The Adsorption heat pump is a technology for cooling and heating by using hot water as a driving heat source. It will largely contribute to energy savings when it is driven by solar thermal energy or waste heat. The system is available in the market worldwide, and there are many examples of application to heat recovery in factories and to solar cooling systems. In the present system, silica gel and zeolite are popular adsorbents in combination with water refrigerant. Our study focused on activated carbon-ethanol pair for adsorption cooling system because of the potential to compete with conventional systems in terms of coefficient of performance. In addition, activated-ethanol pair can generally produce larger cooling effect by an adsorption-desorption cycle compared with that of the conventional pairs in terms of cooling effect per unit adsorbent mass. After the potential of a commercially available activated carbon with highest level specific surface area was evaluated, we developed a new activated carbon that has the optimum pore characteristics for the purpose of solar or waste heat driven cooling systems. In this paper, comparison of refrigerants for adsorption heat pump application is presented, and a newly developed activated carbon for ethanol adsorption heat pump is introduced.