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Switzerland: The Advantages of Solar Thermal and Heat Pump Combinations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 17, 2013

Combining a heat pump and a solar thermal system increases overall system efficiency and substantially reduces the heat pump’s electricity consumption. The various possibilities of using both technologies together were illustrated by Dr Michel Haller’s presentation entitled "Solar and Heat Pump Systems - A Question of Technology?" and held at the SHC conference in Freiburg (see attached document). Haller is project leader at the Swiss Institute for Solar Technology, SPF, in Rapperswil. The ideal combination depends on the type of application, the type of collector and the local climate conditions. The figure above shows a common parallel configuration.
Figure: SPF Rapperswil

Switzerland: New Factory for Large Storage Tanks

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 2, 2013

Swiss tank manufacturer Jenni Energietechnik is about to complete its new production line for large solar tanks in the Swiss town of Oberburg. The company invested Swiss Franc (CHF) 14 million in machinery and a four-storey building. The first tanks are said to leave the factory at the beginning of 2014. The expansion already started in the second half of 2011. Jenni plans to use the new production line to manufacture tanks between 700 litres and 200 m³. The photo shows the new multi-coil cutting machine that can process steel coils with a thickness of up to 6 mm. So far, the old line has only been able to cut steel coils of up to 3 mm. Thicker sheets had to be cut and transported to Oberburg from another company.
Photo: Jenni Energietechnik

SHC 2013: “Be transparent about the performance”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 7, 2013

Europe’s first International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry, the SHC 2013, has been a success. Between 23 and 25 September, around 400 participants from 37 different countries met in Freiburg in the south of Germany to discuss research, technology and market-related issues. This was almost double the number of experts which had joined the first SHC conference last year in San Francisco. The 15 keynote speeches, 90 oral and 140 poster presentations covered a huge variety of topics from engineering and new materials to enhancing already available products.
Photo: PSE

Switzerland: Unexpected Growth but Little Optimism

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 30, 2013

Instead of the 12% decline expected by the Swiss Solar Industry Association, Swissolar, in December 2012, the Swiss market for glazed solar thermal collectors grew by 3.1 % in 2012 compared to 2011, increasing to 99.4 MWth(142,000 m2) of newly installed capacity. Despite the good news from Swissolar’s market evaluation, the association’s General Manager at the Zurich office, David Stickelberger, does not see much room for optimism. “We have not seen any statistics for 2013 yet, but from what I hear from our members, it’s an unpleasant situation,” he says.

Database of Building Codes: 24 Individual Regulations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 25, 2013

Sometimes, it takes a while until good ideas are copied. This has been the case with solar/renewable building codes, which were invented in Israel more than 30 years ago. It has just been over the last ten years, however, that this political instrument reached all five continents. Frontrunner in Europe was Spain, which approved the Technical Building Code, CTE, in March 2006. It stipulates that new residential buildings and those undergoing major renovation must cover 30 to 70 % of their hot water demand by renewable energies. Outside Europe, it was the Australian state of Victoria which, in 2005, implemented the first building standard after Israel had done so two decades earlier. Israel’s building code lets private homeowners choose between two options - a solar water heater or a rainwater tank - in case of newly built houses and major renovations. In the meantime, the database of solar obligations on solarthermalworld.org has grown further and now includes 24 countries which use one of the various types of solar or renewable building codes. You will find the database by filtering on --> policy --> obligation.
Source: solrico

Germany: Almeco Solar Presents Absorber Tube for Process Heat Collectors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2013

German coating manufacturer Almeco Solar has designed a new absorber tube: Small in size with a working temperature around 200 °C and no vacuum. The company wants to beat both the performance and the current price of black chrome absorber tubes. The solution is called Tinox tube 2.0 and has been designed for temperatures around 200 °C. Almeco Solar presented the non-evacuated tube at the Intersolar Europe in Munich, Germany, in the middle of June.
Photo: Eva Augsten

Solar Process Heat: European Commission Advocates More Research

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 2, 2013

In March, almost 40 scientists, engineers and solar process heat specialists met for the 1st workshop of the European InSun project, called "Exchange of experience made with the design and installation of solar process heat systems", which was hosted at the Institute for Solar Technology SPF in Rapperswil, Switzerland. The workshop focused on the experiences with the planning and installation of roof- or ground-mounted solar process heat systems - lead times, project schedule, as well as standards, guidelines and regulations in the different European countries. The photo shows a process heat project in Italy with 1.3 MW Fresnel collectors for the brick industry.
Photo: Soltigua

Europe: Solar Thermal Energy Expands to Industrial Processes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 1, 2013

During a Technology Workshop on Solar Process Heat for Industry organised by the Solar Thermal Technology Panel of the RHC-Platform, the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling, European experts presented the latest developments and insights into collector technology, as well as solar thermal system integration for industrial processes, ranging from drying to pasteurisation and sterilisation. Around 60 participants from the industry, research, industry associations and EU institutions attended the workshop held at the Renewable Energy House in Brussels on 15 March 2013.

2. Tagung Solarwärme Schweiz 2013, Lucerne

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 26, 2013

The 2nd Tagung Solarwärme Schweiz will take place on 28th of May in Lucerne, Switzerland. The conference programme will be available by the middle of March.

Switzerland: Ultra-High Vacuum Collectors Heat and Cool Geneva Airport

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 19, 2012

The roof of the Geneva International Airport has now 282 evacuated flat plate collector panels with a back-side metal reflector. These Ultra-High Vacuum (UHV) collectors will start working in winter this year and supply the airport with hot water and space heating. Next summer, the solar heat will run a York absorption chiller to cool the buildings as well. The manufacturer of the special collectors is Suiss-Spanish company SRB Energy. The costs for the installation, which was subsidised by the Swiss government, amounted to almost Swiss Franc (CHF) 3 million. The new system fits perfectly into the renewable strategy of the airport, which wants to cover more and more of its energy consumption by alternative energies. The photo shows Cédric Petitjean (right), General Director of SRB Energy, and Dr Cristoforo Benvenuti, Vice President and CTO of SRB Energy and former researcher at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
Photo: CERN

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