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More Research Needed for New Storage Materials

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 17, 2008

If solar energy is to be the primary or only source of heat for houses in the future, there will arise a need for storing it more efficiently. Materials have to be found that are able to hold more energy than water, but with less volume and higher loss. Task 32 of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Solar & Cooling programme was working on this issue. The scientists presented their results at the Eurosun 2008 in Lisbon, at the beginning of October.

Canada: Solar Thermal Energy Competitive with Natural Gas

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 14, 2008

biggest installation in CanadaCanada’s biggest solar thermal installation with 223 kW (319 m²) pumps heat to Wood Green Community Services in Toronto. Photo: Mondial Energy

USA: Solar Heating and Vacuum Tube Collectors are catching up

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 27, 2008

The US-American domestic solar heating and cooling market grew by 31 % in 2007, after the rapid climb of 77 % in 2006. These are figures from the annual statistics of the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which publishes the official energy statistics of the U.S. Government. In total 150,000 m2 of collector area was shipped last year (against 111,000 m2 in 2006). The EIA assumes that only 2 % of the total shipment was exported last year; the home market volume was thus 147,000 m2.

Heat Transfer Fluid from Corn

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 24, 2008

The US-American based renewable system supplier Solar Panels Plus LLC (SPP) has launched an alternative to petroleum-based propylene glycol. The new heat transfer fluid made from corn is completely renewable and biodegradable. “The underlying corn glycol product is made by chemical giant DuPont and we developed our own formula for the production of an efficient heat transfer liquid”, says SPP COO John Williams.

Solar Thermal Energy: Harnessing the Power of the Sun

Submitted by Nigel Cotton on October 12, 2008
The video shows the use of solar thermal energy for heating in Europe. Examples from Denmark and Spain show the use in different climates. Interviews with users and manufacturers give a good overview of this clean energy technology. The video is provided for free by the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign of the European Union.

Solarge: Province of Turin

Submitted by Amr Hai on October 8, 2008

The Province of Turin implemented a promotion campaign for large-scale solar thermal plants between 2003 and 2006. The campaign addressed both, investors and technicians, thus enhancing local know-how establishment. Through a call for tenders three buildings were chosen for the installation of large scale solar plants. The Province of Turin provided a co-financing of the systems, as well as scientific support to the investors: a training course about large-scale solar thermal systems took place in 2003 and was attended, among others, by the planners of the three systems chosen within the call. These planners were then supported in the design of the plant and in choosing the best components. The scientific support was provided during the installation, too. Finally, a one-year monitoring was carried out. The three systems are currently in operation. The outcomes of the projects were disseminated towards Public Administrations, technicians and citizens through the Province’s website, brochures and conventions.

Source:http://www.solarge.org/index.php?id=1524&no_cache=1

District heating: fast installation and low operation costs

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 2, 2008

Sonderborg district heating plantFast installation: The team from the Danish company Sunmark mounted around 600 m2 of collector area every day.
Photo: Sunmark

Cupori Group brings out cleaner copper tubes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 17, 2008

The Finnish company Cupori Group Oy, which in the spring took over the copper business of Outokumpu Copper Tube, now supplies a copper tube with a particularly clean surface. At the Intersolar 2008 in Munich in June the company presented its new “Tub-e” copper tubes, although still under the old name. They are claimed to have a particularly clean surface thanks to a thermal cleaning process. According to Cupori, welding times during absorber manufacture are shorter with the new tubes.

Clariant: Heat carriers for high stagnation temperatures

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 14, 2008

At the beginning of August the Swiss company Clariant brought a new heat transfer medium for solar thermal systems out onto the market under the name Antifrogen Sol HT. The antifreeze has been designed to survive stagnation temperatures of over 270 °C unscathed.

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