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Development of an integrated solar system for buildings

Final Report Summary - MULTISOLAR (Development of an Integrated Solar System for Buildings)

The objective of the MULTISOLAR project consisted in the study, development and integration of a new generation of solar panels in a building, capable of replacing the energy demands, be it electric power, hot water or hot air for heating. This would lead to improvements of these facilities regarding the individualised systems in use. The purpose of this type of panels was to serve as structural element of the building, forming part of the structure and covering walls and roof, giving it a good aesthetic impression together with the glass surfaces that form the panels.

The idea aroused from the need to palliate the low performance of the photovoltaic generators that does not usually go beyond 10 or 15 %, because in this type of facilities the heat is not taken advantage of in an appropriate way, leading to a loss of approximately 34 % of the incident energy and the performance of the apparatus diminish quickly according the temperature of the collector increases, having important losses as soon as the temperature of the cells are between 40-45 degrees Celsius for modern solar panels.

During the project work focused mainly on the following packages:

1. Review of the concept / energy analysis / architectural analysis
Objectives of this work package were the adaptation of the standalone design and the integration of the solar collectors in the roof and facade of the Ad Fontes building. The concept was reviewed on the basis of literature research and the existing work on the MULTISOLAR collectors as well as the experiences gained in previous tests and applications. It combined both the technical requirements and architectural demands for integration into the facade and roof of a building. The preliminary concept of the peripheral solar facility was defined. This work included the definition of the concept for the integration into the building in Bad Bederkesa and the preliminary definition of components used in the test building. Moreover, simulations and calculations were carried out of the ventilation potential. On the basis of the simulations, a conclusion of the preliminary concept was formulated. The energy analysis of the building where the MULTISOLAR system would be implemented was one of the first steps to define the required information for the planning of the system. The energy analysis provided the building's demands for domestic hot water generation (DHW) and heating (DH). These two energy demands were calculated separately and included all heat losses of pipes, heat generation, stand-by, etc. The sum minus the recovered energy, which is e.g. provided by the heat exchanger of the ventilation system, represented the total annual energy demand of the building. Additionally, measurements of temperatures of the existing heating installation were made, to achieve information on the system and the user's influence, which were helpful for the following calculations and would be required again for the acquisition of adequate measurement equipment.

2. Design of the system components
Objectives of this work package were the design of the MULTISOLAR collectors for integration in buildings, the peripheral solar facility and the bench for the field tests. The implementation of a measurement programme for the detailed measurement of the MULTISOLAR collectors, which would be integrated in a building's roof and facade, had several advantages, such as documentation of the system's performance, evaluation of different operational modes, investigation of the interaction of components, definition of the total energy output of the collectors, validation of the control system and definition of optimisation potentials. Since the MULTISOLAR collectors produce three types of energy providing media (electricity, hot water and hot air) at the same time, the test bench for the measurements had to be equipped with different sensors and meters like heat meters (hot water), mean temperature sensors and flow meters (hot air) as well as power meters (electricity). To achieve reliable data a measurement period of at least two heating (winter) and cooling seasons (summer) should be measured.

3. Manufacturing of the components
Within this work package the designed collectors would be manufactured. Moreover, the MULTISOLAR collectors would be integrated in the building of Ad Fontes together with the peripheral system. The manufacturing of the collectors started facing a delay of two months. This caused a delay for the integration of the collectors on the roof and in the façade of the building.

4. Installation and integration of the components in an existing building.

5. Development of field tests
The aim of this work package was to carry out the field tests necessary to assess and evaluate the performance of the MULTISOLAR system. The case studies were done with a delay of 12 months, because the panels were sent with this delay. The field tests were not started at all.

The project coordination was performed by Mr Ami Elazari from Millennium supported by Umwelt. The coordinator did not transfer the advance payment to the partners, which caused several delays and problems in the project activities. Therefore, the European Commission requested a trouble shooting meeting.

By a letter dated 23 October 2006, the Commission suspended the project on its own initiative in accordance with Article II.5. Due to the fact that no remedy acceptable to the Commission for the outstanding financial obligations of Millennium was proposed, the Commission notified on a letter dated 9 November 2007 the change of coordination to TTZ Bremerhaven (Umweltinstitut-Umwelt) and the decision to terminate the contract. The termination became effective on the 7 January 2008. Umwelt was in charge of requesting the information to the partners for the preparation of the final reports.