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Three labels in Europe – what are the differences?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 22, 2018
collector labels Solergy (left) and Solar Keymark (centre top) as well as the EU Energy Efficiency label (right)Labels and trademarks should give the end-consumer a clear feedback on the quality and performance of the labelled product. Currently there are three labels available for solar products or solar assisted heating systems in Europe, so there is an increasing need to explain the differences to market players as well as customers. The chart above shows the two voluntary collector labels Solergy (left) and Solar Keymark (centre top) as well as the EU Energy Efficiency label (right) which is obligatory for water, space and combi heaters under the Energy Labelling (ELD) and the Ecodesign (EDD) Directives  since September 2015. 

Optimised control strategy for solar district heating in Italy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 20, 2018
Photo: Linea Reti e ImpiantiDespite its small size, the solar district heating system in Lodi, close to Milan, is one of few in Italy to feed surplus heat into a local network. In March 2017, Linea Reti e Impianti, the public utility based in this city of 45,000, started buying heat produced by a 192 m² solar thermal installation. The system is owned by Sporting Lodi, a public-private partnership that operates the local sports centre, which includes a swimming pool (see photo). Marco Calderoni, a researcher working at the Politecnico di Milano, and his colleagues have recently suggested using a new approach to reduce the supply temperature in the solar circuit to increase performance. This article is based on a presentation given by Calderoni during the 5th International Solar District Heating Conference in Graz in April. 
Photo: Linea Reti e Impianti

“Racing down the renewable electricity pathway only”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 17, 2018
Renewables 2018 Global Status ReportThe Renewables 2018 Global Status Report illustrates the sharp difference in growth between the renewable electricity and heat markets. Whereas PV had another record year, with newly installed capacity totalling at least 98 GWp in 2017, up from 75 GWp, and wind its third-best ever, by adding 52 GW, solar heating and cooling increased by only 35 GWth – a 4 % drop compared to 2016. “Transformation is picking up speed in the electric power sector, but urgent action is required in heating, cooling and transport,” was the key message of a press release published by Paris-based REN21. The report, launched at the beginning of June, has been followed by a series of speeches at events in Manila, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, Washington and New York. The press release, translated into 12 languages, has been picked up by media outlets around the globe. 

Green hotel in Italy’s mountains

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 5, 2018
Photo: Luca Degiorgis / DegmarSolar thermal performs well even in high-mountain areas during winter season. The installation shown in the photo is proof that combining solar and other renewable technologies, such as biomass boilers and a solar-assisted heat pump, results in a synergy that can be very productive. The renewable heating system may have had a price tag of EUR 150,900 but uses innovative solutions, including phase change materials, to store thermal energy and saves EUR 16,000 per year.
Photo: Luca Degiorgis / Degmar

A survey of the global market for concentrating collectors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 1, 2018
Graphic: Solar PaybackConcentrating collector technologies are becoming an increasingly popular choice for customers requiring industrial heat or space heating. This year’s Renewables 2018 Global Status Report includes, for the first time, data regarding new installations of concentrating systems. Published at the beginning of June by the Paris-based REN21 network, it states that a minimum of 143 MWth was set up in 2017. The largest markets were Oman (100 MWth), China (15 MWth), Italy (14 MWth), India (2.8 MWth) and Mexico (2.8 MWth). The image shows the three technologies available for sale. 
Graphic: Solar Payback

Solar cooling demand on the rise in Italy, Spain and the Middle East

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 27, 2018
Photo: TVPSorption chillers may still be a niche market, but Europe’s manufacturers reported rising demand for solar thermal cooling in Italy, Spain and the Middle East in 2017. Solar thermal numbers are on the rise because of three factors: the potential to reduce power consumption, including peak loads; the option to use natural refrigerants, such as water; and the ability to provide demand-responsive heating and cooling throughout the year. The photo shows the solar-cooled headquarters of Agility, a logistics business based in Kuwait. The 234 m² of evacuated flat plate collectors which provide the building with energy can be seen behind it. 
Photo: TVP

Solar showers for displaced people and refugees

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 20, 2018
Logo UNHCRThe UN Refugee Agency has begun ordering solar water heaters to improve the sanitary conditions in Ugandan refugee camps. The news ties in neatly with the first conference on Energy for Displaced People: A Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement, an event which took place in mid-January in Berlin, Germany, and was attended by more than 100 delegates. The participants agreed to “lay the groundwork for the first-ever global, multi-stakeholder plan to ensure that crisis-affected people gain access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services by 2030.”

New export-orientated collector and tank factory in Turkey

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 21, 2018
Bural Solar 1Collector and tank producer Bural Solar, founded in 2015, showed its product range at this year’s Mostra Convegno, an international trade fair in Milan, Italy, Mid March. The founder of the company, Hakan Alas, has been working in the solar thermal industry for 20 years. The export-focused business, based in Kayseri, central Turkey, started producing tanks and collectors in 2016. Mostra Convegno, which featured around 2,000 exhibitors, attracted more than 155,000 people, with every forth attendee coming from outside the country. It is 2018’s largest show about heating, ventilation, air conditioning and energy in Europe. 
Photo: Bural Solar

World’s largest flat plate collector manufacturers in 2017

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 19, 2018
The 2017 ranking of the world’s largest flat plate collector producers clearly shows the market dominance of Chinese companies. Even second-ranked Greenonetec, an Austrian collector manufacturer, is now majority-owned by the Chinese-based Haier Group. The corporation acquired 51 % of the manufacturer’s shares on 18 May 2017. The largest European flat plate collector producer was heating technology supplier Bosch Thermotechnik, although it remained at a certain distance from the top four. Business at Bosch Thermotechnik suffered from declining solar hot water markets in Germany (-16 %) and Brazil (-18 %). Nearly all the companies outside Germany increased production last year.
Source: Data supplied by manufacturers

Thermosiphon market rebounds in Italy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 16, 2018
Photo: Riccardo BattistiSystem suppliers and importers in Italy have reported significant growth in thermosiphon sales in 2017 thanks to the national support scheme Conto Termico 2.0. “Compared to the previous year, we more than doubled the number of thermosiphon units we sold in Italy in 2017, and most systems had a larger collector area because of the level of subsidies from Conto Termico 2.0,” said Export Sales Manager Andreas Andrianopoulos from Greek-based solar thermal manufacturer Cosmosolar. 
Photo: Riccardo Battisti

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