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Solar Resources and Solar Cooling

Functional unit description

The Solar Resources and Solar Cooling Unit is made up of the members of the groups “Solar Energy Resources and Climatology (TEP165)” and the “Interdisciplinary Group on Complex Fluids (FQM230)”. 

The experience of the TEP 165 group in the study of solar resources and cloud cover over the last few decades has enabled the development of systems for predicting solar radiation and cloud cover in the short term, aimed at optimising solar energy plants, mainly concentrating solar power plants (parabolic trough and central tower) and photovoltaic plants. Likewise, a reference METEO station has been set up at the Solar Energy Research Centre (CIESOL) to monitor the atmosphere and develop predictive systems that affect the production of solar plants in general. 

With regard to the integration of the FQM230 group, work has been ongoing on the development of new scenarios for harnessing energy in materials with phase change, thanks to the knowledge and dedication of the experts in the complex fluid dynamics group. These techniques are being applied mainly to cooling and heating in self-sufficient buildings, as well as in other fields such as industry and greenhouses. 

Main research lines

The main strategic lines of the group within the CIESOL Joint Centre are as follows:

  • Evaluation and forecast of solar resource
  • Remote sensing
  • Sky cameras
  • Optimization of sky cameras
  • Design and optimization of solar thermal cooling and heating systems
  • Design and optimization of air-conditioning system coupled with shallow geothermal systems and ground-coupled heat exchanger
  • Design and optimization of trigeneration systems
  • Integration of the solar thermal and photovoltaic energy in the construction, warehouses or greenhouses
  • Thermal energy storage through phase change materials (PCM)