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Domestic Hot Water and Heating

Confident Newcomers in the U.S.

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 20, 2008

After almost 20 years of stagnant markets, since 2005 the U.S. solar thermal market is exploding. According to the official governmental statistics (www.eia.doe.gov) the market rose by 77 % in 2006 to 111,480 m2 (78 MWth). After many years of winter sleep the local industry is waking up. Interesting and self-confident newcomers enter the stage.

Summer boom in Germany

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 20, 2008

Germany's solar thermal market is growing again, and this at an astonishing rate. After market sales plummeted by 37 % in the past year, the monthly sales statistics of BDH (Federal Industrial Association Germany House, Energy and Environmental Technology) – as they are available to the author – show encouraging increases in all segments. In the first half of this year, the quantity of flat-plate collectors rose by 85 % to 779,507 m2 (546 MWth), compared to the previous year. Evacuated tubes showed an increase of 55 % to 88,416 m2 (62 MWth).

Tender in Pacific region: Delivery of 150 to 300 Solar Water Heaters

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 28, 2008

Country:                 Island Niue

City/Locality:           Alofi / five islands in the pacific

Activity:                   Delivery of 150 to 300 solar water heaters

Buyer:                     Government of Niue www.gov.nu

Financing:                European Development Fund (EDF)

Publication date:     28 August 2007

Deadline:                 16 August 2008

Process Heat: the Solar Thermal Challenge of the Future

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 15, 2008

So far solar thermal technology is mostly used for domestic hot water, pool heating and room heating. It´s often forgotten that there is a huge demand for heat below 250 °C in industry, which can easily be reached with solar thermal collectors.

An international team of researchers working on behalf of the International Energy Agency estimated the realisable potential of solar process heat in the European Union at 100 GWth, which corresponds to 140 million m2 of collector area. T

Today, however, a solar thermal capacity of only 13.5 GWth is in operation across Europe. Task 33 of the International Energy Agency reported 85 solar process heat plants worldwide with a capacity of 27 MWth. However, this market segment seems to be waking up. Just recently, news about huge solar process heat installations did the rounds. There is the 13,000 m2 plant in Hangzhou, China, on the roof of the textile dyeing factory Daly Ltd., which is most probably the biggest installation for solar process heat in the world. The total investment adds up to RMB 12 million (€ 1.11 million) including the tanks and mounting system. According to the project developer, the Chinese company Shenzhen Quir Solar Technology Co., Ltd, the solar collectors will save RMB 3.38 million (€ 0.31 million) per year, so that the investment will pay off within 3 years. The hot water is provided at a low temperature of 55 °C. Secondly, this summer the German brewery Hofmühl GmbH in Eichstätt will start operating a pilot plant with 1,389 m2 of vacuum tube collectors, which will supply process heat between 90 and 140 °C to the brewing and cleaning processes. The owner of the system estimates a reduction of 20 % in the annual energy demand of the factory. The company is convinced that the investment will pay off and has plans for subsequent upsizing to 3,000 m2. The project is being subsidised by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

What are the main topics for the future to open this new market sector?

Is there enough sunshine in all regions?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 9, 2008

Solar thermal systems produce hot water whether the system is installed in Sweden, Germany, India, Tunisia or South America. The annual yield depends on the application (domestic hot water, pool heating, space heating), the local climatic conditions and system dimensioning (high or low solar fraction).

What can solar thermal technology be used for?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 9, 2008

There is a wide variety of applications for solar thermal technology. The most common application is the heating of pool water, the heating of domestic hot water and space heating. Not very wide spread yet are solar cooling systems, because of the complexity of the technology and the high initial investment costs.

Which are the major solar thermal markets worldwide?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 9, 2008

By far the largest solar thermal market in the world according to newly installed solar thermal capacity per year is China. In 2008, around 21 GWth (30 million m2) were sold in China, which was around 80 % of the world global solar thermal market.

Is solar thermal technology still a niche market?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 9, 2008

There are a number of mature markets like Israel, Austria, Barbados, China or Cyprus where solar thermal is used by a wide majority of people for heating the domestic hot water and sometimes for room heating.

Which are the main market drivers?

Submitted by admin on May 5, 2008

Generally speaking, you can differentiate between naturally growing markets and incentive driven markets. In the former, low-cost solar water heaters are already an economic alternative for households to produce hot water instead of using fossil fuels or electricity. Some examples are: China, which is the biggest solar thermal market in the world, Cyprus which has one of the highest solar thermal capacities in operation per capita in the world, and Turkey, which is the third biggest market in the world.

Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap up to 2020

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 30, 2008

Published in January 2007, by EREC (European Renewable Energy Council), the document shows the ambitions of the European Renewable Energy Industry to reach the EU targets for 2020 for different sectors, including electricity, heating & cooling, and biofuels.
It provides roadmaps for each sector, predicting its development and the conditions under which progress can be made.

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