Brazil/Israel: Long-Term Strategic Partnership in Marketing and Product Development

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 17, 2014
Magen SoletrolStart of an intercontinental cooperation: Michael Sessler (left), Vice President of Business Development at Israeli company Magen eco-Energy, signed an agreement with Luis Augusto Ferrari Mazzon (right), CEO of Brazilian collector manufacturer Soletrol during the Feicon trade fair in São Paulo in March 2014. The agreement will allow Soletrol to market Magen’s well-known unglazed Heliocol collector and the newly launched glazed eco-Spark collector – both designed to heat residential and public swimming pools. 
Photo: Magen Eco-Energy
 
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Call for Submissions: Solarthermalworld.org 2014 Research Video Competition

Submitted by Chris Heron on June 16, 2014

For the second year in a row, Solarthermalworld.org is holding a video competition for researchers, supported by ESTIF, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, and EUREC, the European Renewable Energy Research Centres Agency.

You’re a scientist specialised in solar thermal heating and cooling? Send us an up to 3 minute video or animation explaining your research project in an accessible and engaging way. All videos will be uploaded to a YouTube channel specifically created for this competition (www.youtube.com/user/solarthermalResearch), as well as to Solarthermalworld.org and its social media platforms.

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Austria: Prototypes of Selective Electrothermal Coating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 16, 2014
CalusSometimes you happen to be in the right place at the right time - like Gerhard Pramer, who was at Munich’s Intersolar Europe at the beginning of June (photo on the left). The CEO of Austrian company Calus - Coated Aluminium Surface introduced his new selective coating pure.black just a few days after news of the merger between Alanod and Almeco broke. The exhibiting collector manufacturers listened carefully, given the fact that their new main supplier, Alanod-Almeco, will hold around three-fourth of the European absorber market. Calus has already begun pilot production and will be able to deliver prototypes of selectively coated aluminium sheets by July 2014. The company claims to start mass production in autumn of 2014. 
Photos: Calus
 
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Cyprus: Solar Thermal Industry Off to New Frontiers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 14, 2014
CyprusIslands with no network connections to any mainland and a strong dependence on expensive fuel imports face special challenges in terms of their energy supply. That is why at the beginning of last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) launched the Global Renewable Energy Islands Network (GREIN) as a platform to share best practices for an “uptake of clean and cost-effective renewable energy technologies on islands.” At the end of May, GREIN held its two-day conference Renewable Energy Applications for Island Tourism in the Cyprian coastal town of Paphos. “Hotels and resorts depend on either utility power or onsite diesel generators for air conditioning, water heating, lighting and other services to create an attractive destination,” Adnan Z Amin, IRENA Director-General, was quoted by pv magazine as explaining the basic problem during his opening speech. “Most renewable energy technologies are now cost-competitive or even the cheapest option in many countries,” he emphasised. 
Picture: NASA
 
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Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings: “Smart integration of home automation with heating technology”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 13, 2014
Koebbemann-RengersAccording to the regulation on the overall energy efficiency of buildings, the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU) passed on 19 May 2010, EU Member States must ensure that all new builds are nearly zero-energy houses from 2021 on – in the public sector, the directive will even apply two years earlier. With its energy-plus house designs, Bosch Thermotechnik has already been offering such solutions which not only meet but go below the future building standards. Already realised energy-plus houses mostly rely on combinations of PV system and electric heat pump. Many building designs also incorporate a solar thermal system for domestic hot water. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Ralf Köbbemann-Rengers, Vice President Engineering Solar Thermal Systems and Storage Tanks at Bosch Thermotechnik.
Photo: Bosch Thermotechnik
 
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Solar Water Heating Systems in Libya (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on June 12, 2014

This presentation on solar water heating (SWH) systems was given by Dr. Mohamed Erhouma, Head of Solar Thermal Energy Conversion Department at CSERS (Center for Solar Energy Research and Studies) at a workshop on “Promoting Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency in Libya” organized jointly by  REAOL (the Renewable Energy Authority of Libya) and the World Bank.

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Local Employment through the Low-Pressure Solar Water Heater Roll-out in South Africa (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on June 11, 2014

This study has been conducted by the Energy Research Center of the University of Cape Town and aims at demonstrating how developing low-pressure solar water heaters (LP SWH) can help reducing poverty and inequality and creating employment possibilities in South Africa.

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Germany/Italy: Alanod-Almeco – Merger between Equals?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2014
Logos Alanod AlmecoJust a few days before Intersolar Europe 2014 opened its doors in Munich, Germany, news broke of the merger between the two largest solar coating manufacturers in Europe, the Alanod Group, headquartered in Ennepetal, northern Germany, and the Almeco Group whose headquarters are located in Milano, Italy. The company will be called Alanod-Almeco, with headquarters in Ennepetal. Both partners have confirmed the plans to retain both the sales teams and the entire product offering. However, the facts contradict a merger between equals: Alanod is definitely the larger partner. The company with 460 staff had a turnover of EUR 160 million in 2013, whereas the Almeco Group with its 250 staff achieved a turnover of EUR 75 million last year. The new company will be headed by only one person, Ingo Beyer, CEO of the Alanod Group, and the new logo for Alanod-Almeco only includes the Italian partner’s blue triangle.
 
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SDH Conference 2014: “We have to work on lighthouse projects”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 5, 2014
EnergiebunkerOn 3 and 4 June 2014, the halls of the old waterworks of municipal utility “Hamburg Energie” in Hamburg, Germany, became the venue for the 2nd International Solar District Conference. 115 participants from 13 countries and many different backgrounds were offered a wide range of presentations covering policy, market and technical issues, along with several practical examples of solar district heating plants. On top of that, the conference offered a technical tour to the solar district heating project “Energy Bunker” at the site of the International Building Exhibition IBA in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg (see photo). The Energy Bunker is one of these lighthouse projects speakers and participants deemed nessessary to make solar district heating visible to consumers and politicians. 
Photos: Stephanie Banse
 
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