Solar Thermal Energy for Cooling and Refrigeration: Status and Perspectives (2012)

This presentation - given by TECSOL’s Daniel Mugnier at the 2012 Intersolar fair in Munich - gives an overview of recent technological developments in Solar Cooling, and an outlook for the progress that still needs to be made in the future.  This is made in the framework of Task 48 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Program. The main technical progress over the last decade is outlined for closed cycles and open sorptive cycles, as well as sorption cooling and high temperature applications. 

The presentation estimates that there will have been 750 solar cooling systems active worldwide in 2011, with the majority located in Europe; and with an 83% market share for ad/absorption technologies. Economic viability still remains an issue, with the initial installation costs 2-5 times higher than for conventional technology, and a best case payback scenario of just less than 10 years. The potential cost reduction is however high, with up to 60% possible for certain components according to TECSOL’s projections.

The presentation closes by outlining the challenges for future Research and Development projects to overcome. These include developing efficient heat rejection technologies, integrating new and small capacity open cycles into ventilation systems for the residential sector, and increasing demonstration activities for solar cooling. Quality assurance measures for solar cooling are also very much needed, with Task 48 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Program dedicated to their improvement.

Author: Daniel Mugnier, TECSOL

Date: 2012

Pages: 39

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