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 in Chile 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

Solar Thermal Incentive Program Manual (October 2014)

Submitted by Francesco Gattiglio on October 23, 2014

This document provides details on the Solar Thermal (ST) Program funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to financially support the substitution of electrically heated domestic hot water systems with solar thermal systems. The present document is an update of an existing 2010 programme, available here. The new version provides additional details on general program rules and system requirements.

Solar Air Collectors for Space Heating and Ventilation Applications – Performance and Case Studies in Romania Climatic Conditions (2014)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on October 23, 2014

This paper on solar air collectors for space heating and ventilation applications was presented by Sanda Budea of the University Politechnica of Bucharest, during the 1st International e-Conference on Energies hosted by the Sciforum, an online platform for open scholarly exchange and collaboration, in March 2014.  The author shared the results of experiments and case studies conducted under Romanian weather conditions to analyze the performance of solar heat collectors for space heating in winter and for ventilation applications in summer.

India: Bhagyanagar Captures Solar Energy and the Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 20, 2014
VenkateshwaraAt a time when vacuum tube technology is capturing larger shares of India’s solar collector market, one company has been successfully challenging the import competition: Bhagyanagar India Limited (BIL), India’s biggest fin-tube absorber manufacturer. According to the company’s Managing Director, Devendra Surana, the firm increased production volume by 50 % over the last two years, from 149,000 m² of absorber area in 2011 to 225,000 m² in 2013. BIL boasts 4 coating lines and 11 welding machines, and it has recently added a collector assembly site. The photo shows N. Venkateshwara Rao, Vice President of BIL, inspecting an ultrasonic-welding machine.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

Design and Implementation of New Financing Mechanisms and Instruments for Promotion of Solar Water Heating Systems in India (2010)

Submitted by Francesco Gattiglio on October 17, 2014

This guide was written as part of the Global Solar Water Heating (GSWH) Market Transformation and Strengthening Initiative, which is the result of a joint collaboration between the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, the International Copper Association and the Global Environment Fund (GEF) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It was written by ABPS Infrastructure Advisory Private Limited under mandate of the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

China: Export Duties Push Up Vacuum Tube Prices

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 16, 2014
Vacuum tubesWhoever is purchasing vacuum tube collectors from China these days can certainly not complain about getting contradictory information: There are those suppliers which are already charging their clients 17 % more for vacuum tubes because of altered export taxation, whereas others sell their vacuum tubes at the same price as they did in the past. The notable price differences result from a decision by some Chinese provinces to change their HS code for vacuum tubes. The tubes used to be under HS code 84199010, as a part of solar water heaters, and as such, they were exempt from export duty. For example, the authority in Zhejiang province changed the classification to HS code 7020009990 for glassware, which stipulates a 17 % export duty. 
Photo: Bärbel Epp