Decarbonization of Summer Cooling Energy Demands of Buildings Employing Absorption Systems in the Framework of Climate Change in Italy

(Pages 73-85)

Ferdinando Salata1, Serena Falasca2, Virgilio Ciancio1 and Stefano Grignaffini1

1Department of Astronautical, Electrical and Energy Engineering – Area Fisica Tecnica, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy; 2Center of Excellence in Telesensing of Environment and Model Prediction of Severe events (CETEMPS), University of L’Aquila, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy




Abstract: Temperatures in the Mediterranean area have gradually risen in the last decades due to climate change, especially in the Italian Peninsula. This phenomenon has increased the cooling needs to ensure thermal comfort in buildings and, consequently, the use of refrigeration machines. Summer air conditioning is carried out mainly using compression machines powered by electricity supplied by the national network. All this contributes to the emission of climate-changing gases. To avoid this disadvantageous chain, compression machines could be replaced by absorption cooling systems powered by solar energy. The energy needs of the buildings in a time are directly proportional to the sum of positive differences between the outdoor air temperature and the indoor set point of the systems (equal to 26°C). The annual sum of hourly temperature differences defined above can be computed for each grid cell thanks to a numerical weather prediction model, namely the Weather Research and Forecasting model, that simulates the hourly temperatures on high-resolution computation grids and over fairly large extents. Maps of cooling consumption for buildings are thus produced. Choosing absorption solar energy-powered systems instead of vapor compression refrigeration systems leads to a drop in electrical energy consumption and therefore in emissions of greenhouse gases. In this work, different hypothetical scenarios of penetration of this technology have been considered. And the subsequent consumption of electricity withdrawn from the national grid has been estimated together with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Keywords: Climate change, Buildings cooling, summer energy needs, WRF, Maps, Mediterranean area.