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Germany: Tool to Calculate Solar Feed into District Heating Network

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 1, 2017
Map District Heating in GermanyInterest in solar district heating is growing in Germany. A map by German research organisation Solites shows the systems currently in operation to be 23 totalling 49,600 m² of collector area (34.7 MWth). Last year saw the addition of four installations with a combined area of 12,921 m²; one of them was Germany’s first record-size solar district heating plant in 11 years, in Senftenberg. Solites has now developed a tool to calculate the yield of SDH plants. Called SCFW 2.0 (ScenoCalc Fernwärme 2.0), it is available as a free download at www.scfw.de and is hoped to increase transparency by improving the comparability of solar district heating plants and solutions.
Map: Solites
 

ISH in Germany: Easy Selling – Heating Industry Starts Digital Marketing Journey

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 5, 2017
Junkers ISH 2017Traditionally, the ISH has been the biannual forum for the European heating industry to showcase product innovations and new business strategies. The big five in Europe – Bosch Thermotechnik with its brands Buderus and Junkers, Viessmann, Vaillant, Ariston and its Elco brand, and BDR Thermea with its brands Remeha, Brötje and De Dietrich – welcomed tens of thousands of installers to the international five-day business-to-business fair in Frankfurt, Germany, at the beginning of March 2017. They chose two entirely different ways of presenting the new generation of heating solutions: Viessmann and Junkers focused on online marketing and sales, whereas Vaillant and Buderus favoured system integration. “Easy selling” reads the exhibition wall at the booth of Junkers (see photo), where the new online marketing tool was shown to attendees. 
Photo: Bärbel Epp
 

Belarus: 287 Completed Systems Prove Growing Interest in Solar Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 16, 2017
The use of solar heat is becoming increasingly popular in Belarus, an eastern European country with around 10 million population. Official statistics from the Ministry of Energy put the number of systems installed across the country at 287; their combined collector area, however, has not been recorded. This article presents a selection of the solar thermal systems partly in residential use, but some have also been integrated into the facade of commercial buildings (left photo) as well as educational and healthcare facilities (right). Their collector size ranges from 4 to 100 m2.
Photos: All photos in this news article were provided by the owners of the solar thermal systems
 

Russia: “I estimate the potential at 2 million m², half each for tourism and single-family homes”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 31, 2017
Professor Vitaly ButuzovProfessor Vitaly A. Butuzov is one of Russia’s well-known experts on solar heating and cooling. He is professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Heat and Renewable Energy of Kuban State Agrarian University in Krasnodar, the capital of the region which bears its name. This region is one of the main economic centres in southern Russia. Additionally, Butuzov is Director of Krasnodar Power Technologies, which offers solar thermal systems in combination with geothermal units and energy efficiency projects. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with him about market development in Russia.
Photo taken from the website: http://www.c-o-k.ru/authors?id=1691
 

Germany: Vaillant Establishes End-Customer Online Platform

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 15, 2016
VaillantGerman Vaillant has launched a project which has stirred controversy among installers: Online platform heizungonline.vaillant.de can be used by manufacturers to directly address those end customers who wish to shop online – and send them a “price indication” for a complete heating system. Recent discussions have revolved around the question of whether this is a help to installation companies or if it interferes with their entrepreneurial freedom. 
Picture: heizungonline.vaillant.de
 

Switzerland: Solar Thermal Market Decline, Unclear Policy Situation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 28, 2016
In 2015, the solar collector area newly installed in Switzerland shrunk by 16 % compared to 2014. Imports outperformed domestic production, and larger systems for multi-family and commercial buildings, particularly those with vacuum tubes, have gained market shares. These are some of the key findings of the annual study published by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (see attached study in German and French). Some cantons will completely halt incentives for solar heat because of budget restrictions. 
 

Russia: Basel Aero Plans Solar Installations on Three Airports near Black Sea

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 8, 2016
Sochi AirportRussian airport operator Basel Aero, which is part of Russian financial conglomerate Basic Elements, is planning additional installations of solar collectors at airports managed by the company in Anapa, Gelendzhik and Krasnodar near the Black Sea, according to a March 2016 press release. The enterprise has devoted special attention to environmental issues: It had already had a solar collector system installed on the roof of the Sochi airport in 2014, before the start of the Olympic Winter Games. The new terminal in Anapa will also be built using energy-saving technologies and eco-friendly materials.
Photo: Viessmann
 

Germany: Thermondo Digitalises Heating Industry Planning and Sales

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 29, 2016
Thermondo Management TeamStart-up Thermondo, based in Berlin, Germany, has turned the tables on sales and planning methods for home heating systems. Not only does the company generate its turnover online, it also leaves most of the planning for heating installations to a computer algorithm called “Manfred”. Surprisingly, Philipp Pausder, one of the two managing directors of Thermondo, said that the most important outcome of the new strategy wasn’t low prices but great service. The photo shows Thermondo’s three founding members (from left): Philipp Pausder, Florian Tetzlaff and Kristofer Fichtner.
Photo: Thermondo
 

Great Britain: Solar thermal proposed to exit the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 8, 2016
The previously reported rumours of significant changes for solar thermal support in the UK have now been confirmed by the government in a consultation proposal on 3 March. Already we knew the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in Northern Ireland is suspended to all new renewable technologies. We now also know for new solar thermal systems in the rest of the UK that RHI support is proposed to be removed in 2017. This is for both RHI schemes domestic and non-domestic. The details have been released under the consultation document ‘The Renewable Heat Incentive: A reformed and refocused scheme’ (see attached pdf). The industry can comment to this consultation before the 27th April 2016. Already on the same day the Solar Trade Association (STA) published a protest note titled: British manufacturers and social housing providers join call for urgent rethink.

France: Monitoring Innovations – Rebuilding Investor Confidence

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 22, 2015
 Tecsol Monitoring Device“The French market has been suffering from inadequately performing solar thermal installations made in the boom years of 2009 to 2011 because of untrained installers,” said Edwige Gautier, Project Coordinator at Enerplan, the Union of Professionals in Solar Energy, during her speech at SHC2015 in Istanbul at the beginning of December. “We need to rebuild investor confidence in solar thermal.” Training and installation manuals are one way to achieve this aim, monitoring systems would be another. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that two solar thermal innovations were conceived in France this year: Tecsol’s One Thermique and the storage tank touchscreens by Viessmann with its storage tank and collector factory in Faulquemont, France. 
 

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