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Solar Thermal Energy

  • Reference work
  • © 2022


  • Covers a wide range of technologies and applications that actively convert solar radiation into useful heat
  • Includes a glossary of key terms and definitions
  • Features peer-reviewed contributions from leading experts

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About this book

This volume of the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, Second Edition, describes technologies that actively convert solar radiation into useful heat in a temperature range from just above ambient up to more than 1,000°C. Applications cover a broad range of energy services such as space heating, cooking, domestic hot water supply, electrical power generation, and high temperature thermochemical processes. The major developments that have led to currently available technologies for solar thermal energy applications were initiated mainly after the first oil shock in 1973. Solar thermal energy is widely used already for heating purposes (water, space) in the “low” temperature range up to about 100°C employing mainly nonconcentrating collectors, whereas higher temperatures can be achieved with more sophisticated solar collector technologies. Temperatures over 200°C typically require concentrating solar radiation using mirror systems. Several different technologies are described in detail in this volume, including solar collector systems in the lower temperature range, the direct use of solar radiation for food processing, namely cooking and drying, the production of electricity through conversion of solar radiation first to heat, driving a mechanical conversion system coupled to an electric generator, the use of solar radiation to drive chemical processes, and many more.

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Table of contents (19 entries)

  1. Introduction

  2. Solar Thermal Concentrated Systems

  3. Application of Solar Thermal Concentrated Systems

  4. Non-concentrating Solar Thermal Systems and Their Application

Editors and Affiliations

  • Solar-Instititut Jülich (SIJ), FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Jülich, Germany

    Spiros Alexopoulos

  • Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science and Engineering, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus

    Soteris A. Kalogirou

About the editors

Professor Spiros Alexopoulos works in the Department of Energy Technology at the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences. He received his intermediate diploma in physics from the Westfälischen Wilhelms-University Münster (1995) and his diploma in physics from the Rheinischen FriedrichWilhelms-University Bonn (1999). He received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Siegen, Germany (2003), and he was then a doctoral researcher at the Institute of Thermal Thermodynamics, Solar Research, at the German Aerospace Center, Köln-Porz, Germany. He was employed as a research associate by Solar-Institut Jülich from 2005 to 2010 and became head of the Regenerative Systems Department in 2011. In 2014, he became a professor at the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences and he is now head of the Laboratory for Thermodynamics. Since 2015, he has been a member of the board of directors of the Solar-Institut Jülich at the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences. His research interests include solar thermal systems, (hybrid) solar tower power plants, water desalination using solar energy, and energy system solutions for the Mediterranean region.

Professor Soteris A. Kalogirou works in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sciences and Engineering at the Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus. He is currently the dean of the School of Engineering and Technology. In addition to his Ph.D., he holds the title of D. Sc. He is a fellow of the European Academy of Sciences and founding member of the Cyprus Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts. For more than 35 years, he has been actively involved with research in the area of solar energy and particularly in flat plate and concentrating collectors, solar water heating, solar steam-generating systems, desalination, photovoltaics, geothermal energy, and absorption cooling. He has a large number of publications as books, book chapters, international scientific journals, and refereed conference proceedings. He is the editor-in-chief of Renewable Energy, deputy editor-in-chief of Energy, and editorial board member of another 20 journals. Professor Kalogirou is the editor of the book Artificial Intelligence in Energy and Renewable Energy Systems, published by Nova Science Inc.; co-editor of the book Soft Computing in Green and Renewable Energy Systems, published by Springer; editor of the book McEvoy’s Handbook of Photovoltaics, published by Academic Press of Elsevier; and author of the books Solar Energy Engineering: Processes and Systems and Thermal Solar Desalination: Methods and Systems, published by Academic Press of Elsevier. He is a member of the World Renewable Energy Network (WREN), American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Institute of Refrigeration (IoR), and the International Solar Energy Society (ISES).

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