Technical, economic, and environmental assessment of integrating solar thermal systems in existing district heating systems under Jordanian climatic conditions

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 10, Issue 3, 1090395
Asem Alemam , Mohamad I. Al-Widyan
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan


Like most other similar institutions in Jordan, Jordan University of Science and Technology relies on a diesel-fired boiler that supplies a district heating system for space heating on campus. Different solar collector area scenarios were considered for both evacuated tube collector and parabolic trough collector technologies. The MATLAB package was utilized, and a code was developed using hourly irradiance and ambient temperature data which represented the average values for the last three years. The results show promising benefits at all levels. Technically, a high solar fraction of 0.84 can be achieved without the need for energy storage. Environmentally, potential reduction in carbon dioxide emission of 1,600 tons can be realized annually. Economically, the discounted payback period was calculated for each case studied. It turned out that the best value was 3.4 years for the case of 4,000 m2 evacuated tube collector and that parabolic trough collector technology is superior to evacuated tube collector technology although it has a higher initial cost.

Keywords: Parabolic trough collector, Evacuated tube collector, District heating, Solar district heating, Techno-economic assessment, Economic study, Payback period, Environmental impact.

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