In this issue

Chile: Bad News No Longer


Denmark/Belgium: Winner of Video Research Competition 2014

USA: Solar Thermal Focus against the Mainstream

Sweden: Novel Solar Cooling Installation Boasts Average Electrical COP of 10.6

Great Britain: Performance of the two UK Renewable Heat Incentive Schemes

Germany: Solar-Heated Gas Pressure Regulating System with 7 % Benefit

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Austria: Bright Future for Solar Heating

Dear Solarthermalworld.org Reader, 

 

Although Austria’s solar thermal market is suffering from declining demand, the technology is still making headlines across the country. By 2050, Austria’s capital Vienna wants to cover half of its heat demand by solar thermal energy, it says in the Seven Energy Assumptions. These were presented by Bernd Vogl, Head of the city’s Department for Energy Planning, MA 20, at the beginning of October, during the panel discussion shown in the photo.

 

The fully solar-heated commercial buildings by Harald Kuster have also attracted great interest from the media. With his engineering company FIN - Future is Now, Kuster has already planned 25 FullySolar Buildings over the last seven years, most of them commercial ones. During the heating season, solar energy is fed directly into the coil registers, which have been integrated into the floor slabs of the buildings. The “activated” concrete releases heat into the rooms, providing a comfortable indoor environment even during cloudy weather periods without direct sunshine in winter. 

 

Have a good read and sunny regards

The editorial team 

 

Vienna's Energy Assumptions

FIN – Future is Now

Chile: Bad News No Longer
by Alejandro Diego Rosell

Ten 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, come into effect on 1 January 2015 with an allocated budget of USD 45 million. The tax credit beneficiary will be the building companies. They will receive a maximum of Unidad de Fomento (UF) 26.5 (EUR 859) and UF 33 (EUR 1,069) in form of a tax credit when installing a solar water heater.

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Denmark/Belgium: Winner of Video Research Competition 2014
by Bärbel Epp
 

As the winner of solarthermalworld.org’s Video Research Competition 2014, Jakob Berg Johansen has become the owner of a new iPad. The Research Assistant at the Technical University of Denmark, Department of Civil Engineering, Section for Building Energy, created an informative and illustrative video about his research project, Comtes, which runs between April 2012 and March 2016. Comtes is short for “combined development of compact thermal energy storage technologies”. This year’s video competition, the second of its kind, was again supported by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) and the Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres (EUREC).

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USA: Solar Thermal Focus against the Mainstream
by Bärbel Epp

Massachusetts has one of the best solar thermal rebate schemes in the US and the subsidy levels were raised again in September 2014. Since then, commercial systems have been rebated with a maximum of USD 100,000 instead of USD 50,000, which was the previous limit, and there is a new USD 500 subsidy for residential systems to help install a metering system. Despite the good news, solar thermal installers have seemingly gone the opposite way to the mainstream, since 698 approved applications for residential and commercial solar water heating systems is a small figure compared to the 10,000 applications for solar PV systems. The PV segment is attracting the large crowds who benefit from a wealth of incentives, including federal tax credits, state tax credits, rebates, net metering and sales of SRECs.

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Sweden: Novel Solar Cooling Installation Boasts Average Electrical COP of 10.6
by Bärbel Epp
 

The first large-scale system which incorporates the newly developed CoolStore chiller by Swedish company ClimateWell was commissioned in June 2014 and has since been operating flawlessly at Swedish coffee producer Löfbergs in Karlstad, Sweden. In the middle of October, ClimateWell organised a mini-conference at Löfbergs in order to showcase the installation and its first monitoring results. The measurements taken between 11 and 25 July showed an average electrical coefficient of performance (COPel) of 10.6. This is more than twice as much as for a conventional electric vapour compression system, which has a COPel of between 2 and 5.

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Great Britain: Performance of the two UK Renewable Heat Incentive Schemes
by Chris Laughton

The UK has two Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI) that assist solar thermal. The non-domestic variant (non-dRHI) has operated since November 2011. The variant for households (dRHI) has operated since April 2014. Whereas the share of solar thermal applications within the non-dRHI is still low with 3 %, every fifth new domestic renewable heating system contains a solar water heater. But for solar thermal the number of monthly applications flattened already in August and September and there are many reservations, especially because there are so many rules to follow and so little promotion by the government to the end user.

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Germany: Solar-Heated Gas Pressure Regulating System with 7 % Benefit
by Eva Augsten
 

Enertracting, located in Kassel, Germany, offers solar heat as an Energy Service Company (ESCO). Its first flagship project has been a gas pressure regulating system, for which the company presented some financial and operational data at a workshop in Erfurt in June 2014. The project has a fixed 15-year heat price of 55 EUR/MWh, which allows for a 7 % benefit for the ESCO as the investor and a payback period of seven years. The key factors: a required temperature of between 20 and 40 °C, as well as a 30 % subsidy by the German KfW banking group.

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