Solar collectors – large-scale and commercial projects
Solar heating is becoming increasingly popular within the large-scale and commercial building segment. Inaventa Solar collectors are especially competitive when it comes to larger projects, as cost efficiency becomes comparatively greater. The light weight of the panels also means they are considerably easier to install relative to their metal-based counterparts.
Key to a well-functioning solar heating system is demand for heating year-around, including over the summer months. In addition, the system requires suitable surfaces for the installation of collectors, facing south-east, south or south-west. Institutions and purpose-built buildings are some examples of suitable projects. Inaventa Solar also has a strong focus on raising the use of solar heating within the agricultural sector, and on projects combining solar heating with district heating.
Solar energy is generally a good fit for the agricultural sector, where projects often involve the use of large roof and facade areas and extensive electricity and/or heating needs – including in the summer. The heating up of farmhouses and farm buildings, drying processes for grain and grass, hot water for milk production and greenhouse operations are typical areas for which solar heating is suitable. Inaventa Solar offers solutions that can be adjusted to most agricultural project requirements.
Our systems can easily be combined with other sources of energy production in the sector. A popular solution is, for example, to combine solar energy with bioenergy. With this solution, the sun will be the primary source of energy in the spring, summer and autumn, while bioenergy becomes the main supplier during winter. This can facilitate the development of barns that are energy self-sufficient, and potentially also able to provide surplus energy to surrounding areas.
District heating is among the most efficient systems for heat distribution in urban areas, and key to the process of lowering carbon emissions. By using renewable energy sources, the carbon footprint is reduced even further.
The customer base in a district heating system collectively provides consistently high energy demand and steady distribution throughout the day and year: ie, there is demand for heating when solar energy and solar collector production peaks. Solar heating systems are particularly well-suited to contribute to higher efficiency in warmer periods of the year, when much of the district heating is channelled towards covering losses in the pipeline network.
District heating systems usually have centralised energy production, and a distribution network connecting consumers. Finding sufficient space for large-scale solar collector systems can be challenging, in which case a decentralised solution – where collectors are integrated into the buildings where the heat will be consumed – can offer an attractive option. This strategy is largely the same as for electric smart grids, where end-costumers are both consumers and producers of power.
Combined with district heating, the substantial overproduction from solar heating systems in the summer months can be transferred to the district heating network, helping to satisfy ‘energy-plus-house’ criteria. Solar collectors produce 2-4 times more energy per unit area than solar cells, at a significantly lower cost.