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Solar Cooling

China: “There is strong competition between PV and solar thermal cooling”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 24, 2017
YazakiTwo larger solar thermal cooling installations were put into operation in China in 2016. One of them was a 23-kW Yazaki absorption system (left photo) and one a new developed 50-kW variable-effect absorption chiller driven by a Fresnel collector (right). Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Professor Yanjun Dai of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) about the market and technological advances of solar cooling in China.
Photos: SJTU

China: Solar Process Heat and Space Heating and Cooling Rack Up Market Shares

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 19, 2017
CSTIFChina’s shift away from residential towards commercial solar thermal applications continues: The collector area of newly installed solar water heaters in single-family buildings declined by 26 % in 2016, whereas the ‘engineering segment’ remained stable last year (see the table below). This segment is comprised of all non-domestic hot water applications, such as space heating and cooling as well as applications in industry and agriculture. Overall, its share in the newly installed collector area went from 61 to 68 %. All figures were taken from the Report on the State of China's Solar Thermal Industry (July to December 2016), a document drafted by Dezhou-based consultancy Sun’s Vision on behalf of CSTIF, the Chinese Solar Thermal Industry Federation. CSTIF has presented this report – which also includes several development strategies – to the National Energy Board. 
 

Jordan: Four Demonstration Plants for Solar Air Conditioning Commissioned

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 29, 2017
Petra Guest House JordanJordan is showing rapidly increasing demand for air-conditioning. Total annual emissions from cooling commercial buildings add up to 600,000 tonnes of CO2, an amount equal to emissions from about 120,000 passenger vehicles per year. This has prompted the German Agency for International Cooperation to initiate the project Solar Cooling in Industry and Commerce in Jordan. The German Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) played a key role in this transfer of technology and know-how for the planning and installation as well as monitoring of four solar-driven air-conditioning systems in public and private buildings. The photo shows the 388 m² collector field which was commissioned at Petra Guest House in February 2015, around the same time as the one at German Jordanian University.
Photo: GIZ 

IEA SHC Task 53: Innovative Solar Cooling Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 28, 2017
IEA SHC Task 53The 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.
Chart: TASK 53
 

SolarCool Europe: Solar Heat Reduces Chiller Electricity Consumption

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 27, 2016
SolarCool InstallationIn April 2016, British company SolarCool Energy put into operation its largest SolarCool system, which was installed on the roof of Chingford Fruit’s processing plant (see photo) in Dartford Kent, UK. Fifty-four retrofitted vacuum tube collectors totalling 160 m² have since reduced the power consumption of the existing compression chillers with a cooling capacity of 1 MW. According to Central Services Manager Colin Ormerod, Chingford Fruit has saved 100,000 kWh of electricity during process cooling (16 °C) over the two full months that the system has been in operation (May and June). The SolarCool technology was developed in 2009 in the USA, and reached European markets in 2013/2014. In the meantime, there have been around 6,000 systems set up across all continents – the majority in Latin America, Caribbean and South East Asia, according to Dr Kurt Orthmann, Joint Managing Director at SolarCool’s European subsidiary, SolarCool Europe.
Photo: UK SolarCool Energy installation
 

IEA SHC Programme Scales up its International Research Network

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 18, 2016
The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) broadens its sponsor network. The most recent members are the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), headquartered in Germany, and the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) based in Qatar. ISES joined as a Sponsor in 2016 and GORD already in 2015. “We welcome the engagement of ISES and GORD in the IEA SHC Programme,“ says Ken Guthrie, Chairman of IEA SHC. “ISES represents an extensive network of solar thermal professionals from around the world and GORD opens the doors to the Gulf States – potential future markets for solar cooling“. 
 

IEA SHC: Industry Workshop in Spain Shows Solar Cooling’s Global Opportunities

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 30, 2016
Task 43 WorkshopThe 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.
Photo: IDEA
 

SOLTRAIN: 2,150 Technicians Trained and 187 Demonstration Systems Installed in SADC Region

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 1, 2016
SOLTRAIN ConferenceThe Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN) presented the project’s remarkable progress since 2009 during a conference in Midrand, South Africa, on 11 February 2016. “Between 2009 and 2015, about 2,150 people have been trained in 80 courses, and nearly 187 solar thermal systems ranging from 2 to 250 m² collector area per system have been installed in the five target countries South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe,” Project Coordinator Werner Weiss, Managing Director of Austrian institute AEE INTEC, summed up the results. The photo shows the presentation of Dr Thembakazi Mali, Senior Manager Clean Energy Solutions at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) on 11 February. The one-day conference was attended by 63 stakeholders from the SADC region. 
Photos (2): Monika Spörk-Dür

SHC2015: “Participants were very confident about the future of solar thermal”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 27, 2016
Professor Dr Bülent YeşilataProfessor Dr Bülent Yeşilata is one of the key experts of solar heating and cooling research in Turkey. He is Professor and Dean of the Engineering Faculty of Harran University in Şanlıurfa, Turkey, and a member of the IEA SHC Executive Committee. Yeşilata was the scientific chair of the international solar thermal conference SHC2015, which took place in Istanbul at the beginning of December 2015. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with him about the challenges and the highlights of the conference. 
Photo: Eva Augsten

Saudi Arabia: “Cheap might still be too expensive”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 19, 2016
Saudi Arabia Solar Cooling AramcoWith a solar radiation of up to 2,550 kWh/m², Saudi Arabia seems destined to be a frequent user of solar thermal energy. Solar heating and cooling, however, are not very common in the Kingdom. A new housing programme launched by the government is now adding solar water heating to the list of eligible technologies, albeit companies selling to Saudi Arabia have so far only reported a small number of prestigious projects. The photo shows a solar cooling demonstration plant at the headquarters of the kingdom’s oil company, Aramco, in Dhahran. The system, which came into operation in November 2014, offers high-vacuum flat MT-Power panels by Swiss manufacturer TVP Solar and runs a double-effect absorption chiller with 180 °C to produce cold air for Saudi Aramco's Al-Munirah Community Library. Still, solar thermal energy seems to remain a niche market in the eyes of the government, which has just published a new energy strategy for the coming years – the policy document primarily mentions PV, CSP and nuclear energy to offset the rising domestic consumption of the nation’s main export commodity: oil. 
Photo: TVP Solar
 

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