IEA SHC

Solarthermalworld.org and IEA SHC Partnership

International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Programme has over 35 years of international collaborative work in the field of research, development, demonstration (RD&D) and test methods for solar thermal energy and solar buildings.  The results of this work are available for researchers, policy makers, industry, utility and business representatives, builders, architects and teachers

The IEA SHC Programme is a member-based Programme with 20 member countries and 5 member organizations. Its mission is “To enhance collective knowledge and application of solar heating and cooling through international collaboration to fulfill its vision of solar thermal energy meeting 50% of low temperature heating and cooling demand by 2050."

Highlighted in the section below are some of our most recent publications: 

  • What simulation tools to use for SHIP?

    As use of solar heat in manufacturing is still at an early stage, planners and engineers require tools to model and compare differently sized systems and ideas for process integration. In August 2015, researchers working on SHC Task 49, Solar Heat Integration in Industrial Processes...
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  • Sun meets 90 % of district heat demand in Tibetan town

    On 29 and 30 October, the Solar Academy of the IEA SHC Programme held a 1.5-day training course on solar district heating in Lianyungang, at Sunrain Solar Energy’s headquarters. It provided around 150 researchers, engineers, planners, other technical staff and students from organisations...
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  • PVT and seasonal storage: innovative technologies in Spain

    Local production of PVT panels and systems which achieve high solar fractions by using seasonal storage: This is the main objective of Spanish start-up company Abora, based in Saragossa. It has already installed several hot water PVT systems at multi-family houses, sports centres and...
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  • Israeli firm offers large variety of PVT systems

    Homes, hospitals, hotels, industrial facilities and greenhouses (see photo): These are some of the many uses for turnkey PV systems produced by Millennium Solar, an Israeli business which was set up in 1999 and specialises in PV-Thermal (PVT) technologies. Founder and Managing Director Ami...
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  • Quality principles for solar air conditioning systems

    The latest generation of solar air conditioning systems comes in a vast variety of configurations. As shown in the diagram above, their source of energy is either solar heat or electricity. Some include storage tanks and can provide hot water or space heating in addition to space cooling....
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  • Online database on advanced PCMs

    Compared to water, phase change materials (PCMs) offer more capacity to store heat in tanks. As a consequence, researchers in all corners of the world have been developing new materials and their properties. To ensure the employment of a shared methodology and the use of equivalent terms to...
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  • Canada’s diverse market declined in 2017

    The solar thermal market in Canada, a long-term member of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, is comparatively small: Only 24,953 m² of collector area was installed last year. On top of this, the recently published Survey of Active Solar Thermal Collectors, Industry and Markets...
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  • “Excellent material for sorption-based solar energy storage”

    Microporous hydrophilic substances such as zeolites are recognised as promising materials for very efficient energy storage. Solar thermal systems are used to dry the material and store all of the thermal energy inside without losses until water is returned into the structure to release...
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  • Castle in Ghent, Belgium

    Producing hot water underneath natural slates

    A state-of-the-art solar thermal system has been installed under the slate roof of a castle in Ghent, Belgium. Roll-bonded Thermoslate absorbers measuring 44 m² have been integrated into the space between the wooden trusses and natural slate tiles of the historic structure built in the 12...
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  • Photo: Trimmel Wall Architects

    New standard to improve energy performance of historic buildings

    Maintaining the exterior of a historic building while raising energy efficiency is not necessarily a contradiction. The new EN 16883:2017 standard, Conservation of cultural heritage, provides guidance on how to improve the energy performance of historically significant structures....
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  • Task 51

    Lessons learned from urban solar projects

    Cities and municipalities are thought to play a decisive role in transforming energy systems. Urban planners, municipal stakeholders and consulting firms need case studies to demonstrate that solar energy can be integrated successfully into new and existing urban neighbourhoods. It is why...
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