Solar Thermal

The collector label is misleading

Uwe Trenkner began his career in solar thermal as a project manager at the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation ESTIF in 2002. From 2005 to 2009, he served as secretary general of the association. He now works as a consultant for the solar thermal industry. He is also co-founder of the job platforms and (Photo: private)

The solar thermal industry is debating whether it should introduce its own efficiency label for solar collectors. Uwe Trenkner, who was secretary general of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation ESTIF from 2005 to 2009, explains in a commentary why he rejects this idea.


Solar Thermal in New York: A Significant Role

Solar thermal systems in New York City do not only profit from a clear sky but also from the new incentive programme, which started in March in New York State.  (Photo: Pixabay/PredragKezic)

A revised incentive programme in New York State has increased the number of installations of solar thermal systems that replace fossil fuels and electricity. Now, the programme’s financial resources are already nearly exhausted.


Efficiency label planned for existing heating systems in Germany

The label for old heating systems will look very similar to the label for new heat generators.

The German government intends to equip old heaters with an efficiency label starting on 1 January 2016. The purpose of this measure is to encourage owners of inefficient heaters to replace them sooner. This could set an example for the rest of the EU.


Ratiotherm begins manufacturing collectors

In mid-2015 Ratiotherm began manufacturing solar collectors at its Bavarian production plant. (Photo: ratiotherm Heizung & Solartechnik GmbH)

During recent years, many manufacturing sites for solar thermal collectors in German-speaking countries have been closed down. Ratiotherm Heizung & Solartechnik has decided to go against the trend and has opened a production site to manufacture its own range of solar collectors for pitched and flat roof systems. The plant is located in the Bavarian municipality of Dollnstein.


Bosch builds large-scale solar thermal plant in India

The solar collectors are mounted on an elevated frame structure. This leaves space for the existing supply installations. (Photo: Bosch)

The heating technology company Bosch Thermotechnik has installed a 208-m² solar thermal plant at a hotel in India. The type of substructure used is particularly interesting.


First solar desalination plant to be built in California

Due to Californian draughts, 2015 was the second year in which agriculture in the Central Valley was left with a water allocation of 0 %. A company wants to fix this problem using solar thermal technology to recycle unusable water for agricultural irrigation.


Solar thermal in Europe: the market is shrinking, but there are exceptions

The solar thermal market in Europe declined in 2014. However, some countries like Denmark or Greece saw a growing market. (Grafik: ESTIF)

The solar thermal market across Europe shrank again in 2014. The overall amount of newly-installed collector area fell by 7%. Nonetheless, some countries are growing against the trend.