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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

“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.

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