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Portugal: 35 Years’ Solar Storage Tank Production

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 30, 2017
Videira TeamVideira, a family-owned storage tank manufacturer from Portugal, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. In 1982, José Oliveira Rocha (sitting) and three of his five children (back) established a small business in Paredes in northern Portugal. In the beginning, it was only him, his three sons and one additional staff member who worked at the 200 m² factory. Meanwhile, production facility has grown to 5,000 m² and the company employs 155 staff, who generated a turnover of EUR 15 million in 2016. Exports made up 70 % of the, all in all, 45,000 water heaters and tanks manufactured last year.
Photo: Videira
 

SolarCool Europe: Solar Heat Reduces Chiller Electricity Consumption

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 27, 2016
SolarCool InstallationIn April 2016, British company SolarCool Energy put into operation its largest SolarCool system, which was installed on the roof of Chingford Fruit’s processing plant (see photo) in Dartford Kent, UK. Fifty-four retrofitted vacuum tube collectors totalling 160 m² have since reduced the power consumption of the existing compression chillers with a cooling capacity of 1 MW. According to Central Services Manager Colin Ormerod, Chingford Fruit has saved 100,000 kWh of electricity during process cooling (16 °C) over the two full months that the system has been in operation (May and June). The SolarCool technology was developed in 2009 in the USA, and reached European markets in 2013/2014. In the meantime, there have been around 6,000 systems set up across all continents – the majority in Latin America, Caribbean and South East Asia, according to Dr Kurt Orthmann, Joint Managing Director at SolarCool’s European subsidiary, SolarCool Europe.
Photo: UK SolarCool Energy installation
 

Portugal: Two New Incentive Schemes on the Horizon

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 18, 2016
Aviso 20Good news for the Portuguese market: This year’s agenda includes two new schemes to support energy efficiency measures in buildings, and solar thermal has been put into the spotlight. The first programme, Aviso 20 – Edifícios Eficientes 2016 (Efficient Buildings), has already been open to applications since 8 July 2016. Its budget of EUR 1.1 million covers up to 60 % of the cost of efficiency measures, including new solar water heater installations, in existing residential and commercial buildings. The second programme, Casa Eficiente (Efficient Home), is still under development, but the scheme’s much larger budget of EUR 100 million will offer low-interest loans for efficiency measures in the residential sector. Obviously, both programmes are not exclusively solar thermal ones; they also support window replacement or additional insulation. 
 

Efficient building programme in Portugal

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 18, 2016
The investment grant scheme Aviso 20 – Edifícios Eficientes 2016 (Efficient Buildings) accepts applications between 8 July and 8 November 2016. Its budget of EUR 1.1 million covers up to 60 % of the cost of efficiency measures, including new solar water heater installations, in existing residential and commercial buildings.
 
Effective Date: 
Friday, July 8, 2016

Portugal: Incentive Scheme Fails While Sales Take Another Dive

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 3, 2016
The latest Portuguese incentive scheme for solar thermal energy proved to be a major failure: Launched by the national Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF) in May 2015, the call to support the restoration of solar thermal systems installed before 2005 received only four applications in the end. Additionally, 2015 market performance was still far from desirable, and the downward trend in sales continues. APISOLAR’s figures show a newly installed area of 46,134 m² (32 MWth), a 9 % decrease compared to the previous year.
 

Portugal: New Government with Good Intentions but Lack of Action

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 30, 2016
Solrico Portugal Market AssessmentAfter a politically unstable last quarter of 2015, Portugal’s path for the next years seems to be finally set. The new socialist government, led by António Costa, took office by the end of November and brought back the old promise of supporting renewable energy sources. At least, this is what the government programme shows, the intention to encourage solar thermal use. The industry looks slightly more optimistic into 2016. According to the ISOL Index survey carried out in September 2015, more than a third of the participating 13 solar thermal system suppliers in Portugal expect a growing market, while 39 % expect a stable one this year. 
Source: solrico

Portuguese 2020 target for solar thermal: Faraway, so close to deadline

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 14, 2015
SotecnisolIt’s just like in the Wim Wenders movie: Each year, the Portuguese goal for solar thermal energy seems more faraway, so close to the deadline. The country, which aims at a target of 2,214,282 million m² of installed area in 2020, saw a mere 1,080,317 m² set up until the end of 2014. In 2014, only 54,961 m² were added, 4 % less than in the previous year. This year, market stakeholders expect stagnation, although figures for the first six months pointed downward. An area of 21,852 m² was newly installed during the first half of 2015, which is a decrease of 18 % compared to the same period last year.
Photo: Sotecnisol / Apisolar
 

IEA SHC: Mutual Recognition of Test and Inspection Reports Saves Industry Costs

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 4, 2015

The work of the Global Solar Certification (GSC) Network is expected to continue within the framework of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC). The Executive Committee of the IEA SHC approved the set-up of a task definition workshop in Paris on 7 October 2015, in order to establish a new task under the title International Standards & Global Certification. “Collector and system manufacturers selling products in several countries, as well as representatives of certification bodies, test labs and inspectors from all around the world are invited to join the meeting in Paris and become members of the international research community discussing the harmonisation of standards and certification schemes worldwide,” explains Jan Erik Nielsen, Manager of the GSC Network and initiator of the new task. Other groups which could benefit from the new two-year task are stakeholders and public authorities in countries which do not have standards in place yet or which employ old ones. The network plans to develop guidelines for them on how to correctly use the international standards and to offer training materials and assistance. The photo shows the expert group during the first GSC Network meeting in Spain in April 2014.
Photo: GSC Network

Russia: Astrakhan’s Solar District Heating Plant

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 15, 2015
Russian InstallationIt is said to be the largest solar thermal plant in Russia: 2,200 collector modules by German heating boiler manufacturer Bosch Thermotechnik have been installed next to a district heating system in Narimanov in the Astrakhan region in southwest Russia. The district heating plant includes 5 new gas boilers from Bosch Thermotechnik with a total of 30 MW. The complete state-of-the-art heat supply unit – gas and solar – was financed by Astrakhan’s regional government. It was commissioned in October 2012 and inaugurated in June 2013 after a fairly short planning time. The existing district heating system with separate pipes for hot water and space heating provides heat for the 11,600 inhabitants of Narimanov. The 4,400 m² collector field feeds into the hot water pipe system. 
Photo: Bosch Thermotechnik
 

Solar Process Heat in Breweries (2014)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on February 13, 2015

This presentation was given by AEE INTEC at a SOLTRAIN training in Pretoria, South Africa, in April 2014.  It provides an overview of the EU-funded FP7 project SolarBrew.  This project aims at developing the use of solar process heat in the brewing industry. 3 breweries are part of this project.  The Brewery Goess in Austria is using solar energy for its mashing process, relying on a 1.500m² flat plate collector field and a 200m³ storage tank.

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