Comparative study of solar cooling systems with building-integrated solar collectors for use in sub-tropical regions like Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-195
Journal / PublicationApplied Energy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


The performance of solar cooling systems with building-integrated (BI) solar collectors was simulated and the results compared with those having the solar collectors installed conventionally on the roof based on the weather data in Hong Kong. Two types of solar collectors and the corresponding cooling systems, namely the flat-plate collectors for absorption refrigeration and the PV panels for DC-driven vapour compression refrigeration, were used in the analysis. It was found that in both cases, the adoption of BI solar collectors resulted in a lower solar fraction (SF) and consequently a higher primary energy consumption even though the zone loads were reduced. The reduction in SF was more pronounced in the peak load season when the solar radiation was nearly parallel to the solar collector surfaces during the daytimes, especially for those facing the south direction. Indeed, there were no outputs from the BI flat-plate collectors facing the south direction between May and July. The more severe deterioration in the system performance with the BI flat-plate type collectors made them technically infeasible in terms of the energy-saving potential. It was concluded that the use of BI solar collectors in solar cooling systems should be restricted only to situations where the availability of the roof was limited or insufficient when applied in sub-tropical regions like Hong Kong. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Absorption chiller, Building-integrated, Flat-plate collectors, PV panels, Solar cooling