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VSRD-MAP, Vol. 2 (1), 2012, 1-8

____________________________
1
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, INDIA.
2
Research Scholar, Department of Mechanical Engineering,, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, INDIA.
3
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, ABES Engineering College, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh,
INDIA. *Correspondence: ravi.raman21@gmail.com
R
RR E
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SS E
EE A
AA R
RR C
CC H
HH A
AA R
RR T
TT I
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CC L
LL E
EE
Energy Efficient Solar Refrigeration System
1
Islam Nawaz*,
2
Kumar Ankur and
3
Ravi Shankar Raman
ABSTRACT
The scientific basis for the utilization of solar energy by man was acquired some years ago, but until recently it
was not considered technologically feasible to make use of it on a large scale. Approaches can be devised to
decrease energy consumption targeting directly reduction of carbon footprint. One of the ideas is to make use of
renewable energy wherever Greening can be done.
It goes with the concept of converting solar energy into electrical energy which in turn changes into mechanical
energy that helps the running of V-C based solar refrigeration system which works on AC. All the results are
significantly encouraging and hence test results of our system using the charge controller and AC powered
refrigerator are presented. In this study, it helps the running of vapour compression based solar refrigeration
system works on AC. The various refrigeration systems have been studied and also the basic thermodynamics
involved for vapour compression cycle has explained to find the better COP.
The major components of the conventional refrigeration system have studied in details and cost analysis has
done for the system available of different manufacturers in market. A model LG185TP4 is found to be suitable
and better in terms of net capacity required and running cost by comparing it with various manufacturers. The
same model refrigeration system has been analysed on solar which works on AC. Solar module of Moserbaer, a
charge controller of Steca, an inverter of Sukam company and a battery of Exide company are selected and the
running cost for one year is estimated, payback time is analysed which comes out to be less. One more
important point is that, the initial cost of whole system is very low, so it is cost effective as compared to the
existing refrigeration systems. As the name of study is a techno economic, economically it is giving better
results, also this is environment friendly as the release of CO
2
/kWh is there in case of conventional based
refrigeration system and no such type of emissions takes place in case of solar based refrigeration system. Hence
the system selected is technically proven, environment friendly and economically better.
Ravi Shankar Raman et al / VSRD International Journal of Mechanical, Auto. & Prod. Engg. Vol. 2 (1), 2012
Page 2 of 8
Keywords : Solar Refrigeration, Conventional Refrigeration, Payback Time, Energy Saving, Eco-Friendly.
1. INTRODUCTION
Refrigeration may be defined as the process of achieving and maintaining a temperature below that of the
surroundings, the aim being to cool some product or space to the required temperature. One of the most
important applications of refrigeration has been the preservation of perishable food products by storing them at
low temperatures. Refrigeration systems are also used extensively for providing thermal comfort to human
beings by means of air conditioning
[1]
. A typical refrigeration system consists of several basic components such
as compressors, condensers, expansion devices, evaporators, in addition to several accessories such as controls,
filters, driers, oil separators etc. For efficient operation of the refrigeration system, it is essential that there be a
proper matching between various components. Condensers and evaporators are basically heat exchangers in
which the refrigerant undergoes a phase change. Next to compressors, proper design and selection of condensers
and evaporators is very important for satisfactory performance of any refrigeration system. In this study it is
found that the solar based PV refrigeration system which works on DC current, the payback time calculated is
coming to be more from the year of operation started and initial system cost is also very high. Hence a
conducive approach has used to reduce the payback time and cost of refrigeration system used by the AC
operated or conventional refrigeration system which works on vapour compression cycle and it is congent to
apply the AC based solar refrigeration system.
2. MAJOR COMPONENTS OF A SOLAR POWER REFRIGERATION SYSTEM
Solar energy can be used for the refrigeration through photovoltaic electric conversion (PVEC) thereby
producing electricity which can run the compressor of V-C refrigeration system. A photovoltaic refrigerator
consists of a photovoltaic array charging a battery with associated charge regulator. A D.C. motor is directly
coupled to a compressor and a refrigeration cabinet with thick insulation is used to store extra cold storage in the
form of ice or other eutectic material for the time when the compressor is not working.
2.1. Modules
For almost all applications, the one-half volt produced by a single cell is too little. Therefore, cells are connected
together in series to increase the voltage. Several of these series strings of cells may be connected together in
parallel to increase the current as well
[8]
. These interconnected cells and their electrical connections are then
sandwiched between a top layer of glass or clear plastic and a lower level of plastic or metal.
2.2. Charge Control Unit
The CCU is the unit that regulates the flow of electricity from power generation system into the load or storage
system. In photovoltaic systems the charge controller is used between solar module and battery bank. The main
work of charge controller is to protect the battery from deep discharging and overcharging.
Ravi Shankar Raman et al / VSRD International Journal of Mechanical, Auto. & Prod. Engg. Vol. 2 (1), 2012
Page 3 of 8
2.3. Battery Bank
In stand-alone photovoltaic systems, the electrical energy produced by the PV array cannot always be used when
it is produced. Because the demand for energy does not always coincide with its production, electrical storage
batteries are commonly used in PV systems. The primary functions of a storage battery in a PV system are to
energy storage capacity and autonomy, voltage and current stabilization.
3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1. Cost or Payback analysis
The unit cost of power supply from the year 2001-2011 has been analysed. On the basis of these data for Delhi
(DVB), the average increase of cost of power in one year comes out to be around 5.5% and these values has
been chosen for calculating the payback time.
Product
type
Brand
Net
capacity
(in
litres)
Air
flow
type
Temperature
control
Dimensions (in mm)
Power
supply
(in
volts)
Price
range
(in
rupees)
Width Depth Height
LG 185
TP4
LG 175
Direct
cool
Dial 542 576 1143 220 8,390
Godrej
GDE 19
C1
Godrej 183
Direct
Cool
Dial 576 650 1184 220
9,090 -
10,430
Kelvinator
KSP204
Kelvinator 190
Direct
Cool
Dial - - -
135-
290
9,180
Samsung
RA 18 ZV
Samsung
Multi
Air
Flow
Dial 560 645 1230 145
8,950-
10,700 180
Table 1 : Overall Analysis of Various Makes Refrigerators
[15]

From the table 1, it has been found that for the same specifications, the product of LG 185TP4 have the
minimum cost, therefore LG 185TP4 has selected for the analysis and the selected cost is = Rs. 8,390.
A conventional refrigerator is taken after calculating the ac power requirement which comes out is 90
110 wotts.
Considering the total hours of usage the total energy demand per day is calculated which comes out 100
24 hrs = 2400 Watts hour
The total energy usage per year is calculated as = 2400 365Joys
= 876000 wotts our
= 876 kw ycor .
Cost of electricity as per Delhi tariff structure, the domestic energy charges are Rs. 5.5/unit.
So that, the total running cost is = 876 5.5
= Rs. 4810 pcr ycor.
Ravi Shankar Raman et al / VSRD International Journal of Mechanical, Auto. & Prod. Engg. Vol. 2 (1), 2012
Page 4 of 8
The total cost of a conventional refrigerator for one year
Capital cost (in rupees) 8,390
Running cost for one year (in rupees) 4,810
Running cost for 10 years(in rupees) 48,180
Total cost (in rupees) 56,480
Considering the total hours of usage, the total energy available for solar energy per day is calculated which
comes out 100 5.5 = 550 Watt hour.
Calculation of total Amp hr required
The system voltage according to the load is considered as 12V.
Thus total amp- hrs required per day =
TotaI cncrgy dcmand pcr day
Systcm Dc voItagc


=
550
12
= 45.83 A
Thus total number of modules required = 1 3 = 3 Nos.
Cost of single watt (for 70 Watts) = Rs. 70
Cost of single module (for 70 Watts) = 70 70
= Rs. 4900
Total cost of modules required (for3.0 nos) = 4900 3
= Rs. 14700
In this system the modules used are from company Moserbaer.
Cost of a charge controller unit (CCU) Steca Solsum F is = Rx. 95
Cost of Sukam Inverter is = Rs. 6500
Cost of Exide battery is = Rs. 8800
Total cost of set up for the working of a solar ac domestic refrigerator is
= 14700 +950 + 6500 + 8800
= Rs. 30,950.
3.2. Energy Based Analysis
The total life assumed for the refrigerator is of 10 years and on basis of it, the cumulative energy units (kWh)
and cumulative electricity sales (Rs.) has been calculated for the purpose of comparison and to found the total
saving in terms of energy and cost between conventional and solar based refrigeration systems.
Ravi Shankar Raman et al / VSRD International Journal of Mechanical, Auto. & Prod. Engg. Vol. 2 (1), 2012
Page 5 of 8
Energy and Electricity Consumption For 10 years
Year No. of years
Energy
kWh/Year
Cumulative
Energy
(kWh)
Electricity
Sales
(Rs.)
Cumulative
Electricity
Sales (Rs.)
2011 Year 0 0

2012 Year 1 876 876 4818 4380
2013 Year 2 876 1752 5083 9901
2014 Year 3 876 2628 5363 15264
2015 Year 4 876 3504 5658 20922
2016 Year 5 876 4380 5970 26892
2017 Year 6 876 5256 6299 33191
2018 Year 7 876 6132 6646 39837
2019 Year 8 876 7008 7012 46849
2020 Year 9 876 7884 7398 54247
2021 Year 10 876 8760 7805 62052
Table 2 : Calculation Of Energy And Electricity Consumption (10 Years)
3.3. Eco-Friendly Analysis
The calculation has been done on the basis of CO
2
emissions produced by conventional refrigeration system and
also there is no emissions produced for solar based refrigeration system. The duration of emissions has been
taken for a lifetime of 10 years.
4. DATA ANALYSIS
4.1. Solar refrigerator versus conventional refrigerator (Payback Analysis)
From the table shown below, the payback time has been calculated by considering the initial system cost.
REVENUES AND EXPENSES

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Year 0 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6
Initial System
Cost for
Solar Refrigerator
Rs.30,950

Running Cost

Running cost
for
Conventional
Refrigerator (Rs.)

4,818 5,083 5,363 5,658 5,970 6,299
Cumulative Running
Cost (Rs.)
4,818 9,901 15,264 20,922 26,892 33,191
Payback Cost (Rs.)

-26,132 -21,049 -15,686 -10,028 -4,058 2241
Table 3 : Calculation Of Payback Cost For Solar Refrigeration System
An initial system cost is to be taken for the year 2011 and with the values of increment of electricity sales, in the
year of 2017 the final payback period has been analysed. These values have been used for plotting a graph
between solar powered refrigerator and electricity powered refrigerator for the cost analysis.
Ravi Shankar Raman et al / VSRD
Fig. 1 : Graph Showing Cost Comparison Of Solar And Conventional Refrigerato
From the above table and graph it is found that the solar and electrical energy costs intersect at 6th year of
operation which is the payback period. Since the maintenance cost is low or approximately nil, it appears that
the PV energy becomes almost fre
electrical energy will cost more than solar energy especially for large scale application the cost will increase
rapidly.
4.2. Energy Analysis
From the Table 2,
It is to be found that for 10 years the energy kWh consumption/ year
The cumulative energy kWh consumption for 10 years
But for the running of solar based refrigeration system, there is no consumption of electricity throughout the
year. Hence there is a saving of total electric energy which is beneficial in terms of energy saving. Instead for
some environmental conditions, it may be required to run the solar based machine on electric energy, that loss is
about to be found 10%. So that, the total saving of
As the refrigeration chosen is of the product of LG 185TP4 which have the minimum cost, therefore LG 185TP4
has selected for the analysis and the selected cost is
The total cumulative electricity sales
The total cost of a selected refrigerator for 10 years is

Now, for the case of solar based refrigeration system the total initial cost is

Rs. 0
Rs. 10,000
Rs. 20,000
Rs. 30,000
Rs. 40,000
2012
Cost comparison of solar and
conventional refrigeration
/ VSRD International Journal of Mechanical, Auto. & Prod. Engg. Vol. 2 (1), 2012
Graph Showing Cost Comparison Of Solar And Conventional Refrigerato
From the above table and graph it is found that the solar and electrical energy costs intersect at 6th year of
operation which is the payback period. Since the maintenance cost is low or approximately nil, it appears that
the PV energy becomes almost free after 6 years and it demonstrates the economic effectiveness. Therefore,
electrical energy will cost more than solar energy especially for large scale application the cost will increase
or 10 years the energy kWh consumption/ year= 876kw.
The cumulative energy kWh consumption for 10 years= 8,760kw.
But for the running of solar based refrigeration system, there is no consumption of electricity throughout the
saving of total electric energy which is beneficial in terms of energy saving. Instead for
some environmental conditions, it may be required to run the solar based machine on electric energy, that loss is
about to be found 10%. So that, the total saving of energy is obtained as to be= 7,884kw
As the refrigeration chosen is of the product of LG 185TP4 which have the minimum cost, therefore LG 185TP4
has selected for the analysis and the selected cost is = Rs. 8,390.
The total cumulative electricity sales are coming out to be = Rs. 62,052 (for 10 years).
The total cost of a selected refrigerator for 10 years is = 8390 + 62,052
= Rs. 70,442.
Now, for the case of solar based refrigeration system the total initial cost is
= 8390 +950 + 8800 + 6500 + 14700
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Cost comparison of solar and
conventional refrigeration
Solar Energy Cost
. & Prod. Engg. Vol. 2 (1), 2012
Page 6 of 8

Graph Showing Cost Comparison Of Solar And Conventional Refrigerator
From the above table and graph it is found that the solar and electrical energy costs intersect at 6th year of
operation which is the payback period. Since the maintenance cost is low or approximately nil, it appears that
e after 6 years and it demonstrates the economic effectiveness. Therefore,
electrical energy will cost more than solar energy especially for large scale application the cost will increase
But for the running of solar based refrigeration system, there is no consumption of electricity throughout the
saving of total electric energy which is beneficial in terms of energy saving. Instead for
some environmental conditions, it may be required to run the solar based machine on electric energy, that loss is
kw.
As the refrigeration chosen is of the product of LG 185TP4 which have the minimum cost, therefore LG 185TP4

14700
Ravi Shankar Raman et al / VSRD International Journal of Mechanical, Auto. & Prod. Engg. Vol. 2 (1), 2012
Page 7 of 8
= Rs. 39,340.
The saving of cost in 10 years is with a difference of = 70,442 39,340
= Rs. 31,102.
Hence, the saving per year is = Rx. 311. 2
4.3. Eco-friendly Calculation
The total energy units (kWh) for 10 years, from the above calculation is= 8760kw.
The amount of emission of CO
2
for the production of electricity is = 0.98kgCO
2
/kWh.
Hence, the total amount of emission of CO
2
in 10 years by conventional refrigeration system is
= 0.98 8760
= 8584. 8 kg
5. RESULTS
The whole study reaches on a result that the vapour compression based refrigeration system works on AC is far
much better than the DC refrigerator. However, photovoltaic powered refrigeration systems have reached a
technical maturity and are characterized of a high reliability.
Further, they offer the advantages of reduced operation and maintenance cost. The significance of solar cell
arrays, their advantages and assemblies have been described.
Finally, a successful attempt has been made with the development of a solar refrigeration system using the solar
energy based on AC. As the study takes place for the performance parameters and cost analysis is done, the total
set up cost of solar based refrigeration system is coming out to be Rs 30,950 for one year and it is to be found,
while using the same ref system on electrical energy the running cost for one year is Rs 4,818, hence a graph
has been plotted by taking the values of solar energy cost and electrical energy cost which results the payback
time is coming out to be 6t year from date of operation takes place which is less as compared to existing
refrigeration systems. Cost comparison between the PV (Photovoltaic energy or solar energy) and Conventional
energy (electrical energy) demonstrates the economic effectiveness of the energy efficient low power PV
refrigeration system which green, clean and safe. This system is having its importance for domestic purposes as
the cost of electricity is increasing day by day and the crisis of electricity may takes place, instead solar energy
is the only source which can replace the electrical energy and this refrigeration system can be used for domestic
purposes as it is cost effective. As this system is economically better and technically proven, also it is
environment friendly found by calculating the CO
2
emissions produced which is free in the conventional based
refrigeration system as compared to solar based system.
Ravi Shankar Raman et al / VSRD International Journal of Mechanical, Auto. & Prod. Engg. Vol. 2 (1), 2012
Page 8 of 8
6. CONCLUSION
It is to be concluded that on comparison of solar and conventional based refrigeration system,
Solar based is proved to be technically better; also economically it is saving a good amount in terms of money
and as the emissions are very much less in solar based system.
An amount of Rs. 31,102 has been saved for a lifetime of 10 years by using the solar based refrigeration and
there is a saving of energy 8760 kWh in 10 years which is a tempting approach towards using solar based
system.
Using solar based system, the amount of CO
2
emissions has been removed completely while there are emissions
produced by conventional based system.
An alluring value has been generated and this system can go for a carbon based credit to make the environment
eco friendly. This system will gives a very high saving of cost when used in small industries and for domestic
purposes where still there is the crisis of electricity or in the regions of hot climates.
7. REFERENCES
[1] 2008, Refrigeration and Air conditioning, EE IIT, Kharagpur, India.
[2] Kaushik, SC & Mathur, ML 1989, Solar Refrigeration and Space Conditioning, 1
st
Edn, Divyajyoti
Prakashan, Jodhpur.
[3] Arora, C.P., 2003, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Tata-McGraw-Hill.
[4] Prasad, Manohar, 2002, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, New Age International.
[5] Dr. Wibulswas, Prida, Solar thermal processes in Thailand on solar distillation and solar refrigeration,
National Energy Administration Ministry of Science, Technology and Energy.
[6] Fatehmulla, Amanullah, Al-Shammar, A.S., Design of energy efficient low power PV refrigeration system,
Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.
[7] Kim, D.S., Infante Ferreira, C.A., 2008, Solar refrigeration options a state-of-the-art review, international
journal of refrigeration, Vol 31, pp.3-15.
[8] Maurya, Vikas, 2010, Designing and installation of Standalone Photovoltaic system, Master of Technology
In Engineering Physics.
[9] June, 2001, the Working of State Electricity Boards & Electricity Departments, Power & Energy Division,
Planning Commission, Government of India.