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Air conditioning and power generation for residential applications using liquid nitrogen

Ahmad, Abdalqader, Al-Dadah, Raya, Mahmoud, Saad
Applied energy 2016 v.184 pp. 630-640
air conditioning, carbon dioxide, cooling, electricity, emissions, energy, energy use and consumption, methodology, nitrogen, power generation, prices, renewable energy sources, residential housing, Libya
Current air conditioning (AC) systems consume a significant amount of energy, particularly during peak times where most electricity suppliers face difficulties to meet the users’ demands, and the global demands for AC systems have increased rapidly over the last few decades leading to significant power consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. This paper presents a new technique that uses liquid nitrogen (LN2) produced from renewable energy sources, or surplus electricity at off peak times, to provide cooling and power for domestic houses. Thermodynamic analyses of various cryogenic cycles have been carried out to achieve the most effective configuration that produces the maximum power output with minimum LN2 flow rate, to meet the required cooling of a 170m² dwelling in Libya. A comparison with a conventional AC system was also made. Results showed that at the current LN2 prices, using LN2 to provide cooling and power demands of residential buildings is feasible and saves up to 36% compared to conventional air conditioning systems with an overall thermal efficiency of 74%. However, as the LN2 price decreases to around 1.3 pence per kg, the proposed technology will have significant advantages compared to conventional AC systems with savings of up to 81%.