Motor vehicle air-conditioning : utilising the exhaust gas energy to power an absorption refrigeration cycle

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

It is a well-known fact that a lot of heat energy associated with the exhaust gases from an engine is wasted. The work described in this thesis attempts to use the energy from the motor car's exhaust gases to power an air-conditioning system. Thus the waste heat can be utilised and shaft power conserved by replacing the traditional compression refrigeration system, used for air-conditioning a motor car, with an absorption unit. The thesis deals with some theoretical aspects of the absorption refrigeration cycle as well as practical aspects of motor car air-conditioning. A fair amount of research on absorption refrigeration has concentrated on the choice of the combinations absorbent and refrigerant. The need for the combination to be suitable for this special application is self evident. The use of aqua-ammonia, one of the oldest and most widely used combinations for absorption refrigeration systems, to chill water which is used as a secondary fluid, goes a long way in ensuring that ammonia does not get released in the passenger space. An added bonus is that this choice of refrigerant does not have potentially an adverse environmental influence (i.e. ozone layer etc.).

Includes bibliographical references.