Solar Energy Systems and Applications

A special issue of Applied System Innovation (ISSN 2571-5577).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 17073

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Thermal Department, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Zografou, Heroon Polytechniou 9, 15780 Athens, Greece
Interests: solar thermal concentrating collectors; organic rankine cycle; energy in buildings; heat pumps; energy storage
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Solar irradiation is a promising renewable energy source to cover the energy needs of our society and substitute the conventional energy sources, which are responsible for numerous environmental issues. The high abundance of solar energy and its capability to be converted into heat or electricity directly by solar collectors render it a flexible and easily manageable energy source. Hence, solar energy draws interest in many applications for heating, cooling, electricity production, and industrial and chemical processes. In order to make solar energy systems feasible and viable, there is a need to design more efficient systems with lower investment costs. Numerous ideas have been investigated by the research community for improving thermal and optical performance collectors. Emphasis has been given to the use of nanofluids, turbulators, and the incorporation of intelligent concentrators in solar collectors. Regarding solar systems, growing research interest exists concerning storage issues and hybridization of solar energy with other renewable or conventional energy sources.

The objective of this Special Issue is to collect original research and review articles on the domain of solar energy systems and applications. These articles have to be detailed studies about novel systems that give promising results about the development and the establishment of solar energy as one of the major contributors to worldwide energy needs.

In particular, the topic of interest includes but is not limited to:

  • Solar thermal collectors: (Flat plate collector, evacuated tube collector, compound parabolic collector, parabolic trough collector, linear Fresnel reflector, solar dish, solar tower and solar stills). Further, studies about thermal photovoltaic systems and direct absorption solar collectors are included;
  • Thermal enhancement techniques in solar thermal collectors such as nanofluids and turbulators. Further, optical improvement techniques;
  • Solar thermal applications for heating, cooling, refrigeration, power production, desalination, industrial needs, chemical processes, etc.;
  • Solar driven cogeneration, trigeneration and polygeneration systems with an emphasis on applications for buildings or energy audits;
  • Hybrid solar systems which combine solar energy with other energy sources, such as biomass, wind power, geothermal energy, natural gas, and fossil fuels;
  • Storage of solar energy with advanced systems such as phase change materials (PCM) and chemical storage for concentrating solar systems;
  • Studies about prediction models related to solar-driven energy systems, solar collectors, and solar weather data.

Dr. Evangelos Bellos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied System Innovation is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 3924 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Different Storage Systems for Solar-Driven Organic Rankine Cycle
by Evangelos Bellos, Ioannis Sarakatsanis and Christos Tzivanidis
Appl. Syst. Innov. 2020, 3(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/asi3040052 - 26 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3061
Abstract
The objective of the present work is the study of different thermal storage systems for a solar-fed organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system that operates with parabolic trough collectors. The conventional design with sensible thermal oil storage is compared with a storage configuration with [...] Read more.
The objective of the present work is the study of different thermal storage systems for a solar-fed organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system that operates with parabolic trough collectors. The conventional design with sensible thermal oil storage is compared with a storage configuration with thermal oil and ceramic rocks, as well as the use of latent storage with phase change materials (PCMs) is investigated. The initial system is studied parametrically, and it is properly designed to order for the cycle to have high performance. Different organic fluids are studied in the organic Rankine cycle and different rocks are investigated as storage materials. Toluene is found to be the best candidate in the cycle and ceramic rocks are found to be the best candidate energetically and financially. The final results proved that both the thermal oil–ceramic rocks and the PCM are better technologies than the simple sensible thermal oil storage. For the design with a 180 m2 collecting area and 8 m3 storage tank volume, the thermal oil–ceramic rocks design leads to 13.89% system efficiency and net present value (NPV) to 129.73 k€, the PCM storage to 13.97% and 128.66 k€, respectively, while the pure thermal oil case leads to 12.48% and 105.32 k€, respectively. Moreover, it is useful to state that when the collecting area is varied from 160 m2 to 200 m2 with the tank volume at 8 m3, the efficiency enhancement with ceramic rocks compared to pure oil ranges from 8.99% up to 12.39%, while the enhancement with PCM ranges from 7.96% to 13.26%. For the same conditions, the NPV is improved with ceramic rocks from 18.35% to 25.79%, while with PCM from 14.17% to 25.29%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Energy Systems and Applications)
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21 pages, 4084 KiB  
Article
Financial Optimization of a Solar-Driven Organic Rankine Cycle
by Evangelos Bellos and Christos Tzivanidis
Appl. Syst. Innov. 2020, 3(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/asi3020023 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3266
Abstract
The objective of this work is the financial optimization of a solar-driven organic Rankine cycle. Parabolic trough solar collectors are used as the most mature solar concentrating system and also there is a sensible storage system. The unit is examined for the location [...] Read more.
The objective of this work is the financial optimization of a solar-driven organic Rankine cycle. Parabolic trough solar collectors are used as the most mature solar concentrating system and also there is a sensible storage system. The unit is examined for the location of Athens in Greece for operation during the year. The analysis is conducted with a developed dynamic model in the program language FORTRAN. Moreover, a developed thermodynamic model in Engineering Equation Solver has been used in order to determine the nominal efficiency of the cycle. The system is optimized with various financial criteria, as well as with energy criteria. The optimization variables are the collecting area and the storage tank volume, while the nominal power production is selected at 10 kW. According to the final results, the minimum payback period is 8.37 years and it is found for a 160 m2 collecting area and a 14 m3 storage tank, while for the same design point the levelized cost of electricity is minimized at 0.0969 € kWh−1. The maximum net present value is 123 k€ and it is found for a 220-m2 collecting area and a 14-m3 storage tank volume. Moreover, the maximum system energy efficiency is found at 15.38%, and, in this case, the collecting area is 140 m2 and the storage tank volume 12 m3. Lastly, a multi-objective optimization proved that the overall optimum case is for a 160-m2 collecting area and a 14-m3 storage tank. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Energy Systems and Applications)
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21 pages, 3886 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Nanofluids Behavior in a PV-Thermal-Driven Organic Rankine Cycle with Cooling Capability
by Samuel Sami
Appl. Syst. Innov. 2020, 3(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/asi3010012 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2697
Abstract
This paper discusses the performance of nanofluids in a PV Thermal-driven Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) with cooling capabilities. This study was intended to investigate the enhancement effect and characteristics of nanofluids; Al2O3, CuO, Fe3O4 and SiO [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the performance of nanofluids in a PV Thermal-driven Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) with cooling capabilities. This study was intended to investigate the enhancement effect and characteristics of nanofluids; Al2O3, CuO, Fe3O4 and SiO2 on the performance the hybrid system composed of PV Thermal, ORC and cooling coil. The quaternary refrigerant mixture used in the ORC cycle to enhance the ORC efficiency is an environmentally sound refrigerant mixture composed of R152a, R245fa, R125, and R1234fy. It was shown that the enhancement of the efficiency of the hybrid system in question is significantly dependent upon not only the solar radiation but also the nanofluids concentration and the type of nanofluid as well as the fluid temperature driving the ORC. A higher hybrid system efficiency has been overserved with nanofluid CuO. Moreover, it has been also shown that on the average, the hybrid system efficiency was higher 17% with nanofluid CuO compared to water as the heat transfer fluid. In addition, it was also observed that the higher cooling effect produced is significantly increased with the use of the nanofluid CuO compared to the other nanofluids under investigation and water as heat transfer fluid. The results observed in this paper on ORC efficiency and PV solar panel efficiency are comparable to what has been published in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Energy Systems and Applications)
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22 pages, 7973 KiB  
Article
Study of the Impact of PV-Thermal and Nanofluids on the Desalination Process by Flashing
by Samuel Sami
Appl. Syst. Innov. 2020, 3(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/asi3010010 - 3 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2675
Abstract
In this study, a mathematical and numerical modeling of the photovoltaic (PV)-thermal solar system to power the multistage flashing chamber process is presented. The proposed model was established after the mass and energy conservation equations written for finite control volume were integrated with [...] Read more.
In this study, a mathematical and numerical modeling of the photovoltaic (PV)-thermal solar system to power the multistage flashing chamber process is presented. The proposed model was established after the mass and energy conservation equations written for finite control volume were integrated with properties of the water and nanofluids. The nanofluids studied and presented herein are Ai2O3, CuO, Fe3O4, and SiO2. The multiple flashing chamber process was studied under various conditions, including different solar radiation levels, brine flows and concentrations, and nanofluid concentrations as well as flashing chamber temperatures and pressures. Solar radiation levels were taken as 500 w/m2, 750 w/m2, 1000 w/m2, and finally, 1200 w/m2. The nanofluid volumetric concentrations considered varied from 1% to 20%. There is clear evidence that the higher the solar radiation, the higher the flashed flow produced. The results also clearly show that irreversibility is reduced by using nanofluid Ai2O3 at higher concentrations of 10% to 20% compared to water as base fluid. The highest irreversibility was experienced when water was used as base fluid and the lowest irreversibility was associated with nanofluid SiO2. The irreversibility increase depends upon the type of nanofluid and its thermodynamic properties. Furthermore, the higher the concentration (e.g., from 10% to 20% of Ai2O3), the higher the availability at the last flashing chamber. However, the availability is progressively reduced at the last flashing chamber. Finally, the predicted results compare well with experimental data published in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Energy Systems and Applications)
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Review

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20 pages, 7052 KiB  
Review
Evaluation of Metal–Organic Frameworks as Potential Adsorbents for Solar Cooling Applications
by Muhammad Mujahid Rafique
Appl. Syst. Innov. 2020, 3(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/asi3020026 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3969
Abstract
The reduction of carbon dioxide emissions has become a need of the day to overcome different environmental issues and challenges. The use of alternative and renewable-based technologies is one of the options to achieve the target of sustainable development through the reduction of [...] Read more.
The reduction of carbon dioxide emissions has become a need of the day to overcome different environmental issues and challenges. The use of alternative and renewable-based technologies is one of the options to achieve the target of sustainable development through the reduction of these harmful emissions. Among different technologies thermally activated cooling systems are one which can reduce the harmful emissions caused by conventional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technology. Thermal cooling systems utilize different porous materials and work on a reversible adsorption/desorption cycle. Different advancements have been made for this technology but still a lot of work should be done to replace conventional systems with this newly developed technology. High adsorption capacity and lower input heat are two major requirements for efficient thermally driven cooling technologies. In this regard, it is a need of the day to develop novel adsorbents with high sorption capacity and low regeneration temperature. Due to tunable topologies and a highly porous nature, the hybrid porous crystalline materials known as metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are a great inspiration for thermally driven adsorption-based cooling applications. Keeping all the above-mentioned aspects in mind, this paper presents a comprehensive overview of the potential use of MOFs as adsorbent material for adsorption and desiccant cooling technologies. A detailed overview of MOFs, their structure, and their stability are presented. This review will be helpful for the research community to have updated research progress in MOFs and their potential use for adsorption-based cooling systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Energy Systems and Applications)
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