Category Archives: EuroSun2008-10

Test Procedure

During the development of the test, extractions of hot water are not carried out. The SDWHS is filled with water trying to maintain the inlet water (T0) at the same temperature. The test begins at 9:00 h (solar time) when the data acquisition system is switched on and the experimental data are registered every 60 seconds. At the end of the solar journey at 18:00 h, the valves of the solar loop are closed and the small recirculation pump is turned on in order to homogenize the temperature in the storage tank (Tf); after that the day test is finished.

In order to evaluate the thermal losses during the night period, the two valves of solar loop are opened again. The following day at 8:30 h, the temperature of the storage tank is homogenised again in order to obtain the final night temperature (Tf, 24h) and finally the system is completely empty. This test procedure is realised during several days in order to obtain the system characteri­sation under different weather and working conditions.

The schematic representation of experimental apparatus for test procedure system is shown in Fig. 2. It has two different loops: the first one is the solar loop that includes the solar collector and stor­age tank. Three temperature sensors are inserted in the following positions: 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 of the internal tank height. The three temperature sensors are used for two reasons: a) to obtain the strati­fication profile in the storage tank along the test and b) to determine when the homogenised tem­perature in the storage tank is reached. The second loop is the recirculation one, which is a closed circuit where a small pump permits the quick circulation of the water contained in the storage tank in order to homogenise the temperature. The homogenised temperature in the storage tank is reached (and the recirculation pump is turned off) when the three temperature sensors inside the tank vary less than 0.5 K (in the thermosyphon system tested, the time used in this procedure was lower than 5 minutes). Additionally the ambient temperature is measured, a global solar irradiance sensor is also integrated on the collector plane and an anemometer is also installed in order to measure the wind direction and speed [11].

The tests were carried out in the Solar Platform of the Centro de Investigation en Energia of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, located in Temixco, Morelos State, Mexico, at 18°50.36’ N latitude and at 99°14.07’ W longitude, with an altitude of 1219 m over sea level. The yearly average ambient temperature is 23.09 °C with a yearly average solar irradiance on the hori­zontal plane of 20.28 MJ/m2. The tests began from May 2007 to May 2008.

3. Results

Fig. 3 shows the radiation and the stratification profile of the water temperatures of the experimen­tal systems for one day of test; the two-phase system working with R134a. The morning and the early afternoon were sunny until around 3:00 pm with an average solar radiation on the collector plane of 546.44 W/m2.



Fig. 3. Radiation and temperature profile for one day of test, using R134a as working fluid.

The cloudy period seems to diminish the gain of heat in the conventional system more than in the phase change system. After the irradiation period (at 18:00 h), the temperature in the thermotank has increased around 21 °C to reach a temperature of 50.3 °C for both the conventional system and the two-phase working with R134a.

The efficiency and useful heat of the system are calculated from the equations:

r/ = 100 x — 4r


Подпись: Where n is the efficiency, qu is the useful heat [J] and qr is the energy received from the sun [J],

qr — (I)( AbXAt)

Where I is the irradiance on the collector plane [W/m2], Aabs of operation of the system [s],

qu — (mH2O )(Cp, H2O ‘)(ATH2O )

Where mH2O is the mass of the water [kg], cpH20 the specific heat at constant pressure [J/kgK] and ATmO=Tf-T0 [K].

On the other hand, the thermal losses during the night are calculated from the equation:

Us — mcp, n (Tf,24h ~ Tf )

T — T

f 1 amb, n (4)

The letter n stands for the night period; Tf is the available temperature at the end of the solar irradi­ance period [K], Us the thermal losses during the night [J/K] and Tambn the ambient temperature.

It can be seen from Table 1 that acetone has a lower performance; however more tests must be car­ried out to obtain a solid conclusion to this question; according to Soin et al. [3] the system must be loaded with a larger quantity of the working fluid to obtain a better performance.

Table 1. Performance of the two-phase (acetone) and the conventional system.


Water system








qu [MJ]


12.9± 1.8

Tf, d[K]



A T [K]






NOTE: Rounding of mean values was done according to standard deviation data.

Table 2 summarises the efficiencies and other parameters of the two-phase thermosyphon working with R134a and the conventional thermosyphon. Although the two-phase system exhibits a slightly better performance, a simple analysis indicates that the efficiencies are statistically equivalent.

Table 2. Performance of the two-phase (R134a) and the conventional system.


Water system








qu [MJ]


14.5± 1.3

Tf [K]



A T [K]


21.7± 1.9

Us [MJ/K]



NOTE: Rounding of mean values was done according to standard deviation data.

Comparison of the performance of the two-phase system using R410A, versus the performance of the conventional thermosyphon that uses water is shown in Table 3. As in the R134a case, both systems exhibit statistic equivalent performances, with an average increment of 21 °C of tempera­ture in each case, showing efficiencies of approximately 51 %.

Table 3. Performance of the two-phase (R410A) and the conventional system.


Water system








qu [MJ]



Tf, d[K]



A T [K]






NOTE: Rounding of mean values was done according to standard deviation data.

Although R134a and R410A were not tested at the same time, these data suggest that their per­formance may be equivalent. However, R134a works at significant lower pressures than R410A.

The system, when working with R410A reached consistently pressures near 38 bar. If water is re­moved from the thermotank, then the fluid cannot transfer its heat completely, and the pressure grows so high that the tubing resistant limit is reached, so the tubing can burst open at any mo­ment. Because of this, in our opinion, use of R410A is not recommended for this kind of system. To exemplify this, Fig. 4 shows the performance of the fluid temperature and the pressure for the two-phase system, working with R410A. Pressure reaches values near 36 bar.


4. Conclusions

A two-phase closed thermosyphon using R134a, acetone and R410A as working fluids was com­pared with a conventional natural solar collector thermosyphon. In tests, the two-phase system working with R134a showed statistically equivalent performance than the conventional system, though the former eliminates problems of freezing, fouling, scaling and corrosion. The two-phase system working with acetone showed a slightly lower performance; however, it is expected to im­prove after new tests with major loads of acetone in the closed circuit of the system and also, after trying vacuuming the system. The two-phase system working with R410A showed statistically equivalent performance than the conventional thermosyphon. Both R134a and R410A show good performance as working fluids, and in their respective comparisons with the thermosyphon system; however, the lower pressure reached by the R134a makes it more attractive as a working fluid.

5. Acknowledgements

This work has been partially financed by PAPIIT project (IN-111806-3) and CONACyT project U44764-Y and Modulo Solar S. A. de C. V. company. The authors thank to CONACyT for the sup­port provided to the student with the scholarship number 183846.


[1] S. A. Kalogirou, Environmental Benefits of Domestic Solar Water Heating Systems, Energy Conversion & Management 45 (18-19) (2004) 3075-3092.

[2] www. funtener. org

[3] R. Soin, K. Sangameswar Rao, D. Rao, K. Rao, Performance of a Flat Plate Solar Collector with Fluid undergoing Phase Change, Solar Energy 23 (1) (1979) 69-73.

[4] J. M. Schreyer, Residential Application of Refrigerant-charged Solar Collectors, Solar Energy 26 (4) (1981) 307-312.

[5] J. M. Calm, D. A. Didion, Trade-offs in refrigerant selections: past, present and future, International Journal of Refrigeration 21 (4) (1998) 308-321.

[6] K. S. Ong, M. Haider-E-Alahi, Performance of a R-134a-filled Thermosyphon, Applied Thermal Engi­neering 23 (18) (2003) 2373-2381.

[7] H. M. S. Hussein, Optimization of a Natural Circulation Two Phase Closed Thermosyphon Flat Plate Solar Water Heater, Energy Conversion & Management 44 (14) (2003) 2341-2352.

[8] M. Esen, H. Esen, Experimental Investigation of a Two-phase Closed Thermosyphon Solar Water Heater, Solar Energy 79 (5) (2005) 459-468.

[9] REFPROP version 8.0. Reference Fluid Thermodynamic and Transport Properties, NIST Standard Ref­erence Database 23, Lemon E. W., McLinden M. O., Huber M. L., USA (2008).

[10] N. v. Solms, M. L. Michelsen, G. M. Kontogeorgis, Applying Association Theories to Polar Fluids, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 43 (2004) 1803-1806.

[11] O. Garcia-Valladares, I. Pilatowsky, V. Ruiz, Outdoor Test Method to Determine the Thermal Behavior of Solar Domestic Water Heating Systems, 82 (2008) 613-622.

Energy transfer when pouring

The energy of the hot water poured by the customer is defined as:

Ethw(i) = mthw(i) • CP • (Tthw — Tcw) (1 1)

Подпись: E(i + 1,n) Подпись: 1 - Ethw(0 E(i n + a -1) + Ethw(l) • E(i,n + a) - E(i,n) E(i,a)) E(i,a) Подпись: (12)

Where thw stands for tap hot water and cw is cold water. The quantity of hot water poured from the tank during one time step can be higher or lower than the mass of water contained in one element. Never the less, the next relationship for the energy of an element n stands.

Where a is the number of elements providing the hot water for the pouring, 1 or higher. If n+a is larger then the total number of elements, N, than cold water is added to the bottom elements.

3.2 Model validation

To valid our numerical model a comparison is done with a commercial solar thermal software TSol and with experimental data. The computation time step p is one hour. Identical systems are compared in both cases located in two cities: Paris and Grenoble. The present model over estimates the performance of the system with 1.4% in Paris and 1.3% in Grenoble when comparing with TSol, and with less than 3% in both cities when comparing with experimental data.

4. Results and comments

Solar thermal markets in Europe

image177 image178 image179

Currently, solar thermal markets are growing all over Europe (see Fig. 7), even if with different path and different focus: Germany is still the largest market; Austria and Greece are among countries with the highest per capita collector area, but while in the first solar combi systems become increasingly important (35% of installed area), in the latter dominate thermosiphonic systems for DHW; other southern European countries as e. g. Spain and France are catching up now. Solar combi plus systems have a large potential here because systems can be used year around for DHW, pool heating, space heating and last but not least cooling. Although small solar combi plus systems are relatively new to the market, sales are rapidly increasing. The industrial partners involved in this project have already installed more than 130 systems all over Europe.

Fig. 8. Answers to the question, whether consumers ask
retailers about energy efficiency

Owners satisfaction

As a result of system follow-up it was possible to visit the system and talk with some of the owners which lead to the detection of some problems:

Tenants refer to be happy with the general performance of the system since spring 2008 and to have no need to use the back up boiler for domestic hot water.

But there are some complaints regarding the information on how to correctly use the STS.

In some cases there is also high gas consumption for tenants that have the boiler regulated for higher consumption temperatures. We noticed that the reason comes from the fact that the three way valve that should prevent heat transfer in the wrong direction was not installed.

The lack of a maintenance contract has brought problems in the relation between the contractor and the owner of the installation, based on claims of violation of the terms of guarantee. This aspect is also affecting the actual dwelling owners because they will have to support now the costs of such contract, which is absolutely necessary and mandatory, nowadays, in accordance with the new building code.

In the process, a questionnaire was decided to do to the dwellings owners. The questionnaire focused the establishment of the consumption profile of the tenants (including number of people per apartment, usage schedule, central heating use, total gas consumption and gas fired utilities), to assess their satisfaction level and suggestions for improvement of systems performance.

Unfortunately most of them did not answer until the moment and because of that is not possible to present the results. Anyway this aspect is becoming more and more important and it should be taken into account, since the first beginning of the monitoring period, in order to have detailed qualitative information in parallel with the quantitative one.

1st International Congress on Heating, Cooling, and Buildings, 7th to 10th October, Lisbon — Portugal /

3. Conclusion

Although some problems are not satisfactorily solved, the solar thermal system has been delivering enough energy to have an interesting overall solar fraction which makes the dwelling owners happy with its performance since spring 2008. Some of them refer to have no need to use the boiler. This qualitative result matches with the 40% efficiency collection that we are measuring now.

Most of the problems found in this installation would have been avoided if the commissioning process of the total heating system had been executed by the same team, avoiding by this way the misunderstandings and problems between EPUL and installer, that occurred later and contributed to the delay on finding and executing the right decisions, proposed by INETI.

Another important source of problems was the bad solution implemented by the promoter related with the maintenance contract, which was not part of initial contract with the installer and it was supposed to be done between installer and the dwelling owners grouped in a condominium. This solution delayed the execution of such contract for system maintenance, contributing to the actual situation. So, the experience of this installation shows the importance of a warranty maintenance contract that the actual RCCTE code imposes in connection with the actual solar obligation.


[1] J. A. Duffie, W. A. Beckman (1980). Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

[2] NetPlan (March 2007), Manual do Sistema Solar Termico, Empreendimento EPUL Telheiras XXI.

[3] INETI (January 2004), Estudo de Viabilidade Tecnico-Economica de Instalagao Solar Termica para produgao de Aguas Quentes Sanitarias em fracgoes autonomas de habitagao Lote 1 — Telheiras Norte III.

[4] RESOL DeltaSol® ES, Mounting, Connection, Handling, Fault localization, Examples.

[5] ServiceCenter Software Suite for controller configuration and visualization: Installation, Operation.

[6] RESOL Data logger DL1: Mounting, Connection, Operation, Fault localization.

Simulation result

From Figs.3 to 5 show the example simulation results for the simulation case of the collector area 30m2 and the storage tank volume 2.0m3 using the Case A DHW supply.

Fig.3 shows the simulation results of the solar DHW system from 18th to 20th in January as the example of typical days in winter. A collector efficiency exceeds 70% in the midday of 18th, a clear day. The water temperature defference at


Collector efficiency













the inlet and outlet of the collector is 8.9 degrees C. The water temperature in the storage tank becomes 40 degrees C in the clear day. The temperature stratification is seen in storage tank when DHW is supplied in the afternoon, and the water temperature in the storage tank falls slowly. The maximum water temperature of the storage tank is 28 degrees C in January 19th, a cloudy day.

Подпись:Подпись: 1st International Congress on Heating, Cooling, and Buildings, 7th to 10th October, Lisbon - Portugal /Подпись: / Collector efficiency Подпись:Подпись:image206Fig.4 shows the simulation results of the

Fig.5 Hourly simulation results in summer days (collector area 30m2 solar DHW system from

and storage tank volume 2.0m3 with Case A DHW supply, A30V2.0). 22nd to 24th in May as

the example of typical

days in spring. The water temperature of the top in the storage tank rises to nearly 60 degrees C in the afternoon of the clear days in May 23rd and 24th. On May 22nd, a cloudy day, the maximum water temperature in the storage tank is 38 degrees C. The solar energy supplies a half of DHW heat load in the afternoon of the clear days.

Fig.5 shows the simulation results of the solar DHW system from 7th to 9th in August as the example of typical days in summer. As shown Table 2, smaller DHW supply rate was used in summer. As the water temperature in the storage tank exceeds 60 degrees C from 12:00 to 24:00 of August 8th and 9th, the DHW heat load is completely covered by the solar energy in this time.

Solar Heating at Tal-Ftieh Housing Project

One of the challenges of this project was to identify suitable areas on the roof to install the solar heating systems, in accordance with the Malta Environment and Planning Authority Guidelines [5] , while leaving sufficient space for drying clothes and for a photovoltaic system for the showroom. The task was further complicated by the existence of two lift rooms, which caused shading on large parts. In conclusion, it was deemed necessary to place 6 out of the 10 solar heaters on 1-metre elevated metal structures, to avoid shading by the perimeter walls, as shown in the background of Figure 2.

The solar heating systems were chosen to be of a 150-litre capacity each, as this would be sufficient for the washing needs of a family of four. Evacuated-tube systems were chosen due to the limited space, as they would occupy less area than an equivalent flat-plate solar system. Moreover, these systems were equipped with an electronic controller and display unit, which managed the volume of the feed-in cold water supply and the time at which replenishment is made. Also, it controlled the back-up electric booster element, in terms of thermostatic control and scheduling. The display showed the temperature and volume of water in the solar tank and also allowed for the control of the whole system from the comfort of one’s home. These features allowed a better control of hot water usage and gave a complete picture of the system’s conditions at one glance.

The project started by the preparation of detailed technical specifications for inclusion in the tender document. Adjudication was then made and the tender was awarded to the successful bidder. Close inspection during the installation stage was necessary to ensure full compliance to tender

[2] Be inherently safe and easy to fit for both professionals and those installing DIY domestic

solar panels for home use

• Be simple and tamper-proof, for example by having no interface buttons on the front of the

unit meaning that it cannot be programmed or deprogrammed without first unscrewing the unit.

• Have minimal need for component replacement by eliminating both batteries and mechanical

[3] D J. Naron, H Visser, (2002). Direct Characterisation Test Procedure for Solar Combisystems, Technical report, IEA Solar Heating & Cooling programme Task 26, http://www. iea-shc. org/task26

[4] P Vogelsanger, (2002). The Concise Cycle Test — An Indoor Test Method using a 12-day Test Cycle, Technical report, IEA Solar Heating & Cooling programme Task 26, http://www. iea-shc. org/task26

[5] H Druck, S Bachmann (2002). Performance testing of Solar Combisystems — Comparison of the CTSS with the ACDC procedure, Technical report, IEA Solar Heating & Cooling programme Task 26, http://www. iea-shc. org/task26

[6] M. Haller, R. Heimrath (2007). The reference heating system, the template solar system, Technical report, IEA Solar Heating & Cooling programme Task 32, http://www. iea-shc. org/task32

[7] S. A. Klein (2004). Manual of TRNSYS 16, a TRaNsient SYstem Simulation program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

[8] Matlab Tutorial (2005), The Language of Technical Computing, The Math Works, Inc

[9] Intelligent Energy Europe

[10] Avis Technique 14+5/04-887, 2.00 Ecosol Collector by ESE.

[11] Night hot water storage is frequently used in France due to the lower electricity price (0.064 €/kWh) usually between 22h and 6h.

[12] The tank temperature is recorded at 10 levels equidistant along its height. Obvious, the temperature at the top of the tank is the highest on this graphic and the bottom temperature is the lowest.

[13] Introduction

The expected solar thermal market boom in Portugal, due to the implementation of the new building code, will pose new challenges to contractors, building owners and users, and some conflict situations will certainly arise from the novelty of adoption of these systems in very large scale over a short period of time. The lessons to take from these first times will be of paramount importance to all sectors and agents involved in the process.

EPUL, Lisbon public building promoter, has acted as a pioneer in the Portuguese real estate market for some years, asking INETI to make technical-economic feasibility studies for the installation of domestic solar hot water systems in new multi-owned buildings under their responsibility.

These studies consistently showed the feasibility and profitability of such investment, even at a time when the current escalade of oil prices was not foreseeable, and previously to the introduction of the new building code (RCCTE) as a result of the implementation of EPBD (Energy Performance of Building European Directive).

It is the case of TELHEIRAS XXI, an apartment building in Lisbon, whose study was done in October 2003. After project approval and construction, the building was concluded, and ready for occupation in early 2007, just after the enforcement of the new building code making the use of solar energy compulsory in all new buildings.

Self-Acting Circulation Pump for Solar Installation

Y. Dobriansky*, M. Duda and D. Chludzinski

University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Technical Sciences,
ul. Oczapowskiego 11, 10-736 Olsztyn, Poland

Corresponding Author, dobr@uwm. edu. pl


The purpose of the work is to develop a self-acting circulating pump which transfers heat downward and acts with help of local heat that has to be transferred. The pressure difference of the saturated vapour is used for moving warm liquid downwards. The principles of action and the possibility of developing such a device by using laboratory experimental methods are presented. The device operates cyclically, is self-controlled, has simple design, and has no mechanical moving elements except flaps of check valves. This pump can be used with solar installation instead of electrical circulating pump.

Keywords: passive heat transfer downwards, self-acting, circulation, pump, liquid, reverse thermosiphon.

1. Introduction

Devices which use the phenomenon of natural convection, transfer heat upward, act autonomously and are often used in practice. There has been great interest in the invention of a device of passive heat transfer downward and there have been some technical proposals [1], [5], [6], [7]. However, they are not used in practice due to certain shortcomings: complicated mechanical design, high cost or dangerous materials, short distance of heat transfer etc. Only one engineering solution is used in practice widely. This system is a mechanical liquid pump that is being powered by using external energy sources. The main drawback of this system is that it does not act autonomously.

Solar collectors as a rule are located above a tank-accumulator of warm water in solar installations. Electrical circulating pumps are used for moving warm heat-carrier downwards from collectors to a tank. The cost of an electrical circulation pump with appropriate control device amounts about 20% from total cost of solar installations for a family house. Usual solar installation depends on power supplies. Moreover, these elements fail the most often in comparison with other parts of a solar installation.

Performance definition

To determine the system operation with and without weather forecast and to compare our results with field information we use two parameters: annual solar cover coefficient т and annual coefficient of performance COP. The last one is classically computed for heat pumps and refrigeration machines, and we consider that it can be very useful for solar systems too. The two efficiency coefficients are define as follows:

т = — ^ 100 (13)

image232 Подпись: (14)

Ethw + Qloss

Where Qloss stands for the annual energy lost by the tank.

4.1 Comparison between cities

The performances of the above-described HWSH are computed in three different locations, having different solar radiation intensity: Paris (3.3 kWh/ average value), Grenoble

(4.3 kWh/ and Nice (4.9 kWh/

Table 1. Comparison of performance in different locations.




т (%)








Air conditioning costumer needs

To estimate the potential of small scale Solar Combi+ systems, a market survey among AC systems retailers was conducted — the target group being the consumers, but the source to collect and analyze the necessary data the retailers, who could provide data not only on volume of sales but also on consumers attitude. Even if the research partners faced some difficulties in approaching retailers and collecting information, the filled questionnaires (elaborated by CRES) reveal some interesting aspects, which are presented here (the full report is available on the project website [8]).

Results are in line with the EU-survey of “consumer attitudes related to EU Energy policy” [9], which states that 80% of EU citizens say energy efficiency influences their decision when buying household appliances (nearly half of them very much) and that they are quite certain that within the next decade they have to change their every day behaviour, but also the technology used to make their living space comfortable. The Solar Combi+ survey in fact illustrates, that also in the selection of air conditioning systems in almost all countries in Europe, energy efficiency is a major topic (see Fig. 8). This has a clear consequence on the selected products. In fact in Italy most products sold are classified as energy class A while in Greece more class B and C than class A products are sold. (see Fig. 9).

While other criteria such as maintenance effort, noise, the trademark, aesthetics — and total cost! — are also important aspects when buying air conditioning systems (Fig. 10), a high percentage of consumers pay attention to energy label and efficiency data. 40% of them are even willing to pay more for a product if it is energy efficient (Fig. 11). This survey shows that Solar Combi+ systems can have a significant market if they are as reliable and convenient as conventional air conditioning systems even if they are somewhat more expensive.




By the end of the project, validated standard system configurations for small scale combined heating and cooling will be at the disposal of solar thermal industry, producers of sorption chillers and system providers.

The participating companies will accordingly be able to offer their own package solutions. These pre-engineered systems will enable installers to offer the technology to customers and to promote it, thus triggering the pull market in a considerable way.

A detailed database which will be publicly available will result from the analysis of a broad range of technologies, applications and climate. It will provide in depth information on all important aspects of small scale combined solar heating & cooling for several key actors. The technical, economical and ecological evaluation of cases will be useful for involved industry and planers as well as for authorities.

For example can the project also contribute to tailored shaping of support programmes. The provided knowledge on economical and ecological performance of combined heating and cooling for different regions facilitates the establishment, where necessary and required at all, of long term support schemes. An avoidance of stop and go support would this way further smooth market entry

[1] .

The combined use of solar thermal for heating & cooling can accelerate the evolution of solar thermal from only domestic hot water supply to a significant contributor to heating demand by

increasing cost efficiency of the entire system, this way mitigating the threats of Europe’s growing heat and cooling demands[10] [11]. And the increased utilization of sorption chillers will mitigate summer electricity peak demand, a major threat in some European countries (e. g. Italy [12]).

Accelerating and smoothing the market entry of small scale Solar Combi+ systems, the project will contribute considerably to achieving important energy policy goals of the European Union; in particular relating to the share of renewable energies [13] and the security of energy supply in the EU [14].


The authors would like to thank the industry partners within the SolarCombi+ project (Climatewell, Rotartica, Sonnenklima, Solution, Sortech) for their engagement in the project and the contribution to the elaboration of the presented information.

The Solar Combi+ project receives funding from the European Commission within the EIE Program (Project number: EIE/07/158/SI2.466793). The sole responsibility for the content of this document lies with the authors.


[1] European Solar Thermal Industry Federation — ESTIF (2003): Sun in Action II — A Solar Thermal Strategy for Europe, Bruxelles

[2] Initiator group of ESTTP (2006) Solar Thermal Vision 2030, Brussels

[3] H. M. Henning (Ed.): Solar-Assisted Air-Condistioning in Buildings. A Handbook for Planners. Springer Verlag, Wien, 2004

[4] European Solar Thermal Industry Federation — ESTIF (2005): Solar thermal markets in Europe, Trends and statistics, Bruxelles

[9] Y. Vougiouklakis, E. Korma (2008), Report on market situation & trends about small scale chillers, Project Report D2.1 of the IEE Project — SolarCombi+, www. solarcombiplus. eu

[6] REFRIGE. COM Portal — HVAC & Refrigeration news, events, training, books, magazines and directory online http://www. refrige. com/february-2007/world-air-conditioner-market-contmued-to-expand-m- 2006/menu-id-2087.html

[7] CO. AER Associazione costruttori di apparecchiature ed impianti aeraulici http://www. coaer. it/indagine/_indagine_.htm#

[8] Y. Vougiouklakis, E. Korma (2008), Report on Market Potential & Relevant Consumers for Solar Combi+, Project Report D2.3 respectively of the IEE Project — SolarCombi+, www. solarcombiplus. eu

[9] Flash Eurobarometer series 206 (2007) Attitudes on issues related to EU Energy Policy — Analytical report

[10] ALTENER project “ECOHEATCOOL”, project Newsletter Issue 2

[11] F. Butera, The use of environmental energies for sustainable building in Mediterranean climates; Intelligent Building Middle East Bahrain, December 2005

[12] Gestore Rete Trasmissione Nazionale (GRTN): Audizione del Gestore della rete Presso le Commissioni Riunite Industria e Ambiente e Territorio del Senato della Repubblica, Rome, September 2003

[13] Energy for the Future: Renewable Sources of Energy — White Paper for a Community Strategy and Action Plan — COM(97)599 final (26/11/1997)

[14] Final report on the Green Paper "Towards a European strategy for the security of energy supply", COM(2002) 321 final, Brussels, 26.6.2002

Cost/Benefit Ratio Analysis of a Maximum Lean. Solar Combisystem

R. Haberl1*, E. Frank1, P. Vogelsanger2

1 Institut fuer Solartechnik SPF, HSR University of Applied Sciences of Rapperswil,
Oberseestrasse 10, 8640 Rapperswil, Switzerland

2 Ingenieurburo Peter Vogelsanger, Nidelbadstrasse 94, 8038 Zurich, Switzerland
* Corresponding Author, robert. haberl@solarenergy. ch


The effect of various parameters on the cost, the performance and the optimum dimensions of a combined solar heating system (for Domestic Hot Water and space heating) in Central Europe was studied. The parameters varied were: Collector cost and collector performance, storage cost and storage insulation as well as the rise in energy prices. For every set of parameters the optimum size of the collectors and the storage tank was identified with simulations. The cost/benefit ratio was used as the optimisation criterion.

As could be expected, favourable parameters result in economically more viable systems. The simulations showed that good (efficient or inexpensive) collectors also positively affect the system’s size and performance. Surprisingly, reducing the cost of the storage tank does not significantly affect the size and thermal performance of the system with the best cost/benefit ratio. Better insulation of the storage tank even leads to slightly smaller systems. While the price of the backup energy strongly influences the system’s economics, energy prices have hardly any effect on the optimum system size.

All simulations were based on an avant-garde system concept which features an unusual control strategy for space heating and a drain-back collector loop. This lean design could be appropriate to incorporate a non-pressurized tank and could be suitable for substantial cost reduction. However, its thermal performance characteristic is not very different from other, more usual solar combisystem concepts. The cost functions used in the base case simulations were derived from pricing information on products available on the market (i. e. pressurized tanks). The authors therefore suppose that the essential results of this work also apply to other combisystems in a similar climate.

Keywords: Solar heating system, cost/benefit ratio, additional cost, primary energy savings, dimensioning, optimisation.

1. Introduction

With today’s energy prices and without subsidies, the installation of a solar thermal system leads to comparably high payback periods. Thus, the cost effective saving of fossil fuels should take precedence in the comparison of installation costs against any conventional heating system. Better cost effective savings can be achieved with respective improvement of the solar thermal system components as well as paying attention to the combing of them into an ensemble. In this paper, a potential new concept called the MaxLean System is introduced, in the development of which a new dimensioning method has been devised that optimises the cost/benefit ratio instead of the annuity of the system. The principle of the method and the appliance on the MaxLean system

concept is presented. The same approach is then used for investigating the influence of various component parameters and cost function parameters on the dimensioning and the cost/benefit ratio of the system.