After years of preparation in developing the German market, Danish renewable specialist Aalborg CSP has secured its first order in Sondershausen, Germany. The project was won and developed in close cooperation with the technology and EPC partner, TVP Solar. Switzerland based company, TVP Solar has a unique high vacuum flat collector with yield of more than 500 kWh/m2/yr, even in low irradiance conditions. As the interest towards Danish district heating technology and optimized integration solutions is growing, TVP’s unique vacuum flat collector technology has secured the first ever project, alongside Aalborg CSP, using Danish district heating technology on German soil, making it a new reality.
The overall project consists of a 6,086 m² construction, based on 3105 vacuum collector panels forming a 4.7 MW solar heating plant, together with the integration unit and thermal storage tank. Final delivery is scheduled in spring 2023. This order was possible thanks to a close cooperation between Aalborg CSP and the Swiss solar panel producer TVP Solar. TVP has managed to develop and prove a new type of high yield solar collector which is ideal for the high temperature German solar heating market. The TVP Solar collector is a high-performance vacuum flat collector capable of delivering temperatures up to 200° C thus being suited for both district heating and industrial process purposes.
For the end user Stadtwerke Sondershausen GmbH, the project with Aalborg CSP plays a part in securing their conversion to renewable and green energy (in Germany commonly known as “Energiewende” or “Wärmewende”) A flexible solution securing both the future supply and sustainability of the district heating supply. Stadtwerke Sondershausen GmbH has gotten inspiration from Denmark, their neighbors to the North and is benefitting from the Danish experience of integrating solar heat into the district heating production.
The solar heating system in Sondershausen will besides the 6,086 m2 of TVP Solar collectors, consist of a 1,000 m3 accumulation tank as well a full technology package for integrating the energy into the district heating system. With the new vacuum solar collector, an annual output of over 500 kWh / m2 is achievable, which by far exceeds the output of Danish plants that use traditional solar collectors – despite the higher operating temperatures that are used in Germany.
As an additional add-on feature, the storage tank will during wintertime be used for accumulating energy from a nearby Blockheizkraftwerk (BHKW), which is a combined heat and power plant. The BHKW will be constructed simultaneously with the solar heating plant and by integrating the two plants the possibility of optimizing heat production is increased.
By introducing solar heat in the overall heat supply, both CO2-free heat production and stable heating price for 25 years are ensured. The solar heating system in Sondershausen has very low operating and maintenance costs and the annual performance is guaranteed with a new ISO Standard Norm (ISO 24194). Thus, an internationally recognized method for measuring the performance has now been developed and established, which ensures that the end customer in fact achieves the expected performance of the solar heating system.
In general, the interest for Danish district heating technologies and solutions such as heat pumps, storage solutions, solar heating and biomass plants has been increasing over the past years. In particular, there has been an increased number of requests for Pit Thermal Energy Storage technology, which in interaction with other technologies can utilize surplus energy and thereby increase the green profile.
Aalborg CSP is therefore cooperating with both Danish and German as well as other international partners in order to be able to offer Danish quality solutions worldwide.
Where Denmark and the Danish market so far have been the pioneers both in terms of utilizing solar heat within the district heating industry and within the development of Pit Thermal Energy Storages, it now appears that Germany is now stepping up the game when it comes to upscaling their renewable energy within the heating sector.