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Research Activities in Solar Heating and Cooling at the University of Malta Prof. Ing. Robert Ghirlando Workshop on the utilisation of Renewable Energy.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Activities in Solar Heating and Cooling at the University of Malta Prof. Ing. Robert Ghirlando Workshop on the utilisation of Renewable Energy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Activities in Solar Heating and Cooling at the University of Malta Prof. Ing. Robert Ghirlando Workshop on the utilisation of Renewable Energy with a special focus on solar energy 5 th and 6 th November 2009 MCST Hall, Villa Bighi, Kalkara, Malta

2 Photo by Erich Podesser The Austrian Maltese Research Centre

3 Research activities in solar heating and cooling at the UoM: Department of Mechanical Engineering Past: many student projects Current:PhD project in solar desalination participation in Task 38 computer modelling of vapour absorption experiments with vapour absorption Future:attempts to secure funding combining solar cooling with geothermal cooling

4 Past: Student projects in collaboration with European and American Universities (under-graduate and at Masters levels) Current:Testing of Active Solar Heating System for Apartments Scientific Publications and Co-authorship of Books Future:R&I Application for research in collaboration with Industry to be funded by MCST (awaiting decision) ERDF Application to build a solar testing laboratory Research on Optimum combination of solar heating with assisted back-up heating using a heat pump for domestic hot water and space heating in homes Research on Small-scale solar concentrators for combined hot water production and photovoltaic power generation Institute for Sustainable Energy (formerly Institute for Energy Technology)

5 Past student undergraduate projects: 83/84 Design Of A Solar Plant For The Air-Conditioning Plant At The Karen Grech Hospital, J. Muscat 87/88 Thermal Behaviour Of A Solar Pond, A. Abela and A. Agius Heat Pipe Solar Collector, D. Azzopardi Interaction Between Energy Transfers In An Absorption Machine, J. Bartolo and A. Forte The Dynamic Behaviour Of Solar Absorption Cooling Machine, A. Tranter 89/90 Solar Distillation Improvement, S. Gatt 90/91 Construction And Testing Of A Solid Dessicant Solar Cooling System, J. Mangion

6 91/92 Solar Still, S. Scicluna Solar Distiller Incorporating Heat Pipes, N. Grech and E. Busuttil 92/93 System Design and Test of a Solar Assisted Heat Pump, S. Gatt and F. Bugeja 93/94 Solar-Tracking, single Axis Feedback Control, J. Muscat Solar Powered Vapour-Jet Refrigeration Cycle, D. Sammut Construction And Testing Of An Experimental H 2 O-LiBr Absorption Cooler, C. Tabone 94/95 Development Of A Compact Integral Solar Water Heater, E. Sultana 95/96 Monitoring Of A Solar System Coupled to A Heat Pump, S. Camilleri A Semi-Cylindrical Solar Water Heater, A. Gambin

7 97/98 A Study On The Performance Of An Ultra Modern Solar Plant At Mtarfa, C. Mifsud 98/99 Investigating The Performance Of A Converter Solar Collector, G. Aquilina Driving A Pilot Heat Pump With Solar Panels, K. Sammut 99/2000 A Solar Powered Heat Pump, D. Lautier 2001/2002 Design, Construction And Testing Of A Cascading Solar Water Heater, C. Zammit 2002/2003 Design and Construction on a Composite Solar Heater, R. Refalo

8 2003/2004 Study on Absorption Refrigeration, J.P. Buttigieg To Investigate The Performance Of A Composite Solar Heat Collector, A. Galea 2005/2006 Solar Heat Cooling, A.K. Brincat 2006/2007 Analysis of Solar Thermal Desalination, P. Refalo A Solar – Powered Absorption Refrigeration System, L. Scicluna 2007/2008 The Construction of a Vapour Absorption Refrigeration Test Rig, G. Zammit Mathematical Model of a Vapour Absorption Refrigeration Unit, D Micallef 2008/2009 Further Work on a Vapour Absorption Refrigeration Test Rig, K. Lanzon

9 PhD Research Project on “Desalination of Seawater and Brackish Water by Decentralised Solar Energy Units” in collaboration with local industry and financed by the MCST R&I 2006 programme. Student: Paul Refalo Supervisor: Prof Robert Ghirlando Project leader: Dr Stephen Abela

10 Participation in Task 38 on Solar Refrigeration and Air Conditioning of the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme of the International Energy Agency

11 4th expert meeting of Task 38 Solar Air Conditioning and Refrigeration April 1-2, 2008 at Arsenal Research, Vienna, AUSTRIA


13 Modelling of Vapour Absorption Systems – development of a computer software model (Principal Researcher: Dr Christopher Micallef Student: Daniel Micallef) Publication: Micallef, D. and Micallef, C., Thermal Analysis of a Vapour Absorption Refrigeration Unit, The Eleventh UK National Heat Transfer Conference, Sept Paper awaiting publication: Micallef, D. and Micallef, C., Mathematical Model of a Vapour Absorption Refrigeration Unit

14 Experiments with vapour absorption using a Ammonia/Water Mini-bar fridge driven by solar energy

15 Building a LiBr/water refrigeration test rig

16 Projects submitted for funding under the MCST R&I 2008 programme: R & D of the Performance and Efficiency of a Conventional Air conditioning System Integrated with a Solar Cooling System. Passive Cooling of Maltese Buildings. Combined Renewable Energy Systems.

17 Projects submitted for funding from the MCST R&I 2009 programme: R & D of the Performance and Efficiency of a Conventional Air- conditioning System by Integrating it with a Geothermal Cooling System. R & D of the Performance and Efficiency of a Conventional Air Conditioning System Integrated with a Solar Cooling System.

18 Survey of Solar Water Heaters “ The Institute for Sustainable Energy is offering technical inspection of installed domestic solar water heating systems. This consists of making an on-site visit, conduct a technical survey, fill-up a questionnaire on hot water usage and produce an evaluation report.” This free service has provided very valuable feedback to the ISE about problems associated with the installation and operation of SWH in Malta.

19 Extracts from Solar Water Heating Systems under the lens (The Times Dec. 2004) - R.N. Farrugia, M. Fsadni and C. Yousif Survey on 70 operating domestic solar heaters gave preliminary indications on some critical factors that have adversely affected the performance of SWHs: 20% of systems were facing away from South by more than 15°. 21% were inclined at angles well away from 45° to the horizontal. 57% of the systems had no insulation on the hot water delivery pipes. Only 35% of the remainder had proper insulation applied to their systems while the rest had broken or cracked thermal lagging. Due to these shortcomings, most SWHs had a combined loss ranging between 15 and 24% of their potential heating capabilities. Only 20% of all systems were considered to operate at acceptable conditions.

20 Over 50% of the systems had hot water storage tanks that were too large for the supplied solar collector (panel) area. More than 40% of the SWH systems had a booster water pump connected to the cold water inlet. In all cases, the pump was oversized leading to mixing of delivered cold water with the stored hot water. Furthermore, the high pressure could cause irreparable damage to the solar system and the associated piping works. About 40% of users take showers in the morning rather than in the evening, and this does not match the solar water heating cycle. An amazing 88% favoured the installation of solar heating systems with few regretting having bought one. Some others noted an increase in their electricity bill. These few bad experiences are usually enough to cast a shadow on the viability and future prospects of solar water heating systems.

21 Publications by members of the Institute for Sustainable Energy presented at the 1st International Congress on Heating, Cooling and Buildings, EUROSUN2008, 7-10 October 2008, Lisbon Impact of Domestic Solar Water Heating on an Energy Audit of a Residence in Malta R. Farrugia, C. Yousif & M. Villameriel Tejedor Performance Analysis of Water-in-Glass Evacuated-Tube Solar Heating Systems in Malta C. Yousif, C. Fernandez Vazquez, V. Buhagiar,

22 Publications (Contd…) World Renewable Energy Congress IX, Florence, Italy, 2006 Barriers and Incentives for the Widespread Application of Renewable Energy in Malta R.N. Farrugia, M. Fsadni, E.A. Mallia and C. Yousif The Renewable Energy Potential of Malta R.N. Farrugia, M. Fsadni, E.A. Mallia and C. Yousif Renewable Energies in Malta and Beyond" Seminar, 19th September 2005, Salina, Malta Contribution of Solar Applications Towards Achieving a Renewable Energy Target for Malta Charles Yousif Investigation of Domestic Solar Water Heating Installations in Malta S.P. Borg, C. Yousif and R.N. Farrugia

23 Ongoing Projects 2009/10 With Erasmus Students from Valladolid University, Spain Testing of a Pumped Vertical Flat-Plate Solar Collector System for use in Multi-Storey Buildings, Oscar Martin Ramos, Supervised by R. Farrugia Co-Supervised by C. Yousif Testing of an Air Source Heat Pump Water Heater, Sara Morentin Gutierrez, Supervised by Charles Yousif Co-Supervised by R. Farrugia

24 Reports in Collaboration with James Madison University, Virginia, U.S.A Analysis and Optimisation of Solar Hot Water Heating Systems Using TRNSYS (1998). The Comino Expedition (2003) – Assessment of Installed Solar Heating and Feasibility Study of Solar Technology on Comino Hotel (2003). Solar Water Heating: A Preliminary Assessment of Systems Operating in Malta (2004). Solar Opportunities at the Arka Foundation Respite Centre of Gozo (2006). Monitoring of Electric Mains Distribution, Air-Conditioning and Solar Water Heating Usage with Photovoltaic Potential Study at Palazzo Verdelin, Valletta (2008).

25 Co-Authorship of Books “Renewable Energy: Trends and Prospects”, Majumdar, S.K. et al, Editors, The Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Easton, PA 18042, U.S.A., ISBN: , (May, 2002), Library of Congress Catalog Card No , Chapter 13: “Applications of Solar Thermal Energy and Chapter 29: The Integrated Science and technology Program: Offering a New Paradigm for Teaching Energy Concepts and Technologies. "Handbook of Renewable Energies in the European Union II: Case Studies of all Accession States", Danyel Reiche (Editor) and Foreward by the European Commissioner for Enlargement Mr. Gunter Verheugen, Peter Lang Publishers, June 2003, ISBN New Energy Sources - The Hope in the Book entitled: "Essays on Environmental Leadership", Erchul R. A. et. al. (Editors), Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia, U.S.A., 2004, pp “EU Energy Law: Renewable Energy in the European Union, Part II, National Renewable Energy Support Schemes and Policies”, Doerte Fouquet (Editor), Claeys & Casteels BVBA Publishers, Belgium (under print), 2009.

26 Vielen Dank

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