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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P030920/1
Title: Indiacool - UK-India Solar Cooling Innovation (Energy Catalyst Mid-stage Programme)
Principal Investigator: Markides, Professor CN
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Department of Chemical Engineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 06 March 2017 Ends: 05 July 2018 Value (£): 100,059
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The India-UK Innovative Solar Cooling (Indiacool) project is an industrial R&D collaboration between UK and India corporate and academic partners, Imperial College, Solar Polar Limited, Mamata Energy and Anna University, Chennai. It aims to investigate and advance the development of an innovative UK solar-cooling technology for its use and further commercialisation for two applications: 1) provision of low-cost solar cooling of crops and food in rural communities in developing countries as part of the food 'cold-chain'; and 2) low-cost solar air-conditioning of dwellings and small retail and industrial buildings.

The first application has potential for commercialisation in India and throughout the developing world, where wastage of crops and food due to the lack of an adequate cold-chain can be as high as 50%. The second application has significant commercialisation potential in India and worldwide as it can potentially provide a viable alternative to compressor based air-conditioning which is responsible for substantial consumption of electricity and very significant carbon emissions.

Imperial College's main contribution is to: 1) lead the computational modelling of Solar Polar's cooling technology for thermodynamic and thermal performance analysis that takes into account the varying climatic conditions in India; 2) investigate the optimisation of the technology for operating in the Indian climate and for the two different cooling applications, with particular focus on working fluid selection, working pressures, system design and key component modifications; 3) support the design and development of prototype systems incorporating the results of the optimisation work; and 4) support the testing and monitoring of the performance of the prototypes within field trials (within both applications) in India.

Within the computational modelling task, thermodynamic and thermal performance analysis will be assisted by harnessing existing modelling tools for this technology which have been developed at Imperial College, based on a laboratory absorption-cooling system. Imperial College will provide expertise on thermodynamics, thermofluids, thermal modelling and absorption-cooling systems. Using this expertise, Imperial College will also assist in extending the complexity of these modelling tools to include (and allow) component and fluid design for the Solar Polar system and to extend the predictive capabilities of these tools to include dynamic modelling of the system within India's varying climatic conditions. This activity will allow optimised Solar Polar cooling units to be designed for the two specific applications and for the climatic conditions in India.

Optimised Solar Polar's systems, suggested by the models, will be confirmed by laboratory testing on a Solar Polar cooling system. Specifically, the effect on system performance of different working pressures and working fluids will be investigated and results from these experiments will be used to feed into the modelling work. Imperial College will also investigate the impact on performance optimisation that may be achieved by modifications to system components.

Based on the results from the research undertaken in relation to 1) and 2) above, Imperial College will support Solar Polar in the development of optimised design specifications and drawings for prototypes (that will be constructed for use in field trials).

Imperial College will also provide expertise in the design, testing and monitoring specification for use within the field trial phase of the project. This will include definition of test protocols, assessment and selections of monitoring equipment and formulation of specifications for data collection, transmission and analysis. Imperial College will support Solar Polar in its procurement of the required monitoring equipment and in the installation and commissioning of the equipment within field trial prototype systems.
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk