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India: Hybrid Solar Heat Pump System Brings Power Consumption down by a Factor 10 on sunny days

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 16, 2016
 
A typical solar hot water system based on thermosiphon technology works only during sunny days. During monsoon and overcast days, however, it is necessary to use alternative means of heating, largely based on electricity. In addition, when more hot water is required temporarily, the solar thermal storage tank restricts the capacity available for the next day – unless auxiliary electrical heating is used. To improve hot water availability, Indian solar water heater manufacturer Emmvee Solar has developed a hybrid system called Solarizer Elite, a combination of a pumped solar system and a heat pump, which is suitable for large homes with hot water demand for multiple applications. Emmvee has installed around ten systems during a field test.
Photo: Emmvee Solar

Worldwide: Largest Flat Plate Collector Manufacturers in 2013

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 5, 2014
The number one in the ranking of the worldwide largest flat plate collector manufacturers based on collector area produced in 2013 is still Austrian OEM collector manufacturer Greenonetec, followed by three non-European manufacturers from BRICS countries: Soletrol from Brazil, as well as two companies from China, Prosunpro and Five Star. Germany’s largest flat plate collector manufacturer, Bosch Thermotechnik, only came in fifth place, down from being second in the previous ranking in 2012. German agency solrico created the ranking after carrying out a worldwide survey among companies serving the solar thermal sector in September and October 2014. Who has ranked how well this year shows a lot about the international trends of the global solar thermal industry. 
Source: solrico / manufacturers' information
 

India: Chinese Manufacturers Dominate Solar Business at REI Expo 2014

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 20, 2014
REI Expo 2014Solar energy played a very prominent role during the 8th edition of the Renewable Energy India (REI) Expo 2014, which took place in the National Capital Region at the beginning of September: Close to 60 % of the nearly 375 booths presented solar PV and solar thermal technology, whereas the share had been a mere 15 to 20 % a few years ago. This year’s trade fair also saw an increasing interest in low-temperature solar thermal products. Most of the 50 exhibitors offering goods in this segment were vacuum tube and collector manufacturers from China. Donthi Manjunatha, Managing Director of Emmvee, whose company has been a regular exhibitor since the first expo, says “that fairs are the best opportunity to meet commercial clients searching for customised large-scale project solutions.” The conference organisers, however, failed to find any speaker from the solar thermal industry, despite the technology’s maturity and national importance.
Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy
 

SMEThermal 2014: “Take the risk away from the customer and the financier”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 4, 2014
SMEThermal 2014Solar thermal is not just about technology, it´s also about financing. It takes much more than just an improved, mature technology to have a successful industry. It needs new business models which attract the financial sector and it requires transparency in terms of performance and costs when dealing with commercial clients. These were the major topics of a roundtable discussion at SMEThermal 2014 in Berlin, Germany, on 18 February 2014. Solar thermal specialists from three different continents – Europe, Asia and North America – presented their case studies at the conference (from left): Søren Elisiussen, CEO of Arcon Solar (Denmark), Nicholas Atkins, Managing Partner of Georgieff Capital Advisors (United Kingdom), Thippegowda Srinath, Technical Director at Emmvee Solar Systems (India), Justin Schafer, Product Manager at Skyline Innovations (USA) and Robin Welling, Managing Director of Tisun (Austria). The roundtable discussion was chaired by Bärbel Epp, Managing Director of solrico (Germany).
Photos: Stephanie Banse
 

India: College Hostel Enjoys Very Competitive Solar Heat Prices

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 3, 2014
srinathCost-competitive heat prices can be a convincing argument for solar thermal in India. That shows the case study of a solar hot water system for the college hostel of the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) in the city of Hyderabad in the south of India. The calculations by solar thermal system supplier Emmvee Solar Systems result in a solar heat price of 3.2 Indian Rupees (INR) per kWhth (39 EUR/MWh) over a life cycle of 10 years, whereas electric water heaters would cost the university 6.7 INR/kWhth (82 EUR/MWh) - double as much. The price per kWh from an oil boiler would even be as high as 8 INR/kWhth (100 EUR/MWh). Thippegowda Srinath, Technical Director at Emmvee Solar Systems, presented the case study during the panel discussion New Business Models for the Solar Thermal Industry at the international conference SMEThermal 2014 in Berlin, Germany, on 18 February.
Photo: Stephanie Banse
 

Austria/Europe: General Solar Systems and Sonnenkraft Management Buyout

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 27, 2014
Since 1 January 2014, General Solar Systems (GSS), one of the biggest solar thermal system suppliers in Europe, has had a new owner: Together with Austrian investors, former GSS Financial Director Primus Spitzer took over the company from Danish Solarcap, a subsidiary of VKR Holding. The takeover was announced in a press release on 3 February 2014. GSS with its well-known brand Sonnenkraft is now owned by Austrian company PS Helios headquartered in St Veit, Austria, with Spitzer being the only shareholder. According to the press release, GSS employed nearly 150 staff and achieved a turnover of around EUR 45 million in 2013.
 

India: Ministry Presents Awards to Eight Solar Thermal Manufacturers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 7, 2014
On 17 December 2014, the Indian Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah, presented in New Delhi awards to the most successful Channel Partners of the national solar thermal subsidy scheme. In front of around 250 participants from policy, industry and media, Dr Abdullah (third from right) announced the ten winners of National Solar Thermal Awards in the solar water heater category and, for the first time, in the category of concentrating solar thermal (CST) collectors. The awards recognised manufacturers achieving the highest total sales, the highest growth rates, the best dealer network and the highest export rates (see the table below).
Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy

India: New Five-Year Guarantee on Solar Tanks

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 2, 2013

Many Indian regions suffer from bad water quality: More than 75% of the country has moderately hard to very hard water. Chloride levels are also high in specific areas when water is obtained from boreholes. The “desired” legal chloride limit for drinking water is 0.25 g/litre, but is allowed to increase to 1 g /litre. As a result, solar thermal storage tanks gradually corrode and tend to develop leaks. Statistics obtained from the national Helpline show that over 70% of product-related complaints are about leakages in storage tanks. The photo shows a corroded extremely scaled hot water tank.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

India: Flat Plate vs Vacuum Tube Technology

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2012

Until now, the Indian solar thermal market has been dominated by flat plate collectors (FPCs). FPCs have several advantages, with the main being robust and long-lasting. In a price-sensitive market such as the Indian one, however, vacuum tube collectors (VTCs) have gained a foothold over the last years because the systems are 30% to 40% cheaper if the glass tubes are imported from China. Although there is no official data available, VTCs are said to have reached a 35% share in the Indian market. In the fiscal year 2011/2012, market volume reached a newly installed collector area of 1 million m² (see interview with Tarun Kapoor). The photo shows flat plate collectors on high-rise, residential buildings in western India.
Photo: Kaushal Solar

MNRE Congrats for Winners of UNDP GSWH Project

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 13, 2012

India has been one of the great beneficiaries of the Global Solar Water Heating Market Transformation and Strengthening Initiative (GSWH Project). The initiative, which was financed and implemented by the UN organisations UNDP/UNEP and GEF, has sought to speed up the growth of the solar water heater market around the globe. To reach its aim, the GSWH project has chosen a variety of options: generate demand, strengthen the supply chain, adopt quality measures and establish a supportive regulatory environment. The UNDP team has already pointed to India as the most successful example among the benefitting countries. To honour valuable contributions, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) organised a National Workshop on 23 August 2012 in New Delhi. At the workshop, the Energy Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, presented a total of thirteen awards to State Nodal Agencies, municipal corporations and Channel Partners. The GSWH project started in September 2008 and will end by December 2012.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

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