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Possibilities of Using Solar Energy in District Cooling Systems in the Mediterranean Region

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Use of district heating and cooling systems has many environmental advantages compared to individual heating and cooling. Recent advances in solar energy technologies for heat and power generation have reduced their cost and promoted their use instead of fossil fuels. Solar-PV energy for electricity generation and solar thermal energy for hot water production are broadly used today. Solar energy resources in the Mediterranean region are abundant while space cooling in buildings is required when solar irradiance is high. The possibility of using solar energy for fuelling water chillers providing cold water in district cooling systems in the Mediterranean basin has been investigated. Existing literature and studies concerning the use of district cooling systems globally as well as the energy sources used in them have been examined. Solar-PV energy combined with compression chillers and solar thermal energy combined with thermally driven chillers can be used for cold water production. Their overall efficiencies, converting solar energy to cold water, vary between 22 and 56 compared with 45 for compression chillers using grid electricity. It is concluded that various solar energy technologies could be used with different types of water chillers for fuelling district cooling networks in the future in the Mediterranean region.

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