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Sun provides 70 % of hot water in blocks of flats

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 13, 2017
Construtora AlttiMore than 3,500 solar water heating systems have been in operation at blocks of flats across Brazil’s ‘solar city’ Belo Horizonte. This figure, an estimate by organisations which were previously part of a business cluster called BH Solar, affirms the city’s exceptional status in Brazil and around the world. Most of the solar systems have been installed on the roofs of high-rise buildings intended for the middle class and the wealthy. The photo shows two such structures. One flat has 4 bedrooms and extends over an entire floor, measuring 280 m². To provide the security that owners were looking for, recreational facilities, such as a swimming pool and a tennis court, have been set up inside the walls put up around the complex. 
Photos: Construtora Altti
 

How to approach green construction in the tropical zone

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 11, 2017
Dr Gao BCA SingaporeWhile nearly zero energy projects in Europe focus on reducing heat demand, green buildings in tropical Singapore require lower cooling loads. To study and discuss methods to meet cooling needs, construction and energy experts from all around the world met in Singapore in late October for a two-day workshop organised by the Building & Construction Authority Singapore (BCA) and the IEA’s Buildings and Communities Programme (EBC). The aim of the Future Buildings Forum (FBF) 2017 was an agreement on strategic R&D priorities for Transforming Cities in Hot and Humid Climates Towards More Efficient and Sustainable Energy Use.
Photo: BCA
 

Maintenance as New Business Option in Spain

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 8, 2017
Recently, maintenance has gained popularity among Spanish solar thermal installers, according to the country’s national solar industry association, ASIT. Its general secretary, Pascual Polo, has been working to encourage the association’s members and end users to have solar thermal equipment undergo regular maintenance checks. Inspections carried out in Madrid and Barcelona have shown that the output of around one-third of the solar thermal systems installed in both municipalities based on the Technical Building Code, CTE, do not meet expectations (link to http://www.solarthermalworld.org/content/spain-solar-obligation-2006). 
Photo: Solar del Valle
 

SHC / SWC 2017: Twelve Experts Highlight Success Stories on Tape

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 4, 2017
videosFrom 30 October to 2 November 2017, the SHC 2017 and the SWC 2017 in Abu Dhabi brought together 500 researchers, industry specialists and other experts on solar heating and cooling. The 12 video interviews that solarthermalworld.org recorded at the joint conference outlined trends in today's global solar heating and cooling sector and highlighted policy fields where urgent action is required. The videos were financed by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme and the European Copper Association. See the complete playlist.
 

Australia: Think Big, Think Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 1, 2017
GreenlandIn Australia, the deployment of large commercial solar thermal plants is picking up speed. This year, Monash University had a solar field of 0.5 MW put into operation and aims to expand it to 1 MW. The solar heat that is fed into the district heating system of the large campus area in Clayton, a suburb of Melbourne, is said to meet the entire heat demand in summer. The field consists of vacuum tube collectors by Australian manufacturer Greenland Systems (see photo) and was designed and installed by the LCI engineering consultancy from Melbourne. Currently, Danish Aalborg CSP is in dialogue with Perth-based Agrimin about the supply of solar process heat to a planned sulphate of potash (SOP) mine and processing factory in the state of Western Australia.
Photo: Greenland
 

UK: How Does Solar Thermal Sustain against Photovoltaics and Biomass?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 30, 2017
KingspanAt the end of 2016 the solar thermal industry association STA campaigned successfully for solar thermal to remain in the two Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI). However, the year 2017 was so far weaker than the previous years. In the domestic RHI there were 423 residential applications accredited from January to September 2017, compared to 537 in the same period of the previous year. Approved applications for commercial solar thermal plants with in the non-domestic RHI were down to 19 in this same period from 36 in the previous year.  The photo shows a 155 m² installation on the roof of the new Star Community Centre in Cardiff that opened its doors in September 2016. 
Photo: Kingspan
 

Spain: Marketing Activities Foster SHIP Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 29, 2017
SHIP plantsThe Spanish market for Industrial Solar Heat (SHIP) is still small: Currently, there are only three installations ongoing across the country (see screen shot). Now, the Spanish Solar Concentra platform intends to support market development by identifying 130 potential industrial SHIP clients with no access to the piped natural gas grid, but sufficient space for a solar thermal installation in the south of Spain. Diego Crespo, Project Engineer at the Protermosolar association, the coordinator of Solar Concentra, presented this approach during a webinar on 16 November. The organiser of the webinar, Spanish-based consultancy ATA Insights, has uploaded a recording and his presentation to its website.
 

India: “Gained the trust of our customers”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 27, 2017
Bhoovarhan ThirumalaBecause of a strong order pipeline, the future is looking bright for one Indian solar thermal turnkey supplier: Bhoovarahan Thirumalai, CEO of Aspiration Energy, expects to realise solar heat for industrial processes (SHIP) projects at a total capacity of 20 MW in the next one-and-a-half years – all of them as a solar heat supplier. This would be a significant increase compared to the 2.5 MW of solar thermal capacity that the company set up over the course of 20 installations in the last 7 years. One key success factor is the business model of Aspiration Energy. As an Energy Service Company, it owns and operates the SHIP plant and the industrial client pays based on what it saves.
Photo: Aspiration Energy
 

IEA SHC Task 54: Solar Thermal Cost Reductions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 26, 2017
Linz workshop Task 54The objective of IEA SHC Task 54 is to reduce the purchase price of solar thermal systems by up to 40 % across the entire value chain. To achieve this, the project partners have been evaluating technical and non-technical cost-saving potential, with low-cost materials, such as polymers, and production technologies bound to play an important role. At an early October workshop in Linz, Austria, about 50 project partners and guests discussed cost reductions made possible by new distribution channels, digital solutions and systems thinking approaches. 
Photo: Fraunhofer ISE
 

Solar Is UK's Best District Heating Option

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 24, 2017
The UK government has clear and ambitious plans to raise the share of district heating (DH) in total heat consumption. GBP (Pound Sterling) 320 million is said to be made available for increasing the number of households connected to DH from 220,000 to 8 million by 2030, or to 30 % of today’s 27 million households in the country. These impressive figures are part of a report called Winning Hearts and Minds – Scenario-Driven Stakeholder Analysis on How to Make District Heating Successful in the UK, a combination of scenarios and online surveys developed jointly by German-based Communication Works and the Stockholm School of Economics on behalf of the UK’s Association for Decentralised Energy. The aim is to find suitable avenues for popularising DH among heat users in the country.
 

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