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A total cost perspective on use of polymeric materials in solar collectors - Importance of environmental performance on suitability
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. (Miljövetenskap och Miljöteknik)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
Aventa AS, Norway.
University of Oslo, Norway.
2014 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 125, p. 10-20Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To assess the suitability of solar collector systems in which polymeric materials are used versus those in which more traditional materials are used, a case study was undertaken. In this case study a solar heating system with polymeric solar collectors was compared with two equivalent but more traditional solar heating systems: one with flat plate solar collectors and one with evacuated tube solar collectors. To make the comparison, a total cost accounting approach was adopted. The life cycle assessment (LCA) results clearly indicated that the polymeric solar collector system is the best as regards climatic and environmental performance when they are expressed in terms of the IPPC 100 a indicator and the Ecoindicator99, H/A indicator, respectively. In terms of climatic and environmental costs per amount of solar heat collected, the differences between the three kinds of collector systems were small when compared with existing energy prices. With the present tax rates, it seems unlikely that the differences in environmental and climatic costs will have any significant influence on which system is the most favoured, from a total cost point of view. In the choice between a renewable heat source and a heat source based on the use of a fossil fuel, the conclusion was that for climatic performance to be an important economic factor, the tax or trade rate of carbon dioxide emissions must be increased significantly, given the initial EU carbon dioxide emission trade rate. The rate would need to be at least of the same order of magnitude as the general carbon dioxide emission tax rate used in Sweden. If environmental costs took into account not only the greenhouse effect but also other mechanisms for damaging the environment as, for example, the environmental impact factor Ecoindicator99 does, the viability of solar heating versus that of a natural gas heating system would be much higher.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 125, p. 10-20
Keywords [en]
Polymeric solar collector; Toal cost accounting; Life cycle analysis; Climatic cost; Viability
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Science, Environmental technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-33969DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.03.027ISI: 000336778900002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84897979260OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-33969DiVA, id: diva2:713708
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencyAvailable from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2014-04-23 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Carlsson, BoPersson, Helena

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