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Smart Heat: Ruvi Solar Highlights Customer Experience

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 14, 2016
Studies by different consulting companies, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Oliver Wyman, agree that information technology will revolutionise the energy sector from the ground up. Along with the trend of “digitalisation” goes the one of “customer centricity”, which means putting the end users’ preferences and way of thinking in the focus of product design – just as has been done by providers of convenience products. The energy sector in general and solar thermal in particular have hardly pushed the issue into the public spotlight. Now the Austrian start-up ruvi created a new solution to monitor solar thermal systems. The company’s novel approach: Make solar thermal easily understandable without forcing the user to read a manual. 
 

Austria: Low Oil Price and Lack of Political Support Weakens Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 15, 2016
Heating with oilAccording to the ISOL Index by solrico and market data from the industry association Austria Solar, the solar thermal industry is heading into another year of declining markets. Low oil prices and corresponding campaigns of the fossil heating industry have had a substantial impact on this renewable technology. The banner shows the slogan “Heizen mit Öl – das zahlt sich aus” (The Benefits of Using Oil to Heat Your Home) on the website of the Austrian mineral oil industry, which offers grants of EUR 2,500 for the installation of a condensing oil boiler in a single-family building. Austria Solar has also criticised the reduction in the renewable budget of the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund as well as the complicated incentive scheme rules throughout the states. The large-scale project market is what keeps the industry alive. 

Austria: Gasokol and Sunwin Merge

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 18, 2014
SunWin and GasokolAustria’s market consolidation continues: At the beginning of December 2014, the two collector manufacturers Gasokol and Sunwin announced that they would merge their businesses and manufacturing activities. Sunwin´s modern production line would be moved from Pasching, where Sunwin´s company headquarters are located, to Saxen, Gasokol’s headquarters 50 kilometres away, and the new manufacturer would start operating at the beginning of 2015. According to the press release, the offerings of the two companies would still be available after the merger. The photo shows Gasokol´s Managing Director Ronald Gattringer (left) shaking hands with Sunwin´s Managing Director Hans Neunteufel. 
Photo: Gasokol
 

Austria: Fully Solar-Heated Commercial Buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 31, 2014
HabauThe entirely solar-heated production hall of Austrian company Habau Hoch- und Tiefbaugesellschaft has been Harald Kuster’s largest project to date. Since June this year, 1,410 m² of collector area manufactured by Austrian company Gasokol supply process heat in summer and heating in winter and ensure that sunlight alone heats the newly built 7,700 m² halls (see photo). Kuster is Managing Director of Austrian planning company FIN – Future is Now Kuster Energielösungen and an expert in designing and building solar heating systems which make effective use of a building’s thermal mass. He calls his solution VollSolar Häuser (translated as FullySolar Buildings). Kuster has planned 25 construction projects over the last 7 years, most of them commercial buildings. None of these commercial and residential structures required any conventional heating system.
Photo: Habau Hoch- und Tiefbaugesellschaft
 

Europe/Asia: Solar Cooling Gains Traction

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 3, 2012

Large Japanese and Chinese companies have recently taken a greater interest in solar cooling. The photo shows an installation by Chinese company Jiangsu Huineng New Energy Technology (Huin), which started supplying solar cooling systems this year. New system kits help drive down costs, although investments in sorption chillers are still higher than for compression chillers. After the Intersolar Europe conference in Munich, Germany, and its dedicated solar cooling session, Uli Jakob, Vice President of the German sorption chiller association Green Chiller, noted: “Solar cooling was one of the highlights of the conference.”
Photo: Huin

Solar Cooling Market to experience big Changes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 18, 2011

 Uli Jakob” According to Dr Uli Jakob, Vice President of the “Green Chiller - Association for Sorption Cooling”, the solar cooling sector may soon experience a shift from small series production of a niche market to considerable manufacturing quantities. Jakob points out two signs supporting such a development: First, the approval of the IEA-SHC task 48, “Quality Assurance and Support Measures for Solar Cooling“; second, the recent market entry of big players, such as Stiebel Eltron (Germany) and Hitachi (Japan).
Photo: Bärbel Epp

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