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

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Image: IEA SHC Task 55