Building the Invisible Sun: Solar District Heating with Long-Term Thermal Energy Storage (2014)

This document on solar district heating (SDH) was presented by Adam Reed, research associate at the University of Colorado Boulder, at the Western Energy Policy Research Conference held in San Francisco on 4-5 September 2014.

The presentation makes the case of solar district heating with long-term thermal energy storage in the US; the presentation includes graphs and images to show how thanks to the storage tank the system is in theory able to provide 24/7, 365 day/year operation time. Denmark is presented as the world leader in SDH with 50 large-scale plants in operation with an average collector area of 7,800 m2 and 96,000 of new panels in 2013.

The document investigates the reason of Danish SDH success to learn lessons for the future of SDH in North America. The case of the only SDH system with integrated storage currently existing in North America (the Drake Landing Solar Community in Okotoks, Canada) is presented. Legal and regulatory classifications are taken into account, while the regulatory status of SDH in 10 US States is presented in a conclusive table.

Author: Adam Reed

Date: September 2014

Pages: 11

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