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Optimised control strategy for solar district heating in Italy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 20, 2018
Photo: Linea Reti e ImpiantiDespite its small size, the solar district heating system in Lodi, close to Milan, is one of few in Italy to feed surplus heat into a local network. In March 2017, Linea Reti e Impianti, the public utility based in this city of 45,000, started buying heat produced by a 192 m² solar thermal installation. The system is owned by Sporting Lodi, a public-private partnership that operates the local sports centre, which includes a swimming pool (see photo). Marco Calderoni, a researcher working at the Politecnico di Milano, and his colleagues have recently suggested using a new approach to reduce the supply temperature in the solar circuit to increase performance. This article is based on a presentation given by Calderoni during the 5th International Solar District Heating Conference in Graz in April. 
Photo: Linea Reti e Impianti

“Racing down the renewable electricity pathway only”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 17, 2018
Renewables 2018 Global Status ReportThe Renewables 2018 Global Status Report illustrates the sharp difference in growth between the renewable electricity and heat markets. Whereas PV had another record year, with newly installed capacity totalling at least 98 GWp in 2017, up from 75 GWp, and wind its third-best ever, by adding 52 GW, solar heating and cooling increased by only 35 GWth – a 4 % drop compared to 2016. “Transformation is picking up speed in the electric power sector, but urgent action is required in heating, cooling and transport,” was the key message of a press release published by Paris-based REN21. The report, launched at the beginning of June, has been followed by a series of speeches at events in Manila, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, Washington and New York. The press release, translated into 12 languages, has been picked up by media outlets around the globe. 

India needs massive awareness-raising campaign

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 12, 2018
Solar India ExpoIndia’s opportunities and challenges around solar process heat for industry, or SHIP, were the central topic of a session at the 3rd Solar India Expo in May. First, representatives for both currently running support schemes, Solar Payback and a renewable energy project managed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, or UNIDO, spoke about SHIP market development and projects. Then, three Indian-based SHIP system suppliers presented successful demonstration systems to the around 50 attendees of the event, held in India’s capital New Delhi. 
Photo: Solar India Expo

Rising demand for solar heat in large buildings and industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2018
SHW 1By the end of 2017, the market for solar heating and cooling had grown by 472 GWth, which again made it the largest for solar energy in the world. The one for photovoltaic systems gained 402 GWp to become the second-largest, and 5 GWel was enough for concentrating solar power to rank third, according to the latest Solar Heat Worldwide report. The report also highlights the rising use of megawatt-class solar heating and cooling solutions for large public and residential buildings, as well as factories. It was launched at the end of May by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Lead author is the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC.
Source of all figures: Solar Heat Worldwide

Green hotel in Italy’s mountains

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 5, 2018
Photo: Luca Degiorgis / DegmarSolar thermal performs well even in high-mountain areas during winter season. The installation shown in the photo is proof that combining solar and other renewable technologies, such as biomass boilers and a solar-assisted heat pump, results in a synergy that can be very productive. The renewable heating system may have had a price tag of EUR 150,900 but uses innovative solutions, including phase change materials, to store thermal energy and saves EUR 16,000 per year.
Photo: Luca Degiorgis / Degmar

12,000 m² of concentrating solar planned in Brazil

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 3, 2018
Photo: RackamA consortium of around 10 companies is planning to build a 12,000 m² concentrating solar plant in Jaborandi, Bahia state, to the northeast of Brazil’s capital. This combined process heat and power system will use parabolic trough collectors (see photo) by Canadian-based Rackam to dry tobacco and generate electricity for an agribusiness. The relevant contracts have been signed and construction is set to start this summer. The plant is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2019.
Photo: Rackam

A survey of the global market for concentrating collectors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 1, 2018
Graphic: Solar PaybackConcentrating collector technologies are becoming an increasingly popular choice for customers requiring industrial heat or space heating. This year’s Renewables 2018 Global Status Report includes, for the first time, data regarding new installations of concentrating systems. Published at the beginning of June by the Paris-based REN21 network, it states that a minimum of 143 MWth was set up in 2017. The largest markets were Oman (100 MWth), China (15 MWth), Italy (14 MWth), India (2.8 MWth) and Mexico (2.8 MWth). The image shows the three technologies available for sale. 
Graphic: Solar Payback

PVT increasingly used for net zero energy buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 31, 2018
Photo: ISFH, IEA SHC Task 60A rising number of manufacturers and suppliers in Europe are offering combined photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, also known as PVT units. This was one of the main messages of the International Workshop on the Status of PVT Systems, organised by Fraunhofer ISE on 16 May 2018 in Freiburg. The event, held as part of IEA SHC Task 60, Application of PVT Collectors and New Solutions in HVAC Systems, featured 15 speakers, who updated 63 attendees working in industry and science on the progress made with PVT products and research.
Photo: ISFH, IEA SHC Task 60

SDH prefeasibility studies in Bosnia and Croatia

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 29, 2018
Source: CoolHeatingIn early 2016, EU-funded CoolHeating began using the know-how acquired during best practice projects in Austria, Denmark and Germany to help with the implementation of small modular renewable heating and cooling grids in southeastern Europe. In mid-March, the CoolHeating partners published seven prefeasibility studies of district heating and cooling across five municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. Because of geographical features, most projects favoured biomass, but solar thermal does play a crucial role in the proposals created for the Bosnian town of Visoko (see map) and the Croatian city of Ozalj. 
Source: CoolHeating

California Solar Initiative dominated by multi-family houses

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 25, 2018
Source: California Public Utilities CommissionIn 2017, the California Solar Initiative (CSI) – Thermal Program supported the installation of 20,000 m² of collector area, a 20 % increase over the prior year. With 10,832 m², or four times the area installed in 2016, multi-family buildings dominated the subsidy landscape for those 12 months. The surge was a result of a temporary increase in the incentive amount, from USD 29.85 per therm displaced to USD 70, granted across the service area of Southern California Gas Company. The chart, for which data has been supplied by the California Public Utilities Commission, shows the collector area subsidised and installed from 2010 to 2017.
Source: California Public Utilities Commission

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