Clean Technology 2009

A Solar-Driven System for Industrial Dehumidification and Steam Generation

J. Maxwell, M. D’Antonio, E.T. Henkel, V. Rigos, K. May, K. Creamer

Keywords: solar thermal double-effect absorption chiller steam renewable


This paper introduces a solar thermal system that can be used for industrial applications to generate low pressure steam, to drive an absorption chiller, or both. Steinway & Sons is installing thirty-eight tracking parabolic trough solar energy collectors to generate 330°F pressurized hot water. In summer months, the hot water will drive a 99-ton double-effect absorption chiller and enable humidity management. Projected solar-driven cooling is about 50,000 ton-hr/year. When dehumidification is needed and solar resources are not available the dual-fuel chiller will use natural gas. When dehumidification is not needed and the collectors can generate hot water above 275°F, the hot water will circulate through a steam generator and generate a predicted 900 MMBtu/year of 15-psig steam to offset a portion of the plant’s minimum 1,200 kBtu/hr load. Simultaneous dehumidification and steam generation is possible. The site location is New York City, a relatively high latitude for such an application. This project is only the fourth U.S. application of solar-sourced hot water driving a double-effect chiller to be reported, and the only industrial application. Construction and equipment installation commenced in the fourth quarter of 2008. The paper will report on economics and performance results to date.
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