Fluid Solar will bring renewable solar thermal energy and low impact living spaces to one third of the worlds population in thirty years.



Heating And Cooling


The Fluid Solar Thermal CSP Panel can be combined with thermally powered adsorption or absorption chillers, or the super-efficient patented Fluid Solar chiller/desiccator system to make cost effective, high performance solar thermal energy powered, chilled water for fan coil and chilled ceiling cooling. The Fluid Solar adsorption chiller/desiccator system for space cooling is directly cost competitive with electrically powered chillers and virtually eliminates CO² emissions, if combined with Photo Voltaic (PV) Panel powered water pumps. The Fluid Solar chiller/desiccator is so efficient, a building system can typically be powered by the roof area, unlike solar PV powered reverse cycle air conditioning where 2 or 3 times the building roof area is typically required to provide enough electric power for reverse cycle cooling. Added to that, the efficiency of the Fluid Solar chiller/desiccator can be coupled with the Fluid Solar thermal store, to permit overnight operation, where a massive battery pack is required to operate conventional reverse cycle air conditioning through a 24 hour cycle.

Adsorption chillers typically use only water as the cooling and thermal transfer fluid, eliminating halogenated refrigerants from the chiller cycle. This is a zero global warming potential (GWP) and zero ozone depletion (ODP) process; there is the potential, for the first time, in relation to chiller technology, to substantially reduce and perhaps eliminate halogenated refrigerants; a major source of global warming, from domestic and commercial space cooling technologies.
Typically, the consumption of energy for liquid pumping in adsorption cooling systems, using water as the thermal transfer fluid, is less than 5% of the cooling energy delivered by the system, unlike air based systems (VAV or variable air velocity) which use 30-40% of the total energy is consumed to power mechanical fans to transfer warm or chilled air.

Thermal powered absorption chillers function more efficiently as the temperature powering the hot side pump increases, so the Fluid Solar Thermal Panel significantly improves the efficiency of all thermally driven heat pump technology, compared with the temperatures that are collected with industry standard conventional flat plate or evacuated tube solar thermal collectors; typically these conventional non-concentrating solar thermal technologies are not commercially cost competitive to power absorption chillers.

Adsorption and absorption chillers are powered by hot water, typically input at 70-95°C; and represents a non-polluting, energy-efficient alternative to electric powered air conditioners using reverse cycle compressors. The output from a thermal heat pump is cold water, usually  between 4 – 16°C which cools the building when pumped through a series of hydronic coils, radiator coils or through the building fabric itself.

Fluid Solar Sustainable Buildings can be designed to use cooling water at temperatures as high as 19C; further improving the efficiency of the thermal cycle, resulting in a more cost effective building cooling cycle.

Because thermal chillers have few moving parts (principally fluid pumps) and the Fluid Solar Thermal Concentrating Panel has no moving parts, there are markedly reduced operational costs during the life span of these solar powered chiller systems.

Hydronic Space Heating

Solar thermal energy collection in wintertime, as well as heat reserves from the Fluid Solar Thermal Heat Bank, can provide space heating. Buildings can be heated by pumping transfer fluid through a series of hydronic coils, radiator coils or through pipes buried in the building fabric itself. Energy used to pump transfer fluid in hydronic heating systems (typically under 5% of total energy input) is much less than the mechanical energy (30-40% of total energy input) used to drive fans in conventional air based (VAV or variable air velocity) systems to move heated or chilled air through the building. This further improves the cost-effectiveness of Fluid Solar Thermal hydronic heating.

Occupant surveys confirm an improved level of comfort with hydronic heating; demonstrated benefits include health benefits of single pass airflow DOAS (dedicated outdoor air supply) ventilation and stable air and surface temperatures in a building that is heated/cooled by internal radiation and conduction.

Building ConstructionAnnual Energy ConsumptionTypical Construction Costs
Office Building built c.1950/60 400 kWh/m² -
Standard Office Building 140kWh/m² $3,000/m²
Well-designed Modern Office 75 kWh/m² $4,000/m²

6 Star Green Star building

26kWh/m² $5,000/m²
Fluid Solar Zero Energy Building 0kWh/m² $2,500/m²