Austria: Fully Solar-Heated Commercial Buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 31, 2014
HabauThe entirely solar-heated production hall of Austrian company Habau Hoch- und Tiefbaugesellschaft has been Harald Kuster’s largest project to date. Since June this year, 1,410 m² of collector area manufactured by Austrian company Gasokol supply process heat in summer and heating in winter and ensure that sunlight alone heats the newly built 7,700 m² halls (see photo). Kuster is Managing Director of Austrian planning company FIN – Future is Now Kuster Energielösungen and an expert in designing and building solar heating systems which make effective use of a building’s thermal mass. He calls his solution VollSolar Häuser (translated as FullySolar Buildings). Kuster has planned 25 construction projects over the last 7 years, most of them commercial buildings. None of these commercial and residential structures required any conventional heating system.
Photo: Habau Hoch- und Tiefbaugesellschaft
 

Germany: Solar-Heated Gas Pressure Regulating System with 7 % Benefit

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 30, 2014
EnertractingEnertracting, located in Kassel, Germany, offers solar heat as an Energy Service Company (ESCO). Its first flagship project has been a gas pressure regulating system, for which the company presented some financial and operational data at a workshop organised by the Thuringian Ministry of Economy, Employment and Technology in Erfurt in June 2014. The project, which is located in the town of Großseelheim in central Germany, has a fixed 15-year heat price of 55 EUR/MWh, which allows for a 7 % benefit for the investor (in this case, Enertracting) and a payback period of seven years. The key factors: a required temperature of between 20 and 40 °C, as well as a 30 % subsidy by the German KfW banking group.
Photo: Enertracting
 

Architectural Implications in the Building Integration of Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal systems – Introduction of a taxonomy and evaluation methodology (2014)

Submitted by Francesco Gattiglio on October 29, 2014

This paper was presented at the World Sustainable Building 2014 Conference held in Barcelona and organized by Green Building Council España. The three authors of the document come from the University of Nicosia, Cyprus.

Denmark/Belgium: Winner of Video Research Competition 2014

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 29, 2014
Jakob Berg JohansenAs the winner of solarthermalworld.org’s Video Research Competition 2014, Jakob Berg Johansen has become the owner of a new iPad. The Research Assistant at the Technical University of Denmark, Department of Civil Engineering, Section for Building Energy, created an informative and illustrative video about his research project, Comtes, which runs between April 2012 and March 2016. Comtes is short for “combined development of compact thermal energy storage technologies” and is funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union (no 295568). This year’s video competition, the second of its kind, was again supported by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) and the Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres (EUREC).
 

Regional Market Assessment Report in the Mediterranean Countries (2014)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on October 28, 2014

This report, written by the Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie (OME) is the third edition of an initial report published in 2011, and updated in 2012. It is part of the Global Solar Water Heating (GSWH) Market Transformation and Strengthening Initiatives initiated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Copper Association.

Sweden: Novel Solar Cooling Installation Boasts Average Electrical COP of 10.6

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 28, 2014
ConferenceThe first large-scale system which incorporates the newly developed CoolStore chiller by Swedish company ClimateWell was commissioned in June 2014 and has since been operating flawlessly at Swedish coffee producer Löfbergs in Karlstad, Sweden. In the middle of October, ClimateWell organised a mini-conference at Löfbergs in order to showcase the installation and its first monitoring results. The measurements taken between 11 and 25 July showed an average electrical coefficient of performance (COPel) of 10.6. This is more than twice as much as for a conventional electric vapour compression system, which has a COPel of between 2 and 5. The highest COP measured at the demonstration plant was 12.
Photos: ClimateWell
 

Germany: New Conference on Solar Energy Technology in Development Cooperation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 28, 2014
Solar water pump installation in TogoOn 6 and 7 November, solar experts working for development cooperation agencies all around the world will meet in Frankfurt, Germany, for the Solar Energy Technology in Development Cooperation conference. The two-day event by experienced German conference organiser OTTI will be held for the very first time. The German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) will support the conference by paying travel and participation costs for several of the international speakers. The photo shows electricians in training visiting a solar water pump installation in Togo, West Africa. 
Photo: Bärbel Epp/Urbis Foundation
 

Germany/Denmark: Geosynthetic Lining for Large-Scale Underground Heat Storage Tank

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 27, 2014
VojensDronninglund, Vojens and Gram are three Danish solar district heating plants whose underground heat storage has been lined with a new type of improved polymeric geomembrane. This membrane, which was developed and is produced in Germany by GSE Environmental, can withstand peak temperatures of up to 95°C and has an expected lifetime of at least 20 years. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, GSE Environmental is a manufacturer of geosynthetics –materials that ensure the durability of state-of-the-art lining solutions for various applications, such as in landfills, mining, water and waste water treatment, as well as in the oil, gas and energy sector. The photo shows the Vojens installation, a 203,000 m³ storage system which should come into operation next year. 
Photo: GSE Environmental
 

Chile: Bad News No Longer

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 24, 2014
 Ecopanel ChileTen months after the end of the tax credit scheme included in Law 20.365, the new government of President Michelle Bachelet has been taking steps to promote new solar thermal Installations. The country’s installers and manufacturers are looking forward to seeing the amended law, which will reactivate a tax credit scheme for solar thermal systems in newly built residential homes (see the attached draft of the October law), come into effect on 1 January 2015.
Photo: THC Solar
 

India: 27 Field Visits of Solar Process Heat Installations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 23, 2014
SoPro IndiaIn cooperation with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, organised a workshop in New Delhi in the middle of October to present the first findings and measures within SoPro lndia, a project which aims at analysing and optimising existing industrial solar heat installations. The German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Fraunhofer ISE, and the Andhra Pradesh Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation (APITCO) showcased their results from the first year of research. The photo shows the members of workshop panel (from left): Tarun Kapoor, the MNRE’s Joint Secretary (Solar), Dr Sohail Akhtar, Director of Solar Thermal at the MNRE, Timon Herzog from GIZ India, and Dr Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, Head of Energy Policy at Fraunhofer ISE.
Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy
 

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