Solar solutions for District heating
The global solar district heating market is expected to drive over the forecast period, as the technology is a cost-effective method in line with global climate goals.
District heating is rapidly expanding in southern Europe and China as solar energy reduces the cost of fuel and CO2 emissions.
Solar District Heating
Solar district heating (SDH) plants are a large-scale application of solar thermal technology.
These plants are integrated into local district heating networks for both residential and industrial use.
Investments in solar in district heating networks are rapidly expanding worldwide:
- In Denmark, they plan to completely switch from natural gas to renewable energy in district heating and expand their solar park by thousands of square meters every year;
- In China, the government set an ambitious five-year program to reduce Co2 emissions through renewable sources;
- In Sweden, Absolicon is building Sweden’s largest district heating-connected solar collector field with small concentrating solar collectors for large-scale solar heating.
How it works and advantages
District heating is a ground-based network providing heat, usually in form of hot water. Large district heating plants are more efficient, more economic, and create less pollution than decentralized fossil fuel-based boilers.
Designed to improve air quality in cities by moving combustion to one place and replacing individual boilers, Solar district heating now improves the process further by replacing combustion also in heating plants with clean solar energy.
To cope with the high temperatures sometimes required in district heating networks, Absolicon Solar Collectors are equipped with a silver mirror that concentrates the light in a narrow line on a receiver tube filled with pressurized water.
The solar thermal trough follows the sun during the day to maximize irradiation and keeps the heat under protective glass.
The patented Absolicon T160 solar collectors are designed to generate steam up to 160°C and 8 bar pressure and heat from the collectors are fed directly into the city district heating network.
Introducing solar in district heating reduces the dependence on biomass in the heating sector and saves biomass that would have been burnt in summer, until wintertime.
As such, biomass is a “way to store” solar energy from summer to winter with low losses.
One can also store thermal energy in hot water from summer to winter.
Such seasonal storages give a possibility of even higher solar fractions and biomass savings.
Learn more about Sweden’s largest solar park for district heating and the benefits of solar thermal in district heating networks:
Download our application brochure by clicking the button below, and contact us for an initial discussion about the opportunities with solar thermal energy and how it could be applied to your district heating network.