Low Energy Air Conditioning for Hot Climates

  • Hamad Almutairi

Student thesis: Phd


Fossil fuels are the major sources of electrical power generation in the world. Among all fossil fuels, oil is considered as the most sought-after fuel. The burden on countries that provide subsidized electricity produced from oil-fired power plants is noteworthy. Kuwait is a notable example of these countries. Electricity in Kuwait is heavily consumed by residential air conditioning, which comprises 60% of the total electricity generated at peak times on a hot summer day. From this perspective, residential air conditioning in Kuwait was selected to undergo further investigation regarding low energy air conditioning choices. Three solutions to control the rapid growth of demand for electricity by residential air conditioning are examined.The first solution investigated assesses the orientation and grouping of houses in Kuwait in order to examine their effect on cooling load and electrical energy consumption for future houses. Four residential cases were developed; each case comprises six typical houses. The cases identified are: (1) single block facing east-west, (2) single block facing north-south, (3) double block facing east-west and (4) double block facing north-south. Cooling loads are calculated using the DesignBuilder building thermal simulation software. Case (2) is found to have the smallest cooling load, and case (1) the largest. The estimated savings from applying case (2) compared to the average of the four cases for the future houses planned to be built by the government by the year 2016 (i.e. approximately 20,000 houses) are found to be approximately $US 33 million of power system capital costs, 15 GWh per year of electrical energy consumption and 11 kilotons per year of CO2 emissions.In the second solution, a lifecycle cost analysis is performed to evaluate the economic feasibilities of electricity driven chilled water system compared to predominant air conditioning system in Kuwaiti houses which is Packaged- Direct Expansion. The study considers the total cash paid by the consumer and the total cash paid by the government, since electricity is subsidized in Kuwait. The study finds that the chilled water system is not cost-effective for consumers due to high installation cost. However, a chilled water system would be cost-effective for the government because it consumes 40%less electrical energy than Packaged-DX. So, the study suggests subsidising the installation of chilled water systems so that the installation cost to the consumer is the same as for Packaged-DX systems.In the third solution, the study examines the viability of a single-effect LiBr absorption chiller driven by steam extracted from the steam turbine in the configuration of a combined cycle power plant (CCPP). The analysis shows that CCPP with absorption chiller yields less net electrical power available to utility grid compared to similar CCPP giving electricity to the grid and to Direct-Expansion air conditioning systems for the same cooling requirements. The reasons for that are the reduction in steam turbine power output resulted from steam extraction, and the amount of electrical energy required to operate the configuration of CCPP with absorption chiller.
Date of Award1 Aug 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJonathan Dewsbury (Supervisor) & Gregory Lane-Serff (Supervisor)


  • Fossil Fuels, Residential Air Conditioning, Building orientation, savings, Lifecycle cost analysis
  • CO2, Direct Expansion systems,Chilled water systems, Combined heat and power, Building simulation

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