German/Egyptian demonstration project on solar cooling in a hot arid climate
In Egypt, like in other hot arid countries the use of conventional electrically driven chillers for air conditioning (AC) is increasing dramatically, thus leading to high costs, power grid overload and blackouts. Thermally driven refrigeration processes would offer a perfect alternative to convert solar heat radiation into cooling energy for indoor thermal comfort. The practical feasibility of a solar powered AC system was proven in a successful demonstration project of Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Germany and Assiut University, Egypt. It included the system simulation, design, setting up and operation of an integrated solar operated residential scale cooling system. The project aimed at testing, monitoring and evaluating the thermally driven cooling process under the challenging operating conditions of the upper Nile valley. The Assiut solar cooling system has been successfully operating since summer 2012, and is the first of its kind in Egypt.