Thermal heat driven adsorption systems using natural refrigerants have been focused on the recent energy utilization trend. However, the drawbacks of these adsorption systems are their poor performance in terms of system cooling capacity and coefficient of performance (COP). The objective of this paper is to improve the performance of thermally powered adsorption cooling system by selecting new adsorbent-refrigerant pair. Adsorption capacity of adsorbent-refrigerant pair depends on the thermophysical properties (pore size, pore volume and pore diameter) of adsorbent and isothermal characteristics of the pair. In this paper, the thermophysical properties of two PAN types of activated carbon fibers (FX-400 and KF-1000) are determined from the nitrogen adsorption isotherms. The standard nitrogen gas adsorption/desorption measurements on various adsorbents at liquid nitrogen of temperature 77.3 K were performed. Surface area of each adsorbent was determined by the Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) plot of nitrogen adsorption data. Pore size distribution was measured by the Horvath and Kawazoe (HK) method. As of the adsorption/desorption isotherms, FX-400 shows very small hysteresis when the value of P/Po exceeds 0.4, while KF-1000 has no hysteresis in the whole range of P/Po. The adsorption capacity of FX-400 is about 30% higher than that of KF-1000. The adsorption equilibrium data of activated carbon fiber (ACF)-methanol are presented and correlated with simple equations. The adsorption equilibrium data of ACF (KF-1000)-water also presented in order to facilitate comparison with those of ACFs-methanol pair. The results will contribute significantly in designing the adsorber/desorber heat exchanger for thermally driven adsorption cooling system.
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