The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme has published a Call for Nominations for its 2017 Solar Award. Until 1 May 2017, administrators of successful SHC support programmes or policies can be nominated for the award, which will be presented at the International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry taking place in Abu Dhabi from 29 October to 2 November. “Recipients will have demonstrated substantial achievement and measurable market impact from a programme / policy measure implemented in the last 5 to 10 years to support solar heating and cooling,” the call announcement reads. Nominations can be submitted online.
The Canadian Drake Landing Solar Community has hit a new performance milestone, recording its first year of solar-only space heating during heating season 2015-2016. The community’s SDH plant, which has been in operation since 2007, was initially designed to achieve a solar fraction of 92 to 93 % for space heat in an average year. System improvements have increased that share and have made last winter the first time that solar energy was able to meet 100 % of the space heating requirements of the 52 energy-efficient residential buildings. The families heat their hot water with their own solar water heaters and gas-fired boilers. The initiator of the project was Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), which has since remained the central technical support.
Seasonal storage is a key component in the transformation of today’s energy industry. Besides storing energy in summer for heating in winter, it can also be used to save waste heat from the industry and to increase the electricity production from biomass CHP plants. Experiences gathered with the technology during case studies were summarised as part of the study Seasonal thermal energy storage – Report on state of the art and necessary further R+D, which was published by Task 45, Large Scale Solar Heating and Cooling Systems, of the IEA SHC programme. Together with the Guidelines for Materials & Construction on the two most common storage types, borehole (see the chart) and water pit, it provides a good overview of the current advancements in this field (all three documents attached). Additional research into the design of seasonal storage will be carried out in follow-up Task 55, Towards the Integration of Large SHC Systems into District Heating and Cooling (DHC) Network. Interested stakeholders have been invited to join the kick-off meeting of Task 55 in Graz, Austria, between 19 and 21 October (see contact details below).
Europe’s first International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry, the SHC 2013, has been a success. Between 23 and 25 September, around 400 participants from 37 different countries met in Freiburg in the south of Germany to discuss research, technology and market-related issues. This was almost double the number of experts which had joined the first SHC conference last year in San Francisco. The 15 keynote speeches, 90 oral and 140 poster presentations covered a huge variety of topics from engineering and new materials to enhancing already available products.
After the really good year of 2010, the Canadian solar thermal industry was facing a difficult market situation in 2011. According to the annual Survey of Active Solar Thermal Collectors, Industry and Markets in Canada 2011, the total sold collector area decreased by 29%, dropping from 252,146 m² in 2010 to 179,971 m² in 2011. Air collector sales (purple line) decreased by almost two-thirds of the 2008 level. The sectors of solar swimming pool collectors (blue line) and water-based systems (red line) recorded a downward trend as well.
2010 was a good year for the solar thermal industry in Canada. The total newly installed collector area (brown line) grew by 54 %, from 129,418 to 199,491 m2. Air collector sales (red line) doubled and - for the first - overtook the solar swimming pool market (blue line), which is more or less stagnating. With 150 %, the segment of glazed solar water collectors (pink line) experienced the highest growth, although the 20,000 m2 sold in 2010 make it still a low-level market. Source: NRCan
As Bruce Sibbitt, Engineer at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), announced during his presentation at the Solar World Congress in Kassel, Germany, in September, the solar district heating system at the Drake Landing Solar Community has - in its fourth year in operation - almost reached the planned solar fraction of 90 %. In addition to borehole heat storage of 34,000 m3, the system is equipped with two short-term storage tanks, which have a capacity of 120 m3 of water each. Photo: Natural Resources Canada
The prospects for the Canadian solar thermal sector are becoming cloudy. “The final day for the receipt of requests for payment under the ecoEnergy for Renewable heat programme was 31 January 2011,” Al Clark, Senior Advisor & Manager for the ecoEnergy for Renewable Heat programme at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), confirmed. The final results of the four-year programme will not be available before March 2010.
Canada overhauls its standards for solar collectors: The Public Review Draft of the new F378 Series has currently been posted to the CSA Public Review website. Comments can be submitted until 29 January 2011. The F378 Series includes liquid based collectors, as well as all types of solar air collectors. Photo: Yoursolarhome
After experiencing high growth in 2008, Canada’s solar thermal industry had to cope with mixed results in 2009. The Survey of Active Solar Thermal Collectors, Industry and Markets in Canada (2009), conducted by Natural Resources Canada in the period from December 2009 to March 2010, shows that only the manufacturers of air collectors were able to increase their sold collector area. The chart illustrates how domestic solar collector sales in Canada have developed over the past 10 years. Source: Natural Resources Canada