In the study, an investigation and comparison of the thermal performance and cost effectiveness of an active-indirect solar hot water plant (SHWP) at Incheon (Korea), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Changi (Singapore) international airports are carried out. Plant performances are analyzed for various collector areas and storage tank volumes at the ASHRAE standard flow rate and are reported in terms of the annual solar fraction, solar thermal rating, as well as the capital payback period and annualized life cycle savings. The main objective of this study is to optimize a SHWP that supplies water at 65ºC to a flight kitchen for the economic benefits for an average daily energy demand. For the energy demand of 100 m3/day, the minimum payback periods of SHWPs at Incheon, Jeddah and Changi airports are 8.94 years with Ac = 1140 m2 and Vt = 32 m3, 5.91 years with Ac = 750 m2 and Vt = 24 m3 and 8.39 years with Ac = 1050 m2 and Vt = 28 m3, respectively.
Keywords: solar hot water system, simulation, economic evaluation, parametric optimization.