Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of solar cooling systems

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1 IEA ECES and IEA SHC joint workshop» - Solar Heating and Cooling and Energy Storage«November 8, 2011, University Rosenheim, Germany Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of solar cooling systems Marco Beccali Dipartimento dell'energia - Università di Palermo, Italy

2 Development of renewable energy technologies (RETs) is important for reducing fossil fuels consumption while contributing to climate change mitigation. However, RETs cannot be considered totally clean because they have energy and environmental impacts that cannot be neglected during their life cycle. LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 2

3 The LCA approach takes into account the environmental impacts related to the entire life-cycle of a product. LCA can be used to investigate new technologies and can help decision makers to evaluate energy and environmental advantages of a certain technology within a specific climate. LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 3

4 1 Dipartimento dell'energia - Università di Palermo, Italy 2 University of Applied Sciences, Western Switzerland (HES-SO), School of Business and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD), Switzerland LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 4

5 Life Cycle Analysis of Solar Cooling systems Objectives Development of a LCA approach to Solar Cooling systems Organisation of information related to systems, components and materials Results: Methodology Report (Definition of methods for LCA, boundaries, Functional Units, Impacts Indicators, Cut-off Rules, Data-bases, etc) Case Studies Data Base: collection of data from literature (mainly for conventional systems development of original LCA of Solar Cooling Systems LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 5

6 FINAL REPORT SUMMARY 1. Introduction 2. Methodology: LCA for innovative heating and cooling systems 3. LCA Case Studies 3.1 Solar Cooling systems with Ad, Ab, VC chillers Definition of case studies Air to water vapor compression chiller and gas boiler Simulation of configurations with hot and cold backup Simulation results Absorption chiller Adsorption chiller 3.2. Solar DEC vs Conventional AHU 4. Conclusions 5. Bibliography 6. Annex LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 6

7 CASE STUDY: SORPTION MACHINES Four basic systems have been analysed in two locations: - ABsorption machine (12 kw) and 35 m 2 evacuated tubes with hot-back-up - ABsorption machine (12 kw) and 35 m 2 evacuated tubes with cold-back-up - ADsorption machine (8 kw) and 25 m 2 flat plate collectors with hot-back-up - ADsorption machine (8 kw) and 25 m 2 flat plate collectors with cold-back-up All the systems have an auxiliar boiler for the heating season. Total number of investigated combinations systems/load: 8 LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 7

8 For AD/ABS configurations with hot back-up Scheme with ADsorption Chiller Scheme with ABsorption Chiller For AD/ABS configurations with hot back-up Scheme of Reference System LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 8

9 Description of the case studies For all the systems hourly and monthly load profiles have been calculated LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 9

10 LCA ADSORPTION 8 kw ZURICH - PALERMO 25 m 2 flat plate collectors Adsorption machine 8 kw SORTECH Type 290-Sortech ACS Type Author: Bjòrn Nienborg Fraunhofer ISE 1.3 m 3 hot storage Hot back up gas boiler 20 kw LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 10

11 LCA ABSORPTION 12 kw ZURICH - PALERMO Absorption machine 12 kw PINK Type 209 Version 2.0 Type Author: Jochen Döll Fraunhofer ISE 35 m 2 evacuated tubes 2 m 3 hot storage Hot back up gas boiler 20 kw LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 11

12 SIMULATION ADSORPTION 8 kw Annual Primary Energy Saving (%) Annual Primary Energy Saving (MWh) LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 12

13 SIMULATION ADSORPTION 8 kw Total Annual Primary Energy Saving (Cooling + Heating) MWh LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 13

14 SIMULATION ABSORPTION 12 kw Annual Primary Energy Saving (%) Annual Primary Energy Saving (MWh) LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 14

15 SIMULATION ABSORPTION 12 kw Total Annual Primary Energy Saving (Cooling + Heating) MWh LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 15

16 LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 16

17 The analysis of the other phases of the systems life has been carried out using the LCA methodology (ISO series) Softwares: SimaPro, Ecobat, Environmental database: Ecoinvent Assessment methods: EPD 2008 and Cumulative Energy Demand LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 17

18 Three Functional Units have been investigated: the solar cooling plant with absorption or adsorption chiller kw of cooling kwh of cooling + heating energy produced by plant LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 18

19 Investigated phases of the life : production of the main system components use of the system end-of-life of the main system components. Impacts related to transportations and maintainance have not been taken into account LCA have been applied also for two conventional systems able to meet the H/C load in the two locations LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 19

20 The eco-profiles (balances of energy and resources of the product) of: solar collectors, gas boiler, heat storage, vapor compression chiller, pumps and piping, have been referred to Ecoinvent database The eco-profiles of: absorption chiller, adsorption chiller and the cooling tower have been assessed by the authors starting from data collected in field in co-operation with manufactures The energetic and environmental impacts related to the electricity use are referred to the Italian and Swiss energy mix. LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 20

21 Example: Absorption Chiller System with Hot backup Components Non-Renewable Energy Requirement (MJ-eq) Global Energy Requirement (MJ-eq) Global Warming Potential (kg CO 2eq ) Absorption chiller 23,457 28,058 1,757 Solar collectors 54,987 59,415 3,437 Heat storage 13,622 15, Production of Cooling Tower/Heat Rejection 2,902 2, plant components Gas boiler 1,726 1, Glycol (only for plant in Zurich) 2,039 2, Piping+insulation 7,961 8, Pumps 1,017 1, Use phase Cooling 258, ,604 16,766 Palermo Heating 59,109 60,425 3,556 Use phase Zurich Cooling 166, ,422 3,431 Heating 1,154,443 1,161,699 66,939 Absorption chiller Solar collectors Heat storage End-of-life Cooling Tower/Heat Rejection Gas boiler Piping+insulation Glycol (only for plant in Zurich) Pumps Total Palermo 423, ,506 27,637 Total Zurich 1,429,949 1,475,160 77,828 LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 21

22 Example: Adsorption Chiller System with Hot backup Components Non-Renewable Energy Requirement (MJ-eq) Global Energy Requirement (MJ-eq) Global Warming Potential (kg CO 2eq ) Adsorption chiller 22,202 24,187 1,380 Solar collectors 40,723 46,604 2,385 Heat storage 12,142 13, Production of Cooling Tower/Heat Rejection 12,680 14, plant components Gas boiler 1,726 1, Glycol (only for plant in Zurich) 1,576 1, Piping+insulation 7,821 8, Pumps 1,017 1, Use phase Cooling 187, ,483 11,825 Palermo Heating 52,002 53,335 3,142 Use phase Zurigo Cooling 120, ,418 5,090 Heating 836, ,404 48,321 Adsorption chiller Solar collectors Heat storage End-of-life Cooling Tower/Heat Rejection Gas boiler Glycol (only for plant in Zurich) Piping+insulation Pumps Total Palermo 337, , ,299 Total Zurigo 1,057,054 1,083,240 59,846 LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 22

23 Absorption Chiller System: Hot backup Impact per life-cycle step. Palermo Zurich LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 23

24 Absorption Chiller System: Hot backup Impacts for the production Palermo Zurich LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 24

25 Absorption Chiller with Hot backup: Impacts per component (%) Absorption chiller CED Absorption chiller GWP LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 25

26 Absorption Chiller System: Hot backup Result for the Functional Units Palermo NRE (MJ-eq) GER (MJ-eq) GWP (kg CO 2eq ) F.U. 1 solar cooling plant F.U. 1 kw of chiller power F.U. 1 kwh of produced energy Zurich Production phase 105, ,000 6,878 Use phase 317, ,029 20,322 End-of-life phase Production phase 8,806 9, Use phase 26,486 28,336 1,693 End-of-life phase Production phase Use phase End-of-life phase NRE (MJ-eq) GER (MJ-eq) GWP (kg CO 2eq ) F.U. 1 solar cooling plant F.U. 1 kw of power F.U. 1 kwh of produced energy Production phase 107, ,101 6,981 Use phase 1,321,326 1,355,121 70,370 End-of-life phase Production phase 8,976 9, Use phase 110, ,927 5,864 End-of-life phase Production phase Use phase End-of-life phase LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 26

27 Adsorption Chiller System: Hot backup Result for the Functional Units Palermo F.U. 1 solar cooling plant F.U. 1 kw of chiller power F.U. 1 kwh of produced energy Zurich F.U. 1 solar cooling plant F.U. 1 kw of chiller power F.U. 1 kwh of produced energy NRE (MJ-eq) GER (MJ-eq) GWP (kg CO 2eq ) Production phase Use phase End-of-life phase Production phase Use phase End-of-life phase Production phase Use phase End-of-life phase NRE (MJ-eq) GER (MJ-eq) GWP (kg CO 2eq ) Production phase Use phase End-of-life phase Production phase Use phase End-of-life phase Production phase Use phase End-of-life phase LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 27

28 ABS vs Conv: Impact per different phases Zurich GER [MJ] Palermo GER [MJ] End-of-life phase Use phase Production phase End-of-life phase Use phase Production phase ,7 % ,9 % ,1 % Conv Cold Hot ,7% ,2% ,6 % Conv 1 Cold 2 Hot 3 LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 28

29 ADS vs Conv: Impact per different phases Zurich - GER [MJ] End-of-life phase Use phase Production phase Palermo - GER [MJ] End-of-life phase Use phase Production phase ,1 % ,5 % ,3 % ,8 % ,1 % ,4% Conv Cold Hot Conv Cold Hot LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 29

30 Energy payback time Energy Payback Time (E PT ): can be defined as the time necessary for a plant to save as much energy (valued as primary) as that consumed during all the life-cycle phases of system itself: GER Innovative = Primary energy consumed during LCA phases [MJ]; GER reference = Primary energy consumed during LCA phases of reference system [MJ]; E year = Net Yearly primary energy saving due to the use of the innovative system [MJ per year]. Slide 30

31 PAY BACK INDEXES Energy Payback Time (E PT ): the time necessary for a plant to save as much energy (valued as primary) as that consumed during all the life-cycle phases Emission Payback Time (EM PT ): the time necessary for a plant to save as much greenhouse gas emissions (valued as CO2 eq) as that emitted during all the lifecycle phases Energy Return Ratio (ERR): how many times the energy savings on the lifetime of the installation is relative to the energy needed to manufacture the innovative system LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 31

32 Results EPT EPT ranges from 4.4 to 9.3 years. The systems which requires less years to give back the energy needed for its construction, operation and disposal are the one using ABS chillers. - for a given system the colder the climate the lower the energy payback time - for a given climate and chiller typology: the «hot back-up» is slightly better than the «cold backup» (with some exception) LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 32

33 Results EMPT ranges from 3,9 to 10,6 years. - for a given climate and back-up typology: systems with ABS chillers performs better than ones with ADS chillers - for system with ABS, the colder the climate the lower the emission payback (slightly) - for a given system with ADS the colder the climate the higher the emission payback - for a given climate and chiller typology: the «hot back-up» is better than the «cold back-up» LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 33

34 Conclusions It is worth noting that the results obtained show good performances of almost all the configurations from the environmental point of view. They can be used to show the net environmental benefits related to SHC systems despite the larger amount of energy and emissions related to their construction LCA of solar cooling systems Slide 34

35 Payback Indexes In order to appreciate the influence of some performance parameters of the systems a sensitivity analysis on Ept has been produced. The parameters which have been varied from the design conditions are: equivalent hours of cooling operation (defined as the ratio between the cooling energy delivered and the nominal cooling power) equivalent hours of heating operation (defined as the ratio between the cooling energy delivered and the nominal cooling power) annual consumption of electricity for cooling (with the same amount of cooling energy delivered) annual consumption of gas for heating (with the same amount of heating energy delivered) Slide 35

36 Payback Indexes vs parameters (Absorption) EPT vs. parameters Slide 36

37 Payback Indexes vs parameters (Absorption) Very relevant influence for the coldest climate when hours are reduced from the design point. Very relevant influence for the hottest climate for reduction of operation hours in summer. Slide 37

38 Payback Indexes vs parameters (Absorption) Very small increase in electricity consumption can cause relevant changes in EPT in both the climates The highest influence of this parameter is observed for the installation in Zurich where the higher heating load is fulfilled. Slide 38

39 Conclusions The application of LCA approach to solar cooling system is brand new and the results are very interesting Once again, it is demonstrated that good design and operation conditions are necessary to allow good energy and environmental performances Installations with poor energy saving could have a negative balance of emissions during all the life cycle because of emissions related to the production phase are not balanced by the ones avoided during the use phase Impacts related to construction phase could be lowered by introducing new materials Slide 39

40 Thank you for the attention LCA of solar cooling systems

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