Solar Thermal or Photovoltaic Cooling? (2012)

This presentation was given by Professor Ursula Eicker (University of Applied Sciences, Stuttgart) at Intersolar 2012. It reports on the simulations studies undertaken by the University to compare the energy performance and costs of solar thermal, PV and conventional cooling. Several case studies are referenced, including test installations in Germany, Spain, Cyprus and Egypt.

Building upon the results of the University’s studies, the presentation makes several firm conclusions. Solar Thermal and PV cooling both allow for primary energy savings of 30-50% in a typical office property. For reduced Feed-in tariffs and increasing heat costs, their costs are comparable, with Solar Thermal most performance- and cost-competitive over longer operating hours. Solar Thermal is also highest performing in terms of primary energy efficiency, with savings significantly higher than PV cooling when using double/triple effect chillers.

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