J.M. Blanco, L. Martín, I. Loroño, J. García

University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
Technology in the building sector, and more specifically in the field of thermal installations involving fuel consumption, has made a relevant progress. The implementation of such advances has often been carried out on inadequate basis, so a significant waste of energy leads to an increase in the environmental impact on the air of the cities but also on the quality of the indoor air as has been experienced for the last ten years.
This work is aiming to bring to the students some complex laboratory issues, implemented as a complement in their curricula, where they could play with different working conditions and variables involved in the generation of hot water through solar energy as support to a small scale of a gas boiler. First of all, accomplishing with the statutory regulations from the European directives in energy consumption policies, the importance of the implementation of renewable energies has been highlighted here. By means of this experimental facility, students will be able to simulate numerous working conditions with different temperatures and flows of inlet water, obtaining the real yields of a particular installation. The influence of several parameters such as, set point temperature, flow and boiler’s inlet water temperatures on its performance, as well as the impact of the operating mode on the installation’s overall performance can be addressed.
The main conclusion is that the use of solar energy in the building sector generally leads to a decreasing in the energy consumption in gas boilers. In certain types of installation and/or operation, the saving may be less than expected; nevertheless the experience reported in this paper comes from preliminary tests in a long-term study which we trust will provide more sensible information in the near future. Finally the practical results directly obtained from the experimentation will be carefully analysed and discussed so the students could extract the pertinent conclusions inside the ECTS learning context.