METU NCC and SOLITEM (Germany) have started a joint project on concentrating solar thermal energy systems. In the first stage of the project, thermal energy gathered from parabolic trough collectors (PTC’s) will be converted to electrical energy using an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). In the second stage, an absorption cooling system will be added in series with the ORC. While most cooling systems are driven using electricity, absorption cooling cycles are driven using thermal energy. Therefore the thermal energy from the PTC’s is used to drive this cooling cycle directly without the need to generate electricity first. The thermal energy from the PTC’s can also be used for heating. Optimization studies will be conducted for the use of solar energy for electricity production, cooling, and water heating. SOLITEM are providing the necessary equipment and expertise and METU NCC will be responsible for the installation and management of the system as well as carrying out the experimental studies. Asst. Prof. Dr. Erdal Onurhan, Asst. Prof. Dr. Eray Uzgören, Mechanical Engineer Tolga Torun, and Civil Engineer Levent Küpeli are currently involved with the project. However, once the system is set up, additional faculty members from both Ankara and Northern Cyprus Campuses will take parts in the project. SOLITEM has committed 750,000 Euros and METU NCC has committed 80,000 Euros to the project.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Derek Baker