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IEA SHC Task 54: Solar Thermal Cost Reductions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 26, 2017
Linz workshop Task 54The objective of IEA SHC Task 54 is to reduce the purchase price of solar thermal systems by up to 40 % across the entire value chain. To achieve this, the project partners have been evaluating technical and non-technical cost-saving potential, with low-cost materials, such as polymers, and production technologies bound to play an important role. At an early October workshop in Linz, Austria, about 50 project partners and guests discussed cost reductions made possible by new distribution channels, digital solutions and systems thinking approaches. 
Photo: Fraunhofer ISE
 

Germany: Two National Awards for Solar Thermal Specialists

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 27, 2016

Within only two months, the German Federal Environment Minister, Barbara Hendriks, awarded two solar thermal companies with a high-level prize. On 23 November 2015, Austrian polymer collector developer Sunlumo received the German Federal Ecodesign Award in the category Product (left). On 21 January 2016, German Fresnel collector system supplier Industrial Solar was awarded with the German Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment (IKU) in the category Technology Transfer (right). These honours show the high innovative potential of the solar thermal industry even in times of crisis as is happening currently, with the German and Austrian solar thermal market shrinking year after year.
Photos: Sunlumo, Christian Kruppa for Industrial Solar

Austria: One World Solar Collector Receives Solar Keymark

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 20, 2015
SunlumoThe One World Solar Collector developed by Austrian company Sunlumo finally received a Solar Keymark certificate in October 2015 (see the attached PDF). This is a milestone in the long design and development process, which started in 2009. “We designed a completely new collector model optimising weight, performance, logistics and raw materials,” Robert Buchinger (left), Managing Director of Sunlumo, says about the long term R&D project. The photo, which was taken at machinery supplier Fill’s booth at the 2014 edition of Fakuma, the international trade fair for plastics processing, in Germany, shows Buchinger and Wilhelm Rupertsberger, Head of Competence Center Polymer Technology at FilI, holding up the pilot collector with a gross collector area of 0.95 m² and a weight of only 8.1 kg. Sunlumo is looking for investors who want to purchase a complete production line as well as the license and produce the polymer collector locally. The One World Solar Collector is the third 100 % polymer collector with a Solar Keymark certificate. The other two are Eco Flare 3M by Israeli manufacturer Magen Eco Energy and a collector from Norway’s Aventa. 
Photo: Sunlumo
 

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. 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
 

Austria: “Unlock the power of your ideas”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 29, 2014
Sunlumo“Solar heat is a must-have” is one of eight theses which a group of solar thermal experts developed during the First International Solar Forum in the Austrian town of Bad Aussee at the beginning of April. Initiator of the two-and-a-half-day workshop was Austrian company Sunlumo, a service provider of research and development in the solar thermal sector. Sunlumo gathered a selected group of 16 German-speaking experts from inside and outside the solar thermal sector, among them researchers, engineers, marketing and sales strategists, association representatives, designers, inventors and philosophers. The aim of this meeting was to brainstorm “revolutionary new guidelines that would serve as a wake-up call for stakeholders and the public,” Sunlumo’s Managing Director, Robert Buchinger, explains.
Photo: Sunlumo
 

Germany: Task 39 Showcases Solar Collectors Made of Polymers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 5, 2013

An exhibition taking place as part of the International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) 2013 between 23 and 25 September 2013 unveiled how solar collectors manufactured from plastic materials may look like in the future. Under the motto Efficiency and Design, the exhibits provided an insight into research trends and product innovations for solar thermal applications. The exhibition was organised by a working group of Task 39, a sub-task of the International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, IEA SHC.
Photo: Stephanie Banse

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