This paper presents analysis aiming at assessing the feasibility and economic performance of a solar–assisted air–conditioning system for a middle class house under the climatic conditions of Tunis City. Two alternative cooling modes for the single effect water–lithium bromide absorption machine are considered, a water–cooling in association with a cooling tower and air–cooling. The numerical simulations show that for the water–cooling case, a solar system with 18 m² of evacuated tube collector area and a thermal storage tank of 1.3 m³ maintained at a temperature of 95°C can cover 50% of the energy needs of the machine. The corresponding optimal results for the air–cooled chiller are: energy needs coverage 40%, hot water tank capacity 1 m³ at 110°C, collector area 14 m². The annually total costs for the case of water–cooling and air–cooling are respectively 3.52 /kWh and 2.51 /kWh.
Keywords: single effect chiller, water–lithium absorption machine, evacuated tube collectors, solar air conditioning, economic viability, cost, optimisation, TRNSYS, technical analysis, economic analysis, solar energy, solar power, Tunisia, water cooling, numerical simulation