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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

“I appreciated the initiative of introducing a new standard”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 11, 2013

Elizabeth Duarte Pereira can look back at 40 years of solar thermal research in Brazil. Today, she is Professor at the UNA University Centre in Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais and is about to help set up a new test facility in Brazil - the third in her research career. During her stay in Berlin for the international SMEThermal conference, solarthermalworld.org sat down with Pereira to talk about quality issues, standards and Brazil’s solar-supported social housing programme.
Photo: Bärbel Epp

Germany: Fraunhofer ISE’s New Climate Test Stand

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 16, 2013

At the end of November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE started its new test stand for solar thermal collectors. Using this test stand, the scientists aim to simulate mechanical loads under extreme climatic conditions, e.g., wind or snow, and analyse their effects on the solar collectors. The test stand is part of the MechTest project, which has been running at the Fraunhofer ISE with support from the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) since 2010. The scientists hope that the project will be able to determine the mechanical stresses put on solar collectors and their mounting systems by wind and snow in order to develop quality assurance systems based on these results.
Photo: Stephanie Banse

Procedures for Environmental Performance Assessment of Solar Thermal Systems (2007)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on January 3, 2013

This document provides an overview of an environmental fact sheet produced by EU-funded project NEGST (New Generation of Solar Thermal Systems Project) which allows comparing the environmental performance of different solar thermal systems and other heating systems.

The Environmental Fact Sheet includes the following categories:

Cuba: 15 Years GERA Solar Thermal R&D and Testing

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 14, 2012

The Cuban Applied Renewable Energy Group, GERA, can look back at 15 years of successful research and development projects. Together with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Orient University of Santiago de Cuba, GERA has formed a team of specialists from several disciplines, including renewable energy specialists, physicists, mechanical and automation engineers, computer specialists, and architects. The group has been running a solar laboratory and a student exchange programmes with European Universities. The photo shows Jorge Luis Bonzon Henriques, Director of GERA, with one of the solar dishes for solar cooling systems designed by the GERA team.
Photo: Gera

Lebanon: Successful Installation of Testing Equipment

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 2, 2012

The new test facility for solar thermal collectors at the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) in Beirut, Lebanon, is now in its warm-up phase: At present, the technical team is preparing the collector testing for the upcoming ARSOL certification scheme in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The photo shows the partners responsible for setting up the equipment according to European collector standards EN 12975 1 and 2 (from right to left): Pierre El Khoury (Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation, LCEC), Rani Al Achkar (LCEC), Nader Hajj Shehadeh (LCEC), Christian Schorn (Institute for Future Energy Systems, IZES), Sheikh Talal Zaki (IRI), Imad Hage Chehade (IRI), Mohamed El-Hajjar (IRI), Dino Alexopoulos (CRES) and Andreas Gisch (IZES). The photo was taken during the last project meeting in April 2011.
Photo: IZES

Risk Assessment of Structural Impacts on Buildings of Solar Hot Water Collectors and PV tiles and Panels (2010)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on September 24, 2012

This report was prepared for the Scottish government by BRE Scotland and Waterman Group, and looks at the loads imposed when solar thermal hot water collectors are attached to roofs and walls. Through this, they develop a risk-based approach for the installation of solar collectors onto different surfaces.

Centre d'Essai Solaire de Perpignan (2008)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on July 23, 2012

This presentation outlines the mandate and workplan of the Centre d’Essai Solaire de Perpignan (CESP), an accredited testing laboratory where solar thermal components and materials are tested according to EN 12975 to attain the prerequisite for European solar thermal certification Solar Keymark and French certification CSTBât. The CESP is part of the CARTECH technology platform, and draws on expertise from the laboratory for Processes, Materials and Solar Energy (PROMES).

Solar Thermal Energy for Cooling and Refrigeration: Status and Perspectives (2012)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on July 12, 2012

This presentation - given by TECSOL’s Daniel Mugnier at the 2012 Intersolar fair in Munich - gives an overview of recent technological developments in Solar Cooling, and an outlook for the progress that still needs to be made in the future.  This is made in the framework of Task 48 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Program. The main technical progress over the last decade is outlined for closed cycles and open sorptive cycles, as well as sorption cooling and high temperature applications. 

Brazil: Quality Labelling Inmetro Soon Mandatory

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 5, 2012

Brazilian Labeling Programme PBE – so far a voluntary label - will become mandatory within the next two years. After the transition period of 24 months, all of the around 150 manufacturers of solar collectors and tanks must adhere to the requirements of the new Technical Requirements on Quality (RTQ). PBE announced the mandatory regulation in June 2012. Its aim is improve the quality of products in the Brazilian market. Any collector or tank that is to be sold in Brazil first has to be certified by the National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO).

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