Seasonal storage for solar thermal systems in Australia?
Fuller, Robert and Aye, Lu 2007, Seasonal storage for solar thermal systems in Australia?, in ANZSES 2007 : Is solar our only nuclear option: proceedings of the 45th conference of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, Maroubra, N.S.W., pp. 1-11.
Seasonal storage systems have been operating in various European countries since 1985. Combined with solar collectors, these systems are known as ‘central solar heating plants with seasonal storage’ (CSHPSS). While these systems have been shown to be technically feasible, their cost is still too high to make them competitive with fossil fuels.
In Australia, we have quite different conditions to those countries where CSHPSS have been trialled. In general, we experience higher radiation levels, ambient temperatures and cooling loads. Our heating loads and energy prices are also usually lower. As a result, any evaluation of CSPSS operating in a European context may not be valid for Australian conditions. To the authors’ knowledge, no evaluation of these systems has been carried out for Australia.
This paper therefore attempts an initial assessment of these systems and their viability for Australia. The paper first describes the various types of CSHPSS and then reviews their current status. The performance of one type of CSHPSS operating in several locations of Australia has been predicted using a TRNSYS model. The simulations indicated that the design guidelines for Europe are inappropriate for Australia and would result in greatly over-sized systems.
An indication of the financial viability of the system was determined by calculating a simple payback period for a variety of fossil fuels. This type of seasonal storage systems appears to be financially attractive in areas of southern Australia where the solar system is displacing LPG.
Deakin University gratefully acknowledges permission of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society to publish these papers
Field of Research
091499 Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy not elsewhere classified
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