Solar Utility Technologies

Holders: Prof. Medved Sašo

Subject description

Sun is the most important energy source for our planet and humanity. In the nature, solar energy is transformed into the heat, kinetic energy of the air mass, organic mater by plants and runs the water cycle. Due to the goals of global energy policy driven by global climate change, it is widely excepted that Sun will have major role in sustainable development and zero carbon societies. Technological development in last decades have led to the energy efficient, environmental friendly and cost efficient technologies for production of heat, cold and electricity, the most used energy carriers, by utilization of solar energy. These technologies will be presented in the course.

The course starts with introduction lecture in which overview of origin of the renewable energy sources (RES) is given, together with description of current status of RES technologies on the global and EU scale. EU policy in field of renewable energy sources, including relevant Directives is presented. Course continues with theoretical chapters, which are intended to describe theoretical models for determining solar energy potential, including models of extraterrestrial potential and impact of air mass. Theoretical background and models for determination of solar radiation and irradiation on fixed and tracking surfaces are presented.

Course continue with technology chapters. Each technology of the solar energy utilization is explained with physical principles of operation. Methods for modeling of conversion of solar energy into the particular energy carrier, design guidelines and assessment tools for energy efficiency and environment impacts are presented, supported by the number of best practice examples. Following technologies for production of the heat, cold and electricity are discussed;

  • low temperature passive heating of the buildings, including the presentation of selective optical properties of sun radiation absorption surfaces and adaptive controlling of the transmission of sun rays through of the building envelope and methods for passive heating evaluation;
  • active solar hearing systems including modeling and experimental evaluation of solar thermal collector’s efficiency, modeling of transient operation of short and long term heat storages, design and assessment of solar heating systems, including solar district supported systems;
  • technologies for utilization of solar energy in agriculture including drying, desalination and solar chemistry;
  • solar cooling with desiccant-evaporative and sorption cooling;
  • solar thermal system for electricity production including solar towers, solar pounds and solar thermal power plants;
  • photovoltaics, including stand alone and building integrated solutions and hybrid PV techniques.

Students will get theoretical and engineering knowledge to make a project seminar in which the design of solar utilization technologies and evaluation of the energy, environmental and cost performance based on life cycle and life cost principles will be shown.

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