Solar assisted air conditioning of buildings

Activities to prepare the market for solar cooling technologies in Austria. The project was carried out in cooperation with the IEA Implementing Agreement Solar Heating and Cooling (Task 25).

Short Description




Primary objective of this project was the market preparation for solar cooling in Austria. The project acted as a pulse generator for the Austrian economy. Besides the participation at the IEA Task 25 further objectives were the set-up of workshops, preparation of a brochure and realisation of consulting meetings with interested partners.

Due to the increasing demand of air-conditioning in buildings more and more conventional air-conditioners are in operation during summer. Consequently the electrical peak power demand in the public grid also increases significantly and contributes to shortages in the electricity supply having already caused serious problems in several countries.

Based on this background it is strongly recommended to search and identify alternative technical solutions covering the same comfort requirements and reducing the electrical energy consumption. Because of the coincidence between solar radiation and cooling demand (seasonal and daily) solar-assisted cooling systems do have high attraction. Using the solar energy to operate air-conditioning systems means the usage of free available, low cost and environment friendly energy.

Hereby a challenging task is to operate efficiently a solar-assisted cooling in both aspects energetic and economical. Many companies already evinced their precise interest to offer products and services to this market sector. The economic performance of the solar thermal system is extremely improved by triple using of the solar heat for domestic hot water preparation (all-season), heating system support (only in the heating season) and cooling (summer only).

By means of this project the Austrian research community will benefit. On the one hand Austrian scientists are actively involved in the European research landscape and on the other hand the transfer of knowledge for solar cooling systems to Austria is initiated and guaranteed.

Both market preparation and international dissemination activities were in the focus of the international cooperation. The implementing of know-how into the Austrian market constitutes another important project emphasis. By several dissemination activities the specific target groups: architects, planners, builder and solar experts were addressed. Additionally the preparation of a brochure and the elaboration of webpage content were carried out. Information event were organised in Pinkafeld (June 2004) and Vienna (July 2006). These activities do achieve both know-how transfer and networking with relevant market actors. For the first time consulting meetings were conducted which enabled a continuation of technology transfer and helped to highlight market barriers and to overcome them partly.

The activities of the present project have attracted and met a remarkable interest for solar-assisted air-conditioning in Austria. Furthermore additional research activities in Austria and in Europe were initiated. In a first step the important aspects of solar cooling systems were transferred to the Austrian economy.

Project Partners

Project leader (Contact address)

Dipl.-Ing. Michael Neuhäuser
Österreichisches Forschungs- und Prüfzentrum Arsenal GmbH
Faradaygasse 3
A-1030 Wien
Tel: +43 (0)50/550-6614
Fax: +43 (0)50/550-6613

Project partners

Institut für Wärmetechnik, TU Graz (IWT) (Werkvertragspartner)
Joanneum Research, Institut für Energieforschung (Werkvertragspartner)