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Heat Storage

IEA SHC: Most Effective Solar Cooling Storage Technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 27, 2017
Scientists from IEA SHC Task 53, New Generation Solar Cooling & Heating Systems, have compared the cost, efficiency and adaptability of solar cooling storage solutions and are now creating a report about the technologies most suitable for a given application. The researchers examined both thermal and electricity storage systems. But whereas the report can soon be used as guidance for choosing the most apt solution to heat and cool buildings, it will not provide a recommendation in favour of storing electricity or thermal energy. 
Photo: Consolar
 

IEA SHC Task 58: “We will need new and innovate designs for heat and mass exchangers”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 18, 2017
Benjamin FumeyThermochemical materials (TCMs) used in storage tanks show higher heat capacities than water and smaller losses over time. They are crucial to an increase in solar use among consumers and the storage of summer heat for the winter season. However, they are also more complex than their water-based counterparts, which require only heat exchangers. Conversely, TCM storage units additionally need mass exchangers to make sorbent-sorbate interaction possible. Research into TCM storage has so far been coordinated by the IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme’s Task 58, Material and Components for Thermal Energy Storage. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Benjamin Fumey, Researcher at EMPA – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, about the technology. Fumey heads the Task 58 research group focused on Component Design for Thermochemical Materials. The operation of the specially designed heat and mass exchanger will be explained throughout the interview based on a TCM storage tank with sodium hydroxide as the liquid sorbent. Important technical terms can be found in the glossary at the end of this article.
 

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.
 

Renewable Global Futures Report: Experts Divided on Future of Heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 5, 2017
CoverIs the transition to 100 % renewables at global level a feasible and realistic objective? What share will renewably sourced heat have by 2050? Will the electrification of heat continue? These are three of more than 100 questions which were answered in interviews with 114 experts from all around the world. Interviewees came from NGOs, research institutions, governmental bodies and international organisations. REN21’s Renewable Global Futures Report published in April 2017 summed up their explanations as part of twelve Great Debates. Lead author Dr Sven Teske from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, presented some of the key findings of the report during a June webinar organised by the International Solar Energy Society. 
 

Switzerland: Borehole Storage Regeneration as Solar Thermal’s Ray of Hope

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 22, 2016
Solarwärme SchweizOn 24 November, the fifth Solar Heat Switzerland (Solarwärme Schweiz) conference organised by the solar industry association Swissolar, the building services association suissetec and the Federal Office of Energy was held in Lucerne, Switzerland. As 2017 funding for solar heat incentives remains in doubt in several cantons and the priorities of the country´s energy policy haven’t been announced yet, the market outlook for solar thermal has not been very encouraging. But there seems to be a ray of hope in the form of low-temperature collectors for borehole regeneration and solar district heating. Click here to download the German-language presentations from the conference.
Photo: Swissolar
 

TASK 45 / 55: Guidelines on How to Design Seasonal Storage

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 1, 2016
Bore Hole StorageSeasonal storage is a key component in the transformation of today’s energy industry. Besides storing energy in summer for heating in winter, it can also be used to save waste heat from the industry and to increase the electricity production from biomass CHP plants. Experiences gathered with the technology during case studies were summarised as part of the study Seasonal thermal energy storage – Report on state of the art and necessary further R+D, which was published by Task 45, Large Scale Solar Heating and Cooling Systems, of the IEA SHC programme. Together with the Guidelines for Materials & Construction on the two most common storage types, borehole (see the chart) and water pit, it provides a good overview of the current advancements in this field (all three documents attached). Additional research into the design of seasonal storage will be carried out in follow-up Task 55, Towards the Integration of Large SHC Systems into District Heating and Cooling (DHC) Network. Interested stakeholders have been invited to join the kick-off meeting of Task 55 in Graz, Austria, between 19 and 21 October (see contact details below).
Chart: TASK 45
 

Austria: Decision on Operating Company for Big Solar Graz Expected Soon

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 17, 2016
Gleisdorf Solar 2016“Large-scale solar thermal systems in the GW range – an insignificant niche market or the future for solar thermal?” was the official title of a panel discussion at the Gleisdorf Solar conference in Austria in early May. The most important question was: What will be next for the planned 350 MWth solar district heating system called Big Solar in the Austrian city of Graz? “The challenge was to adapt the Danish district heating solutions to Austrian conditions,” emphasised the project’s initiator, Christian Holter (right), Managing Director of S.O.L.I.D. Meanwhile, Christian Stadler (left), Managing Director of one of Arcon-Sunmark’s subsidiaries, Arcon-Sunmark Germany & Austria, represented the company that has stated his own interest in realising Big Solar.
Photo: AEE INTEC
 

Austria: Promising Results from Test Facility with Solid Zeolite Storage Tank

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 24, 2015
InaugurationTanks with high storage capacity and reduced losses are key to an increased solar heat share in households. Austrian research institute AEE INTEC has recently inaugurated a pilot research facility which promises exactly that: greater storage capacity than water and almost zero energy losses even in seasonal mode. The heart of the test facility are two low-pressure vessels filled with 750 kg of zeolite beads or spheres each. “Our first measurements since the beginning of October were very promising,” confirms Wim van Helden, head of the research project at AEE INTEC. “We reached a storage density of 180 kWh/m³, which has never been achieved before in a device of this size.” The research is part of an EU-funded project called COMTES – Combined Development of Compact Thermal Energy Storage Technologies and was co-financed by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund. Theresia Vogel (second from left), Managing Director of said fund, joined the official starting ceremony on 11 November 2015. 
Photo: AEE INTEC
 

IEA SHC Task 42: Latent Heat Storage Has Huge Potential in the Long Run

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 25, 2015
IEA SHC Task 42In their position paper published in August 2015, the scientists of IEA SHC Task 42 (Compact Thermal Energy Storage) summed up the key results of their work between 2009 and 2015. Operating agent Matthias Rommel sees huge potential for latent heat and sorption materials in the long run – in seasonal solar heat storage for small and medium applications, as well as in the building sector. So-called smart grids will also require more heat storage units when devices such as heat pumps and co-generation plants are based on electricity grid requirements. Rommel views the definition of measurement standards for PCM materials as one of the task’s big achievements, which will help in material development. Furthermore, a research group from German research institute ZAE Bayern has performed a first cost estimate of compact heat storage technologies.  
 

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