Call for Expressions of Interest



Integrated Project

Solar cooling technologies
Prepared by

University of Applied Science Stuttgart, Prof.Dr.Ursula Eicker, Germany

This Expression of Interest was submitted in response to Call EOI.FP6.2000

7 June 2002


Call for Expressions of Interest


Aim of the Proposed Work
Integrated Projects (Solving an economic problem)

The aim of this proposal is to establish Europe as the leading producer of solar thermal cooling technologies. The research effort focuses on component development and optimisation to replace electrically driven compressor technology, which currently dominate the cooling market with more than 100 million stationary and 35 million mobile units annually sold worldwide. The research will deliver new products for the small and medium size cooling capacity, where coupling to solar energy is feasible at low investment cost, and provide system solutions for higher power cooling applications. The need for solar assisted cooling can be split in two catagories: - essential needs, i.e. storage of perishable products. These needs are mainly linked to health care and food preservation. - comfort needs, i.e. mainly air conditioning of buildings. Thermal energy from renewable energy sources, from fuel cells or cogeneration units or from waste heat, can be used to cover the growing cooling energy demand in the European Union. Prenormative research is required to establish common European standards limiting cooling energy consumption, which are currently not covered by any CEN standard. Sustainable building concepts with optimum summer thermal comfort conditions and minimum cooling loads, are part of the integral research approach.
1.1 Contribution to Priority Thematic Area of Framework 6

The Solar Cooling integrated project fits into the subject area 1.1.6 “Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems”, as it aims at reducing primary energy consumption and increasing the share of renewable energies into the European cooling and climatisation market. The subsection applies to the project, where sustainable energy systems should make a clear contribution to increased renewable energy use in such an important sector as climatisation of buildings and industrial cooling applications. Solar refrigeration for food preservation fits to priority area 1.5 "Food Quality and Safety". Solar Cooling Technologies have a huge potential in terms of substituting ozone depletion gas, together with CO2 and primary energy saving due to the increased use of renewable energy and to the improvement of energy efficiency .
1.2 Contribution to the European Research Area

Within the 5th framework program, a number of small scale research projects were carried out to develop various solar cooling technologies based on various absorption and adsorption cycles. Due to the fragmented research and short project timescales, no marketable product resulted from the individual developments. The work of the IEA task 25 also just initiated European cooperation on thermal cooling technologies, system control and simulation strategies and does not provide funding for continuous research work. The experiences gained on a range of projects are currently not integrated to prepare marketable systems. This proposed integrated project will lead to a range of products for the European industry and open very large export market opportunities for thermal cooling products.
2. Background to the Proposed Work

The worldwide cooling market is huge and nearly exclusively dominated by compressor technology. Annual sales of cooling equipment in Europe during 1998 reached about 3 billion Euro, an increase of about 30% since 1996. Annual sales in Europe are in the order of 1.500.000

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units. In Greece, annual sales of cooling equipment during 2000, has reached 117 million Euro (210.000 compression type units). Absorption cooling devices of medium and large power are manufactured in comparatively small numbers, world-wide around 10,000 systems per year, of which 85% are produced in Asia. In Germany, for example, curently only 100 absorption systems are installed annually, while in Greece there are currently only 3 commercial type applications. In the power range below 20kW there are currently no technologies available in the market. Several recently completed EC research project have produced small size prototypes, for example a 10 kW solar assisted, single-stage LiBr absorption heat pump (SOLHEATCOOL - JOR3-CT97-0181) or a 2.5kW diffusion absorption machine (JOE3-CT98-7045). There is a significant market potential for this kind of systems, which must be further developed to reduce size, weight and efficiency and moving to double stage absorption. The high temperatures required by these systems can be provided most efficiently by concentrating solar collectors as developed for power plant and process heat applications. A large research effort is necessary to bring together main research groups from universities, institutes and companies, to adress open thermodynamics questions, material, cost and manufacturing issues and to develop integrated system technology solutions for all types of cooling applications. The European Union, especially the southern European regions, is both a large consumer of cooling energy and has a dynamically growing industry, with potentially significant export potential of solar cooling systems. The current market leaders in Asia and the United States of America, are dominated by gas fired units and are supported by the gas industries. Europe can become a market leader by promoting the use of solar energy and other low temperature heat sources, from fuel cells or cogeneration units. European manufacturers of solar energy collectors can also benefit from this new market opportunity. A large integrated project involving research organizations and industry, is required to provide the necessary technologies.
3. Expected Results from the Proposed Work

The results of this project are outlined in the following table: Expected Result Potential Applications/Users Improved efficiency and marketable low and a) Small size residential and commercial medium size cooling machines buildings. b) Local food industry with cooling demands for preservation of their perishable products in the safe “cold chain” to the consumers System technology developed with solar Owners and buyers of solar thermal plants for thermal heat sources all year use of their system (heating and cooling) Control strategies developed for complex Optimised performance and low operating cooling projects costs of cooling installations Improved efficiency and marketable large size a) Owners or energy providers of large size cooling machines available with solar thermal commercial buildings energy generation b) Owners in the food processing industry operating in warm climates (processing / storage) Integrated summer thermal comfort analysis Architects and planners of sustainable of buildings to reduce cooling loads. buildings Market analysis of the best technologies suited Investors to the climatic and application situation Improved sustainability of HVAC systems and Manufactures and Energy Planners Life Cycle optimisation


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Activities to Achieve the Proposed Objectives

To achieve an overall summer thermal comfort in buildings, both the technologies and the overall building´s thermal performance need to be developed within the project. The integration activities within the project will consist in bringing together a large range of skills required to provide low energy cooling systems: researchers on thermodynamics have to design and optimise cooling technologies, industry partners will work on material and production issues, building designers and energy planners have to minimise the cooling energy demand. In addition, the assessment of the potentials of the Solar Cooling Technologies in terms of “sustainable energy systems” should be conduced with a comprensive approach such as Life Cycle Analysis aiming to take into account all the energy and materials flows concerning the manufacturing, the installation, the functioning and the dismission of such energy systems. A large team of researchers and industry partners is required so that Europe can take a lead in solar cooling technologies.
4.1 Integration Activities

At the beginning of the integrated solar cooling project, all partners having been involved in previous European activities on solar cooling, will exchange in depth information within a range of workshops about different technology developments, such as absorption machine design based on LiBr-Water or NH3-Water-Helium technologies, desiccant technologies, adsorption coolers etc. These workshops should identify common problem areas and facilitate further development and optimisation work.
4.2 Research Activities

The research activities will be organised in different packages: • Thermodynamical fundamentals: heat and mass transfer, fluid dynamics • Materials and production issues: advanced heat exchanger, rotor technologies • Component design: optimisation of generator, solution pumps etc. • System technology: coupling of high temperature solar thermal systems with double effect absorption machines and steam injection chillers, combination of solar air or water based collectors with adsorption and absorption systems, use of heat from fuel cells or cogeneration plants, integration with heat or cold storages. • Simulation and control: design tools for solar cooling applications, combination of simulation and control, predictive control • Summer thermal comfort: combining active and passive cooling techniques, sustainable building concepts for optimum summer comfort • Architectural integration of solar cooling system components (such as large surfaces of solar collectors for solar cooling building applications) • Market analysis of solar cooling applications for the European climates • LCA of Solar Cooling Technologies: comparison among most effective SCT and conventional systems • Food industrial application: design tools for the combination of energy demand and solar offer in the refrigeration and storage (cooling) of foods.


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5. Expertise Needed to Achieve Objectives 5.1 Critical Mass Required + Multidisciplinary Skills

To achieve the ambitious objectives to shift the technology leadership in thermal cooling systems from the US and Japan to Europe, fundamental research on performance improvement has to be accompanied by component design and construction, system technology development, combination of various heat sources with the cooling equipment and finally with integrated approaches to the summer performance analysis of buildings. A multidisciplinary team of researches needs to be brought together with innovative companies interested in developing the new technology area.
5.2 Proposed Consortium (Organisation, Background and Role)
Organisation Country Germany Chief Scientist Prof.Dr. Eicker Area of Excellence Diffusion Absorption Technology, desiccant cooling systems, summer performance of buildings Adsorption material research, system technology, desiccant cooling Liquid and solid sorption technology, open and closed cycles, system simulation and analysis Concentrating collector development Simulation tools and technology development Thermally driven chillers, steam jet ejector chiller, absorption chiller technology Development of diffusion absorption cooling machines Manufacturer of heating and renewable energies equipment Concentrating collector technologies, test and demonstration facilities, system integration, Role in Project Coordinator Research on component development absorption and adsorption


Centre of applied research NET University of Applied Science Stuttgart


Fraunhofer Institute of Germany of Solar Energy ZAE Bayern Germany

Dr. Henning

Research on material and system technology Design and implementation of sorption cooling machines/chillers, prototypes, system integration Parabolic Trough Collector systems for high temperature solar heat production Research on simulation tools and process optimisation Research on solar thermal driven chiller processes


Dipl.-Ing. Laevemann, Dr. Schweigler Dr. Lokurlu


Solitem GmbH Germany Aachen ILK Dresden Fraunhofer Institute for Environment, Safety and Energy Technology Solarkälte GbR Buderus HeizTechnik DLR Institut für Technische Thermodynamik Germany Germany

5 6

Prof. Franzke Mr. Peter Noeres

7 8

Germany Germany

D. Schneider Marc Ruch

Development of diffusion absorption technology Design, application, field experiment and testing Development, test and demonstration of high temperatur solar thermal collectors and appropriate cooling systems, system integration and optimisation,



Dr. Robert Pitz-Paal


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Technische Universität Berlin Institut für Energietechnik Technische Universität Ilmenau


Prof. Dr.Ing. Felix Ziegler Dr. Ajib

performance simulation Absorption cooling research Diffusion Absorption Technology, low temperature absorption chillers, work mixtures for low temperature absorption chillers, simulation of components Absorption technology, computer fluid dynamics Solar cooling applications Solar thermal (heating and cooling) systems Absorption cooling machine development (ammonia/water) Desiccant Cooling Systems, Simulation tools, Solar Thermal Applications Consultant / Trainer: integrated solar thermal chilled water systems Solar thermal collectors Solar /biomass powered desiccant air condition & absorption refrigeration Control systems Building simulation, computer fluid dynamics, thermal comfort Simulation, system technology Passive cooling/ Solar cooling applications Solar thermal CPC type collectors Building and HVAC systems simulation, renewable energy

performance and economic evaluation Reseach on absorption technology Research on solar thermal driven chillers processes and work mixtures for low temperature absorption chillers, development of components of absorption machine



Polytechnical University Barcelona Company Aiguasol Barcelona EnerSoft Delft University of Technology TNO Building and Construction Research CEERAN Ltd.


Prof. Oliva

Research on process and component analysis Design and implementation of solar thermal cooling systems Design of demonstration plants, telemonitoring, data analysis Development of 10kW air cooled absorption chiller; cooling of perishable food Research on simulation tools (DEC and Solar thermal), solar thermal optimalisation Feasibility studies and Training for solar assisted comfort systems (hotels). Solar thermal collector optimisation Design & application of combined use of solar and bioenergy for cooling Control and simulation of solar cooling plants Building simulatin, CFD analysis, summer thermal comfort strategies Thermodynamic research Building simulation/ System technology Solar thermal collector optimisation and construction Building simulation, SCT Design Tools, Life Cycle Analysis of Solar Cooling

13 14 15

Spain Spain Netherlands Netherlands Nether lands Austria Austria

Laura Sisó Victor Almagro Assoc. Prof. Ing. C.H.M. Machielsen D.J. Naron



Mr. A.E. Hagendijk Prof. Dr. Streicher Dr. Podesser

18 19

University of Graz Joanneum Research, Graz

20 21

Unversity of Loughborough De Montfort University University of Glasgow INETI AOSOL, Ltd. DREAM -University of Palermo

Britain Britain

Prof.Dr. Infield Prof. Dr. Lomas Prof. Dr. Clarke Engº J. Farinha Mendes Engº J.Correia Oliveira Prof. M.Beccali

22 23 24 25

Britain Portugal Portugal Italy

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Politecnico di Milano University of Liege University of Athens National Observatory of Athens


27 28 29

Belgium Greece Greece

Prof. Federico Butera, Prof. Mazzarella Mr Winandy Prof. Santamouris Dr. C.A. Balaras, Mechanical Engineer

concepts, LCA of energy systems Building &Environment Science & Technology research Desiccant technologies Passive cooling Solar assisted absorption heat pump, building thermal performance, simulations, passive cooling, multimedia tools Manufacturer of HVAC equiment Manufacturer of solar collectors Solar thermal research

Technologies Architectural Integration into the built environment Component development Passive cooling System and component simulations, performance monitoring, analysis of experimental results, specification guidelines, multimedia material Manufacturing of absorption machines Manufacturing of solar collectors for solar cooling applications. Monitoring data from installations. Design and construction of prototypes, Development of numerical models and system simulation, Evaluation and comparison of the different technologies and dissemination of results Commercialisation of technologies, Erection of demonstration projects, Design and construction of prototypes, Evaluation and comparison of the different technologies Testing of HVAC equipment, prototype and system performance evaluation, providing industry dissemination material System and component simulation (performances), Solar equipment certification, National and European standards Design of pilot or demonstration plants, telemonitoring, data analysis Thermodynamic System simulation, heat and mass transfer, component development Solar collector development Development and laboratory testing of control algorithms

30 31

Interklima Sole

Greece Greece

Mr lackler Mr Lamaris


Centre of Renewable Energy Sources (CRES)


Dr. Karagiorgas


Bonair Ltd consultants


Eng. Galatis

Techology consultancy




E. Michel

Performance and equipment testing, solar assisted absorption heat pump Test facilities for solar assisted adsorption and absorption machines Consultant: solar thermal (heating and cooling) and pv systems Absorption and desiccant systems, solar thermal Solar collector manufacturer (SME) Development of control systems and




R. Morlot




Dr.Ing. J.Y.Quinette Prof. Dr. G. Grossman


Technion – Israel Institue of Technology Chromagen Danish Technical University


38 39

Israel Denmark

H. Zorea Prof Henrik Madsen

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Danish Technological Institute Paul Wurth S.A. University Catolica de Valparaiso Regional Agency of Energy Efficiency Ltd. Opole


41 42

Luxemburg Chile

Dr Klaus K Andersen Dr Henrik Poulsen Mr Peter Abell Mr Haser Prof. Dr. Beatriz Cancino Prof. Dr. Roman Ulbrich

algorithms for HVAC plants Test facilities for HVAC systems Development of hybrid desiccant cooling systems Cooling and refrigeration in food industry. Solar energy Demonstration projects for solar heating and cooling

for solar cooling systems Laboratory testing of components for solar cooling applications Implementation of hybrid desiccant cooling systems Research on simulation in cooling and refrigeration applied on food industry for process and storage Design and implementation of demonstration projects of solar cooling applications in public buildings




Promotion of Results Outside of the Consortium

The research results will be published in scientific publications and international conferences. A direct link to the IEA activities in task 25 and the combined used of their internet presentation will improve the dissemination of the research results. A bi-annual international conference on solar cooling will be organised by the consortium to address researchers and engineers. The university partners will use the results within their postgraduate Master Courses, especially within the new European Master Course on renewable energy systems and will develop a distance learning package on solar cooling.
7. The Role of SMEs in the Proposed Work

The role of the SME will be to provide expertise in their respective areas, current state of the art technologies, and guidance on market opportunities for new developments. SME will have major benefits from the project, as they will manufacture and sell the new components and systems developed. SME´s which have already participated in FP5 activities on solar cooling will be directly involved as high technology research partners. Other SME´s involved in solar thermal component production, fuel cell and cogeneration plant design and production, will be integrated as industry partners in future calls.
8. How the Project will be Managed

The Core group of the integrated project will consist of the major researchers and industry partners in solar cooling in Europe. The Governing Council of the integrated project will be led by the newly founded Centre of Applied Research on Sustainable Energy Technologies (ZAFNET) based at the University of Applied Science in Stuttgart. The Centre ZAFNET already groups five Universities of applied science in Germany and is actively involved in research on sustainable climatisation and cooling concepts. Prof. Eicker as the head of the ZAFNET centre will coordinate the integrated project on solar cooling, supported by the full time manager and secretariat of the ZAFNET centre. Further support for the management of the industrial activities of the project will be delivered by the competence centre for solar technologies KISEM in Marbach near Stuttgart, also recently founded in Baden Württemberg 2002, which represents SMEs involved in solar technology in the region. The coordinator of the solar cooling activities of the International Energy Agency in task 25, Dr. Henning from the Fraunhofer Institute will be member of the Governing Council. The high temperature (concentrating) solar technologies will be represented by Dr. Pitz-Paal from DLR,

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Operating Agent of the IEA SolarPACES (Solar Power And Chemical Energy Systems) Task 3 (Solar Technologies and Applications). Further members of the council will be Assoc. Prof. Cees Machielsen from Delft University, who has been involved for years in refrigeration and food preservation research, Eng. Mendes from INETI in Portugal with experiences on solar cooling research will represent the Southern European Member States and Prof. Santamouris from Athens University, who will represent passive cooling and building´s summer thermal comfort research. In addition to the research institution members, at least two representatives of SME´s, who have been very actively involved in solar cooling installations, will take part in the Governing Council (Dr. Jean-Yves Quinette from TECSOL, Mr. Ruch, Buderus).