Conference paper
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The rapid adoption of reverse-cycle vapour-compression air-conditioning systems in residential buildings has produced an escalation in both total and peak electricity demand, necessitating a high level of investment in electricity infrastructure, and raising concerns over energy security and environmental issues. To address these issues, solar air-conditioning systems can be used in dwellings as a demand-side energy management solution. Two common types of residential solar systems are grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems and domestic water heating systems. Both types can be integrated with appropriately selected and sized energy storage in order to power counterpart electrically or thermally driven air conditioners. Previous studies of solar air-conditioning systems tended to focus on solar assist air conditioners backed-up by fossil fuel energy, rather than on solar standalone systems that use only solar energy to meet the entire cooling and heating load demand of the building. This was attributed to large size and high investment cost of solar systems. This paper reviews previous studies that have evaluated different types of solar air conditioners at the system and component levels. It reviews the potential options for selecting the three major components, i.e. solar collector, energy storage and the air conditioner unit, in order to select an appropriate combination of components for designing a standalone solar air-conditioning system that can be optimised for low-energy single-family dwellings for various locations in Australia.

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