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Switzerland: Shift towards Multi-Family Housing Projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 21, 2015
Market development SwitzerlandIn June, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy published its annual solar market report carried out by the solar energy association Swissolar (see the attached document in German and French). In 2014, sales of glazed collectors dropped by 7 %, down to 113,000 m² of absorber area. Vacuum tube collectors had a share of 13 %. The statistics also include 4,487 m² of unglazed collectors. The chart shows the shares of the different collector technologies over the years.
Source: Swissolar
 

Workshop Solar Energy and Heat Pumps, Rapperswil

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 10, 2015
The all-day workshop on the topic "Solar energy and heat pumps” organised by the Institut für Solartechnik SPF will take place at the Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil on 18 November 2015. Various speakers from research and practice will present  results and analysis of heat pump systems in combination with solar thermal, photovoltaic, or PVT. In open discussions current developments can be discussed. with one exception the presentations will be held in German. Participation is free, but registration is required.
 

Germany: Solar + Heat Pump + Ice Storage Achieves Seasonal Performance Factor of 5.6

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 22, 2015
Ice storage ConsalarGerman company Consolar offers a heating system called SOLAERA, which combines a heat pump with a specially designed solar collector and a heat storage space using the latent heat released when water freezes to ice (see photo). The solar heat pump system with 18 m² of collector area, a 300 litre ice storage space and a 1,000 litre buffer tank provides enough energy to heat a well-insulated building in Germany. In a field test by a local environment group, Lokale Agenda 21, it achieved a Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 5.6, putting performance even above prior simulations. The SPF describes the ratio of delivered heat to electricity consumed over the entire year. Consolar sold about 160 solar heat pump systems in total, mostly in Germany but also in Denmark, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Italy. The systems there achieved SPFs between 3.5 and 6, depending on collector field size, maximum flow temperature and heat demand.
Photo: Consolar
 

Solar Days 2015: Individual Schedules in Eight Countries

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 31, 2015
LuftballonsThe European Solar Days (ESD) seem to have lost some momentum. Since the European Union stopped co-financing the ESD, it seems that several national partners among the so far more than 20 participating countries have found it harder to get monetary support for their work and all of the activities required for coordinating the Solar Days campaign at national level. Still, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) has been able to agree with several previously participating countries on a common schedule from 1 to 15 May. Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Poland and Serbia have already told ESTIF about their activities in May (see the table below). Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia and Spain, however, will not offer any solar days this year. The photo shows an event in an primary school in Switzerland
Photo: Scuola Elementare Canobbio
 

IEA SHC Task 52: Seeking Cost-optimised Urban Energy Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 30, 2015
How can solar energy be ideally integrated into an urban energy system? This has been the key question of IEA SHC Task 52: Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments. One and a half years after the task´s start in January 2014, scientists from Germany, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland met in Freiburg for the third task meeting in mid-April to discuss cost assessments of existing plants and models for analysing complex urban energy systems. One of the first published outcomes is a study carried out by Austrian research institute AEE INTEC. It lists the costs of existing solar district heating plants in Denmark, Germany and Austria. The chart shows the preliminary results from levelised heat costs calculated for 29 collector fields of sizes between 500 and 55,000 m² integrated into district or micro grids.
Source: AEE INTEC
 

Germany: Crowd Lending or Cooperatives – Different Ways to Bring Solar District Heating into Focus

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 24, 2015
Trier SolarvereinRenewable heat comes out on top whenever it substituted fossil energy, Swiss solar thermal pioneer Josef Jenni stated during the first panel discussion of the conference on district heating with solar and biomass, which was held in the German city of Trier on 16 and 17 April 2015. Organised by the local solar association, Solarverein, it provided a platform for experts from small and medium-sized industrial companies, universities and research institutes based in Germany, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Austria and Luxemburg to work on turning this objective into a reality by focusing on viable business models of renewable use in district heating systems. 
Photo: Vanessa Kriele
 

4. Tagung Solarwärme Schweiz 2015, Lucerne

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 8, 2015
The 4th Tagung Solarwärme Schweiz will take place on 30th of October in Lucerne, Switzerland. All presentations will be performed in German.
 

Austria: Task 42 Meeting on Compact Thermal Energy Storage Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 3, 2015
Task 42 MeetingIEA-SHC Task 42, entitled Compact Thermal Energy Storage, has entered into its final year and will end in December 2015. In February 2015, 44 scientists met for the 13th Experts Task Meeting in Vienna, Austria, to discuss the characterisation and development of materials for latent heat storage systems. This included phase change materials (PCM) like paraffin and thermo-chemical materials (TCM), such as sodium hydroxide solutions or zeolites. During the three-day meeting, the task members also visited the cogeneration plant Simmering in Vienna. The photo shows them in front of two pressurised water tanks with a total volume of 11,000 m3. The tanks are charged and discharged with 145 GWh annually and are operated to decouple heat energy production from demand in the district heating network of Vienna.
Photo: Institute for Solar Technology SPF 
 

Poland: Swiss Contribution Ups Solar Thermal Funding

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 28, 2015
Poland HospitalThe binational cooperation between Switzerland and Poland to support solar thermal technology has reached the halfway mark: According to the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), there were around 30,000 m² of solar water heaters installed between 2012 and 2014. Until the end of the implementation process in December 2016, this number should rise to at least 103,000 m2 for an estimated 20,000 private households and 195 public institutions. The photo shows a solar thermal collector field at a public hospital in Poland. 
Photo: SECO
 

Switzerland: New Buildings to Reach Nearly Zero Energy Standard by 2020

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 24, 2015
Swissolar TrogenOn 9 January 2015, the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Energy Directors agreed on nationwide model rules for building energy codes. These rules include a nearly zero energy standard for new buildings from 2020 onwards and a 10 % renewable requirement for heating system retrofits. Although Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, the country’s energy standards are similar to what the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU) requires from member states. 
Photo: Swissolar
 

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