlamwala, M.A. Gadalla, I. Dincer. Performance assessment of an integrated PV/T and triple effect cooling system for hydrogen and cooling production. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 36 (2011) 11282-91.
[16] TRNSYS 17: a transient system simulation program. Madison, USA: Solar Energy Laboratory, University of Wisconsin.
[17] J.A. Duffie, W.A. Beckman. Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes. 3rd ed. Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, USA, 2006.
[18] NEP Solar Pty Ltd, URL:; 2016 (accessed March 2016).
[19] TRNSYS 17 TESS Library, Component Libraries for the TRNSYS Simulation Environment: Volume 11 Storage Tank Library Mathematical Reference.
[20] Y.M. Han, R.Z. Wang, Y.J. Dai. Thermal stratification within the water tank. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 13 (2009) 1014-26.
[21] TRNSYS 17, Component Libraries for the TRNSYS Simulation Environment: Volume 4 Mathematical Reference.
[22] A. Kühn, F. Ziegler. Operational results of a 10 kW absorption chiller and adaptation of the characteristic equation. Proceedings of the International Conference Solar Air Conditioning, Bad Staffelstein, Germany, 2005. pp. 6-7.
[23] Thermax Ltd, URL:; 2016 (accessed March 2016).
[24] TRNSYS TESS Library, Volume 6: HVAC Library Mathematical Reference.
[25] Australian Building Codes and Standards, Volume 1: Commercial Buildings (Class 2–9 Buildings), URL:; 2014.
[26] A. Shirazi, R.A. Taylor, S.D. White, G.L. Morrison. Transient simulation and parametric study of solar-assisted heating and cooling absorption systems: An energetic, economic and environmental (3E) assessment. Renewable Energy. 86 (2016) 955-71.
[27] A. Shirazi, R.A. Taylor, S.D. White, G.L. Morrison. A systematic parametric study and feasibility assessment of solar-assisted single-effect, double-effect, and triple-effect absorption chillers for heating and cooling applications. Energy Conversion and Management. 114 (2016) 258-77.
[28] Huch Behälterbau GmbH, URL:; 2015 (accessed March 2016).
[29] T.G. Bejan A., Moran M. Thermal Design and Optimization. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1996.
[30] X.-S. Yang. Chapter 14 - Multi-Objective Optimization. Nature-Inspired Optimization Algorithms. Elsevier, Oxford, 2014. pp. 197-211.
[31] A. Konak, D.W. Coit, A.E. Smith. Multi-objective optimization using genetic algorithms: A tutorial. Reliability Engineering & System Safety. 91 (2006) 992-1007.
[32] Bureau of Meteorology: Australia's Official Weather Forecasts, URL:; 2016 (accessed March 2016).
[33] M.H. Ahmadi, H. Sayyaadi, A.H. Mohammadi, M.A. Barranco-Jimenez. Thermo-economic multi-objective optimization of solar dish-Stirling engine by implementing evolutionary algorithm. Energy Conversion and Management. 73 (2013) 370-80.
[34] V. Srinivasan, A.D. Shocker. Linear programming techniques for multidimensional analysis of preferences. Psychometrika. 38 (1973) 337-69.