Solar Combi+: Identification of most promising markets and promotion of standardised. system configurations for small scale solar heating & cooling applications

A. Troi[9]*, Y. Vougiouklakis2, E. Korma2, D. Jahnig3, E. Wiemken4, G. Franchini5, D.
Mugnier6, B. Egilegor7, P. Melograno1, W. Sparber1

1 EURAC, Institute for Renewable Energy, Viale Druso, 1, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
2 CRES, Centre for Renewable Energy Systems, 19th km Marathonos Ave.,190 09 Pikermi, Greece
3 AEE INTEC, Institute for Sustainable Technolgies, Feldgasse 19, 8200 Gleisdorf, Austria
4 Fraunhofer Institut fur Solare Energiesysteme (ISE), Heidenhofstrahe 2, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
5 Universita degli studi di Bergamo, viale Marconi, 5, 24044 Dalmine (BG), Italy
6 TECSOL, 105 rue Alfred Kastler, 66000 Perpignan, France
7 Ikerlan Technological Research Centre, Juan de la Cierva, 1, 01510 Minano (Alava), Spain
* Corresponding Author, alexandra. troi@eurac. edu


In autumn 2007 the European project SolarCombi+ has been started. The aim of this project is to take newly commercially available small scale sorption chillers and identify and promote standardised Solar Combi+ systems for small applications: i. e. combined solar water and space heating and cooling up to a cooling load of 20 kW. A thorough market study at project start outlined the possible markets – both in the sense of applications and countries of major interest – and described promising consumer attitudes: 40% of them are even willing to pay more for a product if it is energy efficient – 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. A large number of Virtual Case studies will now be performed in order to identify a standard system configurations, which work best under different conditions. Accelerating and smoothing the market entry of small scale Solar Combi+, the project will contribute to achieving energy policy goals of the EU. Keywords: solar cooling, small scale sorption chillers, market analysis, standard systems

1. Introduction

The combined use of solar energy for heating and cooling has the potential to upgrade solar thermal energy from mainly DHW provider to a major building energy supplier [1, 2] The hereto necessary sorption chillers, however, used to be available mainly in higher power range [3], but now several new small scale sorption chillers are being offered. They will open the market for small cooling applications, which make up for the major part of heating and a constantly growing part of cooling demand in Europe.

Aim of the here presented IEE1 funded project “Solar Combi+” is to take these newly commer­cially available small scale sorption chillers and identify and promote standardised Solar Combi+ systems for small applications (residential, catering, small commercial and office buildings, up to a cooling demand of 20kW).

Now is the right moment to support the market entry of Solar Combi+ with reliable dimensioning and a comprehensive analysis of promising applications. In this way the spread of Solar Combi+ can go hand in hand with the build up of important solar thermal markets for e. g. Spain, France and Italy [4]. One has also to regard, that cooling applications are state of the art in office and commercial buildings not only in southern countries but all over Europe, and comfort requirements in residential sector is constantly growing.

The participation of all European producers of small scale solar driven sorption chillers as direct partners as well as the declaration of interest of the solar thermal industry, shows the importance of the project for a smooth and sustainable market entry of Solar Combi+ systems.

This paper should give an overview on the rationale behind the project, its goals and its approach, as well as present the market situation: After describing with more detail the addressed barriers and offered solution, the technology is briefly summarised, the work plan of the project is presented and first results of the market analysis are discussed. The paper closes with an outlook on up­coming results and the impact which is expected from the project.

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