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Switzerland: Strong Heat Pump and PV Competition

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 3, 2017
Switzerland market statisticsThere couldn’t be a starker contrast between the market development of two renewable heat segments: Whereas Swiss heat pump sales remained at around 18,400 units per year from 2014 to 2016, collector sales dropped significantly from 117,634 m² in 2014 to 66,699 m² last year. Market volume is now below where it was ten years ago and solar water heaters are facing strong competition from heat pumps and photovoltaics (see attached market report in German and French). The annual solar thermal symposium on 8 November in Dübendorf near Zurich will provide an opportunity to discuss alternative applications and technologies.
Source: Swissolar
 

IEA SHC Task 58: “We will need new and innovate designs for heat and mass exchangers”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 18, 2017
Benjamin FumeyThermochemical materials (TCMs) used in storage tanks show higher heat capacities than water and smaller losses over time. They are crucial to an increase in solar use among consumers and the storage of summer heat for the winter season. However, they are also more complex than their water-based counterparts, which require only heat exchangers. Conversely, TCM storage units additionally need mass exchangers to make sorbent-sorbate interaction possible. Research into TCM storage has so far been coordinated by the IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme’s Task 58, Material and Components for Thermal Energy Storage. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Benjamin Fumey, Researcher at EMPA – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, about the technology. Fumey heads the Task 58 research group focused on Component Design for Thermochemical Materials. The operation of the specially designed heat and mass exchanger will be explained throughout the interview based on a TCM storage tank with sodium hydroxide as the liquid sorbent. Important technical terms can be found in the glossary at the end of this article.
 

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