Belarus: 287 Completed Systems Prove Growing Interest in Solar Heat
Thu, 16 March 2017
The use of solar heat is becoming increasingly popular in Belarus, an eastern European country with around 10 million population. Official statistics from the Ministry of Energy put the number of systems installed across the country at 287; their combined collector area, however, has not been recorded. This article presents a selection of the solar thermal systems partly in residential use, but some have also been integrated into the facade of commercial buildings (left photo) as well as educational and healthcare facilities (right). Their collector size ranges from 4 to 100 m2.
Photos: All photos in this news article were provided by the owners of the solar thermal systems
The country’s first solar thermal system was installed in 1998 at the International Sakharov Environmental University in Minsk, with equipment provided by Austrian collector manufacturer Doma and assistance by staff from the Austrian Energy Institute Vorarlberg. The domestic market for solar water heaters has since been driven by foreign manufacturers, such as Viessmann, Kingspan, Bosch Thermotechnik (brand names Junkers and Buderus), De Dietrich and Vaillant. You can also find systems by suppliers from neighbouring Poland or Slovakia, such as Kospel and Thermosolar, and several Chinese brands.
There is only one collector manufacturer in Belarus: Goles, a Belarusian-Austrian joint venture, whose employees assemble collectors from components imported from Western Europe.
Here are several of the finished solar thermal installations:
This picture shows a car centre in Gomel, the second largest city in Belarus, with a facade-integrated 8.4 m2 flat plate collector system, which is used to provide hot water for the showers and taps within the building.
AGAT, a control system manufacturer based in Minsk, installed this 10 m2 facade system, which provides hot shower and tap water.
This children’s hospital in Gomel benefits from a 30 m2 installation, which meets part of the hospital’s hot water demand.
In Orsha, in northeast Belarus, a division of the Ministry of Emergency Situations uses this ground-mounted 7.5 m2 flat plate system for the hot water requirements of showers and kitchens.
The State Technical College in Vitebsk, in the northeast of Belarus, possesses a roof-mounted vacuum tube collector field providing 6,000 litres of hot water per day. This water is used for the showers and kitchens of the university’s student accommodation.