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Solar Energy Engineering by Soteris A. Kalogirou

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Chapter twelve

Solar Economic Analysis

Although the resource of a solar energy system, that is, the solar irradiation, is free, the equipment required to collect it and convert it to useful form (heat or electricity) has a cost. Therefore, solar energy systems are generally characterized by high initial cost and low operating costs. To decide to employ a solar energy system, the cost of collectors, other required equipment, and conventional fuel required as backup must be lower than the cost of other conventional energy sources to perform the same task. Thus, the economic problem is to compare an initial known investment with estimated future operating costs, including both the cost to run and maintain the solar energy system and auxiliary energy ...

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