About Christopher Gaug

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Christopher Gaug has created 3 blog entries.

Costs of solar heat projects are falling

2021-08-17T16:31:17+02:00Jul 16th, 2021|

The IRENA report Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2020 illustrates how the competitiveness of solar and wind power improved dramatically in the decade 2010 to 2020.

Thanks to the support of the Solar Payback project, the flagship publication now also includes a chapter on Renewable Heat Costs, highlighting cost trends for solar district heating systems across the world.

Written by Michael Taylor and his team at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), it shows how even existing coal plants are increasingly vulnerable to being undercut by renewables. Taylor was deeply appreciative of the cooperation between IRENA and Solar Payback during the data gathering process: “We see real added value from this approach, as our data is going to help inform policy makers and will assist modelers trying to incorporate different solar heat technologies into their scenarios,” he said.

In all, 32 solar heat project developers and technology suppliers and four funding agencies from around the world contributed to creating a database full of cost and performance data on over 1,760 projects totaling 935 MWth.

The newly added chapter highlights how strongly system costs fell in Austria and Germany in the last years. From 2013 to 2020, the 89 projects listed for Austria saw a 55 % decrease in weighted-average total installed costs. The 209 systems built in Germany showed a 45 % drop between 2014 and 2020. A key cost reduction factor in Austria in 2019 and 2020 was the much larger average size of installations put up during that period, according to IRENA. In Germany, reductions were the result of a maturing supply chain.

One country that stands out in the cost data analysis is Mexico, where rich solar resources and strong competition between mature suppliers helped push the levelised cost of heat (LCOH) to as low as 3.9 USD-cent/kWh in 2020.

The IRENA document also highlights the economies of scale achieved by experienced manufacturers and suppliers operating in Europe’s district heating market. The whole report is available here.

Source and full article: www.solarthermalworld.org
Image: IRENA/Solar Payback

SDH factsheet database is online

2021-08-18T11:29:39+02:00Jun 1st, 2021|

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme has just launched a database containing a substantial number of fact sheets about solar district heating technologies, best practices and markets. 29 documents, written by the most experienced SDH researchers and practitioners from China and Europe, are available online.

The creators collaborated on the four-year IEA SHC Task 55 – Towards the Integration of Large Solar Systems into District Heating and Cooling Networks. The new online resource offers valuable insights into SDH research and showcases by providing information on feasibility studies, the monitoring of large solar fields, the design of hybrid technologies and business models. Some highlights of its content are:

  • Country Reports: Spanning 34 pages, fact sheet D-D4 gives a detailed overview of seven prospering SDH markets, namely Austria, China, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • Solar Heat for Cities: Fact sheet D-D2, an investor brochure, showcases nine SDH systems built, with satisfied investors explaining their reasons for choosing a mix of technologies, including solar energy, to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel or be able to lower the heat prices they charge to customers.
  • On-site tests of collector arrays: Fact sheet B-D1.2, on the other hand, compares methods to monitor the performance of an installed solar field. This paper helps manufacturers, plant designers and operators choose a suitable method for giving them the information they need. Testing procedures are based on measurement data for an entire solar field, excluding distribution pipes, and make use of a solar field model that includes corrective factors, to account for variables influencing the yield.
  • Going big on SDH: Fact sheet D-D1 analyses business models and technology solutions for large solar heat systems with high solar fractions in cities.

The SDH marketing package also includes 11 infographics illustrating the advantages of the technology and the policies in place to support it. The files, available in English, German and French, can be downloaded in JPG or PDF format and be used free of charge in third-party publications. All 29 fact sheets are available for download at https://task55.iea-shc.org/fact-sheets.

Source and full article: www.solarthermalworld.org
Image: IEA SHC Task 55

SDH plant performs well in Swiss winter conditions

2021-08-18T09:52:00+02:00Mar 25th, 2021|

A new solar district heating plant in Geneva, Switzerland, is basking in the limelight of Swiss politics, with environmental minister Simonetta Sommaruga personally attending the start-up of the system at the end of February 2021. The 816 m2 solar field consists of special high-vacuum flat panels supplying heat to Geneva’s district heating network at a temperature of 85 °C, even in winter.

The installation helps meet the objectives of Geneva canton’s Energy Master Plan 2020-2030, approved in early December 2020. The SDH system (operated by the SIG utility) was designed by Geneva-based TVP Solar to deliver 516 MWh a year, which corresponds to a specific annual yield of 632 kWh/m2. This is significantly higher than the typical Danish SDH plants which produce between 321 kWh/m2 to 500 kWh/m2 per year, the average being 409 kWh/m2, according to one IEA SHC publication.

The plant is one of several innovative clean energy systems SIG has implemented in the last years. The solar field, which was mounted onto a roof at SIG headquarters in Vernier’s Le Lignon district in Geneva canton, is equipped with 80 performance-tracking sensors.

A press release put the demonstration project’s budget at CHF 2 million, of which CHF 800,000 was spent on the solar field. “Including the CAPEX of the solar field, you get to a heat price of about 70 CHF/MWh over 20 years. That’s a very competitive proposition for zero-carbon heat in Switzerland. Across Geneva, clean biofuel energy costs 100 CHF/MWh,” noted Guglielmo Cioni, Vice President of Business Development at TVP Solar.

The distinctive characteristic of this particular SDH plant is its high output in wintertime. To reduce energy losses, especially during cold winter days, the absorbers are located inside an evacuated casing. “Another advantage of high vacuum insulation is that it takes very little time to ramp up the temperature in the morning. The solar field reaches the required 85 °C in just a few minutes, even if it is partially covered in snow,” Cioni said about his company’s experience of operating the plant during the first weeks after start-up.

TVP’s most important panel-related patent describes a new method for joining glass plates and metal frames to ensure a high enough vacuum inside the collectors. Thanks to the small size of the contact areas between the internal absorber and the metal frame, heat losses are reduced to a minimum, but enough heat is transferred to the casing for the snow to start melting.

Organisations mentioned in this article:

Source and full article: www.solarthermalworld.org
Image: SIG

Go to Top