Mathematical Decision Framework for Integrated Solar Thermal System Networks
Ismail, Muhammad Imran
Yunus, Nor Alafiza
Hashim, Haslenda

How to Cite

Ismail M.I., Yunus N.A., Hashim H., 2021, Mathematical Decision Framework for Integrated Solar Thermal System Networks, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 88, 1285-1290.


The rising energy demand and the depletion of fossil fuels have resulted in technology development to harness solar energy. Solar thermal technology provides a compelling alternative for energy conservation to provide heat energy to residential, commercial, and industrial processes. Designing an optimum solar thermal system for industrial operations is complex due to intermittent solar irradiance and temperature variance of process demand. A mathematical decision framework is needed to aid users in the decision-making process for the optimisation approach to design an integrated solar thermal network to identify the best configuration and optimal design to fulfil multiple sources and demand scenarios. This study aims to develop a decision-making framework for solar heat networks and optimal thermal energy storage (TES). The framework was applied to an illustrative case study with two scenarios based on full and 75 % load of heat demand. Based on the result of the case study, the framework can assist decision-making in designing an integrated solar thermal network. The results show that the excess solar yield from Plant 3 can be shared to Plant 2 at a range of 54.93–84.45 kW. The optimal capacity of TES is 183.6 m3, which can fulfil the demand in both scenarios. The decision framework successfully analysed and designed an integrated solar thermal network.