This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 691624
On top of the fair halls in Wels, Austria on May 12th a solar thermal plant of nearly 3,400 m² and a thermal power of approx. 2 Megawatt went into operation. This is the largest CPC-ETC installation at the moment for supporting a district heating network system worldwide. In summer, the heat utilities are able to save temporarily over 50 percent of natural gas.
Once again the CPC evacuated tube collector technology shows up new ways for solar energy use. Within the solar collector system the same water is flowing as in the district heating network. The solar field spreads over 10,000 m² of roof area, whereas the whole technical equipment for the heat transfer to the district heating needs only a basement area of 50 m². The thermal expansion of the water within the solar field goes directly into the district heating network. There is no storage tank necessary besides the heat network. The solar system feeds into the network at least at 85 °C all year. The expected solar yield is about 1,300 MWh (44,356 therms) per year in spite of permanent shades from buildings and framework. For pumps and electric valves there will be needed only approx. 6.5 MWh of electricity per year which is about 0.5 % of the yearly yield. The system is tested to be proof against thermal stagnation and can be started-up from standstill. After thermal stagnation it is self-filling, self-de-aerating and self-degassing although no de-aerators exist in the collector field. Active frost protection will need about 50 MWh (respectively 4 %) of low temperature heat yearly. In case of a power failure an UPS (uninterruptible power supply) will be automatically activated. It needs less than 100 Watt of electric power because in this case the mechanical work of the pumps will be taken over by the pressure drop of the DH network. The solar system was ordered by the local utilities „Elektrizitätswerke Wels“, installed by “MEA Solar GmbH” and planned and commissioned by Ritter XL Solar GmbH. The Monitoring will be implemented by ASIC (Austria Solar Invention Center).
Save the date! The 5th International Solar District Heating Conference will take place on 11 and 12 April 2018 in Graz, Austria.
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