First Spanish solar district heating system for 12,000 families

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 7, 2018
Source: Ayuntamiento de Alcalá de HenaresIn February, Alcalá Ecoenergías signed a deal to construct a district heating system powered by solar and biomass in Alcalá de Henares, a city in Spain. The agreement between the local company and the municipal government will lead to one of the country’s first-ever large-scale solar district heating systems, intended to provide 12,000 homes with renewable heat. The EUR 38 million investment, of which EUR 32 million have been allocated for biomass and EUR 6 million for solar thermal, near Spain’s capital of Madrid is expected to be completed by late 2019 (see the design study on the left). Several other solar district heating projects are under development. 
Source: Ayuntamiento de Alcalá de Henares

Record participation at SDH 2018 in Graz

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 3, 2018
Photo: Climate and Energy FundThe 5th International Solar District Heating Conference, which took place in Graz, Austria, in mid-April, brought together 350 experts from 33 countries. It had twice as many attendees as the previous one in Billund, Denmark, in 2016 and attracted representatives from several development banks, such as the German KfW, the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank via its group member International Finance Corporation, or IFC. The photo shows the conference’s supporters and its three organisers, namely Christian Fink (second from left), Austrian research institute AEE INTEC; Thomas Pauschinger (fifth from left in the back), German research institute Solites; and  Werner Lutsch, Managing Director of the German Heat & Power Association, or AGFW for short (second from right). 
Photo: Climate and Energy Fund

Building-integrated solar envelopes: barriers to deployment

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 2, 2018
Solar FacadeActive and passive solar systems integrated into building envelopes are key to combatting climate change. However, there are many barriers which confine current solutions to the demonstration stage and prevent them from going mainstream. To increase the size of the market, researchers have examined these barriers as part of Task 56, Building Integrated Solar Envelope Systems for HVAC and Lighting, under the auspices of the IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme. Their report will not be available until September 2018, but this article contains a summary of the main conclusions.
Photo: Riccardo Battisti

The slow but steady growth of Russia’s solar thermal industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 2, 2018
Photo: New PolusThe Russian collector industry is growing steadily, despite a lack of state support and the impact of the financial crisis. This has been the key message of a Ministry of Industry and Trade report broadcasted on the popular Channel 1 on TV and confirmed by solar thermal expert Professor Vitaly Butuzov. Butuzov estimates that Russia saw the installation of around 2,000 m² of collector area last year. According to the professor, the figure is slightly above the one for 2016, when a total of 500 m² was installed in the form of small systems in addition to the 736 m² collector field commissioned one year later at the Sochi railway station.
Photo: New Polus

Solar cooling demand on the rise in Italy, Spain and the Middle East

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 27, 2018
Photo: TVPSorption chillers may still be a niche market, but Europe’s manufacturers reported rising demand for solar thermal cooling in Italy, Spain and the Middle East in 2017. Solar thermal numbers are on the rise because of three factors: the potential to reduce power consumption, including peak loads; the option to use natural refrigerants, such as water; and the ability to provide demand-responsive heating and cooling throughout the year. The photo shows the solar-cooled headquarters of Agility, a logistics business based in Kuwait. The 234 m² of evacuated flat plate collectors which provide the building with energy can be seen behind it. 
Photo: TVP

German associations partner up to promote sustainable cooling

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 27, 2018
Logos solar coolingIn early 2018, two German organisations agreed on a joint membership model to promote solar thermal air conditioning and cooling, a niche market in the country. The cooperation between the Green Chiller Association for Sorption Cooling and the Central Association for Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps, or ZVKKW for short, is hoped to popularise innovative and sustainable cooling solutions. According to a survey among members of the Green Chiller Association, some companies have shifted away from solar-powered sorption cooling because they consider systems combining solar PV and split air conditioning units to have greater economic benefits, especially if the cooling season is short. Others are increasingly using waste heat to run sorption chillers. 

Solar industrial heat market – a 2017 survey

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 26, 2018
Image: solar-payback.com/suppliers2017 was a record year for systems providing solar heat for industrial processes, since at least 110 large ones adding up to 192,580 m² were put into operation. This has been the result of a survey among around 80 turnkey suppliers currently listed on the SHIP Supplier World Map, created by the international Solar Payback project. The total at the end of 2017 stood at approximately 635 SHIP systems, a 21 % increase over the 525 installations which a similar survey showed in early 2017.
Image: solar-payback.com/suppliers

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

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