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Newsletter January 2020

Smart cities use solar for heating

More than 350 solar district heating systems are now up and running around the globe. In many towns and cities, district energy has become an important pillar of climate action and emissions reduction programmes.
In an effort to encourage even more mayors, local councils and municipalities to give this cost-effective solution a chance, IEA SHC Task 55 (Towards the Integration of Large SHC Systems into District Heating and Cooling Networks) has just published the Solar Heat for Cities brochure. This 20-page booklet focuses on nine showcases of SDH systems built in Austria, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia and Serbia. What’s more, you can not only get the brochure free of charge but also 11 SDH-related infographics, which you can download in German, English and Spanish, and use them in your own publications.
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Large-scale solar heat is cost-competitive in Germany
by Joachim Berner

In Germany, seven solar district heating plants with a total capacity of 26.6 MWth either came online or are still under construction this year. This is a significant increase compared to the end of 2018. The recent growth is the result of large SDH installations that produce heat at competitive prices.

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Committed to 100 % renewable power! And what about heat?
by Joachim Berner

RE100 is a global initiative to support multinational corporations which are committed to using 100 % renewable energy sources for electricity by 2050 at the latest. We asked RE100 whether the network has plans to extend the scope of RE100 to promote renewable heat too. 

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Solar heat champions
by Bärbel Epp

Last year brought the European solar heating and cooling sector back on track for growth, the Solar Heat Europe association emphasised in a press release published on 13 December. The newly installed collector area in the 28 EU member countries and Switzerland grew by 7.8 % from 1.4 to 1.9 GWth

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Compact thermal energy storage: research in cycles
by Bärbel Epp

Research into compact thermal energy storage is made difficult by the fact that the performance of storage materials depends significantly on their intended purpose. With this in mind, researchers of Task 58 need to go through a cycle several times to fully optimise a storage system for a particular application.

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In search of cost-effective, advanced PCMs
by Bärbel Epp

Salt hydrates are the most interesting phase change material (PCM) in the low-temperature range. Their volume-related enthalpy at melting is much higher than the enthalpy of paraffins and sugar alcohols and they are comparatively inexpensive. This is why the German research institute ZAE Bayern has been mixing salts and hydrates to create new PCMs for several application areas.

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