Solar COllectors made Of Polymers

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The international solar thermal market has progressed strongly over the last years. Especially in China, the USA and Europe, both the manufacturing and commissioning of installations has grown rapidly. In 2008, polymeric collectors made up 12.4% of the worldwide solar heating capacity in operation, but almost exclusively as unglazed absorbers for swimming pool heating. The introduction of new polymeric materials and technologies is essential in order to meet the market requirements for heating applications in the medium and high temperature range. However, such new materials can only be used and marketed if the service-life is comparable to those of conventional products. To work on these challenges the consortium of SCOOP brings together solar thermal and polymer experts from research institutions and industry.

The aim of the project is to select and develop suitable polymer grades and collector designs as well as thermosyphon systems to enter the market with cost efficient and durable solutions and significantly increase the share of renewable energies on a world-wide scale. SCOOP is organized in 8 scientific work packages with specific objectives related to the overall goal of the project. The work includes a comprehensive assessment of the market, costs and scale effects, the selection and optimization of polymeric materials for injection molding and extrusion as well as a continuous qualification of new materials, absorbers and components. The installation of demonstration systems will show the results of the optimization of materials, technical designs and system concepts for the application of polymers in solar thermal systems.

The project was launched on 1 December 2011 and runs for 3.5 years. The final objectives of SCOOP are:

  • Innovative polymer absorber designs with an optimized heat transfer competitive to metal absorbers
  • New polymer material grades with promising cost performance ratio and proven long-term durability for absorbers used in thermosyphon systems suitable for injection molding and extrusion as production technology
  • Innovative thermosyphon solar-thermal systems suitable for polymer components
  • Innovative solar-thermal systems suitable for polymeric components using flat-plate collectors appropriate for the integration into the building envelope
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