Studies of Fraunhofer ISE have shown that the yield differences between combined systems today are relatively small despite the very large system and price variety. Thus, a reduction in variant variety can reduce costs without significant yield losses, as manufacturers can achieve higher scale effects. For this reason, significant cost reduction can be achieved through technical and economical optimizations. A main part of the project is the combination of methods for product cost and product performance optimization into an integrated approach. Based on this, an overall approach for price/performance ratio optimization of combined solar thermal systems can be derived.
The “TEWIsol” project of Fraunhofer ISE and WZL Laboratory for Machine Tools & Production Engineering at RWTH Aachen combines modern product cost optimization and solar thermal energy technologies. In this context, value analysis methods, complexity management methods, and process cost analysis methods are combined with modern system simulation and measuring technology methods. The objective is to establish a method for a more effective identification of optimization possibilities for the price/performance ratio by combining these approaches. The complete process chain from component supplier, to system manufacturer to installation by craftspeople is considered. The optimization criterion is the minimization of the overall costs for the customer relative to the reference system yield. The result of this optimization should be a cost reduction of more than 20 % for the end customer. The optimization method comprises the following sub-methods: 1. Complexity and variant analysis, 2. Process cost analysis, 3. Value analysis, 4. Simulation-based energy analysis, 5. Determination of system yield. Through adaption of the partly already existing first three method modules for a singular investigation within a company to industry specifics, as well as subsequent combination and harmonization with the technological investigation of an overall solar energy system considering the complete process chain from product development to installation at the end customer, a novel method approach is created to achieve the mentioned objective. Starting from the technical and economic basics, price/performance optimized system variants can be developed using combined energy system simulations and product cost optimization using the method to be developed. The effectiveness should be demonstrated with participants from the group of industrial partners based on two sample applications of the overall method to be developed.