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Development of an expert system to analyse/optimise the technical/economic feasibility or performance of hybrid large scale solar heating (lssh) systems (expert system lssh)

Exploitable results

The White Paper of the European Commission outlines the Commission�s plans and goals concerning future utilisation of renewable energy sources in the European Union. According to the book, the EC aims at increasing the share of renewable energy sources to 12% by the year 2010. Special emphasis will be placed on the direct utilisation of solar energy through thermal solar collectors. Accordingly, it is planned to increase the annual installed solar collector area by 20%. This would result results in a total installed collector area of 100 million m2, in the year 2010. The project results is considerably supporting the EU policy regarding renewable energy, in particular the target of 12 % renewable in the EU and to increase the total installed solar collector area stipulated in the White Paper. The substitution of fossil fuels by thermal solar energy exploitation entails reduction of air emission from fuel combustion. This is true both for small and large-scale solar heating. The extent of emission reduction depends on the extent of solar energy use vis-à-vis conventional fuel, and the type of fuel to be substituted. The book provides an overview of emission reduction in terms of tons of CO2 saved through solar energy use. Scenarios of annual thermal solar energy exploitation through LSSH have been considered in line with existing data on LSSH market prospects for the European Union. Emission Reduction from Thermal Solar Energy Exploitation through LSSH Data for CO2 saved is the average data for the respective fuels to be substituted. The scenarios for thermal solar energy exploitation through LSSH are for a horizontal until approx. 2005 through 2020 and are in TWh/a (equivalent to 106 MWh/a). Associated reductions of CO2 relate to tons per year.
The substitution of fossil fuels by thermal solar energy exploitation entails the reduction of air emission from fuel combustion. However, despite the large technical/economic potential of LSSH systems, their application are more over less limited to a small number of countries. In view of a wider exploitation of LSSH systems the technical and financial feasibility has to be demonstrated to the potential investors. While engineering planning tools are available on the market there is a great need for tools to analyse the technical/economic and financial feasibility at the very early project phase. The major project result is the development of an expert system, which allows non-experts, which are normally decision-making bodies for or against a LSSH plant integration, to perform a technical, and financial/economic project analysis at the very early project phase. The key strengths of the expert system are summarized: - Strengths of the expert system; - Uncomplicated data input for �Non Experts� through wizard mode and project specific default value setting; - Control of data input for experts through project specific default value setting; - Optimisation of existing systems on the basis of economic / financial criteria; - Technical and economic verification during data input; - Solar system dimensioning based on data base and nomogram algorithm; - Financial analysis of the entire heating system or only for the solar system; - User specific preparation of reports; - Problems of Large-Scale Solar Heating (LSSH) systems relate to technical, economic and financial issues and relationships.