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Low-Energy Buildings: Solar Thermal, PV or Heat Pump?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 1, 2017
Woche der SonneWhat is the best way to supply heat and power to low-energy buildings? Although there is no single answer to this question, solarthermalworld.org simulated the installation of a solar thermal unit, a PV system, a heat pump and a gas boiler in a low-energy house in southern Germany. The results show that solar technologies are significantly more profitable than heat pump systems. The largest solar field – consisting of 10 m² each of PV and solar thermal combined with a gas boiler – has by far the lowest cost (EUR 35,876) over 20 years in operation. 
 

German Energy Transformation Scenarios: Solar thermal As Optional, Not Mandatory Technology for Least Cost Solutions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2016
Sebastian HerkelHow much will the transformation of the German energy industry cost if it is to reach greenhouse gas emissions reductions of at least 80 % by 2050? The German Institute Fraunhofer ISE used its Renewable Energy Model REMod-D for Germany 2050 to perform the simulations necessary to answer this key question. REMod-D considers all kinds of energy end-use applications (in manufacturing, transport and residential segments) and each and every energy technology. Simulations are performed on an hourly basis to ensure the security of supply in all industries throughout the year. The studied scenarios differ with regard to drive concepts used in the private and commercial transport industry, the extent of energy retrofits in the building industry and the exact time at which coal will no longer be used to generate electricity. The most recent REMod-D study, which was published in November 2015, was called “What Will the Energy Transformation Cost? Pathways for Transforming the German Energy System by 2050” (see attached document in German). Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Sebastian Herkel from Fraunhofer ISE about the study’s solar thermal outcomes and the use of REMod-D in urban planning scenarios of Task 52 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme.
 

Study on a Solar Heating System using Low Temperature Radiators (2013)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on March 25, 2015

The University of Constantine, in Algeria, conducted a study on a solar heating systems using low temperature radiators, which  was presented at the 16th International Thermal Days conference taking place in Marrakech in November 2013.

The objective of the study was to do a simulation of a solar heating system using solar collectors connected to oversized central heating radiators in order to function at low temperature. In addition to collectors and radiators, they have also used a water storage tank and an additional energy source.

Design and Recommendations for Decentralized Solar District Heating Systems in France (2013)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on March 11, 2015

During the 13th Conference of the International Building Performance Stimulation Association, held in Chambéry in August 2013, a case study on the design for decentralized solar district systems in France was presented by Philippe Papillon and Cédric Paulus of CEA LITENS INES.

Belgium: Commercial Customers Can Choose among Several Solar System Variants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 22, 2014
SunoptimoIn Wallonia, Belgium’s southern region, the favourable incentives make it quite a joy to calculate solar heat prices for retirement homes. The home with 110 flats or rooms described in the case study below achieves solar heat prices of 20 EUR/MWh over 20 years, with a solar fraction of 76.5 % in domestic hot water demand. If the net collector area is at least 2 m² per flat or room, subsidy scheme Soltherm grants EUR 1,500 for each housing unit. “We benefit from an incentive that can be as much as 75 % of the investment costs of the solar thermal system,” Bertrand Fontaine, CEO of Sunoptimo, explains. The Belgium solar thermal system supplier specialises in commercial solar hot water systems with drainback technology and of sizes above 100 m². According to Sunoptimo, drainback systems can reach higher solar thermal shares because larger collector fields do not run the risk of stagnation temperatures in summer. 
Photo: Sunoptimo
 

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