SOLID and ERI@N – Research cooperation to stimulate solar cooling in tropical areas
SOLID has been monitoring its large solar thermal cooling plant for air-conditioning and warm water preparation at the UWC College in Singapore since 2011. An expert team from SOLID Graz stayed there for 6 months and researches together with ERI@N -the Energy Research Institute at the Nanyang Technological University at Cleantech One Center- within a 12 months project cooperation on how to improve solar thermal cooling systems. Expected findings will be able to boost SOLID´s cooling technology and indicate new options for solar technology´s application. The current results further underline SOLID´s leading position in the field of solar thermal cooling technologies worldwide.
10% of the UWC college´s current air conditioning demand are provided by solar energy, whereas warm water demand is covered at 100% by solar energy. These numbers stand for almost 1 Million kilowatt-hours per year generated by the solar plant. Sun based cooling systems have their peak efficiency around noon, where the sun provides most energy. Two central advantages are an improved energy budget and relieving Singapore´s power grids.
The technology is challenged by Singapore´s tropical climate as well as high humidity and regular rain in the region. SOLID´s current research results highlight new options to influence parameters connected to these burdens. New parameters open up the possibility to improve the solar thermal system´s performance significantly. Parameters were included into a simulation model and showed the system´s overall performance improvements for one year. Collector orientations, system operation times or temperatures are some of the parameters which underwent central changes. The generated know-how will have significant influences on a plant´s COP and SOLID´s future, worldwide projects. SOLID looks forward to new international projects and cooperation which will highly benefit from the recent research´s activities in Singapore.
• Collector area: 3872 m²
• Absoption chiller 1.5 MW cooling capacity
• Buffer Volume: 2 x 30 m³
• Domestic hot water tank: 6.5 m³