Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Muhammad M. Rahman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Luis Rosario, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Frank Pyrtle, III, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Craig Lusk, Ph.D.


Cooling Capacity, COP, Display Cases, Energy Consumption, Lithium Bromide, Store Relative Humidity


This thesis consists of two different research problems. In the first one, the aim is to model and simulate a solar-powered, single-effect, absorption refrigeration system using a flat-plate solar collector and LiBr-H2O mixture as the working fluid. The cooling capacity and the coefficient of performance of the system are analyzed by varying all independent parameters, namely: evaporator pressure, condenser pressure, mass flow rate, LiBr concentration, and inlet generator temperature. The cooling performance of the system is compared with conventional vapor-compression systems for different refrigerants (R-134a, R-32, and R-22). The cooling performance is also assessed for a typical year in Tampa, Florida. Higher COP values are obtained for a lower LiBr concentration in the solution. The effects of evaporator and condenser pressures on the cooling capacity and cooling performance are found to be negligible. The LiBr-H2O solution shows higher cooling performance compared to other mixtures under the same absorption cooling cycle conditions. For typical year in Tampa, Florida, the model shows a constant coefficient of performance of 0.94.

In the second problem, a numerical model is developed for a typical food retail store refrigeration/HVAC system to study the effects of indoor space conditions on supermarket energy consumption. Refrigerated display cases are normally rated at a store environment of 24ºC (75ºF) and a relative humidity of 55%. If the store can be maintained at lower relative humidity, significant quantities of refrigeration energy, defrost energy and anti-sweat heater energy can be saved. The numerical simulation is performed for a typical day in a standard store for each month of the year using the climate data for Tampa, Florida. This results in a 24 hour variation in the store relative humidity. Using these calculated hourly values of relative humidity for a typical 24 hour day, the store relative humidity distribution is calculated for a full year. The annual average supermarket relative humidity is found to be 51.1%. It is shown that for a 5% reduction in store relative humidity that the display case refrigeration load is reduced by 9.25%, and that results in total store energy load reduction of 4.84%. The results show good agreement with available experimental data.