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USA: New US Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 26, 2013

A strong voice for the solar thermal industry: that is the aim of the new US Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance (SHC Alliance), a division of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). SEIA announced the new elected board in a press release on 19 February 2013. The US Solar Heating and Cooling Council which governs the SHC Alliance consists of five persons. First, there are Chairman Mike Healy from Skyline Innovations (left), Vice Chairman Matt Carlson from Sunnovations (middle) and Treasurer Eileen Prado from the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC). The other two positions will rotate and are currently held by Les Nelson, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), and Ole Pilgaard from Heliodyne. Only the chairperson and vice-chairperson, however, occupied formal positions within SEIA, another press release stated in January 2013.
Photos: Sunnovations, Skyline Innovations, SRCC

Sweden: Vacuum Tube Produces Heat and Cold Depending on Day or Night

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 25, 2013

The latest development of Swedish Company ClimateWell is called CoolStore and can be integrated into a collector casing. ClimateWell offers this special vacuum tube, which produces heat or cold, to interested collector manufacturers. The former producer of absorption chillers has completely altered its product range to become a component supplier for boilers and air-conditioners for vehicles. The new product, however, has still not been entirely uncovered in the figure above, because “we do not want to disclose too much yet”, explains ClimateWell’s CEO, Per Olofsson. “The idea of the CoolStore tube is that solar cooling needs to be simpler and more efficient to really work on the market. At the same time, we also wanted lower cooling temperatures for efficient air-conditioning and dehumidification.”
Figure: ClimateWell

Europe: Conferences for New Solar Thermal Applications

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 12, 2013

The first of half of this year will see many conferences and fairs on solar thermal technologies at locations all around the world (see the Calendar of Events): The database alone shows 61 events in 31 countries. Meanwhile, the events have become more diversified – a testimony to the many different application areas of solar thermal. With this news piece, will present some particularly interesting events, which focus on solar district heating, renewable heat, process heat and the latest technology. Please let us know if you think the database is missing any important solar heating and cooling dates (

Market Report for Small and Medium-sized Solar Air Conditioning Appliances - Analysis of Market Potential (2008)

Submitted by Chris Heron on January 31, 2013

This report forms one of the main basic activities of the EU-funded SOLAIR project, which was implemented from 2007 until 2009 with the aims of capacity building, promoting and influencing the process of decision making for the implementation of small and medium-sized solar thermal air conditioning (SAC)  systems in Europe.

Austria: More and Less Successful Subsidy Schemes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 18, 2013

Austria´s solar thermal market has come to depend a great deal on incentive programmes. The schemes in 2012, however, met with varying degrees of success. Demand was again great for the subsidy programme for large-scale solar thermal plants  administered by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund. The chart shows the share of the different applications among the 39 projects approved in 2012, the third consecutive year in which the programme was running. On the other hand, demand for the first federal residential grant programme, which supported the purchase of solar thermal systems of 5 m² of collector area or more with EUR 400, was not satisfying. Only one-third of the EUR 5 million budget was spent last year.
Source: Austria Climate and Energy Fund

India: Solar Mission Phase II Targets 8 Million m²

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 4, 2013

In December 2012, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India published its plans for Phase II of the National Solar Mission (NSM). The 58-page document outlines the policy for the second phase, including targets, the role of the states and an implementation strategy (see the attached document). The overall aim is to install around 8 million m² of collector area between March 2013 and March 2017 – in addition to the 6.07 million m² of collector area which had already been commissioned until November 2012. The cumulative target until the end of Phase I (March 2013) is 7 million m², and the country will, in fact, be on course to reach this number. Since the start of Phase I of the NSM in June 2010, the country has witnessed the installation of close to 2.5 million m² of collector area totally. The photo shows a solar water heating unit in central India.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

Solar Thermal Technology (2012)

Submitted by Dan Fernandez on December 21, 2012

This presentation was created by Eric Buchanan of the University of Minnesota. It provides a comprehensive overview of how solar thermal technology works and how it is used in practice.

What is Solar Thermal Air Conditioning? (2011)

Submitted by Dan Fernandez on December 20, 2012

This presentation was created by Premium Solar, a Tallahassee solar company. It provides diagrams, frequently asked questions, installation tips, and examples of successful solar thermal air conditioning systems.

Patent Landscape Report on Solar Cooling Technologies (2012)

Submitted by Chris Heron on December 5, 2012

This report was made in 2012 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and gives a general overview of existing solar cooling technologies and potential fields of action within the context of global patent applicatons. It gives statistics on the 550 relevant patent families for solar thermal technology, including the geographical prevalence of applications and specificities about their content.

Solar Thermal Energy in Germany: Status, Opportunities and Risks (2012)

Submitted by Chris Heron on November 28, 2012

This 2012 presentation evaluates the status, opportunities and risks for the German solar thermal industry. It begins by detailing the size of the industry, which employees over 20,000 German employees and had a turnover of €1.05 billion in 2011. These figures however reflect a declining annual turnover since the industry's 2008 peak.