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As previously announced in Swedish: Absolicon builds Europe’s largest solar thermal field for district heating with small concentrated parabolic troughs

2020-05-26

The project has been preceded by the study “Future District Heating”, co-financed by Region Västernorrland and companies, real estate companies, energy companies and by the municipalities of Härnösand, Kramfors and Sollefteå. The project has identified a number of sites in Ådalen that are suitable for solar heating and the choice eventually fell on the city of Härnösand.

“The total investment in Härnösand amounts to approximately € 1,6 million,” says project manager Anders Rammsy. When the plant is completed in 2021, 3000 m2 of solar collectors will produce one million kilowatt hours of heat per year.

One quarter of all heating demand from solar

In Denmark, many cities have already installed solar collectors in their district heating networks and there are also seasonal storage that can store solar heat from summer to winter. But the older technology used in Denmark has had difficulty coping with the high temperatures in Swedish district heating networks.

Absolicon has solved the problem by using a silver mirror that concentrates the light in a narrow line on a receiving tube filled with pressurized water. The collectors follow the sun during the day and retain the heat under a protective glass.

– Our solar collectors provide temperatures up to 160 °C. The heat is fed directly into the district heating network and in the middle of the day on a normal summer day, the solar collectors will account for a quarter of the heating demand in Härnösand’s district heating network, Rammsy explains.

If the solar installation preforms well, Härnösand can eventually get a larger solar heating system.

– In Härnösand, a solar collector plant ten times as large as this demonstration plant and a seasonal warehouse that can store solar heat from summer to winter means that you will be able to completely stop burning fuels in the heating plant during the summer, says Joakim Byström, CEO of Absolicon.

In addition to district heating networks, the solar collector is suitable for industries that consume large amounts of heat and steam such as textiles, dairies, chemical industries and breweries.

The Swedish Energy Agency’s co-financing comes in a call for demonstration facilities for new energy technologies and covers about 50% of the costs. The project also includes RISE and Umeå University.

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