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Denmark: Solar District Heating Capacity Nearly Doubles in 2016

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 25, 2017
District Heating in DenmarkLast year was a record-breaking one for new solar district heating (SDH) installations in Denmark. With 31 new SDH systems and 5 plant expansions, the newly installed collector area grew at double the rate of 2015 and totalled 495,226 m² (347 MWth). The year prior saw 15 plants built and three expanded, while collector area increased by 250,161 m² (175 MWth). Almost all plants newly installed or expanded in 2016 were equipped with flat plate collectors, except for the 18.9 MWth parabolic trough installation in Brønderslev. The annual statistic on SDH installations is maintained by Daniel Trier from Danish consultancy PlanEnergi and starts with the very first large SDH plant in 1988. Trier said that at the end of 2016, there had been 104 SDH plants in operation with a combined collector area of 1.3 million m² (911 MWth).
Chart: PlanEnergi
 

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
 

Austria: New Medium-Temperature Collectors Show Remarkable Yield in District Heating Use

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 2, 2017
Graz Test Field SOLIDDuring the last seven years, a group of scientists has monitored selected large solar thermal installations in Austria on behalf of the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund. The gathered data confirms that these plants have been reliable and produce satisfactory yields. Particularly the new generation of large-scale medium-temperature collectors either with a foil or with a second glass cover shows remarkable results in district heating use. The 2,490 m² solar field (see photo) which has fed heat into the district heating network of Graz, Austria, reached a yield of 489 kWh/m². 
Photo: Picfly.at Thomas Eberhard
 

TASK 45 / 55: Guidelines on How to Design Seasonal Storage

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 1, 2016
Bore Hole StorageSeasonal storage is a key component in the transformation of today’s energy industry. Besides storing energy in summer for heating in winter, it can also be used to save waste heat from the industry and to increase the electricity production from biomass CHP plants. Experiences gathered with the technology during case studies were summarised as part of the study Seasonal thermal energy storage – Report on state of the art and necessary further R+D, which was published by Task 45, Large Scale Solar Heating and Cooling Systems, of the IEA SHC programme. Together with the Guidelines for Materials & Construction on the two most common storage types, borehole (see the chart) and water pit, it provides a good overview of the current advancements in this field (all three documents attached). Additional research into the design of seasonal storage will be carried out in follow-up Task 55, Towards the Integration of Large SHC Systems into District Heating and Cooling (DHC) Network. Interested stakeholders have been invited to join the kick-off meeting of Task 55 in Graz, Austria, between 19 and 21 October (see contact details below).
Chart: TASK 45
 

Solar Water Heaters Not First Choice of EU-GUGLE Participants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 15, 2015
Tampere Project FinnlandFinding feasible renovation models to change energy-consuming buildings into nearly zero-energy ones is the aim of the EU-GUGLE project, which stands for European cities serving as Green Urban Gate towards Leadership in sustainable Energy. The programme was launched at the six participating European cities of Aachen (Germany), Bratislava (Slovakia), Milan (Italy), Sestao (Spain), Tampere (Finland) and Vienna (Austria) in 2013. Each one of these cities agreed to renovate 226,000 m2 of living space over five years by increasing the share of renewable energy sources to 25 % in order to save between 40 % and 80 % of primary energy consumption with it. The photo shows the collector installation on the roof of a multi-family building in Tampere, one of the very few solar thermal installations in the EU project. 
Photo: Ecofellows
 

Demonstration project: Finnish Collector Field Operating in Denmark

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 18, 2015
LogumklosterThe first solar district heating collector field in Denmark with direct-flow, aluminium absorbers from Finnish company Savo-Solar came into operation in July 2015. Municipal district heating company Løgumkloster Fjernvarme had ordered 9,400 m² of collector area (6.6 MWth) during the first phase of the project. “If we are satisfied with the performance, we will extend the collector field by 35,000 m² next year,” confirmed Peter G. Andersen, Head of Operations at Løgumkloster Fjernvarme. Savo-Solar used this demonstration project for a successful entry into the Danish district heating market, which was dominated by only one supplier, Arcon-Sunmark, since a merger in February 2015. The Finnish collector manufacturer won the tender by Jelling Varmevaerk in June 2015 and negotiated the final contract for the delivery of 15,000 m² collector area (10.5 WMth) with the municipality in southern Denmark. The utility aims at receiving the permits and confirming the contract by the beginning of November.
Photo: Savo-Solar
 

Solar Thermal Integration into a District Heated Small House (2014)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on October 14, 2014

The VTT Technical Research Center of Finland presented a study on solar thermal integration into a district heated small house at the 14th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling which took place in Stockholm from 7 to 9 September.  The purpose of this study is to analyse the results of a simulation model of a district heating substation on the energy savings in Domestic Hot Water (DHW) heating and space heating.  For this project, researchers used the energy simulation software IDA-ICE .

Netherlands: Energy Demand Reduced to 25 kWh/m²a in Just One Day

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 22, 2014
Roosendaal1In recent years, Roosendaal’s De Kroeven, the Dutch city’s district of terraced houses built in the 1960s (left photo), has radically changed not only its stone face but also its energy performance (right). Netherland’s largest passive-house retrofit project equipped 246 houses with new insulation and solar thermal energy systems. 50 of these houses were part of European project E2ReBuild, which is short for Industrialised Energy Efficient Retrofitting of Residential Buildings in Cold Climates.
Photos: Demonstrator Roosendaal report / E2ReBuild
 

Germany/Italy: Alanod-Almeco – Merger between Equals?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2014
Logos Alanod AlmecoJust a few days before Intersolar Europe 2014 opened its doors in Munich, Germany, news broke of the merger between the two largest solar coating manufacturers in Europe, the Alanod Group, headquartered in Ennepetal, northern Germany, and the Almeco Group whose headquarters are located in Milano, Italy. The company will be called Alanod-Almeco, with headquarters in Ennepetal. Both partners have confirmed the plans to retain both the sales teams and the entire product offering. However, the facts contradict a merger between equals: Alanod is definitely the larger partner. The company with 460 staff had a turnover of EUR 160 million in 2013, whereas the Almeco Group with its 250 staff achieved a turnover of EUR 75 million last year. The new company will be headed by only one person, Ingo Beyer, CEO of the Alanod Group, and the new logo for Alanod-Almeco only includes the Italian partner’s blue triangle.
 

Finland: One Solar Roof - Three Partners

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 4, 2013

The new Ruukki Classic Solar Thermal Roof from Finland was shown twice this summer: First at the Intersolar Europe in Munich, Germany, at the booth of Finnish company Savo-Solar in June and then at the Finnish Housing Fair in Hyvinkää, Finland, in August. Three rather different companies have been involved in manufacturing, selling and distributing this roof-integrated solar solution. Finnish company Savo-Solar, which specialises in the production of solar collectors based on aluminium absorber sheets, manufactures the collector modules, which are then integrated into steel roof solutions of the Finnish Rautaruukki Corporation (Ruukki), a company known for its steel constructions. The last step in the sales chain is Pohjolan Design-Talo, a Finnish supply company of prefabricated houses, which was also responsible for the demonstration house at the Hyvinkää housing fair.
Photo: Ruukki

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