This study proposes a novel solar assisted absorption cooling (SAAC) system and performs its exergetic analysis and assessment. The system was designed, constructed and tested in Izmir, Turkey. Water was used as refrigerant in the system. The performance of the whole system along with its main components was assessed through exergy analysis method. The results obtained gave the exergy destruction rate, the exergy efficiency in various forms, the relative irreversibility and sustainability index in both charging and discharging processes. A parametric study was also undertaken to investigate the effect of the various dead (reference) state temperatures ranging from 30 degrees C to 42 degrees C with an interval of 4 degrees C on the entire system efficiency. In this context, the exergy efficiency of the whole system varied between 13.1 and 43.2% as the dead state temperatures increase from 30 degrees C to 42 degrees C. The highest relative irreversibility values of 66.1% and 34.6% belonged to the solar collectors and the absorption chiller in charging and discharging processes at a dead state temperature of 34 degrees C, respectively. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.