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Switzerland: Borehole Storage Regeneration as Solar Thermal’s Ray of Hope

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 22, 2016
Solarwärme SchweizOn 24 November, the fifth Solar Heat Switzerland (Solarwärme Schweiz) conference organised by the solar industry association Swissolar, the building services association suissetec and the Federal Office of Energy was held in Lucerne, Switzerland. As 2017 funding for solar heat incentives remains in doubt in several cantons and the priorities of the country´s energy policy haven’t been announced yet, the market outlook for solar thermal has not been very encouraging. But there seems to be a ray of hope in the form of low-temperature collectors for borehole regeneration and solar district heating. Click here to download the German-language presentations from the conference.
Photo: Swissolar
 

IEA SHC: New PVT System Enhancement Research

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 20, 2016
PVT Optimisation ChartAfter seven years, the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) is planning to launch another international research cooperation on PVT technology. PVT includes panels which combine photovoltaics and solar thermal into one unit either as glazed or unglazed systems. The first and only task on PVT systems was completed in June 2010. The new one, entitled Application of PVT Collectors and New Solutions with PVT Systems, is in the definition phase. It is expected to start in July 2017 and run for 3.5 years. Interested researchers and industry representatives have been invited to attend a two-day workshop at ETH university in Zurich, Switzerland, from 16 March (1 p.m.) to 17 March (12 a.m.) in order to discuss crucial aspects and the structure of the global initiative.
Chart: Jean-Christophe Hadorn, Swiss energy consultant, contracted by the SFOE, Switzerland
 

Spain: EuroSun 2016 Focuses on Complete Solar Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 27, 2016
Wolfgang Streicher; Eicke Weber; Victor Martinez MollFrom 11 to 14 October, more than 300 experts in solar energy met in Palma de Mallorca for the EuroSun 2016 conference. Organised by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) in cooperation with the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), the conference is attended mainly by scientists and industry stakeholders from the solar heating and cooling sector. But for the first time, speakers also included well-known specialists from the photovoltaics sector. Two panel discussions illustrated the wide range of opinions on solar heat and solar electricity market development and the technologies' competitors. The photo shows Professor Eicke Weber (middle), newly elected Vice President of ISES and Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE) based in Freiburg, Germany, and two of the three conference chairs: Professor Wolfgang Streicher (left) from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and Professor Víctor Martínez Moll (right) from the UIB.
Photo: Eva Augsten
 

Switzerland: The Advantages of Solar Thermal and Heat Pump Combinations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 17, 2013

Combining a heat pump and a solar thermal system increases overall system efficiency and substantially reduces the heat pump’s electricity consumption. The various possibilities of using both technologies together were illustrated by Dr Michel Haller’s presentation entitled "Solar and Heat Pump Systems - A Question of Technology?" and held at the SHC conference in Freiburg (see attached document). Haller is project leader at the Swiss Institute for Solar Technology, SPF, in Rapperswil. The ideal combination depends on the type of application, the type of collector and the local climate conditions. The figure above shows a common parallel configuration.
Figure: SPF Rapperswil

Germany/Poland: Hydro Aluminium Pipes as Standard Product soon

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 18, 2011

 Aluminium tube” Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro ASA announced its first clients to order aluminium tubes for the production of absorbers in a press release at the end of January. In the press release, the corporation named German collector manufacturer Solarbayer GmbH and Polish collector manufacturer Hewalex as the first to do so.
Photo: Hydro

Europe: First Call for Solar Certification Fund Proposals

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 3, 2011

The European Solar Certification Fund (SCF) - recently founded by the Solar Keymark Network - launched its first call for project proposals. They can be submitted to scf@estif.org until 14 January 2011, using a template provided on the website. It is estimated that in 2011, around EUR 130,000 to 150,000 will be added to the approx. EUR 90,000 to 100,000 that have been paid into the fund in 2010.

European Facilities Testing Products for the US Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 31, 2009

 SPF Institute Switzerland” Accredited for SRCC testing: The SPF Institute for Solar Technology from Switzerland is one of six European testing institutes being able to test collectors according to quality standards by the US-American Solar Rating & Certification Corporation.
Photo: SPF Rapperswil

Monopoly on Laser Welding in the USA

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 3, 2009

laser welding machineLaser welding machine for absorber sheets: A patent in the United States could slowdown the development of this technology.
Photo: Sunlaser Consulting

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