Concentrated solar thermalProject Capacity Improvement and Flow Balancing of CST Heating/Cooling System
This report provides a case study on the integration of rooftop solar thermal technology into Echuca Regional Health’s Hospital (ERH). The case study includes a range of lessons and learnings which are categorised into ‘Design’, ‘Technology’ and ‘Project Management’.
ERH operates two rooftop solar thermal (‘ST’) fields supplying energy for space cooling and some heating services. The use of solar thermal energy provides the site with operational flexibility to reduce marginal costs for hospital energy use.
Solar thermal equipment was installed at Echuca hospital in three project stages, with two different ST collector technologies. The Greenland evacuated tube field was installed in 2010-11 and the Chromasun axis-tracking Microconcentrator (‘MCT’) solar field installed in 2015-16 during major redevelopment of the hospital. The collector technologies are reflective of innovations and market offerings over this period. The larger Chromasun field has suffered significant performance, operability and reliability problems. A third stage project was initiated in 2018-19 to improve extraction and use of ST from this field. This project was successfully installed and commissioned during ongoing hospital operation.