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Design, Fabrication and Performance Evaluation of a Micro-Absorption Refrigerator

Author(s): Hyginus .U. Ugwu

Journal: International Journal of Engineering and Technology
ISSN 2049-3444

Volume: 2;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 1813;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Micro-absorption chiller | cost-effectiveness | energy efficient and economical | adapted locally sourced materials | encouragement of local ingenuity | simplicity and availability.

Developments in absorption cooling technology present an opportunity to achieve significant improvements on micro-scale to buildings, cooling, heating and power systems for residential and light commercial buildings. Their resultant effects are effective, energy efficient and economical. This study therefore contributes an important knowledge and method in the development, fabrication and application of an absorption refrigerator as a better alternative to the commonly used compressor refrigerators. In its embodiment, the work focuses on the design and fabrication of the absorption chiller system with low or no vibration since there are virtually no moving parts. Also, it dovetailed into the selection of a suitable refrigerant that is economically friendly in order to reduce or eliminate its ozone depleting effect. Consequently, the design was fabricated using adapted locally sourced materials. This is to encourage local ingenuity and to reduce cost of production comparable to already made custom-imported ones. It is designed to be simple, handy and readily available to be used by anyone in case of malfunctioning and for easy relocation. Though, the main limitation of the system fabricated is the long time it uses to achieve cooling, the performance of the machine generally is very efficient as its calculated coefficient of performance ( C.O.P) is 1.21, which compared favourably well with the literature value of 1.00-2.00. Also, the total cost including an over-head of 30% of the machine was estimated at forty-one thousand, two hundred and fifty-nine (N41,259.40) naira, forty kobo only based on current price structure compared to an equivalent custom-made-imported type estimated at between sixty to seventy thousand (N60,000.00 to N70,000.00) naira. Hence, the machine is affordable to all, and is highly recommended for local entrepreneurs for mass production because of its cost effectiveness, simplicity and availability of spare parts.

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