Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - SHINE (Solar Heat Integration Network)

Network Composition and Network Activities
The “Solar Heat Integration Network” SHINE is an International PhD network on Solar Thermal Engineering. It is coordinated by the Institute of Thermal Engineering at Kassel University, Germany. The network, launched in autumn 2013, offers a specialized and structured PhD course program on solar thermal engineering, it offers placements of internships, and 13 PhD scholarships. The training program with five PhD courses and workshops is open also for PhD students from other Universities working in the field. The number of students in the courses generally ranges from 20 to 30, the courses being a networking forum for young researchers in solar thermal. Each of the PhD-scholars of the project works in one of the three work packages “Solar District Heating”, “Solar Heat for Industrial Processes”, and “Sorption Processes and Materials”. The research projects are hosted by six different universities and five companies from all over Europe. A close cooperation with industry ensures fast exploitation of the results. In the SHINE project, universities and research institutes, manufacturers, software providers as well as district heating companies and industrial heat consumers work together on the development and implementation of large scale solar heating systems.

Research Objectives
The focus of the “SHINE”-project is on large solar heating systems and new applications as well as new storage technologies and materials, specifically sorption stores. Large scale solar heating systems are decisive to cover a major part of the European low temperature heat demand by solar energy. However, today only a negligible share of solar heating systems installed in Europe are large units due to manifold technical and socio-economic obstacles. The Initial Training Project SHINE covers detailed experimental material-, component- and system studies, system integration analysis and numerical modelling and optimization, as well as chemical investigations on storage materials.

a) Work Package 1 – Solar District Heating
Research objectives of the first work package are to optimize complex hydraulics and operation strategies of large solar heating systems in terms of flexibility to serve variable loads and in terms of overall collector efficiency, pressure drop and safety of collector stagnation for different boundary conditions. Moreover, the aims are to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of centralized and decentralized solar collector fields in district heating networks and to derive the technological and economic boundary conditions for profitable operation. Both de-centralized feed-in and district heat augmented systems will be covered. Additionally, the work package will propose design and operating strategies for district heating networks that supply both, heating and cooling demands and to show advantages and disadvantages of central distribution of cooled fluid versus distribution of heated fluid with local production of the cooling effects.
Five PhD projects are carried out in the framework of the work package and one additional PhD project on drain back systems is also associated to it.

b) Work Package 2 – Solar Heat for Industrial Processes
Research objectives of this work package are to reduce the large planning efforts requiring specific expert knowledge to integrate solar heat into existing heating systems for industrial processes. The aim is to develop tools and methodological approaches which industries can use to determine the feasibility of a solar thermal system in their processes. With help of system simulation studies, possible solar integration points, solar system performance, fuel savings, and economics will be evaluated, all based on defined inputs of the facility location, heat demand profile, and fuel consumption. The tools will help to lower risks and costs associated with solar thermal projects and to encourage a rapid adoption of using solar heat for industrial applications. Moreover, the optimization potential of solar thermal systems will be identified by parameter variations on the supply side of the plant, realized also by detailed studies of existing plants.
Moreover, solar collectors will be further developed that can efficiently and cost-effectively provide operation temperatures of up to 250°C to be used for industrial processes. A methodology is developed that allows a quick determination of the economically most reasonable design regarding the field of application.

c) Work Package 3 – Sorption Processes and Materials
In order to reach a higher energy density of solar heating storages than in water stores, various solid and liquid sorption materials as well as sorption processes will be investigated in the third work package. PhD students investigate adsorption and absorption processes with numerical and experimental means, with the aim to attain a better understanding of the heat and mass transfer processes and to increase the performance of the processes, for example by surface modifications or the use of new sorption materials. Therefore, investigations will also be carried out on chemical modifications and combination of fluid solid hybrid materials.
Two of the PhD projects focus on the adsorption/desorption processes of water steam in zeolites. Numerical investigations and laboratory experiments will be carried out. One of the main objectives is to develop and prove a seasonal thermal storage concept with high solar fraction.

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