Leading position in an international Task on the integration of solar thermal energy into district heating networks
The Research and Development Department of SOLID has been participating in projects/tasks of the SHC (solar heating and cooling) program from the IEA (International Energy Agency) for years. In 2015, the head of R&D, Sabine Putz, submitted a new project on SDH/SDC to the IEA-SHC committee. In December 2015, the Executive Committee decided to approve the new Task 55, lead-managed by Sabine Putz and starting in July 2016.
In the Task 55, an international team of industry representatives, universities, and private R&D organizations will elaborate on technical and economic options for the integration of solar thermal installations into district heating and cooling grids. The integration of renewable energies into existing and new heating and cooling networks is one central step to leverage a sustainable energy supply in cities and municipalities. According to international studies, space heating is one of the major causes for CO2 and fine dust emissions. Hence, the operation of district heating networks is instrumental to mitigate climate change.
Denmark has been pioneering with the integration of large scale solar thermal plants into their district heating networks. Austria has several well established heating networks and the chance to mitigate climate-damaging and fine dust emissions by integrating solar thermal energy into existing heating grids. Task 55 will be working on the potential of the technologies and options to overcome any challenges. Findings will be presented to the public for the continuing development of a sustainable global energy supply.