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Integrated Solar Thermal Systems

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A: Sustainable Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2021) | Viewed by 14565

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, 80125 Naples, Italy
Interests: fuel cells; advanced optimization techniques; solar thermal systems; concentrating photovoltaic/thermal photovoltaic systems; energy saving in buildings; solar heating and cooling; organic Rankine cycles; geothermal energy; dynamic simulations of energy systems; renewable polygeneration systems
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Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, P.le Tecchio 80, Naples, Italy
Interests: advanced energy system; solar heating and cooling; combined heat and power (CHP); energy efficiency; renewable energy; energy policy; geothermal energy; biomass and waste-to-energy systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Solar energy plays a crucial role in the transition currently underway towards a fully renewable energy system. Solar energy can be converted into numerous kinds of secondary energy: electrical, hot, and cool. In recent years, solar electric technologies have undergone tremendous development, causing a dramatic decrease of their capital cost. On the other hand, a big effort is still required in order to achieve similar results for solar thermal systems. Such devices convert solar radiation into thermal energy by means of a heat transfer fluid (air, water, or others). In general, they are adopted for various purposes: production of domestic hot water, space heating or cooling, drying/heating of agricultural products, thermal desalination, etc. However, their efficiency and their economic profitability must be further improved in order to achieve massive commercialization. In this framework, the integration of solar systems into different technologies is extremely promising and attractive. In particular, solar thermal collectors can be easily integrated with thermal energy storages (sensible and latent heat storage), absorption and compression heat pumps (solar assisted heat pumps), water desalination plants, and thermal power plants. The integration of solar thermal systems with other renewable energy sources (geothermal, biomass, wind, etc.), but also with conventional technologies, based on the use of fossil fuels, represents a further interesting solution to improve the exploitation of renewable energy sources, mitigating the typical fluctuations of solar systems and dramatically improving their profitability. Such integrated systems can also provide important benefits on the path towards zero or nearly zero energy buildings, especially in case of building-integrated solar technologies (BIST).

This Special Issue is focused on the most recent advances in the integration of solar thermal systems with other technologies, and aims to address the newest and most promising developments of such systems.

Prof. Dr. Francesco Calise
Prof. Dr. Massimo Dentice D'Accadia
Dr. Maria Vicidomini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • renewable energy sources
  • polygeneration systems
  • solar-assisted heat pumps
  • solar heating and cooling
  • building integrated solar technologies

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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8 pages, 1844 KiB  
Editorial
Integrated Solar Thermal Systems
by Francesco Calise, Massimo Dentice d’Accadia and Maria Vicidomini
Energies 2022, 15(10), 3831; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15103831 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1237
Abstract
The renewable energy technologies attracted 70% global energy investment in 2021, but the global CO2 emission is increased by 1 [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Solar Thermal Systems)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial

23 pages, 7596 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Energy-Saving Potential of a Dish-Stirling Con-Centrator Integrated Into Energy Plants in the Tertiary Sector
by Stefania Guarino, Pietro Catrini, Alessandro Buscemi, Valerio Lo Brano and Antonio Piacentino
Energies 2021, 14(4), 1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041163 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2510
Abstract
Energy consumed for air conditioning in residential and tertiary sectors accounts for a large share of global use. To reduce the environmental impacts burdening the covering of such demands, the adoption of renewable energy technologies is increasing. In this regard, this paper evaluates [...] Read more.
Energy consumed for air conditioning in residential and tertiary sectors accounts for a large share of global use. To reduce the environmental impacts burdening the covering of such demands, the adoption of renewable energy technologies is increasing. In this regard, this paper evaluates the energy and environmental benefits achievable by integrating a dish-Stirling concentrator into energy systems used for meeting the air conditioning demand of an office building. Two typical reference energy plants are assumed: (i) a natural gas boiler for heating purposes and air-cooled chillers for the cooling periods, and (ii) a reversible heat pump for both heating and cooling. For both systems, a dish-Stirling concentrator is assumed to operate first in electric-mode and then in a cogenerative-mode. Detailed models are adopted for plant components and implemented in the TRNSYS environment. Results show that when the concentrator is operating in electric-mode the electricity purchased from the grid decreases by about 72% for the first plant, and 65% for the second plant. Similar reductions are obtained for CO2 emissions. Even better performance may be achieved in the case of the cogenerative-mode. In the first plant, the decrease in natural gas consumption is about 85%. In the second plant, 66.7% is the percentage increase in avoided electricity purchase. The integration of the dish-Stirling system allows promising energy-saving and reduction in CO2 emissions. However, both a reduction in capital cost and financial support are needed to encourage the diffusion of this technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Solar Thermal Systems)
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23 pages, 2914 KiB  
Article
Operation and Performance Assessment of a Hybrid Solar Heating and Cooling System for Different Configurations and Climatic Conditions
by Rafał Figaj and Maciej Żołądek
Energies 2021, 14(4), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041142 - 21 Feb 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2134
Abstract
Energy needs of air conditioning systems are constantly growing worldwide, due to climate change and growing standards of buildings. Among the possible systems, solar heating and cooling based on reversible heat pumps and thermally driven chillers are a viable option for ensuring space [...] Read more.
Energy needs of air conditioning systems are constantly growing worldwide, due to climate change and growing standards of buildings. Among the possible systems, solar heating and cooling based on reversible heat pumps and thermally driven chillers are a viable option for ensuring space heating and cooling for different users. The high installation costs are a limit to their diffusion, however, under specific circumstances (climate, type of the building, type of the user, etc.), the investment in this technology can be profitable in a long term. The presented paper describes an energy-economic assessment of a solar heating and cooling system integrating a solar dish concentrator with thermal collectors coupled with a reversible heat pump and an absorption or adsorption chiller. The system integrated with a household building is developed and dynamically simulated in the Transient System Simulation (TRNSYS) environment under different circumstances –adoption of absorption or adsorption chiller, use of auxiliary thermal energy to drive the sorption chillers, and locality. The results show that space cooling demand in Cracow is matched by solar energy, in a range between 49.0 and 97.6%, while for Naples the space cooling demand is provided by solar heat from 46.1 to 99.1% depending on the adopted sorption chiller and or the use of auxiliary heat for a natural gas boiler. The proposed system is not profitable in case Cracow, since a Simple Pay Back period of about 20 years is achieved. Conversely, case of Naples, the same index achieves a value between 8 and 12 years showing that the proposed system may be a viable solution for heating and cooling installation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Solar Thermal Systems)
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11 pages, 2276 KiB  
Article
Heat Generated Using Luminescent Solar Concentrators for Building Energy Applications
by Quinn Daigle and Paul G. O’Brien
Energies 2020, 13(21), 5574; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13215574 - 24 Oct 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2863
Abstract
Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are a promising technology for integration and renewable energy generation in buildings because they are inexpensive, lightweight, aesthetically versatile, can concentrate both direct and diffuse light and offer wavelength-selective transparency. LSCs have been extensively investigated for applications involving photovoltaic [...] Read more.
Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are a promising technology for integration and renewable energy generation in buildings because they are inexpensive, lightweight, aesthetically versatile, can concentrate both direct and diffuse light and offer wavelength-selective transparency. LSCs have been extensively investigated for applications involving photovoltaic electricity generation. However, little work has been done to investigate the use of thermal energy generated at the edges of LSCs, despite the potential for harnessing a broad range of solar thermal energy. In this work, Newton’s law of cooling is used to measure the thermal power generated at the edge of LSC modules subjected to solar-simulated radiation. Results show that the dye in single-panel LSC modules can generate 17.9 W/m2 under solar-simulated radiation with an intensity of 23.95 mW/cm2 over the spectral region from 360 to 1000 nm. Assuming a mean daily insolation of 5 kWh/m2, the dye in the single-panel LSC modules can generate ~100 kWh/m2 annually. If the surface area of a building is comparable to its floor space, thermal energy generated from LSCs on the buildings surface could be used to substantially reduce the buildings energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Solar Thermal Systems)
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19 pages, 8096 KiB  
Article
The Role of Innovation in Industry Product Deployment: Developing Thermal Energy Storage for Concentrated Solar Power
by Cristina Prieto, Sonia Fereres and Luisa F. Cabeza
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2943; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112943 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2453
Abstract
Industries with fast-developing technologies and knowledge-intensive business services rely on the development of scientific knowledge for their growth. This is also true in the renewable energy industry such as in concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, which have undergone intense development and expansion in [...] Read more.
Industries with fast-developing technologies and knowledge-intensive business services rely on the development of scientific knowledge for their growth. This is also true in the renewable energy industry such as in concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, which have undergone intense development and expansion in the last two decades. Yet knowledge generation is not sufficient; its dissemination and internalization by the industry is indispensable for new product development. This paper contributes to providing empirical evidence on the known link between knowledge development and firm growth. In 10 years the cost of electricity produced through CSP has decreased five-fold. This decrease has only been possible due to innovation projects developed through a complex network of research and development (R&D) collaborations and intense investment, both public and (to a greater extent) private. The development and construction of pilot plants and demonstration facilities are shown to be key in maturing innovations for commercialization. This is an example of how the private sector is contributing to the decarbonisation of our energy system, contributing to the objectives of climate change mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Solar Thermal Systems)
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20 pages, 5937 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Energy Efficiency and the Reduction of Atmospheric Emissions by Generating Electricity from a Solar Thermal Power Generation Plant
by Gary Ampuño, Juan Lata-Garcia and Francisco Jurado
Energies 2020, 13(3), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13030645 - 03 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2304
Abstract
The increase of renewable energy generation to change the productivity of a country and electrify isolated sectors are some of the priorities that several governments have imposed in the medium term. Research centers are looking for new technologies to optimize the use of [...] Read more.
The increase of renewable energy generation to change the productivity of a country and electrify isolated sectors are some of the priorities that several governments have imposed in the medium term. Research centers are looking for new technologies to optimize the use of renewable energies and incorporate them into hybrid generation systems. In the present work, the modeling of a solar thermal energy generation plant is being carried out. The climatic data used belong to two coastal cities and one island of Ecuador. The contribution of this work is to simulate a complete model of SCF and PCS, in which the variables of outlet temperature and oil flow are involved at the same time. Previously investigations use only outlet temperature for evaluating power plants. The model of the solar thermal plant is composed of a field of solar collectors, a storage tank, and an energy conversion system. As a result, we obtain a model of a thermosolar plant that will allow us to make decisions when considering the incorporation of micronetworks in systems isolated from the electrical network. The use of thermosolar technology allows the reduction in the risk of spills by the transport of fossil fuels in ships. The study of the CO2 emission factor in Ecuador from 2011 to 2018 is also carried out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Solar Thermal Systems)
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