Parabolic trough collector production line shipped to China

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 24, 2018
Photo: AbsoliconAbsolicon, a Swedish supplier of concentrating solar thermal technology, has recently delivered its first production line to a Chinese company. The equipment to manufacture parabolic trough collectors, which the Swedish business developed in-house, arrived in China in mid-April. The line is now being set up at Heli New Energy Technology, in the country’s southwestern province of Sichuan. The photo, which dates from December 2016, shows the partners involved in the project after they signed the purchase agreement for the system. Heli New Energy is a joint venture between two Chinese companies, namely Xinkun, a family-owned manufacturer, and Jointeam, an energy project developer.
Photo: Absolicon 

Solar showers for displaced people and refugees

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 20, 2018
Logo UNHCRThe UN Refugee Agency has begun ordering solar water heaters to improve the sanitary conditions in Ugandan refugee camps. The news ties in neatly with the first conference on Energy for Displaced People: A Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement, an event which took place in mid-January in Berlin, Germany, and was attended by more than 100 delegates. The participants agreed to “lay the groundwork for the first-ever global, multi-stakeholder plan to ensure that crisis-affected people gain access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services by 2030.”

First heliostat field made in Brazil

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 19, 2018
Photo: USPThe University of São Paulo in Pirassununga (see photo) is about to get its own field of heliostats on campus. Once completed, the sea of mirrors will focus sunlight onto a receiver connected to an Organic Rankine Cycle system. The heat transfer fluid will be ambient air. The ORC turbine ‘waste’, hot water at 90 °C, will be directed to a nearby abattoir. The demonstration plant is part of SMILE, which is short for Solar-Hybrid Microturbine Systems for Cogeneration in Agro-Industrial Electricity and Heat Production.
Photo: USP

“Contract market fluctuates from year to year”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 17, 2018
Ole Dalby, CEO of Arcon-Sunmark2017 was a difficult year for solar district heating supplier Arcon-Sunmark based in Denmark. The collector manufacturer’s turnover dropped from Danish Krone (DKK) 457 million, or USD 75 million, to DKK 98 million, or USD 16.2 million, according to a press release published on 21 March 2018. The uncertain country’s energy policy caused a delay in the launch of new SDH projects in the second half of 2016. Consequently, pre-tax profit went from DKK 46 million (USD 7.6 million) in 2016 to minus DKK 99 million (USD 16.3 million) in 2017. “We have made the necessary adjustments. At the same time, we have invested in retaining the clear market leader position that we achieved over the years,” Ole Dalby, CEO of Arcon-Sunmark (see photo), said.

Sweden: Pioneer of solar district heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 13, 2018
Chart: Sven WernerWhen it comes to district heating, Sweden has made the switch from fossil fuels to biomass and waste heat (see chart). As early as 2015, biomass provided 46 % of the energy in district heating networks across the country, followed by 24 % from waste incineration and 8 % from industrial excess heat. Fossil fuels came only to about 7 % of the around 175 petajoules, or PJ, produced in Sweden in 2015 (latest data available). These percentages, and the chart, were taken from a 2017 paper titled District heating and cooling in Sweden, written by Sven Werner, Professor Emeritus at the Swedish Halmstad University. Sweden is one of the participating countries of Task 55 Towards the Integration of Large SHC Systems into DHC Networks of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling programme. The researchers plan to publish a report with country portraits of selected solar district heating markets in 2019. 
Chart: Sven Werner

Second winter for 75,000 m² SDH heating system in Inner Mongolia

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 11, 2018
Photo: Sohu.comSince October 2016, a 75,000 m² parabolic trough collector field for district heat seems to have been operating in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in China. Ruicheng Zheng from the China Academy of Building Research and Hongzhi Cheng said that they had heard about the system, but that all the information on it was only available online. On 28 December 2017, a news article appeared on sohu.com, one of China’s largest online media companies, stating that the system supplied a shopping centre and a development project known as ZhongCheng International City in the village of HongQing De, near Baotou. The journalist who interviewed the owners of the residential buildings and the shopping centre found customers satisfied with the solar space heating that the system provides. 
Photo: Sohu.com

First cooling installation on Indian government building

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 10, 2018
Photo: VSM SolarGujarat State Electricity Corporation set up a solar thermal air conditioning system as part of its clean energy initiative last August. The installation offers a capacity of 150 tons of refrigeration (528 kW) to cool the Gandhinagar Thermal Power Station’s office building in Gujarat state in western India. The total investment, including the collector field, mounting equipment, chiller and hot water storage tanks, amounted to Indian Rupee (INR) 52 million, or around EUR 0.7 million, which corresponds to specific costs of 1,327 EUR/kW. 
Photo: VSM Solar

IEA SHC Webinar: Cost reduction potential above 30 %

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 5, 2018
Chart: AventaThe key takeaway from an IEA SHC Solar Academy webinar held on 14 March 2018: There is still much room for cost cuts along the entire solar thermal value chain. The webinar was organised jointly by the IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme’s Task 54 and the International Solar Energy Society.
Chart: Aventa

Big Solar Germany: Utility-scale solar heat at record-low 36 EUR/MWh

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 3, 2018
Christian HolterOperators of several gas-driven combined cycle power plants, or CCPPs, have notified the German Federal Network Agency of their systems’ final shutdown. These plants are no longer economically viable, as they have been running ever fewer hours because of a high proportion of cost-effective renewable grid electricity. Their shutdown will create a shortage of supply in district heating networks providing thermal energy to German municipalities. Utility-scale solar thermal plants equipped with seasonal storage could help close the gap at heat prices of around 36 EUR/MWh, Christian Holter said. Holter is the Managing Director of Austrian turnkey system supplier S.O.L.I.D., which has carried out feasibility studies on behalf of several European cities.

Tibet´s highly subsidised solar heating market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 2, 2018
Tibet is currently in the focus of the Chinese central government’s efforts to improve the heating situation of the population. The lack of space heating in many buildings in the region, which is subject to a continental climate marked by cold winters, has prompted China’s government to support the installation of solar district heating systems. In addition to Chinese-Danish joint venture Arcon-Sunmark Large-Scale Solar Systems Integration, Chinese parabolic trough collector manufacturer Vicot Solar Technology has signed a contract with the local government to install a solar district heating system in the autonomous region of Tibet. The photo, taken in November 2017, shows one-third of the field’s substructure. The entire installation will have 18,000 m2 of aperture area which is defined as the flat, rectangular area specified by the outer perimeter of the mirrors.
Photo: Vicot Solar Technology
 

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