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IEA SHC Task 54: Investigating Cost Factors Along the Value Chain

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 22, 2017
Task 54 RWTH AachenResearchers have worked intensively for one-and-a-half years across national borders to find ways of reducing the costs of solar thermal systems and making them more attractive to end users. The members of Task 54 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, Price Reduction of Solar Thermal Systems, have discussed the effects of standardised product designs or changes in product offerings on cost structures. They have also analysed the entire value chain from component manufacture to system assembly and installation to help identify cost-cutting potential. This is the first time that methods of Process Cost Analysis are being adapted for the solar thermal business. “The share of overhead (e.g. marketing, sales, logistics, quality management and maintenance) has increased significantly, from 30 to 60 % of total product expenses over the last 50 years. This means we will have to investigate the relationship between technology, product portfolio and overhead,” explained Wolfgang Kramer, Head of the Solar Thermal Heating Systems Department at German-based Fraunhofer ISE. “To this end, the process cost analysis provides important quantitative information.” For example, the chart illustrates the issue of having a wider product portfolio and its impact on competitiveness and profitability. The model is currently being adapted for the solar industry in Task 54 as part of German research programme TEWIsol.
Chart: RWTH Aachen University
 

IEA SHC: How to Turn Historic Structures into Nearly Zero Energy Buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 17, 2017
Villa CastelliMore than one-fourth of all residential buildings in Europe date from before 1945. Over the past decade, preservationists have taken to the idea of renovating historic structures in an energy-efficient manner. The planned IEA SHC task titled Deep Renovation of Historic Buildings Towards Lowest Possible Energy Demand and CO2 Emission intends to find the best solutions to this challenge. The photo shows the Villa Castelli at Lake Como in Italy. The energy requirements of the building have been reduced and the remaining demand has been met by a heat pump and PV-generated electricity. 
Photo: Oscar Stuffer, Solarraum
 

IRENA: Renewable District Heating and Cooling Roadmap to 2030

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 27, 2017
District Heating PotentialThe International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has published an industry roadmap for Renewable Energy in District Heating and Cooling (DHC) as part of its REmap 2030 project. This study analysed the current state of the DHC market in eleven countries – with a focus on district heating in seven and one on district cooling in the other four – and examined the long-term potential of the two technologies in these countries (see the attached PDF). The countries chosen for the study have distinctly different market environments. Two of them are Denmark and Switzerland, which have had the highest share of renewables in their energy supply (around 40 %); a third one is China, the largest market for DHC today, but one on which renewable energy has yet to play a role at all. The chart shows the key factors impacting the potential of renewable DHC. The aim of the renewable energy roadmap (REmap) programme is to show a path towards doubling the share of renewables in the global energy mix by 2030.
Chart: IRENA
 

Germany: Troubling Times for Wooden In-Roof Collectors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 24, 2017
wooden-frame solar collectorsWooden-frame solar collectors installed by the German cooperative BUSO Bund Solardach may have been the cause of at least 11 fires in 2015 and 2016, listed by solarsicherheit.com. It looks as if fire broke out during collector stagnation. BUSO, a cooperative of about 100 solar installers, was one of the pioneers of solar roof installations in Germany. It used collectors produced by Buschbeck, a company which went bankrupt last year. 
Photo: ifs-ev.org
 

Germany: Process Heat Supply from Vacuum Tubes and Air Collectors on the Rise

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 21, 2017
Process Heat StatisticsThere 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
 

GET Nord 2018, Hamburg

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 13, 2017
Sustainability, high energy efficiency, increased flexibility and safety are just a few of the requirements builders demand of modern constructions. GET Nord supplies the answers. From 22 to 24 November 2018 the trade fair in Hamburg will again become the most important meeting-place for the entire HVAC and electrical engineering industry in northern Europe. For tradespeople and also for the industrial sector, architects, planning offices and the housing industry.
 

ISH 2019, Frankfurt

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 12, 2017
The International trade fair for Bathroom, Building, Energy, Air-conditioning Technology and Renewable Energies ISH 2019 will take place from 12 to 16 March 2019 in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. ISH 2017 brought together 2,482 companies and welcomed more than 200,000 visitors.
 

IEA SHC Task 50: LightingRetrofitAdviser.com for Investors and Planners

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 6, 2017
IEA SHC Task 50A redesign of lighting systems in office or public buildings helps to save electricity and improve lighting quality, as the office building of the Austrian company Bartenbach on the photos shows. However, lighting systems are rarely upgraded: For example, in Germany, retrofits can only be found in 3 % of the existing building stock and 75 % of lighting systems are out of date, as they are older than 25 years. To support planners and investors in their decision on what would be the most apt lighting retrofit, the researchers of Task 50 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, Advanced Lighting Solutions for Retrofitting Buildings, have launched a website called www.lightingretrofitadviser.com and an app for Android and iOS devices. Both provide stakeholders with information about successful case studies of lighting retrofits in buildings, a database of technologies as well as tools, for example, to give direct onsite support for decision making, whether it is sensible to retrofit a lighting system. A webinar on 21 March explained all the services and features of the new website and app. A recording of it is available online.
Photos: Bartenbach
 

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
 

Europe: Comparing Solar Keymark Data on Collectors with Foil or Double Glass Cover to Ones Without

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 3, 2017
KBB large-scale collectorDenmark’s success story in solar district heating, with 2016 having been another record year which almost doubled newly installed collector area to around 500,000 m², showcases the large potential of this type of application across Europe. Cost cuts in the supply chain are key: Two vital factors are fast installation and less hydraulic work on site. The answer by manufacturers to these challenges has been to design large-scale prefabricated collectors. Suppliers of vacuum tube collectors offer modular designs for easy mounting of collectors above 10 m²; large flat plate versions come as one piece and certified by Solar Keymark. The yearly market surveys by German magazine Sonne Wind & Wärme show that the number of certified flat plate collector panels above 10 m² of gross collector area has increased in Europe in recent years. As of 29 March 2017, the magazine’s online collector database listed 62 models from eight brands compared to 20 types of collectors in October 2015.
Photo: KBB
 

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