We present a comparison of solar thermal and solar electric cooling for a typical small office building exposed to two different European climates (Freiburg and Madrid). The investigation is based on load series for heating and cooling obtained previously from annual building simulations in TRNSYS. A conventional compression chiller is used as the reference system against which the solar options are evaluated with respect to primary energy savings and additional cost. A parametric study on collector and storage size is carried out for the solar thermal system to reach achieve the minimal cost per unit of primary energy saved. The simulated solar electric system consists of the reference system, equipped with a grid connected photovoltaic module, which can be varied in size. For cost comparison of the two systems, the electric grid is assumed to function as a cost-free storage. A method to include macroeconomic effects in the comparison is presented and discussed.
Within the system parameters and assumptions used here, the grid coupled PV system leads to lower costs of primary energy savings than the solar thermal system at both loc ... mehrations. The presumed macroeconomic advantages of the solar thermal system, due to the non-usage of energy during peak demand, can be confirmed for Madrid.