The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Australia Leads With Solar Cooling Standard

Australia’s standards body, Standards Australia, has published the world’s first solar cooling standard.

The standard can predict the annual energy performance of desiccant-based solar cooling systems and fan coil solar heating systems, both popular technologies in Australia according to Daniel Mugnier, project manager of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) multi-country Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. The IEA collaborated on the standard through its Task 48: Quality Assurance & Support Measures for Solar Cooling Systems project. Further technologies will be added to the standard as new technologies are tested, the IEA said.

“These are the first Australian covered technologies,” Mugnier said. “This is not representative of the worldwide solar cooling market. The standard is therefore to be taken as a first step, but we need to rapidly enlarge the scope to include ab/adsorption solar cooling and domestic solar hot water and heating systems.”

Although technology developments on the horizon are minimal, Mugnier continued, one thing he sees coming is progress on the standardisation of concentrated solar collectors and ab/adsorption chillers for large applications.

The standard is based on the simulation of energy savings from a solar cooling system, which is then compared with the performance of a conventional air conditioning system in a typical Australian home in each of five climate zones. The standard can also evaluate the hot water generation potential of a complete solar heating and cooling system and calculate emissions saved, the IEA said.

Dr Stephen White of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has called the new standard “a significant industry development.” CSIRO’s commercialised desiccant wheel technology provided the performance model and technical data with which the standard was developed.  

Mugnier said there has been a growing worldwide need for such a standard in order to establish quality benchmarks for solar air conditioning projects, especially in markets with high uptake of solar heating and cooling such as Germany, the U.S. and China. In Germany “a task force is working on [a standard] at the moment,” he said. “In California, one utility tries to integrate solar air conditioning into Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) but without a serious standard behind it. Hence the urgent need…” In China, he said, there is “serious thought on the topic” and work is ongoing at Shanghai Jiao Tong University through participation in Task 48.

For Australian installers, Mugnier said, the standard will allow them to “valorise solar air conditioning systems’ performance in the rating system for new buildings.” The Australian Green Building Council’s “Green Star” system rates new buildings on environmental impact and performance.  

The standard also recognises the seriousness of the technology, Mugnier said, and could strongly inspire other countries to set their own standards.

Lead image: Turning down the cost of home cooling/heating via Shutterstock


Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
Tildy Bayar is a journalist focusing on the energy sector. She is a former Associate Editor on and Renewable Energy World magazine.


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon



EU PVSEC 2015 (European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition)

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic re...

More Power, More Profit Tour - San Diego

Register for the SMA More Power, More Profit Tour for free, in-person sa...

More Power, More Profit Tour - Syracuse

Register for the SMA More Power, More Profit Tour for free, in-person sa...


EU PVSEC 2014 extends its Scope

Added focus on application and policy topicsAbstracts for conference con...

EU PVSEC 2014: Call for Papers Receives Great Response

More than 1,500 contributions apply for presentation in AmsterdamScienti...

Boulder County Residents Generate Their Own Energy with Community S...

Despite a soggy afternoon, solar energy advocates gathered at ...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now