electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)
In the interest of reducing the size of absorption chillers, a novel adiabatic membrane-based micro-absorber prototype is experimentally studied. Water-lithium bromide solution is used as the working fluid flowing through 50 rectangular microchannels of 0.15&;8239#mm height, 3 mm width and 58 mm length. In the present study, a laminated microporous PTFE membrane of 0.45 µm pore diameter, separating the solution from the vapour, is tested. It incorporates a supporting layer of polypropylene. Different operating parameters were tested, including the inlet solution mass flow rate, temperature and concentration and the pressure potential for absorption. The measured concentration and temperature of the solution at the absorber outlet are used to evaluate the mass transfer characteristics of the micro-absorber. It is demonstrated that the process is controlled by the solution mass transfer resistance. Calculated results of the absorption rate and the absorption ratio show the advantages of the proposed design considering its compactness. The cooling power of a hypothetical chiller equipped with the tested micro-absorber of 73.7 cm3 effective volume, for the range of variables considered in this study, is 41 W. The modular configuration of the absorber allows to easily scale-up the cooling capacity.