Solar Local Heat
Gravel and water heat storage tank
Gravel and water heat storage tank at Chemnitz (Germany)

Large solar thermal systems with seasonal heat storage tanks have the additional task of providing solar heat for space heating in winter. Solar supported local heat systems with short term storage tanks and collector areas over 100 square meters are preferably used to provide heat for large apartment buildings or even entire housing developments. Solar local heating systems with long-term storage tanks can compensate for the temporal discrepancy between the time of maximum solar radiation in summer and the highest heat demand in winter. The heat is either stored directly underground or in manmade containers.

In solar supported local heating systems the heat gained from solar collectors is usually transported to a district heat station over the solar grid and then distributed directly to buildings as needed. The collectors are typically mounted on the rooftops of buildings or integrated into the roof itself. Especially cost effective is the use of pre-fabricated elements in which the roof and collector are combined to form a single unit. In any case, the collectors should be located as close as possible to the district heat station, while the seasonal heat storage tank can be either built underground or at ground level.

The cost advantage of large solar heating systems when compared to smaller systems follows mostly from the relatively lower unit price of a system’s collector area.

Text and illustration: BINE Information Service (BINE Informationsdienst), Subject Information Center Karlsruhe, Germany (Fachinformationszentrum),

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