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'[EE] home sized solar absorption chiller'
2008\01\21@124656 by James Newton

face picon face

"For years we have been saying that solar powered air conditioning just
makes sense- if you are boiling in Phoenix the sun is probably shining
really hard. We have seen big units, evaporative units that won't work in
humid climates, a few vaporware units and even home-made absorption chillers

Now it looks like a Spanish company, Rotartica, has put it all together, by
combining evacuated tube thermal collectors with a water-heated absorption
chiller, and sized it at 4.5Kw (1.28 tons) for residential use, all packaged
in a neat little box.

>From an operation point of view it is very simple: you put hot water in, you
get cold water out, which you can run to a conventional fancoil. The hot
water in can come from any source, but evacuated tube collectors, which used
to be very expensive, are pretty affordable now. If you want to get more

In an absorption chiller unit the evaporator and condenser are the same as
in conventional systems but the function of the compressor is performed by a
chemical absorbent (LiBr) and a heat generator, with only a pump being
required to provide the change in pressure. As there is no compressor,
electricity consumption is reduced significantly."

Two Rotartica Solar 045v are being tested in the U.S.A.:

I've been looking for something like this for years:

I've emailed them asking for P&A and will report if I hear back.

James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin  1-619-652-0593 phone

2008\01\21@154258 by James Newton

face picon face
This is the answer I received to my question about P&A: In summary about
$20,000 USD for the unit (not including the solar hot water heating system,
cold water radiator / fan, plumbing or installation.

But this is not bad for an item that is not being mass produced. If the
price eventually drops to half that, it would be worth it to have A/C at
little to no operational cost in the average home.

Here is the text of the reply:

"Unfortunately we do not have a set time-line for when the chillers will
be readily available to home owners at a set retail price.   Right now
the cost of the Rotartica units range between $18,000 - $25,000
depending on exchange rates, availability from the manufacturer, and is
subject to change.  Because the unit is a new design, made in low
production in Spain, Rotartica does not have a set retail price for the
U.S.A. market. We will get back with you as soon as there is an
established retail price.

However, Rotartica is interested in potential emblematic projects that
will display the new technology and help to gradually bring down the
costs.  The technology is new and requires an engineered system to
obtain the proper performance; otherwise, more electrical power will be
required than a standard mechanical compression system.  It is not quite
plug and play yet.  However, this is part of bringing a new technology
to the forefront and hopefully it will be very little time before
everyone understands the power of absorption chilling.

Currently there are two Rotartica Absorption Chiller models, the 045 and
045v. The 045v is a dry dissipation best used for radiant cooling and
the 045 is a wet dissipation that is better suited for forced air
especially when using geothermal as the dissipation circuit.

The hydronic system with an absorption chiller requires a few
electrically driven pumps: for water circulation through the collectors,
to distribute the chilled water, and dissipation pump if using the 045.
Schroder Zimmerly recommends and can provide Wilo Stratos high
efficiency pumps, just recently made available in the USA.

The chiller requires some electrical input as well to operate the motor
for the rotary heat exchanger and controls for the unit. Rotartica
intends to make larger units with less electrical consumption in the
coming years.

Please note the Rotartica units are not yet UL certified.

Regarding further information about how the Rotartica unit works, please
refer to this page on our website. There are several PDF linked on this
page. Please take a look, and let us know if you have any further

Thank you for your interest in absorption chilling.  I hope this
information gives you an understanding of the new technology, how you
might learn more about it, and whether or not we can help you further
with implementing a solar powered air conditioning system.  We are glad
to see communities like yours expressing interest and we are working
hard to bring this technology to all home owners."

{Original Message removed}

2008\01\21@155620 by Bob Blick

face picon face
James, any project of yours would certainly qualify as

Cheerful regards,


--- James Newton <> wrote:

> However, Rotartica is interested in potential
> emblematic projects that
> will display the new technology

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