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Submitted by admin on October 1, 2014 and IEA SHC Partnership

International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Programme has over 35 years of international collaborative work in the field of research, development, demonstration (RD&D) and test methods for solar thermal energy and solar buildings.  The results of this work are available for researchers, policy makers, industry, utility and business representatives, builders, architects and teachers

The IEA SHC Programme is a member-based Programme with 20 member countries and 5 member organizations. Its mission is “To enhance collective knowledge and application of solar heating and cooling through international collaboration to fulfill its vision of solar thermal energy meeting 50% of low temperature heating and cooling demand by 2050."

Highlighted in the section below are some of our most recent publications: 


China: Investigating Low-Temperature and Low-Cost Solar Cooling Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 31, 2015

Dai Yanjun is among the key solar cooling researchers in China. In cooperation with the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Programme, the professor with more than 15 years of experience in solar cooling research at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) organised the Solar Cooling Week in Shanghai in March. Since 2005, he is Professor at the Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics and sees the most promising research being done in the field of thermally driven chillers which fit to standard flat plate and vacuum tube collectors on the market. He also participates in the development of solutions for areas with high humidity.

IEA SHC: Market Report Aggregates 56 Country Statistics

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 16, 2015
Solar Heat WorldwideIt is the most comprehensive publication on the global solar water heating market: the annual study Solar Heat Worldwide. On behalf of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC), Austrian research institute AEE INTEC has gathered data on 2013 market development from 56 countries worldwide – covering 95 % of the world market. The institute has asked national stakeholders for newly installed capacity, type of technology and application. Accumulating such detailed information at global level gives a comprehensive overview of the world market for solar heating and cooling. According to an extrapolation of the missing 5 %, installers set up a total capacity of 55 GWth – or 78.6 million m2 of glazed and unglazed solar collectors – in these 56 countries. The pie charts show the growing importance of large domestic hot water applications in multi-family buildings as well as the tourism and public sector (see page 36/37 of the attached study). In 2013, 17 % of the newly installed collector capacity was installed in this segment (right), whereas it only accounts for 9 % of the total installed collector capacity in operation (left). The number of unglazed solar collectors for private swimming pools has diminished worldwide. Although they still make up 6 % of the total capacity, they only contributed 3 % to the new collector capacity in 2013. With 577 MWth (0.8 million m2) of newly installed capacity in 2013, non-residential applications, such as district heating, process heat and cooling, are still a real niche market. 
Source: Solar Heat Worldwide 2013 edition 2015

IEA SHC Task 52: Seeking Cost-optimised Urban Energy Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 30, 2015
How can solar energy be ideally integrated into an urban energy system? This has been the key question of IEA SHC Task 52: Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments. One and a half years after the task´s start in January 2014, scientists from Germany, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland met in Freiburg for the third task meeting in mid-April to discuss cost assessments of existing plants and models for analysing complex urban energy systems. One of the first published outcomes is a study carried out by Austrian research institute AEE INTEC. It lists the costs of existing solar district heating plants in Denmark, Germany and Austria. The chart shows the preliminary results from levelised heat costs calculated for 29 collector fields of sizes between 500 and 55,000 m² integrated into district or micro grids.

SHC 2015 in Turkey: Submit a Paper until 6 July

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 29, 2015
SHC 2015 ChairsAfter San Francisco, Freiburg and Beijing, it is now Istanbul’s turn to host the next international conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry, SHC 2015, from 2 to 4 December 2015. This year, the IEA SHC is partnering with the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, ESTIF, and GÜNDER, the Turkish Section of the International Solar Energy Society. As in previous years, the conference will be organised by German service provider PSE. The recently started call for papers accepts submissions until 6 July 2015. Three conference chairs (from left) – Bülent Yeşilata (GÜNDER), Pedro Dias (ESTIF) and Daniel Mugnier (IEA SHC) – and a conference committee are in charge of setting up a conference programme which will cover a large variety of topics. 

New Report: Lessons Learned from 20 Non-Residential Building Renovations

Submitted by Pam Murphy on May 14, 2015

Buildings are responsible for up to 35 % of the total energy consumption in many  IEA countries. Exemplary non-residential renovation projects are showing that total primary energy consumption can be drastically reduced together with improvements of the indoor climate.  This IEA SHC report highlights 20 of these renovation projects. The projects are also described in detail in a series of eight-page brochures available for download from

Authors: Fritjof Salvesen and Mari Lyseid Authen

France: New ESCO Focuses on Process Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 2, 2015
Logos SHIPA start-up company will host the next Task 49 meeting in Montpellier, France. This is unusual for the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, but the business target of French company Sunti is a perfect fit for Task 49, which aims at increasing solar heat integration into industrial processes. Sunti was founded in November 2014 by Jean-Michel Germa, a pioneer of the renewable industry who owns a 40 % stake in French La Compagnie du Vent. The new business wants to sell process heat to firms in France and the Mediterranean region as an Energy Service Company (ESCO).

Solar Cooling Week in China: Sector Still Growing in Asia and Europe

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 30, 2015
Solar Cooling WeekSolar thermal cooling is a “small, but steadily growing market,” Dr Uli Jakob from the Green Chiller Association for Sorption Cooling pointed out in his presentation Solar Air-Conditioning in Europe during the Solar Cooling Week, which took place in Shanghai from 23 to 27 March. The week started with two experts meetings of IEA SHC Task 48 (Quality Assurance and Support Measures for Solar Cooling Systems) and Task 53 (New Generation Solar Cooling and Heating Systems) on solar cooling and ended with the Solar Cooling Conference. About 80 % of the over 100 participants came from Asian countries. Conference Chairman Daniel Mugnier (see photo) thanked “Shanghai Jiao Tong University – and especially, Professor Yajun Dai  for having organised “a perfect Solar Cooling Week.” 
Photo: dr. jakob energy research

IEA SHC Task 46: Solar Irradiation Data Helps Schedule and Operate Solar Thermal Plants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 19, 2015
Irradiation ChartIEA SHC Task 46, Solar Resource Assessment and Forecasting, is an SHC project conducted in cooperation with IEA’s SolarPACES for Concentrating Solar Power and the Photovoltaic Power Systems programme. Accurate assessment and forecasting of solar irradiation is a key issue in planning and operating solar electricity and solar thermal plants. Task 46 has been evaluating various forecasting models and standardisation procedures for irradiation measurement, for example, regarding detail and accuracy. Numerical Weather Prediction and cloud models based on satellite images (CM-sat) with their up-to hourly resolution are detailed enough for rough estimates of solar generation capacities within the next hours and days. Grid integration and power plant control, however, require algorithms based on CM-SI (Cloud Models based on Sky Imaging) time-series modelling to forecast irradiation seconds or a few hours away (see figure on the left). 
Figure: University Oldenburg

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: Task 42 Meeting on Compact Thermal Energy Storage Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 3, 2015
Task 42 MeetingIEA-SHC Task 42, entitled Compact Thermal Energy Storage, has entered into its final year and will end in December 2015. In February 2015, 44 scientists met for the 13th Experts Task Meeting in Vienna, Austria, to discuss the characterisation and development of materials for latent heat storage systems. This included phase change materials (PCM) like paraffin and thermo-chemical materials (TCM), such as sodium hydroxide solutions or zeolites. During the three-day meeting, the task members also visited the cogeneration plant Simmering in Vienna. The photo shows them in front of two pressurised water tanks with a total volume of 11,000 m3. The tanks are charged and discharged with 145 GWh annually and are operated to decouple heat energy production from demand in the district heating network of Vienna.
Photo: Institute for Solar Technology SPF