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Carefree heat supply package plus green marketing

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 18, 2018
Photo: SWANewly founded SWA Solar Wärme Austria is offering solar heat supply to hotels, sports centres, car washes and manufacturing companies. Clients pay individually agreed-on rates, which are up to 20 % lower than current prices and are guaranteed for 20 years. SWA provides a “carefree heat supply package”, with the company financing, installing, operating and monitoring a solar thermal system. According to Managing Director Birgit Rutter, SWA’s first system with 77.5 m² of collector area had come online at a golf club in Klagenfurt-Seltenheim, Austria, a few days ago (see photo). Computer simulations had shown an annual solar yield of 48,000 kWh.
Photo: SWA

New technologies for solar cooling in industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 14, 2018
Photo: HyCool ProjectThe aim of just launched HyCool is to present, in the form of two demonstration plants, new solar heating and cooling technologies for industrial use. The combination of state-of-the-art Fresnel collectors by Austrian supplier Fresnex with custom-built hybrid adsorption-compression chillers by German-based Fahrenheit will broaden the temperature range, creating a portfolio of applications to increase the use of solar heating and cooling for industrial processes.
Photo: Fresnex

New standard to improve energy performance of historic buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 5, 2018
Photo: Trimmel Wall ArchitectsMaintaining the exterior of a historic building while raising energy efficiency is not necessarily a contradiction. The new EN 16883:2017 standard, Conservation of cultural heritage, provides guidance on how to improve the energy performance of historically significant structures. A group made up of 45 experts from 12 countries had mapped out the guidelines for six years before they were published by the European Committee for Standardisation in June 2017. Researchers working for the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, also known as IEA SHC, are now on the lookout for suitable case studies to evaluate processes and assessments proposed in the standard. The photo shows a convent in Vienna, Austria, which was built in 1904 and renovated in 2013.
Photo: Trimmel Wall Architects 

Concrete slabs store thermal energy and heat homes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 14, 2018
underfloor heating systemMany building owners consider roof-integrated solar systems to be a tried-and-true way of saving as much on their heating bills as they can. A research project called solSPONGEhigh and developed in Austria has shown: When using thermal mass, i.e., the capacity of a building to store heat in ceilings, walls and foundations, solar technology can meet more than half of the yearly demand for space heating and hot water – large storage tanks not required. During construction of the house, meander-shaped piping, like the one in an underfloor heating system, is installed near the steel beams inside concrete slabs (see image). 
Photo: Private

Lessons learned from urban solar projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 25, 2018
Task 51Cities and municipalities are thought to play a decisive role in transforming energy systems. Urban planners, municipal stakeholders and consulting firms need case studies to demonstrate that solar energy can be integrated successfully into new and existing urban neighbourhoods. It is why Solar Energy in Urban Planning, an international research group, has compiled data on 34 showcases in 10 countries for its latest lessons learned report (see link at the end of the news article), created under the aegis of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme.
 

Sector coupling still at an early stage

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 18, 2018
‘Sector coupling’ has become one of the most well-known terms to describe the transformation of energy markets. It had originally been created for models that use surplus renewables, such as wind and solar electricity, to provide heat and power new means of transport. International organisations – for example, REN21 and IEA – have since established more general definitions and charts to illustrate the process. The figure on the left-hand side is taken from a presentation given by Paolo Frankl, Head of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Division, at the Mexirec Conference in Mexico last September. 
Chart: IEA 

Water-energy nexus in industrial sector

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 9, 2018
Water and energy are the most important resources globally. The term ‘water-energy nexus’ was coined to underline their close connection, and the phrase has become increasingly popular with international environmental organisations. In mid-June, a new research platform, Solar energy in industrial water and waste water management, was launched by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme to analyse the link between water and energy across the industrial sector. The kick-off meeting is scheduled to take place between 1 and 2 October in Graz, Austria. 
Chart: AEE INTEC

Land secured for Big Solar Graz

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2018
SilkeborgBig Solar Graz has reached a significant milestone by purchasing the land on which to construct a solar field and a seasonal storage system. In mid-June, the project partners told the local press that they had bought 55 hectares in the south of Graz, in the Austrian state of Styria, between the city’s airport and the A9 motorway. A flyer by the region’s public utility, Energie Steiermark, stated that the area was large enough to accommodate a 220,000 m² solar field (154 MWth) and 900,000 m³ of seasonal storage, including three ponds. It has been modelled on the world’s biggest solar district heating plant to date, a 110 MWth installation in the Danish town of Silkeborg (see photo).
Photo: Energie Steiermark

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. 

Rising demand for solar heat in large buildings and industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2018
SHW 1By the end of 2017, the market for solar heating and cooling had grown by 472 GWth, which again made it the largest for solar energy in the world. The one for photovoltaic systems gained 402 GWp to become the second-largest, and 5 GWel was enough for concentrating solar power to rank third, according to the latest Solar Heat Worldwide report. The report also highlights the rising use of megawatt-class solar heating and cooling solutions for large public and residential buildings, as well as factories. It was launched at the end of May by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Lead author is the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC.
Source of all figures: Solar Heat Worldwide

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