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Training and Education

France: SoCol Network Shares Best Practices for Multi-family Houses

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 15, 2013

Taking a close look at the SoCol network website - www.solaire-collectif.fr - will get you several useful documents on solar thermal best practices for multi-family buildings. First, there are the technical guide and the maintenance guide - the former including hydraulic schemes for domestic solar hot water production in multi-family houses (see the attached document in French). “These documents are intended for both professionals and building owners to help them prepare tenders,” explains Daniel Mugnier, a solar heating and cooling expert from French consultancy Tecsol and a very active member of the network.

Southern Africa: SOLTRAIN's Demonstration Systems Achieve up to 800 kWh/m²a

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 28, 2013

The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) has agreed to sponsor also the second phase of the successful Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN). At the beginning of December, the project partners from Austria, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe met to thrash out precisely how to implement SOLTRAIN 2. The aim of the project is to support the African partner countries when they change from a largely fossil energy supply system to a sustainable supply structure based on renewable energy in general and on solar thermal in particular. The picture shows a test facility at the Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The facility was established in phase 1 of the project to support local manufacturers in growing their business and improving their solar thermal technology.
Photo: AEE INTEC

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

Costa Rica: Training Course at Earth University

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 4, 2012

An excellent campus, a highly motivated group of professionals and an abundantly sunny country: Martin Schnauss (third from right) is very satisfied with his Costa Rican training course, which took place in the middle of November at the international campus of the Earth University, a two-hour drive from the country’s capital, San José. Together with his colleague Katie Brown, Schnauss held the one-week training course about solar heating and cooling technology in cooperation with the German Renewables Academy AG (RENAC). The course, which was financed by the German Federal Environment Ministry, BMU, was free of charge for the participants.
Photos: RENAC AG

Italy: Conference Highlights Installers’ Key Qualification Issues

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 15, 2012

Held in Rome in September 2012, the conference “Qualification and Certification of Skills for Those Working in the Energy Sector” was the ideal platform to outline and debate which qualifications and certifications are necessary for installers of small-scale renewable energy systems, including solar thermal. The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, ENEA, had organised the conference because time is running out: the implementation date is the 31 December of this year. By this date, the Italian regions must have launched “a training programme for installers of renewable energy systems” in accordance with Italian law no. 28, which was approved on 3 March 2011. Some sector players, however, have their doubts about whether the regions will be ready by then.

Mexico: Workshop on Quality Assurance for Solar Water Heaters

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 6, 2012

A comprehensive documentation of the workshop “Quality Assurance for Solar Water Heaters: Tasks for the Quality Infrastructure” is now available online on the webpage of the German federal agency PTB (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt): https://www.ptb.de/lac/?id=5860 You can download all the presentations there. The four-day workshop attracted 70 experts from the solar heating and cooling sector, as well as from service providers in Latin America and the Caribbean, who met in Mexico City at the end of September to discuss the current challenges and shortcomings with regard to the quality of solar water heaters in the region. The workshop was part of the regional project “Quality Infrastructure Services for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean”.
Photo: PTB

Thailand: Advanced Training in Large-Scale Solar Thermal Applications

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 10, 2012

The solar thermal week of the Thai-German Renewable Energy Advanced Training 2012 in Bangkok in September attracted a fair number of around 20 national and international participants (see photo). Professor Christoph Menke from the German University of Applied Sciences Trier (ninth from left) hold lectures on how to plan, mount and operate large-scale solar water heating systems for hotels and industrial processes. In addition to the solar thermal training, the three-week course for advanced learners also offered one week each for bio-energy and photovoltaics. The entire event was organised by the Thai Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE) and supported by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD.
Photo: JGSEE

MNRE Congrats for Winners of UNDP GSWH Project

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 13, 2012

India has been one of the great beneficiaries of the Global Solar Water Heating Market Transformation and Strengthening Initiative (GSWH Project). The initiative, which was financed and implemented by the UN organisations UNDP/UNEP and GEF, has sought to speed up the growth of the solar water heater market around the globe. To reach its aim, the GSWH project has chosen a variety of options: generate demand, strengthen the supply chain, adopt quality measures and establish a supportive regulatory environment. The UNDP team has already pointed to India as the most successful example among the benefitting countries. To honour valuable contributions, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) organised a National Workshop on 23 August 2012 in New Delhi. At the workshop, the Energy Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, presented a total of thirteen awards to State Nodal Agencies, municipal corporations and Channel Partners. The GSWH project started in September 2008 and will end by December 2012.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

Mexico: Training and On-Site Inspection for Agricultural Solar Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 26, 2012

Mexico’s Shared Risk Trust Fund, FIRCO, has already financed more than 100 solar water heater systems in the country’s agricultural sector. “Between 2004 and 2010, we provided technical assistance to 114 small agricultural producers by installing solar water heater systems on their land. Nowadays, demand for these systems is growing very fast and the FIRCO programme has become stronger than ever in installing these renewable energy technologies,” Octavio Montúfar, Head of the FIRCO renewable energy programme, explains. Currently, more than 60 people, such as local technical advisors, work in the Trust Fund’s programme, which has been equipped with a USD 200 million budget since 2006. Additionally, FIRCO is assisted by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in setting up and implementing a quality control scheme for solar water heaters.
Figure: www.firco.gob.mx

SOLTRAIN: Free Solar Heating Systems for Social Institutions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 16, 2012

 Solar Collectors at Kestell Children’s Home Two solar water heating systems – one at an old people’s home and the other at an orphanage (photo) – started operating this March thanks to an initiative by SESSA members Holms and Friends, and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). Together with another system completed last year, the installations are part of an ADA pledge in support of the SOLTRAIN (Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative) project, which is coordinated by Professor Dieter Holm and Henning Holm of Holms and Friends (formerly Omnibus Engineering). Promised are more than 50 solar water heating systems (see http://www.solarthermalworld.org/node/3466).
Photo: SESSA

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