Chilling Out in the Sun: Solar Cooling  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

Renewable Energy World has an article on using solar thermal energy for air conditioning - Chilling Out in the Sun: Solar Cooling.

Worldwide energy consumption for cooling and air-conditioning is rising rapidly and the market potential for solar thermal cooling is certainly very large indeed. However, the market is still very much a work in progress – with only around 500 solar cooling systems installed globally – and has been largely dominated by Europe so far. David Appleyard takes a look at some of the key players in this emerging renewable energy sector.

During the last few years, especially in Europe, various new sorption chillers with small- and medium-scale cooling capacity have been developed. Many of these absorption and adsorption chillers have now passed from prototype and pre-commercial installations into small serial production and consequently a rising number of products are expected to enter the market in the coming years.

Despite a growing interest, the market has nonetheless been slow to develop with accepted figures pointing to German leadership of the European market with close to 40% up until 2004, followed by Spain with more than 27% of the European market. Indeed, by 2008, a total of only 450 to 500 solar cooling systems had been realized worldwide, the vast majority of which are in Europe, where the market has increased in the last five years by 50%–100% annually. Approximately 60% of these systems using absorption chillers, 11% adsorption chillers and 29% open systems (DEC and liquid sorption systems). Even so, the total volume of installations reveals that the solar cooling sector is still a niche market and effectively under starters orders.

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