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Germany: Process Heat Supply from Vacuum Tubes and Air Collectors on the Rise

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 21, 2017
Process Heat StatisticsThere is a distinct difference between the make-up of the German solar process heat segment and the country’s solar thermal market in general and it concerns the type of collectors used. One in four collectors used in solar process heat systems is an air collector, although the technology contributes only around 10 % to the total collector area newly installed each year. The same has been true for vacuum tube systems, which showed a 35 % share in solar process heat installations among approved projects in 2016 – despite an overall market share of only 9 % last year. All figures are based on statistics provided by the University of Kassel’s Institute of Thermal Engineering, which has been in charge of the research accompanying the subsidy scheme on solar process heat under the auspices of Germany’s Market Rebate Programme for Renewable Energies or MAP.
Chart: solrico, source: Institute of Thermal Engineering, University of Kassel
 

Canada: Solar District Heat Meets Community’s Entire Space Heating Demand

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 9, 2016
Drake Landing CanadaThe Canadian Drake Landing Solar Community has hit a new performance milestone, recording its first year of solar-only space heating during heating season 2015-2016. The community’s SDH plant, which has been in operation since 2007, was initially designed to achieve a solar fraction of 92 to 93 % for space heat in an average year. System improvements have increased that share and have made last winter the first time that solar energy was able to meet 100 % of the space heating requirements of the 52 energy-efficient residential buildings. The families heat their hot water with their own solar water heaters and gas-fired boilers. The initiator of the project was Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), which has since remained the central technical support. 
Photo: CanmetEnergy, Natural Resources Canada
 

New Zealand: Prized School Air Heating Project

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 26, 2016
Solarventi New ZealandA New Zealand research project which deployed solar air collectors in schools to improve pupils’ health while reducing heat costs has garnered an award by the New Zealand Institute of Building this year. Robyn Phipps, Professor in Construction at Massey University’s School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, won the award for her research project conducted in cooperation with the Australian subsidiary of Danish air collector manufacturer Solarventi. The project led to the installation of solar air heating systems in ten classrooms of five primary schools in wintertime in 2013 and to the implementation of another batch of systems in 12 classrooms of six primary schools the following winter. Monitoring data showed that attaining similar temperatures in the control classrooms required 2.5 times the thermal energy used in the solar-heated ones. 
Photo: Solarventi 
 

Canada: Aéronergie’s Acquisition of Enerconcept Leaves Company and Product Names Intact

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 3, 2014
Lubi WallAt the beginning of October, Canadian air collector manufacturer Enerconcept became part of Canadian engineering company Aéronergie. Aéronergie is a young company, founded three years ago with the aim of offering efficient heating solutions to manufacturers which “keep spending large amounts on energy in spite of unseen substantial savings,” according to a press release from 7 October. “With the acquisition of Enerconcept, Aéronergie extends its portfolio into solar in a big way,” the press release adds. Aéronergie and Enerconcept have been working together since 2012, the former as a complete solution provider and the latter as an installer. Both companies realised a number of projects together by offering comprehensive packages to industry owners and reducing their heating costs by 60 to 90 %. The photo shows one of these projects - a 230 m² Lubi wall with a cross-flow heat recovery unit at the industrial painting specialist Fuzion TK in the town of Drummondville in the Québec province. 
Photo: Enerconcept
 

Global Collector Test Standard Incorporates New Technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 24, 2013

The final version of the EN ISO 9806 was approved by the international standard committees CEN/TC 312 and ISO TC180 with more than 90 % of the votes shortly before their meetings in Freiburg, Germany, in the middle of September. This is an important milestone for the solar thermal industry, because it marks the first time that there will be a modern global standard for collector testing procedures which different countries can refer to. In addition, the new standard includes testing methodology for a number of new solar thermal technologies, such as solar air heating collectors, concentrating medium-temperature collectors and PVT collectors. Now, it will only be a matter of weeks until the standard is handed down to the national standardisation secretariats and, over the coming month, distributed through their national publication channels.
Photo: Solarwall

Canada/Germany: Enerconcept’s Lubi Collectors Eligible for BAFA Grants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 8, 2013

Good news from Germany for Canadian air collector manufacturer Enerconcept: The company has completed its collector tests for the Lubi wall and the roof-mounted Luba GL at the Fraunhofer ISE institute in Freiburg. The collectors meet all of the requirements by the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) and are now eligible for grants. Enerconcept’s German partner, GoGaS Goch, which will sell the air collectors together with its energy-efficient solutions for heating and process heat, is delighted with the success of the combined systems. Solarthermalworld.org met François Brizard, Development Engineer at Enerconcept (left), and Heiko Schneider, Managing Director of GoGaS Goch, at the ISH fair in Frankfurt, Germany.
Photo: Stephanie Banse

Serbia: Solar Air Collectors on Smederevo’s Primary School

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 16, 2012

In spring 2012, a solar air collector system was installed on the roof of the gymnasium at the primary school "Dr Jovan Cvijie" in Smederevo, Serbia. The panels were set up to ensure regular heating and ventilation of the hall, as well as hot water in the showers. This first air collector project in Serbia was realised in the context of an environmental project, which aims to increase the use of renewable energy in the city’s public buildings.
Photo: Danone Solar

German Ministry of Foreign Affairs with New 203 m² Air Collector System

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 1, 2012

 Air Collector Installation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, Germany Since December 2011, a total of 81 solar air collectors by German manufacturer Grammer Solar have supplied the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin with sun-heated air. The air collector system is part of an energy savings contract that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has drawn up together with the German Energy Agency (dena) and the energy efficient building specialists of YIT Germany GmbH in 2011. The overall aim is to save more than EUR 600,000 in operation costs and around 1,780 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Photo: Grammer Solar

Canada: Matrix Energy Wins Patent Infringement Lawsuit vs Conserval Engineering

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 14, 2011

 MatrixAir system At the end of October, Canadian air collector manufacturer Matrix Energy Inc won its patent infringement case against Conserval Engineering, Canada, a case that lasted for several years. According to a press release by Matrix Energy from the beginning of November, the Federal Court of Canada concluded that the defendant, “…did not infringe Conserval Engineering’s Canadian Patent No 1,326,619 … by making, designing and selling its own MatrixAir system”.
Photo: Matrix Energy Inc

Canada: Solar Air Heating is strongest Sector

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 10, 2011

 Canadian Solar Thermal Market 20102010 was a good year for the solar thermal industry in Canada. The total newly installed collector area (brown line) grew by 54 %, from 129,418 to 199,491 m2. Air collector sales (red line) doubled and - for the first - overtook the solar swimming pool market (blue line), which is more or less stagnating. With 150 %, the segment of glazed solar water collectors (pink line) experienced the highest growth, although the 20,000 m2 sold in 2010 make it still a low-level market.
Source: NRCan

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