The main objectives of WP 1 are to assess potential markets for various polymer based solar-thermal system types and to evaluate economical and scale effects, as well as generating eco-balance and life cycle analysis data profiles for the investigated collector and system types.
The application of polymeric materials in solar-thermal systems offers radically new geometrical design possibilities. The aim of this work-package is the development of concepts for both individual components (absorber, collector) and systems based on polymeric or hybrid materials (thermo-siphon systems, storage collector systems and pumped systems).
Injection moulding allows a nearly unlimited design freedom for the required components. This work-package includes the development of multi-functional engineering polymeric or hybrid material grades for collector components, the manufacturing of large injection-moulded model components for collectors and the assembling of novel injection-moulded components.
Extrusion of polymers is a key-production technology opening simultaneously for mass production, cost reduction and flexible module lengths. The objective of this work-package is to explore high-temperature performance polymeric blends/compounds and to demonstrate their feasibility for the extrusion of sheets and processing of additional components for absorbers and applications designed in WP 2.
The objective of WP 5 is to identify suitable types of materials, absorber designs and additional components, to ensure a sufficient durability of the collectors. Specific test conditions including different levels of UV irradiation, temperature and humidity will be defined in an experimental design process.
The objective of the sixth work package is two-fold; i) to investigate the feasibility of polymeric solar collectors as building integrated or building embodied parts in new as well as in retrofit projects, and ii) the feasibility of polymeric materials used in thermosiphon systems or collectors with integrated storage.
The work in WP 7 will demonstrate the feasibility of polymeric solar collectors in solar-thermal systems. The demonstration will be based on the results from previous work packages and will represent different stages of maturity.
In WP 8 the prototypes supplied by WP 3 and WP 4 will be examined with regards to their performance and quality based on existing standards such as EN12975 – EN12977. Depending on the particular design of the prototypes and the materials used, additional load tests will be applied such as temperature cycling, salt spray and UV exposure tests.