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EINSTEIN: Expert System for the Intelligent Use of Solar Thermal in the Industrial Sector

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2008

Using solar heating for industrial processes is still far away from being a standardised solution. Any industrial process has to be analysed and individual solutions have to be developed. To simplify this approach, a European Consortium developed EINSTEIN, a software tool which works out an energy efficient solution for the production process, based on renewable energy sources. This project is financed by Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) and coordinated by the Austrian research institute Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH.

Brazil Evaluates Its Solar Thermal Installations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 17, 2008

institute GREEN in Brazil Evaluation project in Brazil: The Grupo de Estudos em Energia (GREEN) at Pontificia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, also called the Brazilian Center for the Development of Thermo-Solar Energy, checks the quality of components and installed systems. Foto: GREEN

More Research Needed for New Storage Materials

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 17, 2008

If solar energy is to be the primary or only source of heat for houses in the future, there will arise a need for storing it more efficiently. Materials have to be found that are able to hold more energy than water, but with less volume and higher loss. Task 32 of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Solar & Cooling programme was working on this issue. The scientists presented their results at the Eurosun 2008 in Lisbon, at the beginning of October.

Solar Heat Used Rarely in Industrial Processes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 14, 2008

If solar heat likes to gain more importance in the future, it should not ignore the industrial sector. Task 33 of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Solar Heating & Cooling programme performed an analysis of industrial energy needs and looked for the potential of solar heat within the sector. The Task’s scientists found a huge potential for energy from the sun. The industrial sector makes up about 28 % of total primary energy consumption in the European Union. A significant share of the heat used in industrial processes is used at low or medium temperatures.

Canada: Solar Thermal Energy Competitive with Natural Gas

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 14, 2008

biggest installation in CanadaCanada’s biggest solar thermal installation with 223 kW (319 m²) pumps heat to Wood Green Community Services in Toronto. Photo: Mondial Energy

The Agenda for Solar Thermal in SEIA

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 28, 2008

The solar thermal division of SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association in the USA, should be strengthened. This is the decision of a meeting of solar thermal stakeholders during the conference and exhibition Solar Power in San Diego in the middle of October. Representatives of the solar thermal industry as well as of the Solar Rating and Certification Cooperation (SRCC) discussed two different options.

USA: Solar Heating and Vacuum Tube Collectors are catching up

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 27, 2008

The US-American domestic solar heating and cooling market grew by 31 % in 2007, after the rapid climb of 77 % in 2006. These are figures from the annual statistics of the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which publishes the official energy statistics of the U.S. Government. In total 150,000 m2 of collector area was shipped last year (against 111,000 m2 in 2006). The EIA assumes that only 2 % of the total shipment was exported last year; the home market volume was thus 147,000 m2.

Heat Transfer Fluid from Corn

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 24, 2008

The US-American based renewable system supplier Solar Panels Plus LLC (SPP) has launched an alternative to petroleum-based propylene glycol. The new heat transfer fluid made from corn is completely renewable and biodegradable. “The underlying corn glycol product is made by chemical giant DuPont and we developed our own formula for the production of an efficient heat transfer liquid”, says SPP COO John Williams.

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