Energy assessment of solar cooling thermally driven system configurations for an office building in a Nordic country

Francesco Reda (Corresponding Author), Maxime Viot, Kari Sipilä, Martin Helm

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)


    Thermal cooling systems are particularly attractive in locations supplied by district heating based on cogeneration heating plants (CHP). Moreover, solar thermal energy is a major renewable source for the provision of thermal energy, fulfilling demands for space heating, domestic hot water, process heat, and cooling. This energy source can be suitably used also in Nordic Countries. The presented paper focuses on two configurations of a cooling solar-driven thermal system for an office building located in Finland. Dynamic simulation approach has been used through TRNSYS software. In particular, the configurations differ from the connection between the hot storage tank, the solar collectors and the chiller. Particularly, in the first configuration only the tank can supply the chiller (Case 1), while in the second, the chiller can be supplied either by the tank or the solar collectors directly (Case 2). System performance indexes, in case of district heating as main building heating supply system in winter and as auxiliary heating system for the chiller in summer, have been evaluated as a function of the tank and solar thermal field sizes. Results show that Case 2 has better performance than Case 1, because of the versatility shown in summer. Particularly, when the solar irradiance is low, Case 2 solutions perform far better than Case 1 solutions, benefitting from the direct connection between the solar collectors and the chiller. This study has highlighted also the potential of this technology in cold climate areas supplied by means of DH based on CHP plants. Indeed, the adoption of such cooling technology, in addition to reduce both heating and cooling consumed energy and to shave summer electricity peaks, can potentially allow some CHP plants to operate also in summer, fulfilling the future energy networks aims: being able to provide electricity, heat and cooling energy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-43
    JournalApplied Energy
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Solar cooling driven system
    • Absorption chiller
    • Primary energy
    • District heating
    • Nordic countries


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