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German Centrotec Sustainable: “Increasing international business“

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 5, 2014
Centrotec Vorstand“The change at the top of Centrotec made the first quarter of 2014 an unusually turbulent one.” These were the words with which Guido A Krass (left), founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of German Centrotec Sustainable, started the annual shareholders´ meeting in Brilon, central Germany, on 20 May 2014. The long-term Chairman of the Management Board, Dr Gert-Jan Huisman, resigned with immediate effect in April 2014, to make room for the new management team of Dr Christoph Traxler (middle) and Dr Thomas Kneip, both with long-term experiences in leading positions within the Centrotec Group. Krass justified the parting with Huisman with different views on the company’s business policy, in particular regarding the future of the gas flue systems segment. “It was a friendly, but expensive resignation,” Krass said. Huisman received EUR 1 million in termination pay. 
Photos: Centrotec
 

Ukraine/Georgia: Women for a Sunny Energy Supply in EECCA

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 5, 2014
WECFEnergy poverty is a widespread phenomenon throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA). Many poor people living in these regions can hardly pay the ever-rising electricity costs. To heat their houses in winter, they are often forced to burn wood, diesel or any other thing they can find, such as plastic - with all the harmful impacts on the environment. “Switch to the sun – live in comfort!” is what activists of Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) tell them in such a situation. WECF, an international non-governmental network of women’s and environmental organisations, is committed to helping people in rural areas in the Ukraine, Georgia and other countries of the EECCA region gain a sustainable energy supply, mainly by utilising solar water heaters. The photo shows the participants of a workshop with the newly built solar water heater in the city of Kamensk-Uralsk, Russia.
Photo: WECF/Ecoclub Ukraine
 

Germany: World Map of Solar Process Heat Collector Industry 2014

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 31, 2014
World Map Process HeatThere is enormous demand for industrial heat in the temperature range between 100 and 250 °C all around the world, and solar thermal technologies are said to play an important role in covering this demand over the next decades. A joint project by magazine Sun & Wind Energy and German agency solrico was to find out which companies offer solar process heat collectors, what technology they focus on and how many commercial projects they have already realised. The results of the global survey now make up the first World Map of the Solar Process Heat Collector Industry, which was published in the March edition of Sun & Wind Energy and is also available for download on solrico´s website
Source: Sun & Wind Energy / solrico
 

SMEThermal 2014: “The challenge is the energy storage”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 2, 2014
latent heat storageLarge storage capacity, modular design, high storage density and low heat losses: These are the current requirements for solar thermal heat storage. The result is that hot water storage products are often stretched to their limits. Alternatives could be phase change materials (PCMs) or thermo-chemical materials (TCMs). During the SMEThermal 2014 conference in Berlin, Dr Henner Kerskes, Research Associate at the Research and Testing Centre for Thermal Solar Systems, TZS, of the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and Monte C Magill, Business Development Director at US company Entropy Solutions, explained the design, operation and possibilities of latent heat and thermo-chemical energy storage solutions (see the attached documents).
Photos: Stephanie Banse
 

Germany: Icy Solar Heat Storage

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 21, 2014
German engineering company Ökoplan has built a 1,586 m³ ice storage in one of Hamburg’s residential areas to save solar heat from summer for winter. Parts of the heating system have already begun operating; the start of the ice storage is scheduled for October 2014. The chiller with a thermal output of 600 kW will then run like a heat pump to extract the heat from the water in the ice storage. The operation temperature of the storage is between +20 and 0°C, also including the latent heat which becomes available when the water freezes. The solar heat will be used to melt the huge ice block between April and October in order to regenerate the storage during summer. 
Photo: Ökoplan

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

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