Dave Elliott: The UK may be doing reasonably well on green power, but it is not making much progress on green heat. What about solar heating? The familiar roof-top solar heat collector, with a flat glass plate on top of a box with pipework for cooling water, has been upgraded over the years to more efficient evacuated tube and focused solar and hybrid PV/Thermal variants. These systems can offer cost effective no/low carbon heating in some locations and are mostly scalable, suitable for a range of small or large scale applications. And you can store solar heat for use later and also use it to drive cooling systems. All in all, it’s an energy source with multiple attractions. STA’s Leonie Greene says ‘One of the largest solar thermal schemes in the world, in Silkeborg, Denmark, provides a fifth of the heat for the district heating for a town of 43,000’. She adds ‘Analysis by IRENA shows solar thermal could technically meet half of heat demand in the industrial sector. Indeed, half of industrial heat requirements are for medium to low temperatures, such as washing, drying, sterilizing and pasteurising. This makes solar thermal, which can do very hot process steam, well suited to sectors where heating needs are below 250C, such as paper, chemicals, tourism, pharmaceuticals and textiles. The farming industry also offers great opportunities’.
Environmental Research Web 24th Feb 2018 read more »