German company Consolar offers a heating system called SOLAERA, which combines a heat pump with a specially designed solar collector and a heat storage space using the latent heat released when water freezes to ice (see photo). The solar heat pump system with 18 m² of collector area, a 300 litre ice storage space and a 1,000 litre buffer tank provides enough energy to heat a well-insulated building in Germany. In a field test by a local environment group, Lokale Agenda 21, it achieved a Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 5.6, putting performance even above prior simulations. The SPF describes the ratio of delivered heat to electricity consumed over the entire year. Consolar sold about 160 solar heat pump systems in total, mostly in Germany but also in Denmark, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Italy. The systems there achieved SPFs between 3.5 and 6, depending on collector field size, maximum flow temperature and heat demand.
Managers from four different companies showcasing one innovation – a rare occurrence, even at a large fair like the ISH 2015 in Frankfurt. At the beginning of March, Rudolf Pfeil, CEO of Resol, Christian Beckmann, Sales Manager Key Account and OEM at Wilo, Günter Kohlmaier, CEO of Kioto Solar, and Karsten Pillukeit, CEO of Esbe Group (from left), jointly presented the newly developed fresh water module, Fresh Hydro, at the booth of Kioto Solar. Thanks to a patented temperature control, the fresh water module offers rapid response times without over- or undershooting. The developers have promised a comfortable showering experience at 40 to 160 litres per minute and a temperature of 45 °C. The fresh water system was one of a number of solar thermal innovations at the ISH which were worth taking a closer look.
Large storage capacity, modular design, high storage density and low heat losses: These are the current requirements for solar thermal heat storage. The result is that hot water storage products are often stretched to their limits. Alternatives could be phase change materials (PCMs) or thermo-chemical materials (TCMs). During the SMEThermal 2014 conference in Berlin, Dr Henner Kerskes, Research Associate at the Research and Testing Centre for Thermal Solar Systems, TZS, of the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and Monte C Magill, Business Development Director at US company Entropy Solutions, explained the design, operation and possibilities of latent heat and thermo-chemical energy storage solutions (see the attached documents).
According to a press release by German manufacturer Consolar, the solar thermal system at the Antarctic polar station "Princess Elisabeth" is going to be expanded during the current research season 2010/2011. The station of the International Polar Foundation (IPF) started its work in February 2009 and is the first polar research base operating entirely on renewable energies (see http://www.solarthermalworld.org/node/605). Thomas Gillon (photo) from the Belgium office of Consolar put the two systems through their paces and could confirm their flawless operation even under extreme weather conditions. Photo: International Polar Foundation
Producing heat in the cold climate of the Antarctic: The vacuum tube collectors from the German manufacturer Consolar cover the entire heating demand of the first emission-free polar research station, called Princess Elisabeth. Photo: Consolar