Solar Energy Systems

Module Title Solar Energy Systems
CompetencySelecting solar energy systems according to specific local conditions
Courses Title Teaching Method SWS Credits Performance requirements/Examination
Solar Thermal Cooling
lecture 2 2 written exam
Concentrated Solar Thermal Systems lecture, project 2 2 written exam, project work
Photovoltaic Systemsproject, seminar22project report, presentation
Semester summer
Responsible Dahlhaus
Site Kassel
Lecturer(s) Salman Ajib
Franz Trieb
Mohamed Ibrahim
Language English
Workload 90 hours course attendance
60 hours self-study
Credits 6
Recommended Qualifications -
Learning Outcomes a) Solar Thermal Cooling
After the successful participation in the course Solar Thermal Cooling the students are able to:
  • understand the use of solar thermal energy for air conditioning
  • analyse the size of solar thermal plants for air conditioning (as components and as total system) and the connection of the system to the building.
b) Concentrated Solar Thermal Systems
After the successful participation in the course Concentrated Solar Thermal Systems the students are able to:
  • reflect the fundamental characteristics and capabilities as well as impacts of concentrating solar power (CSP) stations within national electricity supply schemes
  • understand the fundamentals of international cooperation for solar electricity export and long-distance transmission
  • assess the technical and economic potential of CSP in a country and to identify the best sites for project development.
c) Photovoltaic Systems
After the successful participation in the course Photovoltaic Systems the students are able to:
  • select optimal(standalone, decentralized) PV systems according to specific application and resources conditions
  • estimate the techno-economic performance criteria
  • implement standard PV simulation software tools for system design.
Contents a) Solar Thermal Cooling
  • Solar thermal cooling and solar thermal assisted air conditioning:
    • space cooling and refrigeration
    • cooling and dehumidification
    • energy demand for cooling and dehumidification
  • Fundamentals and basics of absorption cooling:
    • energy and mass balance of absorption cycle, solution field
    • thermodynamics and efficiency
    • working pairs
    • enthalpy-concentration chart
  • Basics of cooling towers, humid air, cooling tower concepts:
    • wet cooling towers/dry cooling towers
    • absorption cycles using LiBr-water or other working pairs like NH3-water and organic pairs, cycle schematic
  • Balances of the components:
    • evaporator, condenser, absorber, desorber, solution heat exchanger, pump, expansion valves, figures of merit, performance coefficient, pump work ratio, design and technical details
    • typical component design, crystallisation prevention, maintenance of vacuum
  • System integration, control, characteristic equation, buffer and storage tanks, solar fraction, primary energy rate, water consumption, economics; state of the art of absorption chillers and new developments
  • Solid sorption, basics of absorption cooling, energy and mass balance of absorption cycle, thermodynamics and efficiency; working pairs, Silicagel-water, Zeolite-water, Ammonium salts, state of the art and new developments
  • Further thermally driven cooling systems:
    • open desiccant systems, solid desiccant systems, basics, design, working pairs, application, liquid desiccant systems, basics, design, working pairs
  • Application:
    • jet-cycle systems
    • double-effect absorption cycle
    • examples of installed systems
b) Concentrated Solar Thermal Systems
  • Fundamentals:
    • solar meteorology
    • principles of solar electricity generation
    • fluctuating and balancing power, storability
    • short and long-term reserve capacity
    • environmental impacts of CSP plants
  • Assessment of CSP potentials:
    • mapping and time series of direct-normal irradiance (DNI)
    • mapping of site characteristics with geographic information systems
    • simplified modelling of CSP performance
    • mapping and evaluation of CSP potentials
  • Creating scenarios for sustainable electricity:
    • target definition and sustainability
    • quantify the perspectives of electricity demand
    • quantify renewable electricity potentials
    • other electricity sources
    • how to match time series of electricity load and supply, technical and economic learning curves
    • least cost optimization
  • Concentrating solar power for seawater desalination:
    • water demand perspectives in the Middle East and North Africa
    • concepts for solar powered seawater desalination
    • scenarios for sustainable freshwater supply
    • economic and environmental impacts
  • Trans-mediterranean interconnection:
    • CSP in the European electricity mix
    • opportunities of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)
    • long-term perspectives of CSP in Europe, MENA and worldwide
    • economic and environmental impacts
c) Photovoltaic Systems
  • Decentralized and stand-alone PV hybrid systems:
    • modular PV systems technology for decentralized AC-power supply
    • large decentralized PV systems (fixed mounted and tracking systems, power condition units and grid integration)
    • PV stand-alone and hybrid systems configurations and components performance
    • supervisory control and energy management strategies for PV decentralized systems
    • storage technology for PV stand-alone systems (super-capacitors, batteries, electrolysis and fuel cells);
    • power conditioning units for decentralized and stand-alone PV-Systems and components (battery charger, bidirectional converters, fuel cell inverters)
  • Economics:
    • specific energy cost calculation
    • techno-economic performance criteria of stand-alone PV and hybrid systems
  • Design aspects:
    • methodologies for sizing PV hybrid systems
    • design of stand-alone PV hybrid system (load demand synthesis, component sizing, evaluation of performance criteria)
    • implementing simulation tools for designing PV stand-alone systems case study via project work (design of stand-alone PV system)
Media Black board and beamer, lectures and power point presentations.
  • J.A. Duffie and W.A. Beckman, Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, Wiley, 3rd edition, 2006.
  • H.-M. Henning, Solar-Assisted Air-Conditioning in Buildings: A Handbook for Planners, Springer; 2nd edition, 2007.
  • Lecture notes on Solar Thermal Heating.
  • Concentrating Solar Power for the Mediterranean Region, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Section Systems Analysis & Technology Assessment, 2005, downloadable from
  • Trans-Mediterranean Interconnection for Concentrating Solar Power, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Section Systems Analysis & Technology Assessment, 2006, downloadable from
  • Concentrating Solar Power for Seawater Desalination, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Section Systems Analysis & Technology Assessment, 2007, downloadable from
  • Selection of published papers on concentrated solar thermal power will be announced.
  • Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics, Fundamentals and Applications, Elsevier Science,
    1st edition, 2003.
  • A. Goetzberger and V.U. Hoffmann, Photovoltaic Solar Energy Generation, Springer, 1st
    edition, 2010.
  • R.A. Messenger and J. Ventre, Photovoltaic Systems Engineering, CRC Press, 3rd
    edition, 2010.
  • J.A. Duffie and W.A. Beckman, Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, John Wiley &
    Sons Inc., 3rd edition, 2006.
  • M.A. Green, Third Generation Photovoltaics: Advanced Solar Energy Conversion,
    Springer, 2005.