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District Heating

Switzerland: Plans for Solar District Heating Pilot System

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 10, 2017
“Why is there no solar district heating in Switzerland?” Swiss scientists were asking after their visit to Denmark. They had been investigating the feasibility of solar heat in district heating networks in the St Gallen canton and published a 50-page study this March (see the attached document in German). As it turns out, solar heat could be produced in several networks for 60 to 160 CHF/MWh (50 to 140 EUR/MWh). Assuming plant owners or operators could get an incentive similar to the one for small-scale solar heat systems, it would make several larger ones economically viable. Now, the Swiss-based SPF – Institute of Solar Technology has begun to work with a district heating company on giving the country its first pilot plant.
 

Slovenia: On the Path to Renewable District Heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 2, 2017
Rok SunkoDistrict heating networks supplied by renewable energy sources (RES) are widely recognised today as one of the most effective ways to decarbonise the heating sector. The EU’s CoolHeating project has been supporting the implementation of small, modular renewable heating and cooling grids for towns in southeastern Europe by transferring knowledge from leading countries such as Austria, Denmark and Germany to newcomers, for example, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. It has also led to the publication of a handbook – Small modular renewable heating and cooling grids – available in seven languages (see the attached PDFs). Solarthermalworld.org talked to Rok Sunko (see photo) from one of the project partners, Skupina Fabrika about current developments and the outlook of RES district heating in Slovenia. The company is a Slovenian-based R&D business focusing on renewables, IT solutions and branding.
Photo: Skupina Fabrika
 

IEA SHC Task 52: Solar Thermal’s Role in 2050 Energy Mix

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 29, 2017
Collector Installation in HamburgWhat role solar thermal will play in the energy sector in 2050 is one of the principal questions that the international Task 52 research project Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments intends to answer. As part of this IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme task, Denmark’s Aalborg University chose four major solar thermal countries in Europe – Austria, Denmark, Germany and Italy – to model their 2050 solar share in national heat production. The university’s estimates range from 3 to 12 % based on country and scenario, which would require 4 to 175 million m² of collector area in each of the four nations. The solar share of all four was rather similar in high penetration scenarios, although climate, energy demand and network design vary significantly. That’s why the researchers from Aalborg concluded that “the findings can be applied to a variety of energy systems, including in countries that are not directly part of this study.” They also underlined the importance solar thermal could have in reducing pressure on scarce resources such as biomass.
Photo: Riccardo Battisti
 

Serbia: EU Supports 903 m² Solar District Heating Installation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 3, 2017
Banat sun 4 all Throughout the last years, the EU has been criticised for many things, and the UK has now been the first to decide on leaving. Still, there are good examples of how the union can benefit even non-member countries. For instance, there is a project called Energy Efficiency – The Premise of a Better Environment in Romania-Serbia Cross-Border Area, which was presented at the Energy Week in Belgrade in mid-June. This joint effort of two cities in the Banat region, Pancevo in Serbia and Resita in Romania, required EUR 1.4 million, mostly financed by the EU as part of the Interreg – IPA CBC Program Romania-Serbia Programme.
 

Lithuania: Can Solar Thermal Beat Low Biomass Heat Prices?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 14, 2017
Lithuania District HeatingWith biomass prices on the rise, solar district heating could become profitable in Lithuania. But without investment grants, payback periods were still too long, it said in the conclusion of a 2015 SDH market study by LEI, the Lithuanian Energy Institute (see the attached document in Lithuanian). The photo shows the country’s first SDH system set up in 2011. Installed on the roof of the boiler house, it preheats water for a wood chip boiler in the district heating station of Dūkštas, a town in eastern Lithuania. The demonstration unit with 82 m² of vacuum tube collectors received funding from international organisations.
Photo: Lithuanian Energy Institute
 

Denmark: Concentrating Solar Collectors for District Heat in Northern Europe

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 11, 2017
BronderslevBrønderslev, a Danish municipality with a population of 12,500, is setting up a multi-purpose renewable heat plant for their district heating network. So far, local utility Brønderslev Forsyning has been operating seven gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants and two gas boilers to produce 130 GWh of heat each year. In the future, most of the yearly district heating demand is planned to be met by a new Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) unit which receives its energy from two wood chip boilers with 10 MW each and from a 16.6 MWth parabolic trough collector field with a mirror area of 27,000 m². 
Photo: Aalborg CSP
 

Germany: Tool to Calculate Solar Feed into District Heating Network

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 1, 2017
Map District Heating in GermanyInterest in solar district heating is growing in Germany. A map by German research organisation Solites shows the systems currently in operation to be 23 totalling 49,600 m² of collector area (34.7 MWth). Last year saw the addition of four installations with a combined area of 12,921 m²; one of them was Germany’s first record-size solar district heating plant in 11 years, in Senftenberg. Solites has now developed a tool to calculate the yield of SDH plants. Called SCFW 2.0 (ScenoCalc Fernwärme 2.0), it is available as a free download at www.scfw.de and is hoped to increase transparency by improving the comparability of solar district heating plants and solutions.
Map: Solites
 

SHC and SWC 2017: Early Bird Registration Now Available

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 17, 2017
Logo SHC SWC 2017Benefit from an early bird discount by registering for the joint solar conferences in autumn in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, until 31 August. You need to register only once to attend both the SHC 2017 – International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry and the SWC 2017, the ISES Solar World Congress. The early bird offer will get you a 14 % discount on the standard ticket price charged from 1 October. Tickets at reduced prices are available for students and for members of both organisers – the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) and the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) – and the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF). Day tickets are offered as well.
 

China: Sunrain Finalises Strategic Cooperation Agreements

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 30, 2017
Natural Ressources CanadaThe Chinese Sunrain group, the world’s biggest collector manufacturer, is broadening its product portfolio to include large-scale solar thermal plants. Sunrain had already made the first step towards globalising its strategic partnerships by establishing a joint venture with Danish-based Arcon-Sunmark in June 2016. It has now concluded a cooperation agreement with CanmetEnergy in Canada with the aim to develop solar district heating systems using borehole heat storage fields for seasonal storage in China. Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr (back row 2nd from left) oversaw the signing of the agreement during his visit to China in June 2017. The agreement was signed by Xinjian Xu, Founder and Board Chair of Sunrain Solar Energy (front right) and Frank Des Rosiers, Assistant Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada’s Innovation and Energy Technology (front left).
Photo: Natural Ressource Canada
 

IEA SHC: Solar Heat Worldwide Highlights Remarkable Achievements and Addresses Challenges

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 2, 2017
Solar Heat Worldwide TitleIn late May, the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) published its annual report titled Solar Heat Worldwide (see the attached document). It is the most comprehensive study of solar heating and cooling markets around the globe and has been referenced by international organisations such as REN21 and IRENA. Based on data from 66 countries, the most recent report has grown from 76 pages in 2016 to 86 in 2017. It includes a new section which highlights last years’ encouraging market development of megawatt systems for solar district heating and solar process heat and a second part providing in-depth figures about the national and global markets of 2015.
 

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