Forschungsgruppe-NET - Hochschule Offenburg

Solar Heat

Scientific and Technical Support of Large-scale Solar Thermal Systems

State-of-the-art solar collectors are capable of contributing significantly to the overall heat production in buildings. In the years to come, Germany will see the development of active solar houses in which solar thermal technology will play the key role while fossil fuels will play a mere back-up role. New and challenging applications are currently tackled by solar thermal solutions in various pilot and demonstration projects, like for instance, supplying the necessary heat for absorption and adsorption chillers, which are notorious for their high operational temperature. 

Under the roof of the research programs Solarthermie-2000 and Solarthermie2000plus, the research group net has provided the technical and scientific support for many big projects over the past 10 years. With the large-scale monitoring of running systems, net determined comparative figures/ benchmarks and developed many a suggestion for the optimization of the individual systems.

By the end of 2007, Solarthermie-2000 (initiated in 1993), its partial program 2 and successor program Solarthermie2000plus saw to the establishment of more than 70 large-scale solar thermal systems for domestic water heating all over Germany. Typical feature of these systems is a collector field size of 100m² and more. They should demonstrate the technical and economical feasibility of active solar thermal systems, help in developing the technology further and set suitable standards for the systems’ circuits and dimensioning.

A scientific and technical service included in the program provides independent and competent consultation and support of solar thermal systems from the initial idea, via the realization unto the operational systems. Since 1999, the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg has been responsible for the monitoring of the demonstration systems in Southwest Germany.

Chief tasks are:

•    suitability tests of objects for building solar thermal systems,

•    support of the project partners in the system’s planning, advertising and building,

•    conception and installation of measurement instruments,

•    data acquisition and analysis over several years,

•    monitoring and evaluation of the plant’s operation,

•    analysis of failures and optimization proposals, and

•    know-how transfer.

The University of Applied Sciences Offenburg currently looks after ten solar thermal systems. Five of them (Freiburg (2x), Mindelheim, Singen and Baden-Baden) are exclusively used for domestic water heating. In Waldbronn, the solar thermal system heats the swimming pool water in addition to the domestic water. One of the four most recent systems, funded by Solarthermie2000plus, feeds the solar heat into a local heating network; the other three feed into the heating system of the respective company/ school premises. There, the heat is used for space heating and cooling.

On the page Comparision you will find a all Measurment results of the large scale solarthermal systems accompanied by the university of applied sciences Offenburg.