Germany: Polymer Collector Design for EUR 25 Production

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 31, 2015
Polymer CollectorsDuring project ExKoll, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Fraunhofer ISE, have developed a new low-cost design for solar thermal collectors. The entire production of an 80 cm x 160 cm collector made of polypropylene (PP, drawing on the right) with an operating temperature resistance of up to 100 °C would amount to a mere EUR 25. A design which includes an absorber made of polyphenylene sulfide (PPS, left drawing) and which can resist operation temperatures of up to 250 °C would have production costs of around EUR 45 per panel. The following text was based on a presentation held at a workshop of Task 39, Polymeric Materials for Solar Thermal Applications, in Israel in April 2014 (see the attached document). ExKoll ended in December 2014, Task 39 of the IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme did so in October 2014. A new task, which will have the focus on cost reduction potential in collector production and will be led by Michael Köhl from Fraunhofer ISE, is scheduled for the second half of 2015. 
Figure: ISE Freiburg
 

Germany: ISH 2015 and Its Prominent Novelties

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 30, 2015
KiotoManagers from four different companies showcasing one innovation – a rare occurrence, even at a large fair like the ISH 2015 in Frankfurt. At the beginning of March, Rudolf Pfeil, CEO of Resol, Christian Beckmann, Sales Manager Key Account and OEM at Wilo, Günter Kohlmaier, CEO of Kioto Solar, and Karsten Pillukeit, CEO of Esbe Group (from left), jointly presented the newly developed fresh water module, Fresh Hydro, at the booth of Kioto Solar. Thanks to a patented temperature control, the fresh water module offers rapid response times without over- or undershooting. The developers have promised a comfortable showering experience at 40 to 160 litres per minute and a temperature of 45 °C. The fresh water system was one of a number of solar thermal innovations at the ISH which were worth taking a closer look.
Photo: Sun & Wind Energy / Tanja Peschel 
 

China: Sunrain to Solve Pengpusang’s Financial Troubles

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 29, 2015
PengpusangChinese flat plate collector manufacturer Pengpusang (international brand Prosunpro) from Shenzhen in southern China seems to have overcome its financial difficulties: “We continue to produce absorbers and collectors and have six colleagues in the overseas sales team,” Alon Ryan confirmed at the end of February. The Vice Director-Overseas of the Marketing Department emphasised that there was “no stop in production, and we are still supplying all our important customers.” The photo shows the anodisation of absorber fins on the factory line in Shenzhen. 
Photo: Pengpusang
 

“Germany is one of the most challenging markets”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 28, 2015
Albert LooschenThe Chinese Haier Group is a fairly young company, which has grown into a huge and still rapidly expanding corporation. Founded in 1984, Haier currently has 70,000 employees and achieved a turnover of USD 29.5 billion in 2013. For five years now, the group has headed the ranking of the largest household suppliers worldwide. In 2007, it started to manufacture solar collectors at its Chinese headquarters in Qingdao, Shandong Province, and has since offered solar thermal systems on the national, as well as the international market. The man who started the sale and distribution of Haier’s solar thermal products in Germany in 2011 was Albert Looschen. Since that time the energy consultant has managed the solar thermal activities of Haier Deutschland, and solarthermalworld.org spoke with him at the ISH fair in Frankfurt in March. Prior to Haier, Looschen had been working as an independent energy consultant for seven years. 
 

Germany: 174 Solar Process Heat Applications in 2.5 Years

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 27, 2015
Process heat pieOver the last two and a half years, the German Market Rebate Programme for Renewable Energies, MAP, has been subsidising half of the net costs associated with solar process heat for industrial and commercial use in Germany. All in all, the administrator of the programme, the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, BAFA, has received applications for 174 systems, of which 88 have so far been set up by the applicant and subsidised by the programme. “The programme started off well, but now the number of applications is stagnating,” Ralph Baller, Head of the MAP division, says. The University of Kassel’s additional publicity measures, which address planners and installers alike, are hoped to increase the popularity of the subsidy scheme again. The pie chart shows the customer groups of solar process heat among the 174 applications which have been submitted since the programme was launched in August 2012.
Source: BAFA
 

Latvia: Newly founded Association Calls for EU-based Standards

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 26, 2015
TaupiRepresentatives of eight leading solar thermal system suppliers and manufacturers in Latvia, as well as two associations met in December 2014 to establish the Latvian Association for Solar Collectors (Latvijas Saules Kolektoru Asociācija). “Our association has been registered with the proper authorities, and we have membership requests from four to five other companies,” Raivis Šķērstens, Chairman of the newly established association, confirmed in March 2015. Šķērstens heads Latvian solar thermal manufacturer Sun Investments, which offers solar systems under the brand name Selsol. The other founding members from the industry are solar thermal system importers Taupi, Altenergo, Solar M Pro, Erxsol, EG inzenieri, Zeze and Saules kolektors. The photo shows the 72 collectors on the roof of Vidzeme’s nursery school, which includes a swimming pool.
Photo: Taupi
 

India 2015: Government Doubles Coal Tax, Removes Solar Tube Customs Duty

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 25, 2015
Anu SolarThe international press praised the Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, when he unveiled this year’s Financial Bill, including the 2015/2016 budget, on 28 February. For example, the BBC wrote: “A business-friendly budget aimed at attracting greater investment for the economy.” It has been the first full-year financial budget since the National Democratic Alliance came to power in May 2014. Solarthermalworld.org took a look at some of the regulations relevant to solar thermal and found in Jaitley's budget for financial year 2015/2016, which starts on 1 April 2015. The photo shows the flat plate collector production unit at Anu Solar.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya
 

Canada: Solar Vision 2025: Beyond Market Competitiveness (2010)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on March 25, 2015

This report issued by the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) gives an overview of the evolution of the solar energy market in Canada until 2025.  The report covers both the solar photovoltaic and the solar thermal sectors.

Solar energy has numerous advantages. It will be economically competitive, will create employment and production costs will be reduced.

For the solar thermal sector, CanSIA believes that by 2025 the solar thermal industry can reach a capacity between 8 GWth and 15 GWth and has identified 3 different scenarios. 

Study on a Solar Heating System using Low Temperature Radiators (2013)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on March 25, 2015

The University of Constantine, in Algeria, conducted a study on a solar heating systems using low temperature radiators, which  was presented at the 16th International Thermal Days conference taking place in Marrakech in November 2013.

The objective of the study was to do a simulation of a solar heating system using solar collectors connected to oversized central heating radiators in order to function at low temperature. In addition to collectors and radiators, they have also used a water storage tank and an additional energy source.

Germany: National Subsidy Scheme Gets Significant Amendment

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 24, 2015
MAPOn 1 April 2015, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, BMWi, will increase the subsidies for renewable heating systems – solar thermal, biomass boilers and heat pumps – within the German Market Rebate Programme for Renewable Energies, MAP. The main reason for taking this step was that political targets have not been achieved: “The share of renewable energies in Germany’s final energy consumption for heating and cooling has only increased at a slow pace since 2012 and currently stands at 9.9 %. The MAP amendment is needed to achieve the ambitious 2020 target of 14 % set forth in the Renewable Energy Heat Act,” the BMWi stated in a press release on 11 March, in which the ministry also announced the new incentive regulations. 
Photo: Fotolia
 

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