IEA SHC Task 53: New Generation Solar Cooling & Heating Systems

IEA SHC Task 53 ‘New Generation (NG) Solar Cooling & Heating Systems’ investigates system concepts for solar electric and solar heat driven cooling and heating processes. Its main goal is the development, documentation and assessment of reliable and economically viable photovoltaic and/or solar heat operated cooling and heating systems. A comprehensive and comparative report of various NG systems and a description of support measures for their market introduction are key results of the international cooperation.

Short Description

Task 53 investigates and works on not only solar heat operated heating, cooling and air conditioning processes, but also widens the technology and system scope by combining photovoltaics and electric heating, cooling and air conditioning technology. Based on their experience from national and international projects on the topic of 'solar cooling & heating' and 'photovoltaics', the Austrian project partners provide relevant information, nationally developed concepts and methods and will actively contribute to the success of the SHC Task 53 by coordinating and leading several tasks.

The contributions of the Austrian research partners reach from examining single components (esp. photovoltaics, cooling units, etc.) to analysing the entire system, including smart control strategies to ensure reliable and energy-efficient system operation. The impact of solar cooling and heating systems on the electric grid will be considered.
The international SHC Task 53 working group is characterised by a small number of active participants, and thereby reflects the novelty of the technology combination. Nonetheless, a core group of the participants can already look back on many years of experience in international cooperation in the area of 'Solar Cooling & Heating'. Austria's active involvement is made visible through the participation of three research organisations (AIT, AEE INTEC and UIBK). The Austrian research partners lead Subtask A, and coordinate six activities. The organisational structure is as follows:

Subtask A: Components, Systems & Quality
Subtask B: Control, Simulation & Design
Subtask C: Testing and Demonstration Projects
Subtask D: Dissemination & Market Deployment

To give an example, the Austrian partners developed a schematic illustration of NG solar cooling & heating systems within the SHC Task 53. The developed square view was improved gradually and now allows an easy and visually well-comprehensible illustration of commercially available systems solutions. Figure 1 displays the schematic illustration, which includes the technically required energy sources on the one hand and key technical system solutions on the other. The square view presents the technical components in a topologically easily comprehensible, and standardised manner, making NG solar cooling & heating systems classifiable.

Square view (Source: AIT)
Square view (Source: AIT)

Final result of SHC Task 53 is a collection of suitable documents, guidelines and instruments that in particular shall support market actors in realising high-quality, long-lasting, reliable and energy-efficient systems. SHC Task 53 provides relevant information, which supports an increased use of solar cooling & heating system technologies.


Project Partners


Australia, China, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain

Contact Address

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Tim Selke
Donau-City-Str. 1, 1220-Wien

AEE – Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien
Rebekka Köll
Feldgasse 19, 8200 Gleisdorf

Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Konstruktion und Materialwissenschaften, Arbeitsbereich Energieeffizientes Bauen (UIBK)
Alexander Thür
Technikerstraße 13, 6020 Innsbruck