With developing technology and the rapid increase in world population, the demand for energy is ever increasing. Conventional energy will not be enough to meet the continuously increasing need for energy in the future. In this case, renewable energy sources will become important. Solar energy is a very important energy source because of its advantages. Instead of a compressor system, which uses electricity, an absorption cooling system, using renewable energy and kinds of waste heat energy, may be used for cooling. In this study, a solar-powered, single stage, absorption cooling system, using a water-lithium bromide solution, is simulated. A modular computer program has been developed for the absorption system to simulate various cycle configurations and solar energy parameters for Antalya, Turkey. So, the effects of hot water inlet temperatures on the coefficient of performance (COP) and the surface area of the absorption cooling components are studied. In addition, reference temperatures which are the minimum allowable hot water inlet temperatures are determined and their effect on the fraction of the total load met by non-purchased energy (FNP) and the coefficient of performance are researched. Also, the effects of the collector type and storage tank mass are investigated in detail. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.