Denmark: 37 MW Field with 203,000 m³ Storage Underway

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 30, 2014
Vojens Seasonal StorageConstruction has begun on another large-scale installation: This time, the new number one solar thermal plant in the world will be in Vojens, a small town in southern Denmark, near the city of Kolding. The customer is Vojens District, which signed a contract with Danish collector manufacturer Arcon Solar this May about delivering and installing a 37 MWth collector field (52,491 m²). The 4,166 collectors will all be produced in Arcon´s factory in Aalborg. At present, the seasonal pit heat storage with 203,000 m³ is underway: Vojens District is uploading pictures once a month and the ones from August show the lining of the huge water-filled basin with high-density polyethylene foil (see photo). The currently largest solar thermal plant, a 26 MWth installation with 61,700 m³ of seasonal storage, is located in the Danish town of Dronninglund.
Photo: Vojens District
 

Nevada: Solar Thermal Water and Space Heating : 2014 Program Handbook (2014)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on August 29, 2014

NV Energy, a major energy company in Nevada, was authorized in 2010 by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada to start an incentive program, called the Solar Hot Water Program, for its customers willing to install solar hot water systems. NV Energy has published a handbook which provides information on the background of this program and also explains the eligibility criteria.  The document enumerates the different steps to follow to submit a dossier and gives information on the incentive's calculation methods.

Author: NV Energy

USA: S.O.L.I.D. Operates 3.4 MWth Cooling System as ESCO in Arizona

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 29, 2014
Desert Mountain High SchoolIt is an ideal location for solar cooling use: Scottsdale, a US city in the Greater Phoenix area in Arizona enjoys an average of 312 days of sunshine every year. Between May and September, temperatures rise above 38°C and can even reach 46°C on a hot day. This is where in July 2011, Austrian company S.O.L.I.D has started to plan a solar cooling system for Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High School (DMHS) of 2,600 students. Three years later, the 3.4 MWth (4,865 m² of collector area) system went into operation and is now supplying heat to a single-effect lithium bromide absorption chiller with a cooling capacity of 1,750 kW. The solar cooling installation at the DMHS is currently the largest of its kind in the world, having surpassed the 2.7 MWth solar thermal capacity (3,900 m²) of another S.O.L.I.D system at the United World College (UWC) in Singapore.
Photo: S.O.L.I.D.
 

South Africa: Fresnel Collectors Keep It Cool in MTN’s Server Rooms

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 28, 2014
Industrial SolarSince June 2014, a Fresnel collector field with 242 kWth has been feeding into the district cooling system of the MTN Group at its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. MTN, which has more than 200 million customers, as well as subsidiaries in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East, is one of the leading mobile operators in South Africa – and it is aware of the impact of global warming. “We continuously explore ways in which we can lessen the impact of our operations on the environment. This initiative will not only reduce our carbon footprint but it will substantially reduce our electricity consumption, which will release additional capacity for the national grid,” MTN’s CEO, Zunaid Bulbulia, was quoted as saying in a press release from 17 July 2014. The concentrating solar thermal plant powers the double-effect absorption chiller whose cooling capacity of 330 kW keeps temperatures low in the data centre at MTN’s head office. 
Photo: Industrial Solar
 

China: Engineering Segment Drives Solar Thermal Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 27, 2014
China building integrationThe make-up of China’s solar thermal market is changing: The segment that used to guarantee the industry’s profits, the retail business of small thermosiphon systems for private households, has been declining in recent years. Other solar thermal segments, however, have been taking off in the meantime – for example, the market for more sophisticated solar thermal installations that are integrated into blocks of flats, hospitals, schools or universities. There is also growing interest in medium- and high-temperature solar thermal systems for industrial process heat. According to the annual surveys and market reports by Sun’s Vision, a consultancy located in Shandong province, the so-called solar thermal engineering market, which includes building integration and industrial process heat systems, increased by 50% in 2012 and 2013, after having grown by 35 % in 2011. The pie chart shows the individual categories of the building integration segment in 2013, which was the main driver of the national market.
Source: Sun´s Vision
 

Australia: Ken Guthrie Appointed as New Chairman of IEA SHC Programme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 26, 2014
Ken GuthrieIt was the second time an Australian was chosen to head the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA SHC Programme): In June, Ken Guthrie was elected Chair of the Executive Committee for the next two years. Guthrie founder and Director of Sustainable Energy Transformation, a renewable energy consultancy, since August 2012 after having served as General Manager of Sustainable Environs at Sustainability Victoria for three years. Prior to that he worked in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in Victorian Government agencies since the mid 1980’s. He was instrumental in initiatives to increase solar water heating in Australia through the Renewable Energy Target, subsidies and new housing regulations. 
 

India: Government Stops Federal Subsidy Scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 25, 2014
“Channel partners are free to sell on their own without subsidy from Government of India,” the office memorandum by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy stated on 12 August 2014. This is an important victory for India’s solar water heater manufacturers, which pre-financed around INR 3 billion (about EUR 37 million) in subsidised systems over the last years without being compensated by the MNRE. The manufacturers or their dealers had to sell the solar collector systems as net-of subsidy and claim reimbursement by the government later. Through a strong and solidly united campaign, the Solar Thermal Federation of India made the ministry aware of the extremely difficult business situation over the last one-and-a-half years and called “for the immediate settlement of the pending claims in order to save the industry from bankruptcy”. MNRE’s Secretary, Upendra Tripathy, reviewed the situation and concluded that instead of liabilities mounting, the present subsidy scheme better had to be halted. The subsidy on off-grid PV up to 1 kWp had already been put on hold in April 2014.
 

Netherlands: Energy Demand Reduced to 25 kWh/m²a in Just One Day

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 22, 2014
Roosendaal1In recent years, Roosendaal’s De Kroeven, the Dutch city’s district of terraced houses built in the 1960s (left photo), has radically changed not only its stone face but also its energy performance (right). Netherland’s largest passive-house retrofit project equipped 246 houses with new insulation and solar thermal energy systems. 50 of these houses were part of European project E2ReBuild, which is short for Industrialised Energy Efficient Retrofitting of Residential Buildings in Cold Climates.
Photos: Demonstrator Roosendaal report / E2ReBuild
 

China: No Sales Permit without Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 21, 2014
China mandatory lawsIn 2007, some provincial and city governments in China began to implement solar installation requirements. Since then, an increasing number of authorities at different administrative levels have made the installation of solar thermal systems mandatory in new-builds in the residential and public sector, for example, in universities, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. The documents which have led to the development of provincial and municipal solar water heater installation requirements were the 11th Five-Year Plan New Energy and Renewable Energy Development (2006-2010) and the Renewable Energy Law of China. Despite some past announcements, there have not yet been any solar building requirements at national level. 
Photo: Simon Goess
 

Romania: EBRD Finance Facilities Support Romania‘s Near-Forgotten Solar Thermal Tradition

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 21, 2014
Logos RomaniaWhen it comes to solar thermal energy, there are interesting parallels between Romania and its southern neighbour Bulgaria. Both countries had already used solar thermal energy under communist rule decades ago. But the ecological tradition seemed lost when both countries made their difficult transition to a democratic and capitalist society. According to a report by the European ENTRANZE passive house project, Romania ranked fifth in the number of globally installed flat plate collectors in 1989, but “the lack of technicians and of policies to develop maintenance services, as well as bad national resource efficiency policies (e.g., which led to copper being replaced by iron pipes in solar collectors) led to notable failures among installed systems.” The ENTRANZE authors note that these technical problems gave solar water heaters quite a negative image in Romania. It was only since the beginning of this millennium that they have been able to get rid of this image and “gain a certain popularity on the market”.
 

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