Category Polymeric Materials for Solar Thermal Applications

Solar Irradiance in Technical Applications

The energy emitted bythe sun introduces different forms of appearance of solar energy on earth. Evaporation, rainfall, and melting of ice, ocean current and waves, move­ments and heating ofthe atmosphere and earth’s surface, as well as the production of biomass are typical forms where solar energy appears, often indirectly. Photovoltaics and solar thermal systems represent almost direct ways of using solar irradiance by involving technical equipment. While photovoltaic is the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity, the thermal utilization of solar energy is versatile and characterized by numerous different applications. Solar thermal systems are applicable even where heat up to several hundreds degree centigrade is needed, for instance in industrial processes...

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Markus Peter



Apart from fossil and nuclear energy sources, so-called renewable energy is available. The already located and predicted resources of fossil fuels and fissile materials evidently underline that in a limited system like the earth only renewable energy can assure a long-lasting existence. Three categories of renewable energies, based on different primary sources, are available:

• solar energy: thermonuclear (fusion) processes in the sun;

• geothermal energy: residual heat from the genesis of earth and decay of isotopes inside the earth;

• tidal energy: gravity caused by planetary (orbs) motion.

Within the ability and experience of humankind only these energy sources are inexhaustible.

Renewable energy like heat in the upper lithosphere or wind is a mixture...

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The process of compiling this handbook was a collaborative effort involving the experience and expertise of many people. While the handbook consists of separate chapters with individual authors responsible for their own contents, it is also the product of a progressive development process to which all participating Task 39 experts (see, for example, http://www. iea-shc. org/about/members/task. aspx? Task=39) contributed either during discussions in experts meetings or by sharing their experience and the results of numerous funded research projects.

As it is not possible to thank all of the many people involved, we hereby acknowl­edge the essential support from funding agencies and the industry as a whole...

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IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme

The Solar Heating and Cooling Programme was founded in 1977 as one of the first multilateral technology initiatives (‘‘Implementing Agreements’’) of the Interna­tional Energy Agency. Its mission is to ‘‘advance international collaborative efforts for solar energy to reach the goal set in the vision of contributing 50% of the low temperature heating and cooling demand by 2030.’’

The member countries of the Programme collaborate on projects (referred to as ‘‘Tasks’’) in the field of research, development, demonstration (RD&D), and test methods for solar thermal energy and solar buildings.

A total of 47 such projects have been initiated to date, 38 of which have been completed. Research topics include:

• solar space heating (Tasks 19, 26, 44),

• solar heat for indus...

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About the Editors

image001image002image003Dr.-Ing. Michael Kohl, physicist, has been actively involved in the field of solar energy conversion since 1977. He pre­sently works on service-life analysis of solar collectors and photovoltaic modules in the department Weathering and Reliability at Fraunhofer ISE. He was the coordinator of the EU projects SUNFACE and SOLABS and leader of Sub­task 5 of the IP PERFORMANCE. Dr. Kohl is the current Operating Agent of the Task 39 ‘‘ Polymeric Materials for Solar Thermal Applications’’of the Solar Heating and Cool­ing Programme of the International Energy Agency IEA.

Dr. scient. Michaela Meir, physicist, has been working with R&D on solar thermal and energy systems for more than 15 years, with particular focus on the development of solar collectors using polymeric materials...

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