USA: GoSolar at SEIA’s Birthday

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 27, 2014
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has just celebrated “four decades of successful advocacy”. On 24 January 1974, “five industry people met in the noisy basement of the Washington Hilton hotel to discuss the possibility of establishing an association for the nascent solar energy industry,” recalls a text on the organisation´s website. Therefore, SEIA organised an official birthday event on Friday 24 January 2014, exactly forty years later, and initiated a national Shout Out for Solar Day on this very anniversary. The banner is a screenshot from the campaign website:

Solar Cooling Technologies (2011)

Submitted by Chris Heron on January 24, 2014

This presentation on solar cooling technologies was given by Professor S. Srinivasa Murthy of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras during the India-Spain workshop on renewable energies which took place in Sevilla in March 2011.


Development of a Spherical Solar Collector with a Cylindrical Receiver (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on January 23, 2014

The University of Constantine, in Algeria, together with the Hydrometeorology Institute of Oran, developed a spherical solar collector with a cylindrical receiver.  The results of their experiment were presented at the 16th International Thermal Days conference taking place in Marrakech last November.

The presentation focuses on the mathematical models used and on the analyses of the experimental data.   The experiments was done during a clear summer day and covered 4 consecutive hours.   


Chile: New Government to Extend Tax Credits

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 23, 2014
Chile’s tax rebate scheme for the housing industry ended on 31 December 2013. Since then, Chile has not had any incentive scheme for solar water heaters and local system suppliers are facing a period of low demand. The photo shows Sebastián Piñera, the outgoing Chilean President, in the capital of Santiago on 12 December 2013 during the inauguration of two new blocks of social housing with solar water heaters on their roofs. It was one of the last projects realised by help of the tax credit scheme from the 2009 Law 20.365. Still, the election agenda of the new government also includes the approval of a new scheme similar to the just finished one. 

Russia: 2014 – Year of Change and Growth

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 22, 2014 spoke to important Russian flat plate collector manufacturers New Polus, Inten and Kassol about the current and future trends of the national solar thermal market. According to the industry, 2014 will be the year of change and market growth for solar thermal in Russia. Growth is expected in all market segments, because people have not yet committed themselves to one type of solar thermal technology. However, there is a lack of funds in the Russian state budget, which means companies will have to move away from public contracts and turn their attention to projects in the private sector. An important barrier to solar thermal growth in the residential sector is the reluctance of construction companies. The map, which shows the factory sites of the three companies, was part of the world map of the solar thermal industry published in the December issue of Sun & Wind Energy.

Germany: Icy Solar Heat Storage

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 21, 2014
German engineering company Ökoplan has built a 1,586 m³ ice storage in one of Hamburg’s residential areas to save solar heat from summer for winter. Parts of the heating system have already begun operating; the start of the ice storage is scheduled for October 2014. The chiller with a thermal output of 600 kW will then run like a heat pump to extract the heat from the water in the ice storage. The operation temperature of the storage is between +20 and 0°C, also including the latent heat which becomes available when the water freezes. The solar heat will be used to melt the huge ice block between April and October in order to regenerate the storage during summer. 
Photo: Ökoplan

Germany: New Heating Regulation Requires Replacement of Old Boilers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 20, 2014
In May 2014, Germany will have a new Energy Savings Ordinance, the EnEV 2014. From 2015 on, the regulation will require the replacement of oil and gas boilers that are older than 30 years if they are not subject to one of the many exemptions. It might bring solar thermal an increased market volume, as new fossil boilers are often supplemented by solar collector systems. But in case of new buildings, the regulation favours heat pumps, making it likely for solar thermal to lose market shares. 

Measurement and Verification Standard Guidelines and Procedures for Domestic Solar Water Heating Systems (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on January 17, 2014

This presentation was given during a lecture at the Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa and provides information on the measurement and verification standard guidelines and procedures applied to calculate the energy savings resulting from domestic solar water heating systems.  This guidelines have been developed to assess the performances of high pressure and low pressure solar water heating systems.


Call for Abstracts: Second International Solar District Heating Conference in Hamburg, Germany

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 17, 2014
The second International Solar District Heating Conference invites market actors and experts on the topic to Hamburg, Germany, on 3 and 4 June 2014 to offer an exchange of experiences, as well as networking opportunities at an international level. The SDH 2014 Call for Abstracts has just commenced: Solar professionals are welcome to submit their presentation proposals for the conference before 14 February 2014. The photo shows participants of last year’s conference having joined the technical tour around the so-called Bo01 Sustainable City Development area at the Western Harbour in Malmö, Sweden, at which solar heat is fed into the city’s district heating network. The first conference on solar district heating in April 2013 sparked great international interest and attracted 120 participants from 19 countries.
Photo: Solites

Solar Panels Inside a Greenhouse for Transplant and Crop Production (2012)

Submitted by Chris Heron on January 14, 2014

This presentation from the University of Vermont provides information on their research into using solar thermal water heating systems in a crop-producing greenhouse facility. Their goal was to grow crops in the greenhouse out of season without relying on fossil fuels.