Solar water heating systems are becoming popular in the sun-drenched regions of Southern Europe. Heating domestic hot water is a good opportunity to combine ecology and efficiency, for example at tourist locations such as camp grounds. A tourism complex on the banks of the Adriatic Sea is now taking advantage of solar-powered air conditioning with an adsorption chiller. Powered by vacuum tube collectors from Thermics Energie Srl, an InvenSor adsorption chiller has been air conditioning office spaces in the administrative buildings at the large, private harbor and camping complex at the center of Bibione Mare near Venice since the middle of 2013. The solar collectors feature a capacity of 22 kW and are installed on the roof of a hall in the marina, with its 400+ moorings. They provide enough thermal energy for air conditioning in the summer (solar cooling) and heating in the winter. With a nominal power rating of 10 kW, the InvenSor LTC 10 plus chiller was installed to replace an inoperable absorber from another manufacturer, and, like the previously installed chiller, is powered by heat instead of electricity. The InvenSor adsorbers use pure water as an eco-friendly refrigerant compared to conventional electrical chillers. The offices are air conditioned using a cold water distribution system. The InvenSor chillers in Germany are used in much the same way, but are usually applied to trigeneration systems with combined heat and power units (CHP). Systems like these are also popular options for air conditioning of server rooms and are gaining ground in industrial applications and process cooling. In Bibione, a large, 2,000-liter hot water buffer tank stores the heat generated by the solar collectors until it is fed into the building heating system or used to power the adsorption chiller. A smaller, 750-liter buffer tank is also installed for cooling, providing reserve capacity when cooling demand is high. The system’s re-cooler was installed in a shaded passageway through the harbor building, which is why the system can withstand Venice’s warm climate with dry heat rejection.
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