In this study, the influence of several design parameters on the transient distributions of temperature, pressure and amount adsorbed in the radial direction of a cylindrical adsorbent bed of an adsorption cooling unit using silica gel/water have been investigated numerically. For this purpose, a transient one-dimensional local thermal non-equilibrium model that accounts for both internal and external mass transfer resistances has been developed using the local volume averaging method. For the conditions investigated, the validity of the local thermal equilibrium and spatially isobaric bed assumptions have been confirmed. To improve the performance of the bed considered, efforts should be focused on reducing heat transfer resistances and intra-particle (interior) mass transfer resistances but not inter-particle (exterior) mass transfer resistances. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.