The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) broadens its sponsor network. The most recent members are the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), headquartered in Germany, and the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) based in Qatar. ISES joined as a Sponsor in 2016 and GORD already in 2015. “We welcome the engagement of ISES and GORD in the IEA SHC Programme,“ says Ken Guthrie, Chairman of IEA SHC. “ISES represents an extensive network of solar thermal professionals from around the world and GORD opens the doors to the Gulf States – potential future markets for solar cooling“.
After several quickly receding waves of smart home hypes, the current trend to link devices in residential homes seems comparably stable. Drivers of the development are energy, security and comfort. Although new products and services for smart homes focus on electricity usage, Uwe Trenkner is convinced that modern communication technologies are another important factor for solar heating. The consultant from Brussels, Belgium, was co-author of the Technical Study Report on Measuring, Remote Monitoring and Remote Controlling for Solar Thermal Systems, which was published at the end of last year (see the attached document). Solarthermalworld.orginterviewed the expert during the Solar Heating and Cooling Conference (SHC2015) in Istanbul, Turkey, in December 2015.
Combining a heat pump and a solar thermal system increases overall system efficiency and substantially reduces the heat pump’s electricity consumption. The various possibilities of using both technologies together were illustrated by Dr Michel Haller’s presentation entitled "Solar and Heat Pump Systems - A Question of Technology?" and held at the SHC conference in Freiburg (see attached document). Haller is project leader at the Swiss Institute for Solar Technology, SPF, in Rapperswil. The ideal combination depends on the type of application, the type of collector and the local climate conditions. The figure above shows a common parallel configuration.
Figure: SPF Rapperswil
A greater difference of supply and return temperature in a heating circuit increases the share of energy which can be utilised from a solar thermal system or another renewable energy source. With this in mind, Swedish company Alfa Laval developed the highly efficient heat interface unit called Mini City and the control device AlfaPilot. AlfaPilot is a control system, which gives priority to renewable sources within a heating system. The Mini City ensures the desired low return temperature. One project for which the systems were installed concerned the construction of two newly built multi-family houses, each with six flats, in Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert, France. Both buildings have been equipped with a solar thermal system. Since June 2013, Alfa Laval has been monitoring one of these multi-family homes.
Graphic: Alfa Laval
Outstanding solar district heating projects have recently been honoured with two awards in just one week. The IEA Solar Heating Programme (IEA SHC) presented its SHC Solar Award 2013 to the Drake Landing Company from Canada. Drake Landing consists of four organisations: United Communities (developer), Sterling Homes (builder), ATCO Gas (utility) and the Town of Okotoks (municipality). The company was established to oversee ownership and operation of the Drake Landing Solar Community, which uses solar thermal collectors and borehole heat storage to provide over 90% of the space heating for 52 homes. It has also recently set a new world record of 98% solar heating performance in its sixth year of operation, as explained in a press release on 24 September. Bruce Littke from ATCO Gas (in the middle) and Keith Paget from Sterling Homes (second from right) accepted the award at the International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry, SHC 2013, in Freiburg, Germany. The second award was presented at the 3rd Global District Energy Summit and Awards in New York City on 23 September. Millennium Energy Industries (MEI) received the prestigious award for implementing the world’s largest operational solar heating project at the Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University for Women in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Photo: Stephanie Banse