Solar Energy Systems


Compentency: Selecting solar energy systems according to specific local conditions

Module type: elective module

Semester: summer

Site: Kassel

Language: English

Workload: 90 hours course attendance; 60 hours self-study

Credits points: 6

Recommended qualifications: none


Learning Outcome

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


  • 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


  • Lecturer: Salman Ajib
  • Teaching method: lecture
  • SWS: 2
  • Credit points: 2
  • Examination: written exam

Learning Outcome

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


  • 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


  • Lecturer: Adel Khalil
  • Teaching method: lecture, project
  • SWS: 2
  • Credit points: 2
  • Examination: written exam

Learning Outcome

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


  • 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)


  • Lecturer: Mohamed Ibrahim
  • Teaching method: project, seminar
  • SWS: 2
  • Credit points: 2
  • Examination: midterm assignments; group report