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Lessons learned from urban solar projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 25, 2018
Task 51Cities and municipalities are thought to play a decisive role in transforming energy systems. Urban planners, municipal stakeholders and consulting firms need case studies to demonstrate that solar energy can be integrated successfully into new and existing urban neighbourhoods. It is why Solar Energy in Urban Planning, an international research group, has compiled data on 34 showcases in 10 countries for its latest lessons learned report (see link at the end of the news article), created under the aegis of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme.
 

Combining the strengths of collector technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 20, 2018
Task 55 of the IEA SHC Programme is currently studying the benefits of systems equipped with both flat plate and parabolic trough collectors to supply thermal energy to district heating networks. Preliminary results from a project in Taars, Denmark, have been encouraging, indicating how their combined strength can be an asset across a wide range of solar district heating applications. The research is being conducted as part of the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme, supported by the Danish Energy Agency.
Photo: Aalborg CSP

Europe’s first-ever renewable heating and cooling target

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 26, 2018
Renewable Energy Directive for 2030After night-long negotiations, the European Parliament and Council have reached an agreement on the Renewable Energy Directive for 2030. At long last, discussions that started in November 2016 came to a close in the early morning of 14 June. The new regulatory framework stipulates that a 32 % renewable energy target is to be achieved by the EU in 2030. “This is a substantial increase compared to the 27 % originally proposed by the European Commission,” said Pedro Dias, Secretary General of Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF. “Moreover, the Commission can now take corrective action if this overall target is not met.”

Land secured for Big Solar Graz

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2018
SilkeborgBig Solar Graz has reached a significant milestone by purchasing the land on which to construct a solar field and a seasonal storage system. In mid-June, the project partners told the local press that they had bought 55 hectares in the south of Graz, in the Austrian state of Styria, between the city’s airport and the A9 motorway. A flyer by the region’s public utility, Energie Steiermark, stated that the area was large enough to accommodate a 220,000 m² solar field (154 MWth) and 900,000 m³ of seasonal storage, including three ponds. It has been modelled on the world’s biggest solar district heating plant to date, a 110 MWth installation in the Danish town of Silkeborg (see photo).
Photo: Energie Steiermark

Optimised control strategy for solar district heating in Italy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 20, 2018
Photo: Linea Reti e ImpiantiDespite its small size, the solar district heating system in Lodi, close to Milan, is one of few in Italy to feed surplus heat into a local network. In March 2017, Linea Reti e Impianti, the public utility based in this city of 45,000, started buying heat produced by a 192 m² solar thermal installation. The system is owned by Sporting Lodi, a public-private partnership that operates the local sports centre, which includes a swimming pool (see photo). Marco Calderoni, a researcher working at the Politecnico di Milano, and his colleagues have recently suggested using a new approach to reduce the supply temperature in the solar circuit to increase performance. This article is based on a presentation given by Calderoni during the 5th International Solar District Heating Conference in Graz in April. 
Photo: Linea Reti e Impianti

Rising demand for solar heat in large buildings and industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2018
SHW 1By the end of 2017, the market for solar heating and cooling had grown by 472 GWth, which again made it the largest for solar energy in the world. The one for photovoltaic systems gained 402 GWp to become the second-largest, and 5 GWel was enough for concentrating solar power to rank third, according to the latest Solar Heat Worldwide report. The report also highlights the rising use of megawatt-class solar heating and cooling solutions for large public and residential buildings, as well as factories. It was launched at the end of May by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Lead author is the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC.
Source of all figures: Solar Heat Worldwide

A survey of the global market for concentrating collectors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 1, 2018
Graphic: Solar PaybackConcentrating collector technologies are becoming an increasingly popular choice for customers requiring industrial heat or space heating. This year’s Renewables 2018 Global Status Report includes, for the first time, data regarding new installations of concentrating systems. Published at the beginning of June by the Paris-based REN21 network, it states that a minimum of 143 MWth was set up in 2017. The largest markets were Oman (100 MWth), China (15 MWth), Italy (14 MWth), India (2.8 MWth) and Mexico (2.8 MWth). The image shows the three technologies available for sale. 
Graphic: Solar Payback

SDH prefeasibility studies in Bosnia and Croatia

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 29, 2018
Source: CoolHeatingIn early 2016, EU-funded CoolHeating began using the know-how acquired during best practice projects in Austria, Denmark and Germany to help with the implementation of small modular renewable heating and cooling grids in southeastern Europe. In mid-March, the CoolHeating partners published seven prefeasibility studies of district heating and cooling across five municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. Because of geographical features, most projects favoured biomass, but solar thermal does play a crucial role in the proposals created for the Bosnian town of Visoko (see map) and the Croatian city of Ozalj. 
Source: CoolHeating

On-site collector testing: new standard in development

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 17, 2018
Photo: Riccardo BattistiOnce a large solar field is set up at its designated location, what tests can be conducted to show that it performs as expected? Soon, the IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme may have an answer to this question, as it is working on internationalising Denmark’s testing procedure. No decision has been made on whether the procedure will become part of a full-fledged standard or be turned into a technical specification. 
Photo: Riccardo Battisti

How to identify suitable areas for SDH

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 9, 2018
Chart: Hamburg InstitutThough the availability of areas for large solar district heating plants remains a major point of contention, there are ways to expand the market. They include detailed local heat plans, the use of unconventional, e.g., polluted or contaminated, areas, and awareness raising among public and private stakeholders. A webinar organised as part of the Horizon 2020 project SDHp2m…from Policy to Market put a spotlight on these topics in February. A recording of the session is available online.
Chart: Hamburg Institut
 

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