Solar Cooling Opt – Primary energy optimization of solar cooling systems with efficient system engineering and innovative control strategies

Solar thermal cooling devices are only useful when they need significantly less electrical (auxiliary) energy than conventional compression chillers. Unfortunately, this is not the case in most systems that are already designed. Therefore, the aim of this project is to reduce the primary energy consumption of solar thermal cooling systems by means of improved system concepts, improved components and control strategies.

Monitoring of the systems shows that these systems can be optimized in many areas. These include electric energy consumption of the pumps used, system configurations and control strategies, e.g. Speed control of the pumps.

The aim of the project is to reduce the primary energy consumption of solar heating and cooling systems, which could be achieved by the following means:

  • Development of improved models of components used in the simulation
  • Creation of load profiles for typical application scenarios
  • Development of optimized system and control concepts for building and industrial applications
  • Development of effective re-cooling system
  • Life cycle analysis of optimized concepts
  • Demonstration of the effectiveness of the optimized concepts by implementations in existing Demo installations

In order to be able to optimize the systems through simulation, more detailed models of components such as the cooling systems and the Sorption wheel, which are currently represented with simple models. Only then it is possible to develop optimized control strategies.

In parallel, typical load profiles will be created for various applications of solar thermal cooling (e.g. office buildings, hotels, hospitals, food market, specific Industrial sectors etc). In industrial load profiles, the availability of waste heat from the respective industrial operation is taken into account, with which the thermal cooling machines can be driven.

In the next step, the load scenarios which are particularly promising for the use of solar thermal cooling are selected and are developed for the system concepts. The design of the system concepts will be examined with absorption cooling technology, as well as DEC technology.  Subsequently, optimization calculations will be carried out with the newly developed models of the components, with the purpose of  minimizing the primary system energy consumption.

In order to assess the overall primary energy efficiency of the system (including all the process steps of the whole life cycle of the system that are energy-related), a life cycle analysis will be carried out so that the efficiency of the system will be enhanced throughout the whole system life cycle.

The developed control and system concepts will be implemented into three demonstration systems and the efficiency of the systems will be measured through a monitoring process.

The result of the project would be to optimize system and control concepts for (solar) thermal cooling in typical applications in both Industrial and Building applications. The primary energy consumption of these systems should be minimized.

An efficient and hygienic wet cooling unit will be made available as a prototype. With the completion of the project the partners or other Austrian companies will have the know-how to build new , more efficient systems and use them either in new systems in Austria or to export them.


Solar Cooling Opt

SolarCoolingOpt – Primary energy optimization of solar cooling systems with efficient system engineering and innovative control strategies


About Lampros Fotiadis

Lampros Fotiadis MEng, MBA, was born in 1980 in Greece. His passion for engineering led him to receive his Engineer’s degree (MEng equivalent) from the Electrical and Computer Engineering school of the Aristotle University (Greece) in 2004. During his studies, he specialised in Electronics and Computer Engineering. In his diploma thesis, he simulated and implemented a multi-zone fuzzy-logic heating system using a real-time reconfigurable System-on-Chip. Pursuing a holistic approach to solving engineering problems, he successfully earned an MBA degree from the University of Macedonia (Greece) in 2006 and his master thesis examined the relation between European environmental policies and the European Energy market. He worked as an expert IT and Physical security consultant for more than 10 years and his expertise include system design and requirement analysis, system integration and product management. His recent areas of interests are Data Science, Machine Learning, Autonomous Driving and Smart Grids. Since February 2017 he is working as project member at the Institute of Computer Technology in the Energy&IT Group, where he is especially contributing know-how as IT and physical security consultant in the areas of smart grids and industry 4.0.
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