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Denmark: Solar District Heating Capacity Nearly Doubles in 2016

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 25, 2017
District Heating in DenmarkLast year was a record-breaking one for new solar district heating (SDH) installations in Denmark. With 31 new SDH systems and 5 plant expansions, the newly installed collector area grew at double the rate of 2015 and totalled 495,226 m² (347 MWth). The year prior saw 15 plants built and three expanded, while collector area increased by 250,161 m² (175 MWth). Almost all plants newly installed or expanded in 2016 were equipped with flat plate collectors, except for the 18.9 MWth parabolic trough installation in Brønderslev. The annual statistic on SDH installations is maintained by Daniel Trier from Danish consultancy PlanEnergi and starts with the very first large SDH plant in 1988. Trier said that at the end of 2016, there had been 104 SDH plants in operation with a combined collector area of 1.3 million m² (911 MWth).
Chart: PlanEnergi
 

Europe: Comparing Solar Keymark Data on Collectors with Foil or Double Glass Cover to Ones Without

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 3, 2017
KBB large-scale collectorDenmark’s success story in solar district heating, with 2016 having been another record year which almost doubled newly installed collector area to around 500,000 m², showcases the large potential of this type of application across Europe. Cost cuts in the supply chain are key: Two vital factors are fast installation and less hydraulic work on site. The answer by manufacturers to these challenges has been to design large-scale prefabricated collectors. Suppliers of vacuum tube collectors offer modular designs for easy mounting of collectors above 10 m²; large flat plate versions come as one piece and certified by Solar Keymark. The yearly market surveys by German magazine Sonne Wind & Wärme show that the number of certified flat plate collector panels above 10 m² of gross collector area has increased in Europe in recent years. As of 29 March 2017, the magazine’s online collector database listed 62 models from eight brands compared to 20 types of collectors in October 2015.
Photo: KBB
 

Austria: New Medium-Temperature Collectors Show Remarkable Yield in District Heating Use

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 2, 2017
Graz Test Field SOLIDDuring the last seven years, a group of scientists has monitored selected large solar thermal installations in Austria on behalf of the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund. The gathered data confirms that these plants have been reliable and produce satisfactory yields. Particularly the new generation of large-scale medium-temperature collectors either with a foil or with a second glass cover shows remarkable results in district heating use. The 2,490 m² solar field (see photo) which has fed heat into the district heating network of Graz, Austria, reached a yield of 489 kWh/m². 
Photo: Picfly.at Thomas Eberhard
 

Demonstration project: Finnish Collector Field Operating in Denmark

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 18, 2015
LogumklosterThe first solar district heating collector field in Denmark with direct-flow, aluminium absorbers from Finnish company Savo-Solar came into operation in July 2015. Municipal district heating company Løgumkloster Fjernvarme had ordered 9,400 m² of collector area (6.6 MWth) during the first phase of the project. “If we are satisfied with the performance, we will extend the collector field by 35,000 m² next year,” confirmed Peter G. Andersen, Head of Operations at Løgumkloster Fjernvarme. Savo-Solar used this demonstration project for a successful entry into the Danish district heating market, which was dominated by only one supplier, Arcon-Sunmark, since a merger in February 2015. The Finnish collector manufacturer won the tender by Jelling Varmevaerk in June 2015 and negotiated the final contract for the delivery of 15,000 m² collector area (10.5 WMth) with the municipality in southern Denmark. The utility aims at receiving the permits and confirming the contract by the beginning of November.
Photo: Savo-Solar
 

Germany/Italy: Alanod-Almeco – Merger between Equals?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2014
Logos Alanod AlmecoJust a few days before Intersolar Europe 2014 opened its doors in Munich, Germany, news broke of the merger between the two largest solar coating manufacturers in Europe, the Alanod Group, headquartered in Ennepetal, northern Germany, and the Almeco Group whose headquarters are located in Milano, Italy. The company will be called Alanod-Almeco, with headquarters in Ennepetal. Both partners have confirmed the plans to retain both the sales teams and the entire product offering. However, the facts contradict a merger between equals: Alanod is definitely the larger partner. The company with 460 staff had a turnover of EUR 160 million in 2013, whereas the Almeco Group with its 250 staff achieved a turnover of EUR 75 million last year. The new company will be headed by only one person, Ingo Beyer, CEO of the Alanod Group, and the new logo for Alanod-Almeco only includes the Italian partner’s blue triangle.
 

Finland: One Solar Roof - Three Partners

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 4, 2013

The new Ruukki Classic Solar Thermal Roof from Finland was shown twice this summer: First at the Intersolar Europe in Munich, Germany, at the booth of Finnish company Savo-Solar in June and then at the Finnish Housing Fair in Hyvinkää, Finland, in August. Three rather different companies have been involved in manufacturing, selling and distributing this roof-integrated solar solution. Finnish company Savo-Solar, which specialises in the production of solar collectors based on aluminium absorber sheets, manufactures the collector modules, which are then integrated into steel roof solutions of the Finnish Rautaruukki Corporation (Ruukki), a company known for its steel constructions. The last step in the sales chain is Pohjolan Design-Talo, a Finnish supply company of prefabricated houses, which was also responsible for the demonstration house at the Hyvinkää housing fair.
Photo: Ruukki

SMEThermal 2013: 150 Experts Debate Future Solar Collector Generation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 4, 2013

The industry needs to aim for big targets to make sure solar heat will be able to contribute to a changing energy market. With this statement, Karl-Heinz Remmers, founder and CEO of German Solarpraxis, opened the fourth SMEThermal conference in Berlin on 29 January. More than 150 industry representatives and researchers from 25 countries used the conference to discuss the necessary future developments of collectors, system and production technology. The key topic of the first panel discussion: What will the collector of the next generation look like? One panellist side favoured full-polymeric collectors: Michael Sessler from Magen eco-Energy, Israel (left). The other side develops and produces metal collectors with all-aluminium direct-flow absorbers: Jari Varjotie, Savo-Solar, Finland.
Photos: Eva Augsten

Finland: “Most of Them Think: We Don’t Have Enough Sunshine”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2012

 Solar Thermal Installation in Finland The Finnish market for solar thermal technology is still in its infancy, but could offer a worthwhile potential. The solar radiation in southern Finland is only 10 to 15 % lower than in Northern Germany and the first domestic manufacturers have already presented collector solutions which would use this energy as efficient as possible.
Photo: www.alternative.fi

Finland: In-line Coating Machine for complete Direct-Flow Absorbers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 27, 2011

 Coating line” A full aluminium direct-flow absorber with a newly developed coating from Finland won one of the three Solar Thermal Intersolar Awards at the Intersolar 2011 in Munich, Germany. The photo shows the respective in-line coating machine by Finnish company Savo-Solar Oy. In cooperation with the Danish company Hydro Aluminium Precision Tubing, both companies were able to impress the jury with the new developed “Savo-Solar Al-MPE” absorber. The other two prizes went to Vetter Gesellschaft für Medizinische Datentechnik, Bio- und Umwelttechnik mbH, Germany, for developing a parabolic trough collector which opens up a diverse range of installation possibilities, and to Swedish company Absolicon Solar Concentrator for a PVT collector combining solar power generation with the use of solar heat.
Photo: Savo-Solar Oy

Solar Thermal Energy Solutions (2010)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on April 8, 2010

As heat accounts for almost 50% of the final energy demand in the EU, the use of solar thermal technologies should be considered as a very valuable option for EU member States when drafting the national renewable action plans, resulting from the so-called RES 2020 Directive (2009/28/EC).

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