International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Programme has over 35 years of international collaborative work in the field of research, development, demonstration (RD&D) and test methods for solar thermal energy and solar buildings.  The results of this work are available for researchers, policy makers, industry, utility and business representatives, builders, architects and teachers

The IEA SHC Programme is a member-based Programme with 20 member countries and 5 member organizations. Its mission is “To enhance collective knowledge and application of solar heating and cooling through international collaboration to fulfill its vision of solar thermal energy meeting 50% of low temperature heating and cooling demand by 2050.”

Highlighted in the section below are some of our most recent publications:

Round robins improve TCM testing

Round robins improve TCM testing

Thermochemical storage materials (TCMs) offer much higher storage capacities by mass or volume than sensible or latent heat storage and can store heat for an infinite amount of time almost without losses. However, none of them are very advanced so that a common standard for characterising their properties will be …
Lessons learned from first IEA SHC online meetings

Lessons learned from first IEA SHC online meetings

“It worked very, very well and we saved a lot of emissions,” said one of the participants in the two-day online workshop organised by research platform Solar Neighborhood Planning, also known as Task 63. On 11 and 12 March, 42 people based in 10 different countries, ranging from Canada and …
Hybrid solutions maximise solar yield per area

Hybrid solutions maximise solar yield per area

A record 840 people registered for the PVT solutions for buildings and industry webinar in order to learn more about the wide range of applications in which hybrid PV-Thermal systems can be used. This two-in-one technology offers attractive payback periods whenever a constant amount of heat is needed all year …
Compact heat battery with virtually no heat loss

Compact heat battery with virtually no heat loss

A compact thermochemical seasonal storage system put up at a demonstration site in Warsaw, Poland, is working as expected. The prototype, developed and tested as part of an EU research project called CREATE, consists of three evacuated modules filled with 400 litres of salt each to store heat with no …
How to reduce energy consumption in historic buildings?

How to reduce energy consumption in historic buildings?

Historic buildings make up 30 % of the European building stock and account for more than a third of the total energy consumption in the residential sector across the EU. However, architects and building owners are often lacking information about how to retrofit historic buildings while keeping their aesthetic and …
Eurosun 2020 in Athens: Call for paper

Eurosun 2020 in Athens: Call for paper

The University of West Attica in Athens, Greece, will host the 13th International Conference on Solar Energy for Buildings and Industry short EuroSun 2020. The organiser ISES, the International Solar Energy Society, supported by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme invites experts from research, industry and public institutions to …
Solar Energy Buildings to make cities fit for the future

Solar Energy Buildings to make cities fit for the future

Buildings account for around 40 % of the world’s primary energy consumption. Hence, they are the number one cause of resource consumption on earth. Because not every urban neighbourhood all over the world can be connected to district heating, local governments and building owners may need to consider using decentralised …
Using solar steam to clean wastewater

Using solar steam to clean wastewater

Manufacturers have begun looking for solutions to lower the cost of wastewater disposal. One way for them to reduce the volume of contaminated water is to evaporate water on site by using solar steam. In early 2019, Rioglass Solar, a supplier based in Spain, installed a solar steam system at …
Source: ZAE Bayern

In search of cost-effective, advanced PCMs

Salt hydrates are the most interesting phase change material in the low-temperature range of up to 150 °C. Their volume-related enthalpy at melting is much higher than the enthalpy of paraffins and sugar alcoehols (see the chart above) and they are comparatively inexpensive. This is why the ZAE Bayern research …
Chart: Task 58

Compact thermal energy storage: research in cycles

Research into compact thermal energy storage is made difficult by the fact that the performance of storage materials depends significantly on their intended purpose. For example, storage tanks that are integrated into space heating systems are made of materials different from those used to make tanks for process heat loops …

Anna Maria Ruz: Chile’s ambitious goal to become carbon neutral by 2050

Anna Maria Ruz was honoured to be part of the organising team of the joint conferences SHC / SWC 2019 in Santiago de Chile. Ruz is Sustainable Energy Director at the Chilean Economic Development Agency in short called Corfo. The agency represents the public sector in the discussion about the …

Prof Roberto Roman: First Solar World Congress in Latin America

Prof Roberto Roman from the Solar Energy Research Center (SERC) in Chile got standing observation during the closing session of the joint conferences SWC / SHC 2019 in Santiago de Chile at the beginning of November 2019. He was the initiator and co-chair of this first Solar World Congress in …