The biggest challenge for a small market like the solar cooling one – which has still a long way to go – is how to reduce system costs. One way to achieve this objective besides increasing market volume is standardisation. Companies from around the globe have responded to the challenge by developing pre-engineered solar cooling kits. To provide a better overview of the innovative technologies in this field, the researchers of IEA SHC Task 53, New Generation Solar Cooling and Heating Systems, collected technical data on 10 small to medium solar cooling units and published them in table form (see the attached document). The list includes market-ready as well as close-to-market solutions.
The latest R&D developments in solar cooling presented during a workshop in Madrid, Spain, on 11 April sparked great interest among the attendees from the international air conditioning industry. Held at the headquarters of the Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, IDEA, the event brought together representatives from companies, such as Baxi Roca, Carrier, Fujitsu, Kaysun and Panasonic, as well as researchers from Task 53, New Generation Solar Cooling and Heating Systems, of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. The presentations showcased innovative solutions driven by solar heat or solar power. The experts agreed that solar cooling will be a market for both solar thermal and solar PV solutions over the coming years and will capture new territory outside Europe, such as in the Middle East or China. A current study on the Arab region concluded: PV cooling technologies are more economical than grid-driven electric chillers at cooling loads of 100 kWc, whereas solar thermal cooling should be used for 1 MWc cooling.