There is a distinct difference between the make-up of the German solar process heat segment and the country’s solar thermal market in general and it concerns the type of collectors used. One in four collectors used in solar process heat systems is an air collector, although the technology contributes only around 10 % to the total collector area newly installed each year. The same has been true for vacuum tube systems, which showed a 35 % share in solar process heat installations among approved projects in 2016 – despite an overall market share of only 9 % last year. All figures are based on statistics provided by the University of Kassel’s Institute of Thermal Engineering, which has been in charge of the research accompanying the subsidy scheme on solar process heat under the auspices of Germany’s Market Rebate Programme for Renewable Energies or MAP.
Chart: solrico, source: Institute of Thermal Engineering, University of Kassel
In spring 2012, a solar air collector system was installed on the roof of the gymnasium at the primary school "Dr Jovan Cvijie" in Smederevo, Serbia. The panels were set up to ensure regular heating and ventilation of the hall, as well as hot water in the showers. This first air collector project in Serbia was realised in the context of an environmental project, which aims to increase the use of renewable energy in the city’s public buildings.
Photo: Danone Solar
Since December 2011, a total of 81 solar air collectors by German manufacturer Grammer Solar have supplied the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin with sun-heated air. The air collector system is part of an energy savings contract that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has drawn up together with the German Energy Agency (dena) and the energy efficient building specialists of YIT Germany GmbH in 2011. The overall aim is to save more than EUR 600,000 in operation costs and around 1,780 tons of CO2 emissions per year. Photo: Grammer Solar
Air collector systems of Grammer can now be simulated and planned with the new version 5.0 of T*SOL Pro, the dynamic simulation programme for the design and planning of solar thermal systems, developed by German company Valentin Software. The programme is the result of a close collaboration with German air collector manufacturer Grammer Solar.
It looks quite simple, this perforated, transparent plastic cover Christian Vachon, President of Enerconcept Technologies, is holding in his hands. The above-shown cover, however, achieved the best performance factor ever reached in the collector ranking of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Photo: Stephanie Banse
Air collector companies exist very much in the shadows of the manufacturers of water collectors. Therefore a Solar Air Heating World Industry Association (SAHWIA) is necessary. But not all manufacturers are pleased with the procedure that lead to the association’s founding. Photo: Solarwall