Recent residential applications of low-temperature solar collector
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd The use of renewable energy systems for domestic and industrial sectors is growing at a rapid rate due to the increase in population and due to the restrictions set by governments worldwide in decreasing the green gas emissions. Among one of the most popular renewable energy resources is solar energy which can be applied easily for domestic use such as space cooling and district heating. Moreover, it can be applied to produce fresh water and drying technology, electricity production. In this work, applications of low-temperature solar collectors are presented and discussed in detail. Different applications of flat plate collectors, photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, parabolic trough collectors (PTC), and evacuated tube collectors (ETC) are used to drive desalination plants for freshwater production, heat pumps for residential buildings heating, absorption chillers for space cooling and providing houses with electricity. Cooling methods of PV cells are discussed using different techniques such as phase change material, forced air and water flows to keep the PV cells operating efficiently. The progress of using low-temperature solar collectors in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and Australia is presented and discussed. Review of energy and exergy analyses for the applications of solar collectors are demonstrated to determine the performance characteristics of solar systems. Moreover, an economic assessment is conducted to find out the feasibility of solar systems applications from an economic viewpoint. Finally, the International Energy Agency (IEA) vision and prospects for solar energy applications are presented. This study will serve as guidelines for engineers who are involved in solar energy to help them in finding the most suitable applications of low-temperature solar collectors.