Special Issue "Solar Systems and Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022 | Viewed by 4134

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Marco Noro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padova Stradella San Nicola, 3, 36100 Vicenza (VI), Italy
Interests: modeling of energy systems; energy optimization; energy efficiency; building performance simulation; multi-source heat pump; energy retrofit; absorption heat pump; cogeneration; HVAC systems; renewable energy source systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing energy demand and oil prices, and the related increasing amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, are the main drivers of the tremendous development of renewable energy sources, and solar in particular, during the last years.

Solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal (ST) and photovoltaic thermal (PVT) systems can face the increasing usage of electricity for heating, refrigeration and air conditioning, and can overcome the decreasing conventional energy. Moreover, solar systems can reveal their sustainability both from the energy and the economic point of view when coupled to buildings. As in most countries around the world buildings are responsible for around 30–40% of energy consumption, the application of solar systems in new (energy design) or existing (energy retrofitting) buildings is a necessity to promote sustainability. In both cases, extensive applications of insulation and advanced heating technology (from condensing boilers to heat pumps) are reducing the energy demand for heating, whereas the energy demand for space cooling is forecast to increase dramatically in the next years. As a matter of fact, energy and economic sustainability of solar cooling systems have to be proved in order to be a viable solution for the next future.

This Special Issue looks for outstanding research and development results, case studies, and review papers in topics that include but are not limited to the following:

  • Efficiency of solar energy systems;
  • Recent development and application of photovoltaic (PV), photovoltaic/thermal (PVT), building integrated photovoltaic and photovoltaic/thermal (BIPV, BIPVT);
  • Recent development and application of solar cooling;
  • Integration of solar energy into existing and retrofitted buildings;
  • Dual or multi-source heat pumps systems;
  • Integration of solar energy into existing power grids and future smart grids;
  • Integration of solar energy into demand-response schemes;
  • Synergies between solar energy, electric vehicles, thermal/electric energy storage, water storage/management, and energy-efficient buildings;
  • Environmental impact of solar energy systems integrated in buildings.

Thank you for your contributions.

Prof. Marco Noro
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • solar energy system
  • photovoltaics
  • photovoltaic/thermal
  • building integrated photovoltaics
  • building integrated photovoltaic/thermal
  • solar cooling
  • building retrofit
  • energy refurbishment
  • sustainability
  • environmental impact
  • grid integration of solar energy

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Energy and Economic Sustainability of a Trigeneration Solar System Using Radiative Cooling in Mediterranean Climate
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11446; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011446 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 660
Abstract
The spreading of nearly zero-energy buildings in Mediterranean climate can be supported by the suitable coupling of traditional solar heating, photovoltaics and radiative cooling. The latter is a well-known passive cooling technique, but it is not so commonly used due to low power [...] Read more.
The spreading of nearly zero-energy buildings in Mediterranean climate can be supported by the suitable coupling of traditional solar heating, photovoltaics and radiative cooling. The latter is a well-known passive cooling technique, but it is not so commonly used due to low power density and long payback periods. In this study, the energy performance of a system converting solar energy into electricity and heat during the daytime and offering cooling energy at night is assessed on the basis of a validated model of a trifunctional photovoltaic–thermal–radiative cooling module. The key energy, CO2 emission and economic performance indicators were analyzed by varying the main parameters of the system, such as the spectral emissivity of the selective absorber plate and cover and thermal insulation thickness. The annual performance analysis is performed by a transient simulation model for a typical residential building and two different climates of the Mediterranean area (Trapani and Milano). For both climates, glass-PVT–RC is the best solution in terms of both overall efficiency (electric + thermal) and cooling energy capacity, even better with a thicker insulation layer; the annual electrical, heat and cooling gains of this system are 1676, 10,238 and 3200 kWh for Trapani, correspondingly (1272, 9740 and 4234 kWh for Milano, respectively). The typical glass-PVT module achieves a performance quite similar to the best ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Systems and Sustainability)
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Article
PVT and ETC Coupling for Annual Heating and Cooling by Absorption Heat Pumps
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7042; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177042 - 29 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 896
Abstract
Until recently, solar assisted heat pumps have used solar collectors as a cold source. Solar collectors provide, when possible, direct heat, otherwise they offer temperature levels to the heat pump evaporator higher than the outside air. At the same time, solar thermal cooling [...] Read more.
Until recently, solar assisted heat pumps have used solar collectors as a cold source. Solar collectors provide, when possible, direct heat, otherwise they offer temperature levels to the heat pump evaporator higher than the outside air. At the same time, solar thermal cooling exploits the solar collectors and the absorption chiller only in hot months. Photovoltaic/Thermal (PVT) modules have been available on the market in recent years for solar cogeneration, but their utilization can be problematic due to PhotoVoltaic (PV) cell damage in cases where there is no heating request. This paper considers the possibility of coupling evacuated tube collectors and photovoltaic/thermal modules to drive an absorption heat pump-based plant operating as an absorption chiller in the summertime. The cold source is the solar energy and the ground, which is recharged by the solar thermal and photovoltaic/thermal collectors and by the cooling of the absorber-condenser in mid-seasons and summer. This study analyzes the system behavior in yearly operation and evaluates the role of suitable storage tanks in two different climates, varying the size of the two solar fields and the generator tank. In the best plant configuration, a primary energy ratio of 26.6 in colder climates with cloudy skies and 20 in hotter climates with clearer skies is obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Systems and Sustainability)
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Article
Design, Modeling, and Experimental Investigation of Active Water Cooling Concentrating Photovoltaic System
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5392; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135392 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
This work presents performance study of a concentrating photovoltaic/thermal (CPV/T) collector and its efficiency to produce electric and thermal power under different operating conditions. The study covers a detailed description of flat photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) and CPV/T systems using water as a cooling working [...] Read more.
This work presents performance study of a concentrating photovoltaic/thermal (CPV/T) collector and its efficiency to produce electric and thermal power under different operating conditions. The study covers a detailed description of flat photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) and CPV/T systems using water as a cooling working fluid, numerical model analysis, and qualitative evaluation of thermal and electrical output. The aim of this study was to achieve higher efficiency of the photovoltaic (PV) system while reducing the cost of generating power. Concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) cells with low-cost reflectors were used to enhance the efficiency of the PV system and simultaneously reduce the cost of electricity generation. For this purpose, a linear Fresnel flat mirror (LFFM) integrated with a PV system was used for low-concentration PV cells (LCPV). To achieve the maximum benefit, water as a coolant fluid was used to study the ability of actively cooling PV cells, since the electrical power of the CPV system is significantly affected by the temperature of the PV cells. This system was characterized over the traditional PV systems via producing more electrical energy due to concentrating the solar radiation as well as cooling the PV modules and at the same time producing thermal energy that can be used in domestic applications. During the analysis of the results of the proposed system, it was found that the maximum electrical and thermal energy obtained were 170 W and 580 W, respectively, under solar concentration ratio 3 and the flow rate of the cooling water 1 kg/min. A good agreement between the theoretical and experimental results was confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Systems and Sustainability)
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Article
Environmental Impact of the High Concentrator Photovoltaic Thermal 2000x System
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7213; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247213 - 16 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 984
Abstract
High Concentrator Photovoltaic Thermal (HCPV/T) systems produce both electrical and thermal energy and they are efficient in areas with high Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). This paper estimates the lifecycle environmental impact of the HCPV/T 2000x system for both electrical and thermal functionalities. Process-based [...] Read more.
High Concentrator Photovoltaic Thermal (HCPV/T) systems produce both electrical and thermal energy and they are efficient in areas with high Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). This paper estimates the lifecycle environmental impact of the HCPV/T 2000x system for both electrical and thermal functionalities. Process-based attributional method following the guidelines and framework of ISO 14044/40 was used to conduct the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The midpoint and endpoint impact categories were studied. It was found that the main hotspots are the production of the thermal energy system contributing with 50% and 55%, respectively, followed by the production of the tracking system with 29% and 32% and the operation and maintenance with 13% and 7%. The main contributor to the lifecycle environmental impact category indicators was found to be the raw materials acquisition/production and manufacturing of the thermal energy and tracking systems. The results indicate that the lifecycle environmental impact of the HCPV/T 2000x system is lower compared to fuel-based Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and non-Renewable Energy Sources (non-RES) systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Systems and Sustainability)
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