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Heat Storage

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. 

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.  

Germany: Solar + Heat Pump + Ice Storage Achieves Seasonal Performance Factor of 5.6

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 22, 2015
Ice storage ConsalarGerman company Consolar offers a heating system called SOLAERA, which combines a heat pump with a specially designed solar collector and a heat storage space using the latent heat released when water freezes to ice (see photo). The solar heat pump system with 18 m² of collector area, a 300 litre ice storage space and a 1,000 litre buffer tank provides enough energy to heat a well-insulated building in Germany. In a field test by a local environment group, Lokale Agenda 21, it achieved a Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 5.6, putting performance even above prior simulations. The SPF describes the ratio of delivered heat to electricity consumed over the entire year. Consolar sold about 160 solar heat pump systems in total, mostly in Germany but also in Denmark, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Italy. The systems there achieved SPFs between 3.5 and 6, depending on collector field size, maximum flow temperature and heat demand.
Photo: Consolar

Solar Thermal Energy (2007)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 20, 2015

This document was prepared in 2007 by the University of Gavle. The document gives a detailed introduction to solar thermal power, as well as descriptions of various energy applications and active and passive solar heating systems.

The report breaks down in detail the different types of solar thermal systems and collectors. Charts, graphs and photos show the various examples listed.

Development of a Solar Rating and Certification Laboratory in Minnesota (2009)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 16, 2015

This is a report prepared by the Minnesota Department of Commerce Office of Energy Security (OES) to the Legislature. It focuses on solar thermal technologies for domestic hot water and space heating. This legislation came about from concerns that the nationally recognized solar thermal certification organization, Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC), process was inadequately serving Minnesota’s solar thermal industry.

Building Integrated Solar Thermal Roofing Systems History, Current Status and Future Promise

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 16, 2015

This document was prepared by the American Solar Roofing Company and explains building integrated solar thermal (BIST) designs. There are four characteristics mentioned in this report to help distinguish the different types of BIST roofing: roof panel size, heat transfer fluid containment, glazing and focusing methods. It discusses the history of BIST and mentions some of the earliest examples of this technology. It also explains the composition of these systems, describing the materials used and how it works.

Concentrated Solar Power – Focusing the sun’s energy for large-scale power generation (2009)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 15, 2015

This fact sheet was written by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute in 2009. The document starts with a brief background on solar thermal energy and then describes the different types of solar thermal systems (parabolic trough, linear fresnal reflectors, dish/engine, power tower). It covers nighttime generation and how systems use supplemental fuels or thermal storage. The “Water and Land Impacts” section discusses land requirements for single rooftop systems to large power tower systems and water usage.

American Solar Works – Harness Your Energy for Your Business (2008)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 13, 2015

This document was prepared by the American Solar Works Holdings LLC. While it gives background information, it primarily tries to encourage solar thermal use for commercial buildings and businesses. Several commercial examples are used of what solar thermal can be used for including: heating hotel domestic hot water, providing showers for athletes and students, washing livestock, providing “green” clean clothes at a laundry mat, heating a building in the winter and augment your absorption chilling in the summer.

Green Institute Issue Brief on Solar Energy (2008)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 13, 2015

This report was issued by the Green Institute in 2008 and discusses the option of a “solar carve-out” to build Minnesota’s solar future. To develop Minnesota’s renewable sources beyond 25 percent, development of additional renewable energy will be necessary, specifically solar technology. A carve-out is an addition to a renewable energy standard (RES) that specifies a portion of the RES needs to be met with a particular technology – solar.

Heating Water with Solar Energy Costs Less at the Phoenix Federal Correctional Institution (2004)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 13, 2015

This report was released by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy section of the U.S. Department of Energy in 2004. It highlights a large-scale solar thermal system installed at the Phoenix Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) and breaks down the statistical output. The system was financed through an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), which include an average annual savings of $6,700.


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