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Domestic Hot Water and Heating

Solar cooling increases annual solar fraction

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 24, 2018
Task 53 1Solar cooling could be an effective way to increase the annual solar fraction of domestic hot water production and prevent the solar system from overheating in summer. Under the aegis of the IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme, researchers from Task 53, New Generation Solar Cooling & Heating Systems, have written a new book, titled The Solar Cooling Design Guide: Case Studies of Successful Solar Air Conditioning Design. It includes a detailed case study of two buildings containing offices and flats in Montpellier, France. The on-site 240 m² flat plate collector system powers a 35-kW absorption chiller to achieve a 70 % solar fraction in annual hot water production (see photo). Between November and March, the system continues to provide around 40 % of the heating energy to meet hot water demand.
Photo: Tecsol/Serm

Thermosiphon market rebounds in Italy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 16, 2018
Photo: Riccardo BattistiSystem suppliers and importers in Italy have reported significant growth in thermosiphon sales in 2017 thanks to the national support scheme Conto Termico 2.0. “Compared to the previous year, we more than doubled the number of thermosiphon units we sold in Italy in 2017, and most systems had a larger collector area because of the level of subsidies from Conto Termico 2.0,” said Export Sales Manager Andreas Andrianopoulos from Greek-based solar thermal manufacturer Cosmosolar. 
Photo: Riccardo Battisti

District heating shows lower total socio-economic cost in future energy system

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 31, 2018
Costs for ST 1What would the economic impact on a future energy system be if one were to unlock the full solar thermal potential in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Italy? According to a study conducted by Aalborg University as part of the IEA SHC Task 52 research project Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments, exploiting the maximum potential will result in significant cost reductions if solar heat is supplied not individually but by district heating. The graph shows small changes of between -0.1 % and +0.2 % in total socio-economic cost both in the District Heating scenario (expansion of district heating grids) and the Heat Savings one (retrofits reduce heat demand in buildings) when the maximum solar thermal potential is realised by using either decentralised solutions or district heating to supply heat to consumers. The key factor influencing the outcome is the cost of solar thermal systems. 
Graph: Aalborg University

Solar-heated hotels in MENA region

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 29, 2018
GIZ Hotel BroschureSolar thermal can easily provide cheap, secure and clean heat to drive growth in the tourism sector. But what about optimal system sizes and applications? A new brochure has been trying to find answers to this question. Titled Solar PV & Thermal Applications for Hotel Sector, it has been created jointly by the German Agency for International Cooperation and the Egyptian Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency as part of a project called Re-Activate: Promoting Employment through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the MENA Region.

Namibia’s path to a solar thermal future

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 19, 2018
Namibia Workshop SoltrainThe Namibia Solar Thermal Technology (STT) Roadmap outlines the country’s path to 1.5 million m² of collector area by 2030. The aim is to have an average 0.5 m² installed per inhabitant by then (see the attached document). During a workshop in Windhoek last June, stakeholders from policy and administration voiced their unequivocal support for the implementation of the STT Roadmap 2030, which was developed by a consortium of experts and funded by SOLTRAIN, the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative.
Photo: Namibia Energy Institute

Guide for potential investors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 15, 2018
Solar Thermal NowAgainst the low standing of solar thermal technology, the British Solar Trade Association (STA) has launched a 16-page colourful brochure. The guide called Solar Thermal Now - A guide for domestic, business & public sector investors showcases the technology’s merits, the flexibility and broad application of solar thermal, while highlighting its enormous potential for cost and carbon savings. The report is available for download attached and association members can order hard copies. The brochure reveals some of the misconceptions in the support structure for ST in UK.

Delay in launch of Croatia’s residential support scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 27, 2017
CroatiaCroatia, a western Balkan country, is one of the most sun-rich nations in the EU, but progress on the solar thermal front has been unsatisfactory in the eyes of Professor Ljubomir Majdandžić, Acting Director of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (EPEEF). “Our energy development strategy envisions the installation of 0.25 m² of solar collector area per capita until 2020. But it has become clear that this target will not be met,” he said. 

Sun provides 70 % of hot water in blocks of flats

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 13, 2017
Construtora AlttiMore than 3,500 solar water heating systems have been in operation at blocks of flats across Brazil’s ‘solar city’ Belo Horizonte. This figure, an estimate by organisations which were previously part of a business cluster called BH Solar, affirms the city’s exceptional status in Brazil and around the world. Most of the solar systems have been installed on the roofs of high-rise buildings intended for the middle class and the wealthy. The photo shows two such structures. One flat has 4 bedrooms and extends over an entire floor, measuring 280 m². To provide the security that owners were looking for, recreational facilities, such as a swimming pool and a tennis court, have been set up inside the walls put up around the complex. 
Photos: Construtora Altti

EU Funding for Solutions to Decarbonise Heating and Cooling Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2017
Horizon 2020A search for ‘solar thermal’ in a recently published 195-page document titled Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy will not return encouraging results (see the attached document). The publication by the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 shows only 6 entries in total. “Solar thermal is definitely not a priority of the new programme,” said Daniel Mugnier, Head of R&D at French engineering services company Tecsol. “And even if the European Solar Thermal Technology & Innovation Platform were to try to promote several hot topics, there’s only one call [LC-SC3-RES-7-2019 on solar process heat] dedicated to the technology.”