A solar-powered adsorption-desorption refrigeration and air conditioning system that uses nanostructural materials such as aerogels, zeolites, and sol gels as the adsorptive media. Refrigerant molecules are adsorbed on the high surface area of the nanostructural material while the material is at a relatively low temperature, perhaps at night. During daylight hours, when the nanostructural materials is heated by the sun, the refrigerant are thermally desorbed from the surface of the aerogel, thereby creating a pressurized gas phase in the vessel that contains the aerogel. This solar-driven pressurization forces the heated gaseous refrigerant through a condenser, followed by an expansion valve. In the condenser, heat is removed from the refrigerant, first by circulating air or water. Eventually, the cooled gaseous refrigerant expands isenthalpically through a throttle valve into an evaporator, in a fashion similar to that in more conventional vapor recompression systems.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.