Palestine possess high potential of solar energy radiations at the same time it suffers from high prices and shortage of conventional energy sources. The exploitation of renewable energy sources especially solar energy is considered one of the robust alternatives.
A passive open-loop domestic solar water heater (SWH) system for a typical house in Palestine using glazed and evacuated tubes solar collectors is technically and financially evaluated in this paper. Palestine territories (West bank and Gaza strip) are divided into five sites in order to study the performance of domestic SWH all over the country.
The RETScreen® software solar water heating project model is utilized in this paper to perform simulations for different cases and conditions. The simulations approved that the optimal tilt angle of the solar collectors in all sites is the latitude of each site or latitude plus 15°, therefore the tilt angle is adjusted to 45°.
Both types of solar collectors selected in the study are mostly similar to the brands available in the Palestinian local market with approximately similar gross collector area. The study assumes unified price rate of electricity all over Palestine.
The solar fraction, financial indices and reduced greenhouse (GHG) emissions are estimated for each case and condition for comparative analysis. The gross area of glazed or evacuated tubes solar collectors required to achieve at least 50% solar fraction is about 4.6 m2 of energy in all locations. This corresponds to payback ranging from 2 to 2.5 years. Installing one collector (~2.3 m2) obtains less than 50% solar fraction while installing 2 collectors obtain more than 70%.
The value of total annual GHG emissions reduction for glazed type collector of 2.31 m2 gross area is ranging from 3.2 to 3.5 tons of CO2 which is equivalent to 7.3 to 8.2 barrel of crude oil. Larger amount of reduced GHG emissions are gained in case of using evacuated tubes collectors.
The performance of SWH systems is mostly similar all over Palestinian territories whether glazed or evacuated tubes are used. This is approved by estimated solar fractions and financial indices. Utilizing SWH technology in Palestine for water heating in domestic sector is feasible whether glazed or evacuated tubes are used.