The effectiveness of a heating system is validated, heating air from solar radiation

May 28, 2020

Heating and air conditioning in buildings make up almost half of the total energy consumption in the European Union. What is more, nearly 75% relies on fossil fuels, according to data from the European Commission. Hence, reducing this consumption and integrating renewable energy in heating and air conditioning processes in buildings is one of today's priorities for scientific research.

The research team from the Thermal Machines and Engines Section at the University of Cordoba performed an experimental study that validated the effectiveness of a heating system that heats air in buildings using solar radiation. The device uses a series of heat collectors, known as UTCs (Unglazed transpired collectors), that absorb the heat generated in the outer layer of the facade when hit with sun rays. Later, using this energy, the ventilation air is preheated before going into the residences to heat them.

The system, patented decades ago, "has not had widespread use in Europe, other than a few experimental buildings", explains the lead author, Fernando Peci. The team installed the device on a test module of 4x2 meters subjected to the normal conditions of a home. Over the course of a month, during winter, this heat collector was monitored throughout different weather conditions such as solar radiation, room temperature, wind and solar radiation angle of impact.

According to the study's results, the heating demands needed to heat the building would be covered for 75% of the days accounted for in the study, proving that "this technology could offer great performance in order to heat buildings using solar energy", especially those without much glass on their facades and facing southwards, as the Northern Hemisphere receives more natural light during the day from that direction.

A strategy to refurbish buildings:

As the lead author of the research points out, this heating system could be advisable when renovating old buildings, since installing it does not alter the original facade. The heat collector is made up of a perforated metal plate -covered with a dark material- so it can connect to the ventilators and carry the heat inside, so the building would be minorly affected.

Furthermore, as Fernando Peci underscores, the team suggests using these ventilation systems in social housing, "in homes where most families can't afford to pay for heating costs". In this vein, the device would not only benefit the environment, but also translate into financial savings on the electricity bill, one of the most feared bills in the winter.

University of Córdoba

Related Solar Energy Articles from Brightsurf:

'Transparent solar cells' can take us towards a new era of personalized energy
Solar power has shown immense potential as a futuristic, 'clean' source of energy.

CU Denver researcher analyzes the use of solar energy at US airports
By studying 488 public airports in the United States, University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs researcher Serena Kim, PhD, found that 20% of them have adopted solar photovoltaic (PV), commonly known as solar panels, over the last decade.

Researchers develop molecule to store solar energy
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a molecule that absorbs energy from sunlight and stores it in chemical bonds.

Converting solar energy to hydrogen fuel, with help from photosynthesis
Global economic growth comes with increasing demand for energy, but stepping up energy production can be challenging.

New nanodevice could use solar energy to produce hydrogen
Amsterdam, June 9, 2020 - Solar energy is considered by some to be the ultimate solution to address the current energy crisis and global warming and the environmental crises brought about by excessive consumption of fossil fuels.

Physicists develop approach to increase performance of solar energy
Experimental condensed matter physicists in the Department of Physics at the University of Oklahoma have developed an approach to circumvent a major loss process that currently limits the efficiency of commercial solar cells.

Lasers etch a 'perfect' solar energy absorber
In Light: Science and Applications, University of Rochester researchers demonstrate how laser etching of metallic surfaces creates the ''perfect solar energy absorber.'' This not only enhances energy absorption from sunlight, but also reduces heat dissipation at other wavelengths.

Mapping the energy transport mechanism of chalcogenide perovskite for solar energy use
Researchers from Lehigh University have, for the first time, revealed first-hand knowledge about the fundamental energy carrier properties of chalcogenide perovskite CaZrSe3, important for potential solar energy use.

New hybrid device can both capture and store solar energy
Researchers have reported a new device that can both efficiently capture solar energy and store it until it is needed, offering promise for applications ranging from power generation to distillation and desalination.

Materials that can revolutionize how light is harnessed for solar energy
Columbia scientists designed organic molecules capable of generating two excitons per photon of light, a process called singlet fission.

Read More: Solar Energy News and Solar Energy Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to