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Standards

India: New Standards for Vacuum Tube Collectors and their Storage Tanks

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 16, 2013

The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has specified the standard requirements for evacuated solar collector tubes intended for non-concentrating solar collectors and related storage tanks.

Bulgaria: CL SENES – Hard Times for Well-established Solar Research Centre

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 6, 2013

Next to the Tsarigradsko Chaussee, an important road artery leading to the outskirts of Sofia, one can make out a vast research area belonging to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS). On its campus, some scientists produce food for astronauts, others focus on solar energy (see photo). The Central Laboratory of Solar Energy and New Energy Sources (CL SENES) was founded in 1978 and played an important role in the energy efficiency programme of Todor Zhivkov´s government until the fall of communism in 1989. The lab’s research was focussed on using solar thermal energy to heat water in state-owned hotels and enterprises. Back then, some 50,000 m² of solar collectors were installed mainly along the Black Sea coast.
Photo: Frank Stier

UK: Domestic RHI Tariff Applies to Installations After 15 July 2009

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 5, 2013

In July 2013 the UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) confirmed the tariff rates for the long-awaited Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The Government’s press release at 12 July 2013 promises that the solar thermal tariff will be set at ‘at least 19.2 Pound Stirling pence (p)/kWh’. This compares with 7.3 p/kWh for air source heat pumps, 12.2 p/kWh for biomass boilers and 18.8 p/kWh for ground source heat pumps.

Costa Rica: Small Market but Prestigious Large-Scale Projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 23, 2013

Costa Rica’s local solar thermal industry has been getting organised: The Solar Energy Association of Costa Rica, Acesolar, was officially founded last year. In early 2013, all formal issues were resolved and Acesolar was able to start working. Currently, the association has around twenty members. In February, a committee began developing a national standard for solar thermal systems. Cheap vacuum tubes from China are currently very popular. The photo shows one of the recent prestigious large-scale solar projects, which was finished in April 2013. The installation at the MultiSpa consists of 64 glazed flat plate collectors covering the hot water demand and 320 m² of unglazed collectors to heat the Olympic-size pool.
Photo: Acesolar

Uruguay: Growing at Its Own Pace

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 15, 2013

Uruguay’s government aims at reaching a renewable share of 50% in its national energy mix by 2015. In order to achieve this target, the government approved the so-called Solar Plan in March 2012. It offers up to USD 800 per solar thermal system to clients of the main public utility UTE. UTE reduces the energy bill of any SWH purchaser Uruguayan Peso (UYU) 700 over the first 24 months (UYU 16,800 = USD 800). In addition, the new Decreto No 451/011 mandates a 50 % solar share for hot water generation in hospitals, hotels and sports clubs – for both newly built and soon-to-be-renovated houses. However, some industry actors did not see a dramatic growth in solar thermal installations. Despite a lack of official statistics, one figure is clear: The subsidy scheme offers a budget for 2,000 systems, out of which 600 were already completed between March 2012 and July 2013.

Australia: Country to Publish First Solar Air Conditioning Standard

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 17, 2013

In April, two workshops for solar cooling took place in Asia. At the beginning of the month, a workshop in Singapore focused on the use of solar cooling in tropical regions and gathered around 70 participants from research and industry (see photo). The workshop took place at Cleantech One, which is part of Singapore’s clean technology centre. Cleantech One also hosts the Asia office of Austrian turnkey system provider S.O.L.I.D. and the energy research institute ERI@N of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). They both organised the workshop together with the International Energy Agency (IEA). A week later, almost 80 solar cooling specialists participated in the Australian Solar Cooling 2013 Conference in Sydney, an event by the Australian Solar Cooling Interest Group (ausSCIG). Solarthermalworld.org has picked out the highlights from the presentations held at the two workshops.
Photo: S.O.L.I.D.

Worldwide: Final Draft of New Collector Standard

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 23, 2013

The draft of the EN ISO 9806 was submitted to the CEN/TC 312 in January 2013. This means that all technical debates are concluded and only minor editorial changes may still find their way into the latest version. The formal voting will take place in June and August 2013, and the new standard is said to be published between February and May 2014. The EN ISO 9806 replaces the EN 12975-2 and the ISO 9806-1, -2 and -3. It will be the first almost globally valid standard for solar thermal collectors, as it is both an EN and an ISO standard.

Italy: New Mandatory Quality Standards Trouble Installers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 29, 2013

On 24 January, the Conference of Italian Regions adopted the guideline [translated] ”Training standard for the installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems – in accordance with Legislative Decree 28/2011”. The guideline implements the requirements of article 15 of Law 28 with regard to qualification schemes for installers of renewable energy systems. Two Italian associations, the CNA (National Confederation of the Craft Sector and Small and Medium Enterprises) and the associations Confartigianato have sounded the alarm: if the regions do not implement installer training courses quickly, “many of the 57,000 renewable installers in the country will be out of work” after 1 August 2013.

Trinidad and Tobago: Government’s Solar Thermal System Quality Push

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 16, 2013

The highly gas-dependent island state of Trinidad and Tobago off the coast of Venezuela is beginning to add renewable energies in its energy mix. Solar thermal technology has been profiting from several types of tax incentives since the beginning of 2011 and has also been part of the country’s energy strategy. Doodnath Singh from the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) spoke about the financial schemes and about the challenges with quality and product certification at the Mexican workshop Quality Assurance for Solar Water Heaters in September 2012 (see the attached presentation).
Figure: Wikipedia

Mexico: FAMERAC Lobbies for Stricter Solar Thermal System Standards

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 25, 2013

The election of the new Mexican government in December 2012 officially ended the strategic plan for solar thermal energy, Procalsol. The organisation of solar thermal manufacturers, FAMERAC, has been in talks with the Mexican National Commission for Energy Efficiency (CONUEE) and the new energy ministry to develop a strategy for a new Procalsol from 2013 to 2018. But Procalsol as a strategic framework is only one of three areas in which FAMERAC is lobbying for solar thermal at the moment, says Daniel García, the new President of FAMERAC and Sales Director of Mexican collector manufacturer Modulo Solar. The second area is standardisation and quality assurance of solar components and systems. The third concern of the association has been to improve the quality of solar installations.
Photo: Modulo Solar

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