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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/X029050/1
Title A Pioneering, Near-Zero-Carbon and All-Climate-Adaptive Air Conditioning System Using Atmospheric Latent Heat and Natural Light Energy
Status Started
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Residential and commercial) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor X Zhao
No email address given
University of Hull
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 September 2023
End Date 28 February 2027
Duration 42 months
Total Grant Value £814,323
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Energy and Decarbonisation
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor X Zhao , Engineering, University of Hull (99.996%)
  Other Investigator Dr Z Zhu , Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull (0.001%)
Dr X Ma , Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull (0.001%)
Professor BK Gibson , Physics, University of Hull (0.001%)
Professor JM Rotchell , Biology, University of Hull (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , CIBSE (0.000%)
Project Contact , Environmental Process Systems Ltd (EPS) (0.000%)
Project Contact , Carbon-Tex (0.000%)
Project Contact , Hull City Council (0.000%)
Project Contact , World Refrigeration Day (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Air conditioning (AC) is one of the major energy systems applied globally with a market size of around £80 billion per annum. Current AC technologies require large amounts of electrical or thermal energy, accounting for 20% global electricity consumption and resulting in 1,100 mega-tons of carbon emission.The project aims to establish a scientific foundation for a pioneering, near-zero-carbon and all-climate-adaptive AC system. Compared to existing AC technologies (i.e. mechanical vapour compression, absorption, and adsorption types), the new AC system leads to over 80%-90% energy bills saving, and near-zero carbon emission. Unlike existing evaporative cooling AC systems which only suit arid climates, the new AC will be all-climate-adaptive.Novelties of the research lie in: (1) The best performing sorption, diffusion, air-tight and light-absorptive materials will be identified and/or refined; (2) A unique sorption/desorption bed comprising an air-flow-interactive sorption layer and a light-absorptive desorption layer will be developed; (3) A bespoke natural light harvesting configuration to deliver a controlled light radiation into the desorption layer surface; (4) The latest Fractal theory in the first attempt to a multi-medium/sized porous block instead of the traditional single medium/sized porous block; (5) A unique multiple-scale light simulation model, which integrate a non-sequential ray tracing method for simulating the macro-scale light and a finite-difference time-domain method for simulating the light-moisture interaction on the porous desorption surface; (6) A novel 'life-cycle-cooling-cost' oriented optimisation method.The project research programme includes: (1) Screening, refinement, characterisation and selection of the sorption/desorption materials, and determination of the composition/combination methods of the selected materials; (2) Establishment of the theoretical foundation for the light collection/transmission/distribution and light-moisture interaction and conduction of associated computer simulation modelling; (3) Establishment of the theoretical foundation and computer models for moisture adsorption, permeation, diffusion and vaporisation within the porous 'moisture-breathing' bed, and optimisation of the structure of the 'moisture-breathing' bed; (4) Optimisation of the integrated operation between the light-driven 'moisture-breathing' bed and dew point air cooler using the 'life-cycle-cooling-cost' oriented method; and investigation of the AC's building integration approach; and (5) Construction/testing of the AC prototype (including microbial hazard control) and validation/refinement of the integrated AC computer model.The proposed research will be carried out by a cross-university and multi-disciplinary team comprising Prof. Xudong Zhao of UHULL who is the world-class academic specialised in heating, cooling, renewable energy and energy efficiency, Prof. Semali Perera of Bath who is a leading scientist specialised in porous sorption/desorption materials, Prof. Barry Crittenden who is a Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering specialising in adsorption and membranes, Dr Carmelo Herdes who is specialized in molecular simulations, experiments and characterization of sorption/desorption materials and molecular transport with industrial relevance, Prof. Brad Gilbon of UHULL who is an internationally recognised optical scientist, Prof. Jeanette Rotchell of UHULL who is a leading scientist specialised in environmental biology, Dr. Xiaoli Ma of UHULL who has expertise in renewable energy and dew point cooling, and Dr. Zishang Zhu of UHULL who is specialised in integrating renewable energy system into buildings. The project team will be supported by FIVE UK industrial/governmental organisations.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 04/10/23