Energy Efficient Adsorption Cooling System for Buildings and Industrial Applications


  1. To develop new composite adsorbents and characterize their properties related to adsorption;
  2. To construct mathematical model and numerical simulation for heat and mass transfer analysis;
  3. To design and build an adsorption cooling system powered by renewable energy;
  4. To promote and commercialize the systems for buildings and industrial applications.


  1. A composite adsorbent is prepared by impregnating the traditional adsorbent material with calcium chloride, leading to enhance its adsorption capacity;
  2. A heat and mass recovery process is conducted so that it can further improve its overall cooling performance;
  3. A compact adsorber design is developed, thus reducing the size of the system.


  • Adsorption cooling system is a green technology in which the system can be powered by low grade heat energy, such as solar energy and/or low grade waste heatThe system also does not rely on traditional refrigerants (e.g. HCFCs and HFCs) as well as compressors;
  • Advanced composite adsorbent material developed is very economical, has no pollution during the operation and disposal and can be recycled;
  • A novel heat exchanger is integrated with the advanced material to make the design compact;
  • The efficiency of the system is further improved by automatic control with thermal management;
  • The new adsorption cooling system can reduce the electricity cost of cooling in buildings and industrial applications by up to 80%, in which the pay-back period of the system will be less than one year;The dependence on fossil fuel, hence carbon dioxide emission, can be greatly reduced;
  • The system also causes no ozone depletion. Further CNT based adsorbents are being developed and a nanofluid based refrigerant is also under investigation.



Christopher Chao, Adjunct Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering