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Newsletter February 2019

Southern European suppliers most satisfied with SWH business

Solar water heater suppliers based in Europe were in a much more positive mood last year than those that had their headquarters in another part of the world. In fact, 78 % of them were able to generate more sales than in 2017, with some exporting a bit and some a lot more systems than in the previous year. By contrast, only 51 % of those SWH companies based in countries outside Europe could say the same thing about their business. Sales volumes were particularly strong in Spain and Italy, while Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Kenya were seen as promising the best opportunities for growth in Africa and the Gulf region. These were the findings of a survey conducted by German market research agency solrico from November to December 2018. Over half of the 78 SWH companies responding to the questionnaire were based outside the EU. (Photo: Papaemmanouel).
Read more about the solrico SWH supplier survey
Read more about the prospects in Kenya, Morocco and the UAE
China: Flat plate collector sales up despite shrinking market
by Yaping Zhang

China’s solar thermal industry needs to adapt to changing demand by focusing on innovation and quality: That was the key message coming out of the annual association meeting held from 11 to 13 December 2018. In 2018, the annually installed collector area was again down. But although it dropped by 4.9 % to 35.54 million m², or 24.8 GWth, flat plate collector sales were on the rise, as was the share of the engineering segment.
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Drainback solution for industrial sector
by Riccardo Battisti

In December 2018, Belgian technology supplier Sunoptimo started up a turnkey system at Lys Services, a tank cleaning company based in northern France. The hydraulic components are housed inside prefabricated containers and will drain all the heat transfer fluid from the collectors installed on top of the container units should the solar loop be at risk of freezing or overheating.

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Solar air conditioning at Swiss embassy in India
by Jaideep Malaviya

The Swiss embassy in New Delhi has expressed satisfaction with the performance of the solar thermal cooling system started up at the complex in early 2017. It was designed and installed by the German-Indian joint venture VSM Solar. It includes 630 m² of vacuum tube collectors with CPCs and an absorption chiller (210 kW) from Chinese-based Broad.

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“SDH – a proven technology with a long track record of success”
by Bärbel Epp

In as little as nine months, a Chinese-Danish joint venture named Arcon-Sunmark Large-Scale Solar Systems Integration built its first solar district heating plant in Tibet, commissioning the installation in mid-December 2018. “We intend to play an integral role in the development of SDH in China,” said Aaron Feng Gao, CEO of the Beijing-based joint venture (see photo). The 30-staff business expects to launch new SDH projects in Tibet this year.

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Innovative solar-assisted heat pumps
by Riccardo Battisti

The principal objective of a recently launched, EU-funded project named SunHorizon is to optimise solar-assisted heat pump systems in residential and commercial buildings. The endeavour will demonstrate a wide variety of solutions for both technologies, such as thermal compression, adsorption and reversible operation regarding heat pumps and photovoltaic, thermal and PVT systems in the case of solar, at eight locations.

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