15 MW SDH plant inaugurated in Latvia

2020-04-28T14:15:01+02:00Oct 27th, 2019|

On 12th September, district heating operator Salaspils Siltums inaugurated a 21,672 m² solar field and a wood chip boiler, put up in the middle of the woods near the town of Salaspils, Latvia, to meet 90 % of the demand from the local district heating network.

The inauguration came after a three-week test run of the solar district heating plant and its new 8,000 m³ storage tank. The system was installed by the Latvian-based company Filter, which signed an EPC contract with Salaspils Siltums in August 2018. The collectors were delivered by the Danish manufacturer Arcon-Sunmark.

Salaspils Siltums started planning the solar system after a neighbouring cogeneration plant was shut down. “We have been working on this project since coming back from a visit to Denmark, where we attended the solar district heating conference 2016 in Billund (which was held under the H2020 Project SDHp2m). The aim is to lower our carbon footprint and become less dependent on fossil fuels,” said Ina Berzina-Veita, Managing Director of Salaspils Siltums. After conducting a feasibility study in January 2017, the utility was able to secure EU funding in February of the same year. The EU’s Cohesion Fund has contributed EUR 2.73 million to the EUR 7.08 million invested in the solar field, the storage tank and the 3 MW biomass boiler. The project could reduce the company’s district heat tariff by at least 5 %, utility staff confirmed. Salaspils Siltums is also about to sign additional heat contracts with new customers.

Salaspils Siltums is a relatively new utility, founded as recently as 1996. Since 2010, the company has grown rapidly but has kept its focus on eco-friendly solutions. Each year, it supplies about 65 GWh to 17,000 customers. 85 % of all households in Salaspils use district heating already.

Source: Solarthermalworld.org
Picture: Salaspils Siltums

Video: Vision 2050 for District Heating and Cooling by Euroheat & Power

2020-04-28T14:01:38+02:00Oct 22nd, 2019|

Within their vision 2050, Euroheat & Power has published this video “Decarbonising DHC For Our Cities” for the promotion of district heating and cooling (DHC) . Besides the animated video, different city representatives shared their experiences and plans.


Find out more about the Vision 2050 on Euroheat.org

Source: Euroheat & Power



Solar thermal is on the rise in German district heating networks

2019-08-01T12:03:08+02:00Jul 31st, 2019|

34 large solar thermal plants with a total capacity of 44 megawatts and a gross collector area of 62,700 square meters are currently integrated into district heating grids in Germany. The industry, which discussed its perspectives at the conference “Forum Solare Wärmenetze” in Stuttgart in June 2019, expects accelerated growth in the coming years and anticipates a fiftyfold market increase in the long term.

In 2019, additional 23 megawatts with a collector surface of 33,000 m2 are expected to be built. Germany’s district heating suppliers have discovered the sun, most of all the public utility company Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim (Baden-Württemberg), which is currently building the largest German solar thermal plant with 14,800 m2 collector area. So far, the Stadtwerke Senftenberg (Brandenburg) has kept the German record. Last year, Stadtwerke Senftenberg harvested 4,720 megawatt-hours for their district heating network from the 8,300 m2 of solar collectors.

For the next five years, Dirk Mangold, head of the Steinbeis Research Institute Solites, expects the number of plants to be roughly doubled to 70 large solar systems with a tripling of capacity to 140 MW. “This figure is calculated from ongoing projects and concrete feasibility studies, whereby we have calculated the respective probability of realization as a factor”, explained Mangold at the conference. Compared to the official national targets, as set out in the Federal Government’s energy efficiency strategy for the building sector, the current very positive market development can only be regarded as a start. The scientist emphasized: “By 2050, the Federal Government would like to massively increase the contribution of solar thermal energy to district heating. With a share of 15 percent, this corresponds to 12 terawatt-hours per year. This requires an installed capacity of around 21 gigawatts, i.e. a collector area of around 30 million square meters. We therefore need an additional 1 million square meters per year. That means that the roll-out has to increase by a factor of 50 compared to this year!”

Solar district heating systems are developing positively in all market segments. At present, mainly large systems for urban district heating are in preparation for the coming years.

A factsheet with more information on the current market status of solar heating in Germany can be found here.  (German language).

Text: Thomas Pauschinger, Solites; Picture: Eins Energie in Sachsen GmbH &Co. KG; Graph: Solites



New handbook on upgrading district heating grids in Europe published

2019-07-23T11:43:04+02:00Jul 9th, 2019|

Based on the experience from companies in 6 different european countries, this handbook elaborates technical and non-technical subjects related to upgrading the performance of district heating systems. An introduction into implementation of solar district heating can be found within the large collection of content.

District Heating (DH) systems present a high potential for the transition of the heat sector, both technically and organizationally. They allow the integration of renewable energies, they serve to improve the overall energy efficiency and they facilitate sector coupling (coupling between heating, electricity and mobility). However, many DH systems need to be continuously upgraded so that they are efficient and have zero (or close to zero) emissions and thus, contribute to mitigate climate change. Hence, more than one year was needed to put all the knowledge of the Upgrade DH consortium partners on paper and to elaborate a handbook with the title “Upgrading the performance of district heating networks – Technical and non-technical approaches; A Handbook”. Experiences from different European countries were used to describe the technical and non-technical approaches in DH upgrading processes. The aim is to inform stakeholders such as decision makers, politicians, utilities, operators, end consumers, or potential developers of DH systems, about upgrading opportunities. Thereby, the ambition of the handbook is not to provide a detailed technical guideline for technicians, but rather to give an overview on upgrading options.

The handbook is available for free as pdf document at www.upgrade-dh.eu



Video: How to improve the acceptance of solar thermal in district heating systems

2019-07-23T11:59:44+02:00Mar 1st, 2019|

A new video has been created to help the public to distinguish between domestic hot water (DHW) applications and solar district heating (SDH) as well as to understand the existing experience and applicable costs in the sector.

In France, solar thermal is mainly developed for domestic hot water (DHW) of individual or collective residences. Solar thermal implementation in DH networks is not known by the public. A national survey carried out during the first phase of the SDHp2m European project has shown that for a large majority of actors solar thermal is always associated to DHW. For the others, SDH is perceived as an expensive and experimental renewable energy.

During the exchanges with the regional project stakeholders, a particular attention was paid to the need to communicate through elected officials. Indeed, if they are informed upstream of a DH project, they can accelerate and promote the implementation of solar thermal in the future network project, showing a strong political will. Citizen acceptance is also an important aspect to develop.

In order to address these challenges, a guide and a video were created to inform about SDH. The video  includes interviews with different stakeholders from the region (local public authorities, energy managers), working to develop these networks. This type of video is initiated for the first time in France and, as a complement for the guide, it will allow to change the public opinion on solar thermal.

Click here to watch the video.

Source: Mathieu Eberhardt, Auvergne Rhône Alpes Énergie Environnement



Sun meets 90 % of district heat demand in Tibet

2019-07-25T12:00:47+02:00Dec 17th, 2018|

After the Solar Academy of the IEA SHC Programme in Lianyungang (China), District Heating experts visited the newly constructed solar district heating plant in Tibet

The high point of the international SDH gathering was the tour of a solar district heating installation that had been planned by Chinese-Danish joint venture Arcon-Sunmark Large-Scale Solar Systems Integration. At Sunrain’s invitation, 18 task members flew to Tibet to take a look at the solar district heating plant in Langkazi, a town in the south of the region, where the venture has been installing 22,275 m2 of flat plate collectors and 15,000 m3 of pit storage. The entire system would be finished soon and be up and running before the end of the year, said Leo Holm, who works at Arcon-Sunmark and guided the Task 55 members around the site.
It is supposed to contribute 90 % of the heat to the new district heating network in Langkazi. Via a 65 °C supply line and a 35 °C return line, the grid reportedly supplies thermal energy for 100,000 m2 of residential floor space. The joint venture has manufactured and delivered the collectors and supervised the installation of the SDH plant. A 3 MW electric boiler guarantees backup energy in times of low irradiation.
The facility is part of a larger endeavour to popularise renewable heating in Tibet. Feasibility studies have been conducted in over 20 of the region’s counties and cities, and Tibet’s local government has approved funding for five of them.

Image: Solites

Source: Bärbel Epp




Latvian city invests in solar district heating

2019-07-23T14:25:41+02:00Nov 14th, 2018|

The first half of 2019 will mark the launch of a milestone project on solar district heating in Eastern Europe. The public utility which serves the Latvian town of Salaspils, near Riga, plans to install 21,672 m2 of collector area (15 MWth) to provide heat for its modernised, efficient district heating network.

The solar field will be connected to an 8,000 m3 water storage tank, from which thermal energy will be injected into the network. The project, which will also include a wood-chip boiler with 3 MWth of capacity, had been planned jointly by Arcon-Sunmark, a Danish supplier of solar thermal devices, and Filter, a heating and cooling company based in Latvia. Salaspils Siltums provides 85 % of the town with a population of about 17,000 people with district heat. A 7 MWth wood-chip boiler is currently the main source of 60,000 MWh of thermal energy a year. The plans for the 15 MWth solar system state that it is expected to contribute 12,000 MWh or 20 % of the total at some point between July and September next year. Reportedly, the utility will receive funding from the European Union for buying the system.

“We have been working on this project since we attended a district heating conference in Denmark in 2014. The objective is to reduce our CO2 footprint and become more independent of fossil fuels,” Ina Berzina-Veita, who is a Member of the Board of municipal utility Salaspils Siltums, was quoted as saying in a press release which Arcon-Sunmark sent out in the middle of October.

Over the last years, the utility has optimised its district heating network. It replaced underground pipes with pre-insulated ones and revamped the central boiler. The current supply and return temperatures of 65 °C and 45 °C, respectively, will make for a highly efficient flat plate collector array, the operation of which will be very effective.

Image: Arcon Sunmark

Source: Bärbel Epp


Manual on public participation models for solar district heating

2019-07-23T14:08:08+02:00Nov 13th, 2018|

The Austrian federation on solar thermal systems has published a manual on public participation models for solar district heating.

Within the photovoltaic sector it is not uncommon to innitiate public participation in large projects. The now published manual shall support similar projects in the solar thermal sector and was supported through the “Klima- und Energiefonds” project GZ B770444 “K&E Leitprojekt – Bürgerbeteiligungsmodelle für Solare Nahwärme”.

Please click here for the download (the english document can be found at the end of the page).

New knowledge database for solar district heating

2018-10-02T16:34:24+02:00Oct 2nd, 2018|

Under the well-known web address www.solar-district-heating.eu, the partners of the SDHp2m project present a completely renewed information portal for solar district heating. A highlight of the new website is the knowledge database with a lot of sector expertise.

“With the knowledge database, we make available valuable expertise and numerous publications, which we produced in cooperation with national and international partners in more than two decades. It merges the results of the three EU funded SDH projects SDHtake-off, SDHplus and SDHp2m as well as several national projects,” says Thomas Pauschinger from the Steinbeis Research Institute Solites, coordinator of the SDHp2m project. The content of the database extends from information brochures and scientific publications to calculation tools and technical figures for professionals. It is indexed by keywords or can be filtered with full-text search.

The new website is an international and multi-language project with contributions from 25 partners in 13 different countries. Last year an all-time high was reached with 75,000 site visits. “This visitor record is also a clear sign, that the interest in solar district heating is sustainable and steadily increasing,” says Pauschinger, “Used at large-scale, solar thermal is economically feasible, area-efficient and technically mature. This is also the reason, why we find solar thermal as key element in many scientific strategies for the energy transition in Europe.”

With the relaunch, the new website is not only optimized for desktop computers but also easy to use on any mobile device. The relaunch of the website www.solar-district-heating was financed through the Horizon 2020 project SDHp2m and national projects presented on the website.

Support for SDH feasibility studies in Western Balkans

2018-10-02T15:08:16+02:00Oct 2nd, 2018|

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is now funding feasibility studies under a programme called Renewable District Energy in the Western Balkans, or ReDEWeB for short. Town and city governments, and project developers, can send applications to the bank’s headquarters in London to receive grants for renewable energy systems at either new or existing district heating plants. In the case of ReDEWeB, renewable district energy systems are defined as producing heat or cold from solar thermal, biomass, biogas, geothermal, waste heat or heat pumps or the sea, lakes or rivers.

“We really would like to drive the solar thermal agenda forward now, after having realised multiple biomass investments in the Western Balkans and Ukraine and having completed geothermal power projects in Turkey,“ said Greg Gebrail, Principal District Energy Specialist at the headquarters of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or EBRD for short. He added: “There is already a tradition of utilising district heating systems in the Western Balkans, and there is great potential for building or expanding systems based on renewables.” In partnership with the government of Austria, the EBRD has launched the ReDEWeB fund to support the integration of renewables, especially solar thermal, into district energy installations. There are six countries in the Western Balkans, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. Slovenia and Croatia are already part of the European Commission.

Gebrail has recently posted a job advert for a fund manager position in Belgrade, Serbia, to look for someone who can promote ReDEWeB across the region over the next three years. He or she would be in charge of day-to-day operations, business relations with stakeholders in the partner countries, and marketing events related to ReDEWeB.

The EUR 4 million budget that the Austrian government has allocated for the programme will be used for both technical assistance and small investment grants. Technical assistance involves support for national and local policy initiatives which encourage the adoption or expansion of renewable district energy, as well as for feasibility studies to implement specific projects. Key initiatives and studies will be fully funded by ReDEWeB. “We can also provide small grant subsidies to help with the construction costs of ambitious projects,” said Gebrail.

Those eligible to submit funding requests to the EBRD in London (see contact details below) include city and town governments, public utilities and private sector project developers. The managers of ReDEWeB will work hand in hand with the Energy Community Secretariat, an international body, to expand the EU’s energy market rules and principles into other countries in the Balkans, across the Black Sea region and beyond.

To learn more about ReDEWeB, please contact Greg Gebrail, Principal District Energy Specialist at the EBRD or click for more information here.

Submitted by Bärbel Epp
Map: oscebih.org

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