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 first large-scale system which incorporates the newly developed CoolStore chiller by Swedish company ClimateWell was commissioned in June 2014 and has since been operating flawlessly at Swedish coffee producer Löfbergs in Karlstad, Sweden. In the middle of October, ClimateWell organised a mini-conference at Löfbergs in order to showcase the installation and its first monitoring results. The measurements taken between 11 and 25 July showed an average electrical coefficient of performance (COPel) of 10.6. This is more than twice as much as for a conventional electric vapour compression system, which has a COPel of between 2 and 5. The highest COP measured at the demonstration plant was 12.
The latest development of Swedish Company ClimateWell is called CoolStore and can be integrated into a collector casing. ClimateWell offers this special vacuum tube, which produces heat or cold, to interested collector manufacturers. The former producer of absorption chillers has completely altered its product range to become a component supplier for boilers and air-conditioners for vehicles. The new product, however, has still not been entirely uncovered in the figure above, because “we do not want to disclose too much yet”, explains ClimateWell’s CEO, Per Olofsson. “The idea of the CoolStore tube is that solar cooling needs to be simpler and more efficient to really work on the market. At the same time, we also wanted lower cooling temperatures for efficient air-conditioning and dehumidification.”
ClimateWell AB, located in Stockholm, is one of 12 companies which were chosen among 4,000 applicants in a ten-week contest organised by US-American General Electric Co (GE). ClimateWell won in the Efficient Appliances category and received a USD 100,000 concept stage grant. Since 2008, the Swedish company has run a production unit for absorption chillers in Spain, similar to the system shown in the picture. Photo: Kingspan
Electricity, heating and cooling from one and the same energy plant, all simultaneously: this is the special feature of the recently inaugurated solar installation at the Närvård Härnösand hospital. Photo: Cleantech Demonstration Arena
Under the burning sun of Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 161 m2 of vacuum tube collectors by Irish manufacturer Kingspan Renewables provide enough heat for 6 small-size absorption chillers with a 10 kW cooling capacity by Swedish company Climatewell. Photo: Climatewell.