Category Archives: SonSolar

The realisation of the project

It has been very important to inform local authorities of the Ursynow District about the project and its progress. In March 2003 the Mayor of the Ursynow District was officially informed about the project. He agreed to become a patron of the project and assist with planning approval etc.

In May the school was visited by the DEFRA representative to become familiar with the school, to understand the technical details of the project, to discuss the schedule and plans for realisation.

In June all parties of the project agreed the basic system concept and instrumentation needs and by July the plans were fully formulated. The final plan and designs of the solar system installation were approved by the Architecture, Construction and Planning Department of the local authority in July 2003.

After reviewing solar monitoring systems, equipement, tools and software available on the British and Polish market it was decided that Polish products would be used, thereby making the system easier to install and maintain (in its country of origin). It is also most important that the software is in Polish, which helps dissemination of the operating results. At the beginning of the project APAREL, a mechanical & electrical engineering company with experience in solar energy, served as a technical consultant to the project. Later another Polish company HEWALEX was also involved in the project, because of its very good experience in monitoring and visualisation of solar systems.

Partners agreed that HEWALEX would carry out the basic assembly of the solar system to the agreed design and provide the upgrading of the system. The upgrading of the system was concerned with introducing a second collector with its appropriate additional equipement . According to the initial plans presented in the proposal applied to DEFRA in 2002, this upgrading was planned to take place after completion of the project. However, during the construction of the solar system it turned out to be much better, for technical and economical reasons, to construct the full (upgraded) system with two solar collectors, at the same time.

HEWALEX is responsible for the maintenance of the solar system, including its monitoring equipement and visualisation system. Professional maintenance should avoid any technical problems during the system operation and ensure a long life for the system and its use in teaching renewable energy. HEWALEX also agreed to be responsible for the maintaince of the system (including electronics, control, instrumentation etc.) after completion of the project, for the first 3 years of operation.

In June, the partners of the project decided to equip the solar lab with 10 educational PV sets and not to install the PV on the roof (as per the original plan). The decision was made partly because of the complicated and expensive monitoring and visualisation system needed for PV but also because it enabled a much more direct ‘hands-on’ experience for the pupils.

In July the shipment of the solar equipment: the Suntube DP6-2800 solar collector and 10 PV educational kits took place. Installation of the main part of the water heating system was completed in August and the rest of the system together with the monitoring system in December. The visualisation system was installed between December 2003 and February 2004.

Now the "mini solar laboratory" is fully constructed and equipped with its measuring and monitoring system. The laboratory consists of two parts: an open — air laboratory on the roof and an indoor laboratory — inside the school building. On the roof there is a solar thermal system for providing hot water. Two types of solar collectors have been installed, a typical flat plate solar collector produced in Poland (by Hewalex) and vacuum solar collectors (sourced by Riomay). The two types of solar collectors installed on the school roof are shown in Fig. 2.

Fig.2 The outdoor part of the Mini solar Lab with two types of solar collectors and moveable construction

An antifreeze mixture circulates round the two closed loops of the solar collectors. Both solar collector systems have been linked to

one storage tank, one DHW system and a space heating system. A storage tank, a DHW system that supplies hot water only to the mini solar lab and a mini space heating system in a form of one radiator are located in the room of the solar Lab.

Having lessons in the solar lab pupils have the opportunity to see all of these elements and to watch the operating parameters of the system.

The complete system is connected to a computer and data logger for monitoring and experiments. The instrumentation is both ‘student-friendly’ and very professional. The solar systems have monitoring equipment linked to a PC which enables the pupils to measure chosen parameters, performance and efficiency and to change some of these parameters, therby influancing the operation of the system.

A very important issue for the pupils research work is to be able to influence the solar system operation. This influence is made not only through changes in the basic system parameters like the flow rate of the antifreeze mixture circulating through the solar loops, but also by changes of other parameters like the orientation and inclination of solar collectors. These parameters influance the amount of incident solar radiation on the solar collectors and in consequence on the available solar energy that is converted into heat and is used to warm up the hot water in the storage tank. The collector support construction is equiped with a mechanism that alows the orientation and inclination of the solar collectors to be changed through the automatic controll system which is managed
and controlled by the computer software. Pupils can change the orientation and inclination of solar collectors and learn about influence of these two parameters on the available solar energy. Because the solar system is equiped with two different solar collectors (flat plate and vacum collectors) it is possible to contrast and compare them simultaneously. The parameters of these two collectors, especially the temperature of the circulating fluids and their flows, the amount of useful solar energy gains and their efficiency can all be measured. Pupils can carry out a variety of different experiments, learning about the idea of a stochastic source of heat — solar radiation together with its proper utilisation.

In the last phase of the project: December 2003 — February 2004 the educational materials have been prepared by Polish and English partners and issued. There are teaching materials in the form of a booklet in the Polish language [3], leaflets in Polish, a poster and a Power Point presentation in English, which explain the principles of Solar Energy and other Renewables, the technology used, and the relevance to Poland.

The two PowerPoint presentations are on Solar Thermal and PV respectively. The Solar Thermal presentation first explains the need to use renewables and then explains the way the Sun moves in the sky and how it affects the available energy arriving at a collector. It then describes the construction of flat-plate and evacuated collectors and how their performance may be described by the HWB equation. A range of different solar projects, from single houses to power towers are pictured, and finally a small science project to build a solar cooker is suggested.

The PV presentation goes through the basic science and construction of PV’s describing some of the different types and their performance characteristics. There is information on how they are integrated into stand-alone or grid-linked systems, and many photographs of actual applications.

A school teacher who teaches physics and takes care of the Mini Solar Lab is a main person who is responsible for education in solar energy and other renewables at the school.


Now the project is near its end and the official opening ceremony of the Solar Mini Laboratory is scheduled for April 2004. We hope that the lab will teach hundreds of young people about solar energy. During the life of the system, many hundreds of future engineers, scientists and policy makers will have been exposed to a positive and realistic experience of renewable energy and will have the opportunity to learn about solar energy by theory and practice.

The laboratory is a special educational resource useful in teaching science and technology. It is expected that the school will organise presentations for other schools and exhibitions for the general dissemination of knowledge to the public. The laboratory is to be used not only by the school in consideration, but also by other schools which will be invited to have their solar lessons at the laboratory. In the main they will be schools from Warsaw, and especially schools from the area of Ursynow (where the school is located). This is the new district of Warsaw, with 200 000 inhabitants, of whom 60% constitute the younger generation.

The school will disseminate the idea of renewables and the results of the actual operation of a solar system through the school web-site. Under preperation there is a link from the school web-site to the monitoring and visualisation system of the solar instalation. Everybody who visits the school web-site and is interested in solar energy can see how the system operates and what the parameters of the system operation are. After agreement with the target school, Gimnazjum nr 4, other schools can use a special software key to influence the solar system operation. This means that they could have solar lessons without leaving their own school. The visualisation system was designed and implemented in a way that allows monitoring and analysis of the solar system not only by

the school pupils it is provided for but also by anyone interested (after agreement with a school), via a telephone link to the modem of the school PC.


1. Mironczuk J. Instalacja kolektorow stonecznych w szkole z basenem. Polska Energetyka Stoneczna. pp. 30-31. Nr 2/2003. PTES-ISES. Wyd. NOVA, Biatystok

2. Pietruszko S. M., Gradzki M. 1-kW PV system grid connected after two years of monitoring. Roceedings of the ISES Solar World Congress 2003, Goteborg, Sweden

3. Chwieduk D. Energia stoneczna. Publikacja edukacyjna dla szkot ponadpodstawowych. Warszawa 2004. Wyd. NOVA


Organising the SAMSA 2002

The planning and organisation of such a regional training event requires time and careful consideration of a number of aspects. ISES, together with ISES ITALIA and the University of Roma Tre conceived the idea two years before the Academy was finally held. A search for funding was initiated, with a proposal submitted to under the EC ALTENER programme. This was granted for the merged LEARNET-SAMSA project (LEARNET focuses on the development of Guides on bioclimatic architecture in several languages).

The experiences gained by ISES during the previous Summer Academies for Solar Architecture assisted with the organisation of the SAMSA 2002. As the members of the ISES network are involved in sustainable energy issues, many of them are ideal experts for involvement in such a capacity building workshop. Experts were selected to share their expertise at the SAMSA 2002 with other professionals and students of architecture and engineering. The ISES network (National Sections) in the Mediterranean region also assisted with the marketing of the Academy, informing potential participants in their respective countries.

A programme was developed to specifically provide practical training, addressing the need of participants to learn from actual solar architectural design experiences — both from the experts but also by working on a design with the assistance and under the supervision
of mentors. The SAMSA 2002 programme covered eleven days of intensive training, using international expertise, focusing on a specific region and its relevant climates and other aspects, such as the cultural impact on building design. As it took place during the main European summer holiday, senior students and professionals were able to attend. As it was a unique European event, focusing on a specific topic — Mediterranean solar architecture — it drew great interest (Image 2).

The active involvement of ISES in the organisation of the Academy had several positive outcomes, among those:

• Lecturer identification and involvement was facilitated by the international contacts of ISES. In particular it was possible to include some of the best academic and training professional capacities in the field of Mediterranean solar architecture. Many renowned European experts in the field participated as lecturers, such as Dr. Alexandros Tombazis (Greece), Prof. Brian Ford (UK), Prof. Jaime Lopez de Asiain (Spain), Prof. Matheos Santamouris (Greece), Mr. Gilles Perraudin (France), Mr. Stefan Behnish (Germany), Prof. Gianni Scudo (italy) and many others (view www. ises. org/samsa for more details);

• The acquisition of financial support under the EC ALTENER programme and facilitating the involvement of building and energy technology companies as sponsors;

• The marketing of the SAMSA 2002 as a regional training event at international level;

• The creation of a Solar Building Library in the World-wide Information System for Renewable Energy (WIRE) (http://wire. ises. org) presenting examples from all over the world, including Mediterranean solar buildings.

• The organisation of a parallel ‘Exhibition for Renewable Energy Technologies for Buildings’ with many participating companies being members of ISES or the ISES network.

The organisational input provided by ISES ITALIA focussed largely on jointly developing a unique programme, providing local logistical support and interesting company members of the NGO to support the SAMSA 2002. In this way the synergy between these two partners, with different expertise contributed, helped to ensure the success of the event.

Post-Graduate Training in Renewable Energies. at Kassel University

K. Vajen*, F. Kininger#, R.-M. Luking’

Universitat Kassel, D-34109 Kassel
* Institut fur Thermische Energietechnik
# Institut fur Elektrische Energietechnik — Rationelle Energiewandlung
~ Weiterbildender Studiengang Energie und Umwelt

Abstract: Three different post-graduate education programs on Renewable Energy Technologies and Energy Savings are offered at Kassel University:

(A) a master course held in German language,

(B) part of a European master course, and

(C) part time courses for engineers, natural scientists, and technicians returning to the university for continuing education.

In the following an overview of the course structures, the prerequisites in terms of education for the students and scientific aims are given.


In 1997 the EU Whitepaper "Energy for the Future — Renewable Energy” demanded to double the share of renewable energies on the primary energy consumption of the EU to 12% in 2010, compared to 1995. This ambitious aim requires a lot of effort in political, economical and infrastructural respect. Highly skilled and well educated engineers and scientists, who are able to employ, develop and refine renewable energy and energy saving technologies, serve as a prerequisite to meet this aim. Nevertheless, the lack of engineers and project developers has so far been one of the main limiting factors even in highly industrialized countries, for example for the growth of the German wind technology industry during the recent years. To overcome these problems the number of education programs need to be increased significantly, both, on national and international level, in order to meet the local needs and to take into consideration global perspectives.

Whereas the number of researchers working on single renewable energy technologies increased during the recent years, only little effort has been taken to connect different fields of new and conventional energy technologies in a combined study program. To provide a broad knowledge regarding technological options and saving measures, an interdisciplinary staff of specialists in the fields of photovoltaics, wind energy, solar thermal, small hydro power, biomass production as well as conversion, building physics, domestic service facilities and global energy scenarios has gathered to provide a joint education program at Kassel University. This was possible due to the fact that a high number of university and other research institutes as well as industry working in the renewable energy field are located in the region of Kassel.

The sequence of the education programs at Kassel University on renewable energy technologies is shown in Figure 1. In Table 1, an overview of the education programs is given. Additionally to the courses mentioned, PhD studies are carried out in the research groups involved in the education program.

Fig. 1: Sequence of education programs. The dark fields mark study and training programs regarding renewable energy technology offered at Kassel University (Germany). A Bachelor course on “Renewable Energies” is offered at the

Fachhochschule Nordhausen, located close to Kassel, cf. (Wesselak 2004).

Tab. 1: Survey over the possibilities of postgraduate studies in renewable energies at Kassel University. _____________________________________________________________

“German” Master

“European” Master

Extended Training









Science, application

Application, science



18 months

12 months

6 to 12 months


April and October



No. of participants

100/a (expected)

50/a (expected)




5.000 — 10.000 €/a

600 — 1150 €/Module


www. uni-kassel. de/~solar

www. eurec. be

www. uni-

kassel. de/e+u


Prof. Dr. K. Vajen

Prof. Dr. J. Schmid

Dr. R. Luking Dr. K Vaupel

vajen@uni-kassel. de


kassel. de


kassel. de

A) German Master Program on “Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency”.

Starting in spring 2005, this master program will be offered in German language in a cooperation of the departments of mechanical, electrical and civil engineering as well as architecture and agriculture. Prerequisite to take part in the course is a bachelor or comparable degree in technical or natural science or in agriculture. This broad range of start qualifications is taken into account in the didactic concept. However, strong basic knowledge in mathematics is mandatory.

Master Thesis

Summer Term


Solar Engineering

Energy Efficiency




Heat Transfer

Solar Irradiation, Photovoltaic, Solar Thermal, Other Renewables





Rational Use of Energy





Optional Technical Courses

Practical Work in a Laboratory

Winter Term

Elektrical Enginneering

Turbo Machines |

Biomass |


Electrical, Measurement and Control Technique






Wind — and Hydropower









Optional Technical Courses

Non Technical Courses

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency




10 11




15 16 17 18 19 20 21





Classroom hours per week

Fig. 2: Scheme of the curriculum of the German master course at Kassel University. The darkest marked courses are obligatory, depending on the previous degree of the students. The students may enter the study either in the winter and the summer term.

Education Concepts 3-731

Подпись: Education Concepts 3-731О

Special basic courses are offered in

— electrical, measurement and control technique,

— thermodynamics,

— heat transfer,

— fluid dynamic,

— agriculture,

— biology, and building physics.

The technical knowledge base is taught as well as applications of the important renewable energy technologies and energy saving measures.

In addition, the curriculum contains courses regarding

— life cycle engineering,

— energy economy,

— project planning, and

— the global development regarding energy supply.

Besides the application-orientated education, special attention is laid on fundamental scientific skills, implemented into the education scheme with an extended master thesis. The interdisciplinary composition of teaching staff and students shall strongly stimulate discussions, exchange and cooperation beyond the single disciplines.

The course lasts 18 months and it is free of tuition fees. The students can enter the course each spring and fall. A scheme of the course structure is shown in Figure 2.

B) European Master Program: “Master in Renewable Energy”

The European Master Program “Master in Renewable Energy” has a total duration of 12 months. It is devided into three sections:

— a basic education about renewable energy technologies (core phase, lasting from September to December),

— a specialisation in a chosen field at a different university (specialization phase, January to April), and

— a research project (project phase, May to September).

During the program, the students are required to stay in at least two different European countries and to get in contact with a wide range of European research institutes and companies involved in the renewable energy field. The universities participating in the master program are all well established in training and education, and recognized at an international level for their work in the field of renewable energy technology.

The core phase of the master program provides a firm technical background in the key renewable energy technologies and an overview about energy production and use. Course languages are English, French or Spanish. The core providers (universities) follow a common syllabus containing solar, wind, biomass and water technologies. Additional non­examinable material and/or lectures on socio-economics may be provided. The student can choose one of the following universities:

— Loughborough University, UK for the core taught in English

— Zaragoza University, Spain for the core taught in Spanish

— Ecole des Mines de Paris, France for the core taught in French

— Oldenburg University, Germany for the core taught in English

During the specialization phase the students focus on a particular technology or implementation aspect (photovoltaics; wind power; solar energy in the built environment; biomass or hybrid systems). The classes are taught in English. The specialisation phase can be carried out at one of the following universities:

— National Technical University of Athens, Greece, for the specialisation in Wind Energy

— University of Zaragoza, Spain, for the specialisation in Biomass

— Kassel University, Germany, for the specialisation in Hybrid Systems

— University of Northumbria, UK, with input from the New University of Lisbon, Portugal for the specialisation in Photovoltaics

— University of Athens, Greece, for the specialisation in Solar Energy in the Built Environment

During the project phase the student gains practical or research experience through a research project undertaken in industry, a research laboratory or at the university. The project is normally related to the specialization taken, however it may also be carried out in a different field. The project must include sufficient technical content and must be directly related to renewable energy. Apart from that, there is no restriction in the type of the project. This allows a wide variety of projects to be proposed and gives flexibility to the student and the project provider to define the project. The students are welcome to propose his/her own project. During the project, the progress is monitored by a professor from the core and the specialization provider as well as a professional tutor from the project provider.

The project is presented at the end of September in the Renewable Energy House in Brussels where the students also have the chance to meet the staff of the different European renewable energy associations present in the House, the course directors and project tutors from the industry and research centres. The students are also obligated to write a project report.

The three course phases (core-specialisation-project) carry equal marks. After successfully passing exams and completing the project, students are awarded their respective degree by the university where the student studied in the first trimester, according to the respective national rules. The degree carries a label "EUREC Agency European Master in Renewable Energy".

The entire program is build up on a modular basis with credits awarded for passing each phase and the successful completion of the project. A total of 90 European credits (30 for each course phase) are required for the award of the European Master’s degree.

C) Continuing Education “Energy and Environment”

(Weiterbildendes Studium Energie und Umwelt)

The continuing education “Energy and Environment” is offered at Kassel University since 1982. The target group are engineers, natural scientists and technicians who are on job and want to extend their knowledge on renewable energies for energy consultation. In 2000 a new modular concept has started with two specializations called “Energy Consultant for Buildings” and “Construction Planner Renewable Energies”. Technical, economical, political and legal aspects are covered in the courses.

The lessons are given at weekends. Therefore, the program enables to combine a qualifying continuing education with a regular job.

In Table 2 the number of participants for different courses are listed. In 2003/04, 60 students participated in all of the courses about "Energy Consultant for Buildings”. In 2004 the course was offered twice. Nevertheless, many applicants had to be refused.

The students come from all over Germany — and even other parts of Europe — to take part in the seminars.

Laboratories and computer-rooms of the University are used for supplementary practical trainings. These application orientated trainings are usually also oversubscribed.

The one year course is held in German and starts in fall each year. At the end of the courses the participants can receive a certificate. The fees amount from 600 Euro to 1150 €, depending on the chosen modules.

In Fig. 3 a time schedule of the courses is given.














Continuing education energy and environment

Special basic courses

Laboratory and computer seminars

Project work

Energy Consultant for Buildings

Construction Planner Renewable Energies

Fig. 3: Scheme of the curricula of the further training “Energy and Environment” at Kassel University. The darker marked courses are modules offered for students with special interests.

Tab. 2: Number of participants of the continuing education in the field Energy and Environment



Further education energy and environment



Module Energy Consultant for Buildings



Module Construction Planner Renewable Energies




Wesselak, V.: Renewable Energy Engineering, Proceedings of EuroSun 2004, Freiburg 20.-24.6.04

The present situation of renewable energy sector in Poland

Since 1990’s the share of RES in global energy production in Poland has been slowly increasing. At the moment, the basic sources of renewable energy are biomass and hydropower. Geothermal energy, wind power and solar energy are of lower significance.

In 2001 Poland’s total primary energy supply was 90.57 Mtoe, of which 4.5 % or 4.08 Mtoe was produced from RES.

A progression of RES share during 1990 — 2002 is given in table 3 [18], which shows total primary energy supply and electricity production, a contribution of renewable energy to total supply and electricity production in quantities and %.

Solid biomass and biogas are the largest RES. The second largest source is hydropower. Geothermal and wind energy are of lesser significance. The contribution of solar energy to total energy supply is still very marginal, but growing interest can be observed. Table 4 presents the respective contribution of different renewables [18,19,20], including solar energy for the year 2001 and 2002 in installed capacity, gross electricity generation and gross heat production.

Table 3. A progression of RES share during 1990 — 2002








































































Renewables do not include industrial waste, non-renewable municipal solid waste and pimped storage production.

Electricity generation = gross production — amount of electricity produced in pumped storage plants.

Table 4. Contribution of RES for the year 2001 and 2002 in installed capacity, gross electricity generation and gross heat production




































102 056















Geothermal Heat Pumps







Solar Thermal


10 980 m2







Biomass may be utilised in direct combustion processes in a solid and gaseous form and processed into liquid fuels. The current number of wood-fired installations is estimated at over 100,000 units, which includes small wood gasification boilers, in which wood may be combusted as an alternative fuel with coal, and also larger scale industrial boilers in the pulp and paper industry. Furnaces for burning straw and hay are also used, and energy producing willow plantations are being developed. Biogas is generated at waste disposal sites and in sewage treatment plants. Utilisation of biomass and biogas is more and more important and more profitable.

Water energy plants in Poland (both state and private ones) supply around 2000 GWh of energy per year including mini energy plants at the level of 1 GWh. A few hundred small energy plants operating on Polish rivers produce energy on a local scale.

Wind energy production is developing but is facing a difficult start, one of the reasons being that plants can be built mainly along the Baltic coast with the most suitable conditions along the central coast, where the wind is the strongest.

In recent years the possibilities of using geothermal waters for heating purposes have been investigated. A quarter of the country’s area has good conditions for the construction of installations that would utilise the warmth of the soil. The resources of geothermal waters can be found mainly in the Polish lowlands, particularly from Szczecin to Lodz, in Mazowsze and rich in geo-thermal waters is the area of Podhale.

The greatest technical potential is to be found in solar radiation. Even though solar energy is the least appreciated source of energy, we can observe growing interests in this field and encouraging examples of solar installations are being constructed in some places in Poland.

A sector driven by SMEs

Most of the companies that make up the RE industry landscape are of small and medium size. Even if there are recent tendencies for consolidation of the sector like the takeover of MADE by Iberdrola or the expected merger of the Danish wind turbine manufacturers Vestas and NEGMicon, the majority of companies do not count as large enterprises. Given the fact that the launch of new products is a cost-intensive exercise involving heavy investment in research and development, the sector is certainly not making large enough profits for single companies to embark on expensive training programmes for new employees. However, new recruits, even if they might hold an engineering degree, are not perse fit for a company’s daily job requirements and typically need a minimum of 6 months on-the-job training before being able to contribute tangible results.

A response to the demand for specialised engineers

Driven by the fact that there is not enough supply in the labour market that qualifies to meeting the specific demand of the different RE companies, EUREC Agency set up a graduate degree course to satisfy industry needs in human resources: the European Master in Renewable Energy. This full-time technical course provides its students with the state-of-the-art skills and expertise required for employment in the RE industry. By turning out experts in the respective RE technology, the course significantly reduces the time and financial burden of training new employees for the potential employers.

Target students

The course is of strictly technical nature and thus only applicants with an engineering, physics or relevant scientific university degree are admitted. Beyond this, applicants must have a very good command of English language in order to follow classes.

Topic and supervising teacher

I have chosen the topic for my Facharbeit by myself and asked my physics teacher to supervise my work. He immediately agreed, probably also, because he himself wanted to learn more about the subject I was going to work on. But he made a condition that I should focus on physical aspects and exclude as far as possible chemical ones, as his knowledge in chemistry is not very good. It is a general problem with interdisciplinary topics to find teachers who feel competent enough to supervise such a work.

Further on my teacher expressed his doubts, if he could manage to do a good guiding work, because he had not got much experience in this — the Facharbeit is a rather new construct.

It is not very encouraging for students, if the experts who have to guide their works feel unsure in doing this. In my case, I was lucky to have my father from whom I could expect support in specialist knowledge questions.

The Fundamentals and the Conventional Structures

The from 0.5 to 3 eV range is an important part of solar energy. Photons in this range can be used by special semiconductor devices for the production of electrical

Fig. 1. Structure of a polycrystalline silicon based solar cell

energy. Photons of suitable energy generate charge carrier pairs in the semiconductor. Making use of built-in electrical space the charge carriers can be separated and may do electrical work. One of the most frequently used solar cell types can be manufactured from polycrystalline (Fig. 1.) and amorpous (Fig. 2.) silicon with pn-junction. The current — voltage characteristics of the junction is well known. The efficiency of the solar cell is given by the quotient the highest available electrical power and the power of incident solar rays. Typical efficiency for commercially available — e. g. in architecture — used silicon based solar cells is 10 to 15 percent. The

solar cell is characterized by another parameter called fill factor, which describes the form of the current-voltage curve, and it is between 0.7 and 0.8 for a well-made commercial cell. How can the efficiency of the solar cell be improved? There is a very important factor: the energy band gap.

Fig. 2. Structure of an amorphous silicon based solar cell

Transport behaviour of the carrier in different materials is another important parameter. The carrier which is generated outside the space — charge region should the junction by diffusion before recombination. This is realized in silicon, in which the diffusion length of electrons in the p-region is around hundred microns. The efficiency can be improved with an antireflection layer on the surface.

Efficiency is influenced by the following parameters: band gap, absorption and diffusion length.

Integrated solar combined cycle systems (ISCCS)

The integration of a solar field with a combined cycle (CC) power plant seems to offer several advantages to solar power and also to other renewable energy sources. However, careful thought should be given to particular design features in order to circumvent sizeable, inherent green energy losses. The CC is an optimised system and upon integration with solar it is rendered out of optimum and may lose some percentage of its inherent high efficiency. For instance, it occurs upon combining two or more power-block subsystems, which operate with different capacities and varying fuel injection modes. Every percent of CC efficiency-loss due to the integration induces a considerably magnified effect on the green energy output of the system. For example, consider a 100 MW CC operating 8000 hours a year, to be integrated with a solar trough power plant capable of operating 2000 hours a year at 10 MW output (when operating alone with its own 10 MW engine). When the latter is integrated with the CC, a single percent loss of the CC annual output amounts to 8 GWh. This loss may be said to "eat up” a substantial portion of the 20 GWh solar plant green capability output. Any efficiency loss of a fuel fired engine is a green energy loss, because now more fuel has to be burnt to supply the same amount of the electricity prior to the integration.

In addition, another loss takes place during the solar hours. As the temperature of the working fluid produced by the solar field is often too low for accommodating the design conditions of the steam-cycle part of the CC, "back-up” fuel firing is generally resorted to, which is a severe, inefficient use of fuel [4]. It means a definite green energy loss. Every single percent of CC efficiency loss will be magnified as mentioned above, and is to be charged to the solar energy account.

Also, because site requirements for the solar field and the CC are in conflict, this brings about another source of annual CC output loss. The CC conversion efficiency is degraded due to the usual higher ambient temperature (and lower air density) at high solar radiation sites, which are beneficial to solar systems [4]. This might translate into additional percentage of solar green output loss.

There may be ISCCS or other solar-fuel hybrids configurations that make sense, but significant care and study must be taken in the integration design, otherwise it is possible to end up with a plant that uses more fuel per kWhe output than the fossil-only plant. Green energy considerations and analysis should help.

The role of the standard reference for defining avoided fuel (emissions reduction) or green energy is essential for enabling fruitful analysis of systems and for directing research options towards improved systems. It should be emphasized that in most cases the standards (references) are independent of the equipment characteristics of the system under examination.

A highly innovative, high temperature, high. concentration, solar optical system at the turn of the. nineteenth century. The Pyrheliophoro


Manuel Collares Pereira (Coordinator Researcher)

INETI, Renewable Energies Department,

Edificio G, Az. dos Lameiros,1649-038
Lisbon, Portugal
collares. pereira@ineti. pt


The ISES initiative of recovering the recent and not so recent history of solar energy and its pioneers has prompted several investigations into the past. Several gems of ingenuity, scientific and technical capacity, way ahead of their time, have been uncovered. The one to be described in this paper is one of those, having produced quite a stir in its own time. It was soon to be forgotten given that the World in transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, was about to embark in the "oil race", and solar energy was not even given half a chance to be "in the race" at that time.

Father Himalaya 1902

The man behind the work described here was a truly remarkable personality, a self made scientist, a catholic priest, without a proper (academic) scientific training. Through life he tried to compensate for it by his constant travels, in particular to France (mainly Paris), but also to many other scientific relevant European Countries, in particular England and Germany and to the U. S., interacting and even studying with top notch people of his day, like Berthelot, Moissan, Violle, among others.

His name was Manuel Antonio Gomes, soon nicknamed by a friend as Himalaya, because he was taller than his colleagues. He added this nickname to his name and was ( and still only is) known by it. He was born in 1868, in Cendufe, a small village in the North of Portugal. He was one in a large family with little economical resources. As usual in those days and in such circumstances, he entered the Seminary, as a way to study and to succeed in life. He was ordained priest, and a practicing priest he was until his last day (in 1933), in spite of his very controversial life style, unorthodox views of the Church and its dogmas, the very critical position he had on items like the forced celibacy of priests and its constant fight for a more socially responsible and committed Church, embracing as he did the truly liberal, republican, socialistic and idealistic ideas of the day.

He was quite famous in his lifetime and respected for his achievements. He became member of the Portuguese Science Academy and had at least an attentive audience amidst the politicians of that day.

This paper is dedicated to his crown achievement in the field of optics and solar thermal, but he is also known for many other original contributions, for which he got
a truly large number of patents, in Europe and in the U. S.. and, most notably, the Grand Prix at the St. Louis World Exhibition of 1904.

He really lacked a proper high level training in Physics and other basic sciences, which would have been very good to shape his enormous qualities has an experimentalist and as a mechanical genius. His training in chemistry was probably deeper (his interaction with Berthelot and other important chemists certainly had a crucial part in that). Among other things he invented and developed an explosive ( a chlorine based, smokeless-powder, the himalayite — said to be more powerful, easier and safer to use than dynamite) which he put to many pacific usages, in particular in agriculture and in quarries [48]. His explosive was sought after by several armies of the World (U. S., German, Portuguese, etc.) and his involvement with some of those is still more or less shrouded in mystery. Another one of his inventions, deserving a mention in this brief account, is the one of a rotary steam engine, looking very much like the rotary engines first proposed-and developed — many years after[49] .

He was also a Nature lover, a self trained biologist, a practitioner of natural medicine, but, most remarkably, he was an ecologist "avant la lettre", an explicit and stout advocate of sustainable development, through a proper balance of Humanity, its needs and Nature, regarded by him not just as a provider but also as an important part of the whole scheme of things. He constantly called for Renewable Energies (solar, hydro, tidal, wave,…) as the means for long term and balanced solutions for the many problems caused by poverty and starvation facing the World of his time and in particular of his own country. He had, in this regard, a truly modern view of the World and of the place of Man in Nature, a view which is taking another hundred years to affirm itself.

This note and comments are largely based on the remarkable book [1] written by Prof. Jacinto Rodrigues, which is now about to be translated in several languages and being used as the basis for a movie on the extraordinary life of this towering man and personality.

Future training is essential

Since 1997 the concept of the Academies has evolved, providing a growing basis of information focusing on the central aspects that impact on solar building design — including scientific and technical issues; cultural; management; climatic and regional aspects. The intention is to encourage other organisations, also tertiary education institutions, to organise similar events or to include relevant themes on solar building into their core curricula.

This process has started, for example the SAMSA 2002 inspired university lecturers in Mozambique to organize a similar course in Maputo, funded by the Italian Cooperation and promoted by ISES. The event titled “Controlo Ambiental e Energia Renovavel na Arquitectura” was held in October 2003 at the Faculty of Architecture and Physics of the University Eduardo Mondlane, and was attended by more than 100 people.

The SAMSA concept focuses on the Mediterranean basin area, but, as a large section of this area forms part of Europe, it is also closely connected with other European activities and regional training events. In 2004 three similar Academies will be organised by ISES and its partners, as a component of the EC ALTENER supported project “Teaching About

Renewable Energies in Buildings", implemented by several prominent European universities and organisations. This project is also aimed at coordinating the development of web-based downloadable teaching packages, organising the first European Master’s degree in this field and holding three further education training events, namely:

• Rome, Italy:

o Summer Academy for Mediterranean Solar Architecture (SAMSA 2004) o Focus on tools for solar building design in the Mediterranean region. o www. ises. org/samsa2004

• Freiburg, Germany:

o ISES Solar Academy: Integration of Solar Technologies in Building Design (Freiburg 2004)

o Focus on the integration of solar technologies in the design of residential buildings in a temperate to cold climate.

o www. ises. org/freibura2004

• Prague, Czech Republic:

o ISES Solar Academy: Solar Technologies for Building Renovation (SOTERE 2004)

o Focus on the renovation of historically significant buildings using of solar technologies in a temperate to cold climate.

o www. ises. ora/sotere2004

The Academies, promoted by the ISES network, are inter-connected and promote the electronic sharing of data and results on solar architecture aspects, thereby supporting and enhancing the role ofthe European network ofskilled solararchitecture professionals.

5. Conclusion

Professionals — mainly architects and engineers, but also related professions — and students require clear and structured information on the different aspects relating to the application of RETs, EE and solar architecture strategies in the built environment. Experience gained with the SAMSA 2002 and similar events has encouraged the NGOs and universities linked to the ISES network to continue their activities in the formative sector, addressing the growing need for similar capacity building events.

Within the ISES network there is a wide range of expertise available, with a supportive international network, where professionals and students interested in sustainable energy can find mutual interests, and exchange ideas and experiences. ISES will celebrate its 50™ anniversary in 2004 as the oldest and largest NGO that promotes Renewable Energy globally. Many of the Society’s activities have encouraged people to consider sustainable energy issues — a particularly interesting one for solar buildings are the results of the first international solar architecture competition organised in 1957 (Image 3). These results, when compared to solar buildings of today, show that the basic strategies and principles have essentially not changed, but the technologies and materials available today add new and fascinating dimensions to solar buildings.

The results ofthe Academies and the enthusiasm ofthe participants has encouraged ISES to continue these activities as part of its Awareness, Education & Capacity Building

Image 1 — SAMSA 2002 group



Faculty of Architecture Untvenlty Ы Roma Tre

Image 2: SAMSA 2002 official poster

Image 3: Results ofthe 1957 ISES Architecture competition on CD/DVD

Programme (AEC). The aim is to ensure that a point of reference is established in the field of solar architecture, not only in Europe but also internationally — thereby assisting the experts and professionals to join forces, centralise the information and spread information on solar architecture — relevant both to new building design and building renovation — considering aesthetics and energy consumption (reduction), using clean energy sources as equally important aspects in the design process.