Standards, Policy

  • 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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  • 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 12th...
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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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  • Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

    Successful solar energy bylaw in Bengaluru, India

    Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company, a public utility also known as BESCOM, has been successful in implementing a bylaw to encourage the use of solar energy. Since 2009, 1,234 million m² of collector area had been installed in Bengaluru and had supplied energy equivalent to about 611...
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  • Andreas Bohren

    Solar Keymark Network gets new chairman

    The Solar Keymark Network meeting held in Spain this March saw a new chairman, Andreas Bohren (see photo), leading a reshaped organisation. From now on, the members of the network, also known as SKN, will have a physical meeting in spring and an online one in autumn. Votes can be held in...
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  • Sector coupling still at an early stage

    ‘Sector coupling’ has become one of the most well-known terms to describe the transformation of energy markets. It had originally been created for models that use surplus renewables, such as wind and solar electricity, to provide heat and power new means of transport. International...
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  • Global electricity demand for air conditioning to triple by 2050

    “Growing demand for air conditioners is one of the most critical blind spots in today’s energy debate,” Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said as he presented the findings of The Future of Cooling report in May. The chart shows that, in the baseline scenario, cooling is projected...
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  • Renewable Energy Directive for 2030

    Europe’s first-ever renewable heating and cooling target

    After night-long negotiations, the European Parliament and Council have reached an agreement on the Renewable Energy Directive for 2030. At long last, discussions that started in November 2016 came to a close in the early morning of 14 June. The...
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  • Image: Solar Heating Initiative

    EU labelling: “Solar devices to be classified as heaters”

    The German-based Solar Heating Initiative has developed a new calculation method to label solar thermal systems based on the Ecodesign Directive 2005/32/EC. It put the method, which allows for a fair assessment of solar thermal energy input into a heating system, forward for consideration...
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  • collector labels Solergy (left) and Solar Keymark (centre top) as well as the EU Energy Efficiency label (right)

    Three labels in Europe – what are the differences?

    Labels and trademarks should give the end-consumer a clear feedback on the quality and performance of the labelled product. Currently there are three labels available for solar products or solar assisted heating systems in Europe, so there is an increasing need to explain the differences to...
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  • Photo: Riccardo Battisti

    On-site collector testing: new standard in development

    Once a large solar field is set up at its designated location, what tests can be conducted to show that it performs as expected? Soon, the IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme may have an answer to this question, as it is working on internationalising Denmark’s testing procedure. No...
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