Automated Optimization of Solar-Thermal Systems Using Software in a Loop
American Journal of Energy Engineering
Volume 5, Issue 6, November 2017, Pages: 50-56
Received: Nov. 11, 2017; Accepted: Nov. 28, 2017; Published: Jan. 17, 2018
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Johannes Koke, Faculty of Management, Culture and Technology, Osnabrueck University of Applied Sciences, Osnabrueck, Germany
Matthias Kuhr, Faculty of Management, Culture and Technology, Osnabrueck University of Applied Sciences, Osnabrueck, Germany
Uwe Clement, Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH, Wernau, Germany
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Making solar thermal systems less expensive, often results in a lower system efficiency. However, the cost-benefit ratio is relevant from the perspective of the consumer. The complex impact of component-related and system-related design parameters on the economics of a complete system makes the evaluation and economical optimization difficult. Therefore, a complete simulation environment has been developed, which can automatically optimize solar-thermal systems, including collector and system parameters. The main collector module consists of a one-dimensional thermal model that was validated with a commercial solar collector. The efficiency curve and the production cost were calculated as a function of several design and construction parameters. The collector module was linked to the commercial software Polysun®, so that parametric studies can be performed with minimal effort. Optimization problems can be solved by using the Matlab® optimization toolbox. The simulation environment was used for sensitivity studies and optimization problems in order to analyze the impact of collector design-parameters with respect to system cost, system yield and economic values. We will demonstrate how a collector can be optimized and how the ideal system parameters like collector number and storage volume can be easily calculated. Finally, we will show how the optimizer is used for a given system in order to find ideal values for the absorber-sheet thickness and the number of pipes. Due to the holistic approach, the application of this tool set can be used for collector development as well as for system planning.
Solar-Thermal, Collector, Modelling, Optimization
To cite this article
Johannes Koke, Matthias Kuhr, Uwe Clement, Automated Optimization of Solar-Thermal Systems Using Software in a Loop, American Journal of Energy Engineering. Vol. 5, No. 6, 2017, pp. 50-56. doi: 10.11648/j.ajee.20170506.11
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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