Combining the strengths of collector technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 20, 2018
Task 55 of the IEA SHC Programme is currently studying the benefits of systems equipped with both flat plate and parabolic trough collectors to supply thermal energy to district heating networks. Preliminary results from a project in Taars, Denmark, have been encouraging, indicating how their combined strength can be an asset across a wide range of solar district heating applications. The research is being conducted as part of the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme, supported by the Danish Energy Agency.
Photo: Aalborg CSP

Sector coupling still at an early stage

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 18, 2018
‘Sector coupling’ has become one of the most well-known terms to describe the transformation of energy markets. It had originally been created for models that use surplus renewables, such as wind and solar electricity, to provide heat and power new means of transport. International organisations – for example, REN21 and IEA – have since established more general definitions and charts to illustrate the process. The figure on the left-hand side is taken from a presentation given by Paolo Frankl, Head of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Division, at the Mexirec Conference in Mexico last September. 
Chart: IEA 

Vacuum tubes with CPCs dominate SHIP market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 16, 2018
Concentrating solar thermal technologies continue to flourish in India. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has reported to have received concentrating solar thermal applications worth more than 10,000 m2 since the national subsidy scheme was extended in February 2018. Most applications were about solar heat for industrial processes, also known as SHIP, and cooling. Vacuum tube collectors with CPCs, short for compound parabolic concentrators, are one of the technologies eligible for the scheme and took the lion’s share at nearly 80 %.
Photo: Thermax

1 million m2 collectors produced in Konya, Turkey

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 13, 2018
The Turkish solar thermal manufacturer Solimpeks announced to have produced 1 million m2 of collector area in its 17 years of company history. In a press release from the beginning of June it says that Solimpeks exports to 70 countries across the globe. The company reached place seven in the ranking of the largest flat plate collector manufacturers globally. The photo shows the largest installation that the company ever installed: The 4,575 m2 collector field provides hot water to a prison in Ankara since earlier this year.
Photo: Solimpeks

Solar district heating potential of small towns in Europe

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 11, 2018
Most small European towns connected to a district heating network have enough land available for a solar field to meet 20 % of heat demand. In all, 93 % of the identified solar heat potential can be produced at a price of less than 50 EUR/MWh. These are the key findings from a study by PlanEnergi, a Danish consultancy. Its authors analysed maps showing 2,480 district heating networks in 22 countries that have no means of using waste heat for the task. The chart shows the 10 which have the greatest potential for solar district heating at less than 50 EUR/MWh. PlanEnergi explained the methodology and summarised the results in a report titled Solar District Heating Trends and Possibilities. It has been published by research platform Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments under the auspices of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme.
All charts and table: PlanEnergi

Water-energy nexus in industrial sector

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 9, 2018
Water and energy are the most important resources globally. The term ‘water-energy nexus’ was coined to underline their close connection, and the phrase has become increasingly popular with international environmental organisations. In mid-June, a new research platform, Solar energy in industrial water and waste water management, was launched by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme to analyse the link between water and energy across the industrial sector. The kick-off meeting is scheduled to take place between 1 and 2 October in Graz, Austria. 
Chart: AEE INTEC

New coating manufacturer in China

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 5, 2018
Photo: SanqiaonengLast December, Shandong-based Sanqiaoneng introduced a new line of absorber plates, which had taken five years to develop. According to the company website, Singaporean investment holding company Rowsley had spent USD 5 million on the design of a selective coating for these metal plates. Professor He Tao from the China Academy of Building Research (middle of the photo), visited Sanqiaoneng’s coating plant in late January. 
Photo: Sanqiaoneng

Dish technology in Asia

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 3, 2018
Photo: Megawatt SolutionsA webinar that took place on 22 May put the spotlight on concentrating dish systems manufactured in India and Pakistan. Titled Concentrating Solar Heat Solutions Available Today for Carbon-Free Industrial Heat and Steam Generation and organised by Spanish-based consultancy ATA Insights, it highlighted the main advantages of these dishes: flexibility and low space requirements. The photo shows a solar process heat installation at a dairy in India. A recording of the entire event and the presentations that were held are available online.
Photo: Megawatt Solutions

Crowdfunding the Heat Changers campaign

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 2, 2018
Photos: Heat ChangersThe German Solar Heating Initiative has put together a crowdfunding project to fund a consumer campaign called Heat Changers. Its initiators, Marisol Oropeza and Stefan Abrecht (first and second image from top left), have already brought some well-known supporters on board, including Markus Elsässer, Founder and Managing Director of Solar Promotion and organiser of the Intersolar Europe (bottom left), and Australian Ken Guthrie, formerly chair of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (top right). The funding deadline for the EUR 35,000 project on kickstarter.com is 19 July 2018. The money is intended to be used for a six-month solar heat promotion campaign via social media, a website and other online tools.
Photos: Heat Changers

Global electricity demand for air conditioning to triple by 2050

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 28, 2018
“Growing demand for air conditioners is one of the most critical blind spots in today’s energy debate,” Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said as he presented the findings of The Future of Cooling report in May. The chart shows that, in the baseline scenario, cooling is projected to be responsible for between 25 % and nearly 50 % of peak electricity loads in the United States, the Middle East, Indonesia, India and Brazil in 2050. Globally, demand is expected to triple by the same year. The world’s stock of AC units is said to rise to 5.6 billion by 2050, up from 1.6 billion today, which reportedly means an average of 10 ACs will be sold each second over the next 30 years.
Chart: OECD/IEA

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