MED-ENEC - Energy Efficiency in the Construction Sector in the Mediterranean


External cooperation programmes - European Commission

Pilot Project Egypt

Refurbishment including solar cooling of the South Sinai Governorate Project, an administrative building with 567 m² floor space and training facilities as well as accommodation for students in Sharm el Sheikh.


Egyptian Solar Energy Society (ESES)


Egyptian Energy and Environmental Society (EEES)


Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA)



PP Egypt


The demonstrated solar cooling concept has an enormous energy saving potential in the MED-ENEC countries, as HVAC systems are very common and consume significant amounts of energy. The concept is suitable for residential buildings and small scale office buildings. In addition to the high-tech solution of the solar chiller, several low-tech techniques such as shading devices, leakage prevention, thermal insulation and efficient lights are shown. The dissemination will be aimed at these two aspects of the pilot project: Solar cooling and the "quick wins".

The main components of the system are 82 m2 evacuated tube collectors with operation temperatures below 100°C and the 3 ROTARTICA single effect absorption chillers each of maximum 8kW maximum cooling capacity with a maximum total of 24 KW.


The pilot project is characterised by extremely high investment costs which are nearly 10 times higher than for a conventional building. Primary energy consumption, however, is reduced by almost 50% due to the implementation of solar cooling and passive measures.

The cost efficiency of the pilot project as realized is therefore not interesting with approx. 30 years. Only when considering large scale dissemination and learning effects it becomes economically feasible with a pay back period of approx. 15 years.


Main technical features of the Pilot Project

The South Sinai Governorate Project with app 600 m2 floor surface is selected to demonstrate the possibilities of cooling with solar energy. An absorption chiller uses the heat of the sun to generate cooling energy. The heat of the sun is efficiently collected with an evacuated tube solar collector. Apart from the pump- energy to drive the different circuits of the system no additional energy is needed. In addition to installing the solar absorption chiller, several passive, energy-efficiency measures were taken to reduce electricity consumption and to reduce the cooling load.

Basic measures with high / moderate cost efficiency:

  • special Daikin thermal insulation with reflective coating on the roof
  • 24 sealed windows to prevent air leakage
  • 20 additional shading devices
  • 60 energy efficient light bulbs
  • Occupancy sensor for lighting control in two corridors
  • Demonstration measure: solar cooling system
  • 3 lithium-bromide Rotartica absorption chillers with total refrigeration capacity of 24 kW
  • 82m² evacuated tube collectors to supply 85°C hot water to the chiller

Main results of the Pilot Project

The energy consumption of the existing building is reduced by almost 47% through the implemented refurbishment measures, mainly due to the solar cooling and passive measures.

However, cost-efficiency of the realised pilot project is moderate (30 years) due to high learning cost and difficult access to products and know-how:

  • The roof insulation paint had to be transported from Japan by airplane to meet the timing schedule
  • Cutting-edge technologies such as absorption chillers and tube collectors for solar cooling were imported from Europe and China to Egypt for the first time as one off products.

Taking into consideration a large scale dissemination of the applied measures and thus benefiting from learning and scale effects, the "replicable solution" suited to dissemination becomes an attractive investment (re. graph 1)

Graph 1:


When realising this "replicable solution", significant additional benefits for the country in form of reduced energy subsidies arise. Considering these benefits, the State may have an interest in subsidising this type of building, reducing thus the pay-back (re. graph 2).

Graph 2:



Supporting material

Download PP Poster Egypt here.

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