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National Renewable Energy Laboratories

USA: Californian Solar Process Heat Potential and Gas Price Competitiveness

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2016
Researchers at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have observed a renewed interest in solar process heat applications in recent years, mainly thanks to “the improvement and proliferation of solar collectors for electricity generation and the development of sophisticated solar collector modelling tools.” Last year, two of those researchers – Parthiv Kurup and Craig Turchi – conducted a study on the potential of solar process heat provided by concentrating collector technologies in California (see the attached document). This study, entitled Initial Investigation into the Potential of CSP Industrial Process Heat for the Southwest United States, was supported by the US Department of Energy and was published in November 2015. The chart taken from it shows the annual energy use of steam in industry segments which utilise the largest amount of gas. The study’s authors found the temperature range from about 120 to 220 °C to be of great interest, as it enables the use of concentrating optics and of water as the heat transfer fluid. 
Chart: Page 22 of the attached study
 

USA: Utility Networking for Solar Thermal Energy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 16, 2011

 Logo USH2O” A unique network promoting solar thermal energy has developed in the USA: The Utility Solar Water Heating Initiative (USH2O) launched in 1994 offers utilities, as well as companies related to the solar thermal sector, the opportunity of concerted advocacy initiatives, and exchanging knowledge and experiences. The aim of USH2O is to facilitate the successful implementation of utility solar water heating programmes and educate stakeholders about the potential of solar heating and cooling technologies.

Field Monitoring of Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems Based on Simple Tank Temperature (1995)

Submitted by Hans Craen on November 5, 2009

This report was a joint effort from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, prepared for the American Solar Energy Society at the Solar 1995 Conference. This report has equations to use to calculate solar loop gain and tank losses. Analysis is based upon the tank energy balance – identifying solar gain during the day and tank losses at night. These gains and losses can be compared to expectations based upon prior knowledge and estimated weather conditions.

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