Solar thermal power is a widely-used solution in DHW installations for both detached family homes and centralised-type buildings (such as gymnasiums and sports centres). However the use of this type of renewable energy as a backup for heating installations is not as commonplace as it requires much larger collection surfaces compared to DHW applications.
Solar installations are rather negatively viewed today compared to other technologies such as, for example, aerothermals or biomass. Some of the reasons that can explain the problems in this type of installations include the lack of maintenance of the solar power systems or incorrect dimensioning of the elements required to dissipate the surplus energy (for example, aerothermals). Architecturally-speaking, the incorporation of the panels required to cover the roof in some installations, as stated in the Technical Building Code, sometimes presents difficulties (resolved by using U-pipes that offer better architectural integration).
Despite the above points, it should be remembered that solar power is a free and renewable source that, depending on the climate zone in question, can cover up to 70% of annual DHW demand. This, in addition to the associated economic and energy saving, also implies a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and thereby helps achieve agreed environmental objectives agreed (Kyoto, 20/20/20, etc…)Read more…
ACV, Technical Director
Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2016