Solar cooling is a promising new field of application for solar thermal technology. A new version of the simulation software Polysun will be published in April. It will not only be able to design solar thermal systems but also solar powered cooling plants that work with compression coolers or fan coils. A version that also contains a simulation model for absorption chillers is scheduled for the summer months. Polysun is offered in Chinese, Czech, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
“We offer our software on three different user levels: Designer for planners and engineers, Professional for salespersons and installers, Light for architects and house owners,” says marketing employee Simon Geisshuesler from the Swiss based Vela Solaris AG. The user is able to design his own hydraulic schemes with the Designer version whereas with the Professional version he can choose from various schemes included in the system. Vela Solaris had to adjust the building model of the simulation programme to meet the specific requirements of solar cooling installations. “It is not only energy demand that is important for cooling, but also humidity on site,” explains Geisshuesler. Reducing humidity is also an important factor for the comfort in rooms. So, the decisive question for choosing the chiller technology is whether the building has to be air-conditioned with or without dehumidification.
Vela Solaris is not only working on a simulation tool for solar cooling. Dr. Valentin Energiesoftware GmbH from Berlin, Germany, is also developing a new version of its simulation programme for solar thermal systems, called TSol, that will include solar cooling, too. The company works together with the German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, ISE. By the end of this year, the new release should enter the market.
This text was written by Joachim Berner, a German journalist and solar thermal expert.