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Solar heating

AquaPacSol - Solar Heat Pump for Domestic Hot Water Purposes (2010-2013)

This project aims to analyse the performance of a brine-to-water heat pump (HP) combined with solar collectors for domestic hot water (DHW) purposes. This coupling allows the use of solar energy on the HP evaporator side to maximize both solar energy use and the HP coefficient of performance (COP).
This system will consist of solar collectors to increase the temperature of the cold side of the HP in order to improve its COP. The objectives of this project are the following:

  • Development of solar thermal technology
  • Improvement of HP performance for DHW
  • Reduction of non-renewable energy consumption
  • Reduction of environmental impacts

This project is based on the design of an installation using commercially available components in order to reduce development costs, while meeting specifications in line with market needs.

The project is funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) and is part of the Task 44 for different working groups.

In the beginning of 2010, a new task of the International Energy Agency (IEA) was defined within the framework of the Solar Heating and Cooling programme. Task 44, entitled Solar and Heat Pump Systems, aims to optimise and promote the combination of solar thermal and heat pumps for DHW production and heating of single family houses. For more information about Task 44:

SolPac - Coupling ground-water heat pump & solar thermal

Following a request from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), LESBAT was commissioned to explore the potential use of solar thermal collectors coupled to a ground-water heat pump without geothermal probes but with an air-heater. The main reason for avoiding geothermal probes is to use the ground-water heat pump for building renovation, where drilling is not always possible. Different parameters such as the annual coefficient of performance or power consumption were compared between the different case studies. Optimization of the control system and energy storage has been studied to reduce the triggering time of the air-heater. This study was performed by dynamic simulation using TRNSYS.

The project is funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE).

Power PCM – Combined solar systems & PCM

The aim of this project is to improve the performance of combined solar systems by using the latent heat of PCM (phase change materials). This is part of the IEA Task 32 on advanced storage concepts for solar energy. The project includes several phases such as numerical modelling of system performance, the design of a prototype and performance evaluation in comparison with a traditional solar combined system.

The project is funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE).

Cosy PCM

Description coming soon...

Study of solar combined systems

Within the framework of Task 26 of the International Energy Agency (IEA), LESBAT has defined a comparison method for these types of systems. Simulations have allowed the assessment of the current fossil energy saved based on criteria such as the volume of the tank, the collector area, the type of control system or climate. In collaboration with the Automatic Control Laboratory of EPFL, we have worked to increase the performance of the facility by suggesting the setup of rapid structural changes and by developing an optimal control system.

The project is funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE).