Great Solar Product Shame About The Budget

New solar thermal panels end stagnation with unique, automated ‘temperature shutdown’ coating

The word stagnation brings anybody involved with solar thermal shudder, frankly the shudder is twofold with regard to heat issues and also UK government having a total inability to keep to its promises. The budget favours nuclear power and not catching rays from the sun.

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Christian Engelke, Viessmann technical director pictured above.

Going back a decade the solar thermal industry had a simple grant scheme backed by the Low Carbon Buildings Programme and then it was scrapped at the time of the crash and we all had to wait for RHI to replace the LCB-Programme. Now RHI and solar thermal have parted company.

It seems as though the thermal ship has sailed just as Viessmann decide it is time to bring the UK market a new solar thermal flat panel that ends the problem of overheating and stagnation and sets a new standard for solar system efficiency and reliability.

The Viessmann Vitosol 200-FM collector features ThermProtect, a patented “intelligent” absorber layer coating that, through temperature-dependent change in its crystal structures, adjusts automatically to changes in sunlight and heat absorption.

Traditional flat panel solar thermal collectors can be prone to steam production due to stagnation, which in turn leads to heat transfer medium degradation. This can be an issue in spring or summer when excess heat from the sun cannot always be used and the panels’ temperature rises. ThermProtect rejects the excess heat back to the environment.

“While there are practical and mechanical ways to design solar systems so that solar thermal stagnation is limited, overheating has been a bug bear to the solar industry,” says Christian Engelke, Viessmann technical director.  “ThermProtect on the Vitosol 200-FM is a significant milestone in eradicating this issue and furthers Viessmann, already in the solar thermal market for over 40 years, as a pioneering manufacturer. It makes solar a more attractive proposition for installers and homeowners for whom oversizing is no longer an issue. They can now benefit from a much more reliable renewable technology to add to their homes. We hope this development increases the take-up of solar thermal in the UK.”

Flat plate collector with intelligent absorber layer

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The patented coating, developed by Viessmann in partnership with Nancy University, France, prevents further energy absorption when the plate reaches a certain temperature. The absorber coating is based on the principle of “intelligent layers”. The coating’s structure changes depending on the collector temperature. Above an absorber temperature of 75 °C the coating increases its emitting of incoming solar radiation and in effect ‘shuts down’.

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Nancy University, France Source Wikipedia.

If the temperature of the collector falls below 75 ° C, the structure of the coating will return to its original state and 95 per cent of the incoming solar energy is absorbed and converted into heat.

The change of the coating’s structure occurs unlimited times and means that the flat panel is never at risk of stagnation.

I love it but wonder if it will ever see the light of day (excuse the pun) and we can only live in hope for some sort of subsidy to help the industry back on its feet.

This manufacturer might sell EUR 2 billion but sadly not much of this comes from UK solar sales and its a shared effort from 120 global offices.

Renewable Heat Business Hung Out to Dry

Last year we reported that the Government had announced plans to delay RHI until 2013

Why put off for one year what can be put off for two years or more

We have a pallet of sales literature from Tekno Energy after expecting RHI
We have a pallet of sales literature from Tekno Energy after expecting RHI

The RHI was due to  start this summer, but has been put off in an RHI Update by DECC on 26th March 2013, DECC made a formal announcement confirming that

domestic RHI had been postponed until Spring 2014. There will be a further
update in Summer 2013 to clarify how the RHI will operate once launched.
The Renewable Heat Premium Payment
(RHPP) scheme is being extended until the end
of March 2014, ahead of the launch of the RHI
for householders. This scheme, first launched

After Getting Climate Master Ready For RHI Domestic Launch We can Put It Back in the Box!!
After Getting Climate Master Ready For RHI Domestic Launch We can Put It Back in the Box!!

in July 2011, offers money off the cost of
renewable heating kit such as biomass boilers,
solar thermal panels and heat pumps and is
largely targeted at those living off the gas grid.
The scheme was due to close at the end of

Thermal Sales Zero
Thermal Sales Zero

March 2013.
It should be noted that even though the RHPP scheme is being extended,
householders who applied before 31 March 2013 must have redeemed their
voucher by their stated voucher expiry date or 31 March 2013 (whichever is
sooner). If the stated deadline was missed, householders will be able to
re-apply once the extension is live from 1 April 2013.
MCS does not have any further updates at this time, but will
continue to ensure certified organisations are updated as soon as
the information is available.

New market
Richard Williams of Ecobods Manufacturers &; Marketing Agents, has been asked to attend Intersolar to launch a solar panel into UK that fulfils our needs for both electricity and hot water but no RHI!!

Frankly this ruins the likelihoods for thousands in domestic heat as it seems to be impossible to run a renewable heat business in the United Kingdom.  UK Government ministers such as Greg Barker and Ed Davey are about as honest as  Chris Huhne with speeding points but these guys are  in charge of renewable heat policies simply

Why can’t we trust DECC to tell the truth when they publish a plan and they never trusted to stick to their announcement about its plans for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The renewable heat incentive was originally supposed to be launched in July 2009 and when it got to the crunch a financial crisis intervened Climate Change and we thought it  would be launched in 2010, I then geared up for 2011 and then toured the globe for UK product launch in 2012.

These monster pledges are annual and frankly each promise proves to be a lie.

Economic times are hard, but the RHI for householders involved very small money and the government consulted on a capping mechanism to spread the tiny budget of it.

DE or DECC?
DE or DECC?

We have a skeleton with a weak RHI launched for business and  take up for is at best very small and whilst solar thermal is in single figures .

With RHI being postponed from 2009 know it has ruined an entire industry but hey that’s business…… well that is bvusiness if it relies on government and honesty in the same sentence

DECC Could be Renamed SPO: Sales Prevention Office With RHI Delay

The never-ending story from never run a business couldn’t run a business politicians looms large again.

http://energyconservationcentre.co.uk/
ENERGY CONSERVATION CENTRE

No doubt the triangle north from London along the M4 to Eton then up the A34 to Oxford  and back down the M40 to London must disorientate the business brain of the elected leaders of our country.

To think I voted for this lot because I truly believed David Cameron during the run up to the last election and he even renewed a vow that the government he leads will be the nation’s “greenest ever.

Action speaks louder than words as the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has yesterday confirmed a domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) is postponed until spring 2014.

This time last year I was out seeking products  sitting in airports meeting global companies whose natural sceptical look at the UK (due to aborted green schemes in the past) I laughed at and they were right.

Energy_Conservation_Centre_OutsideWe are amongst many who have prepared to launch new products with domestic RHI, we have taken delivery of a pallet of sales literature from Italy, samples from Germany as USA heat pumps arrive, we spend our family savings making an Energy Conservation Centre and await  launch during 2013

Climate Master in our centre. We expected to make sales in 2013 but domestic RHI comes 2014
Climate Master in our centre. We expected to make sales in 2013 but domestic RHI comes 2014

 

However, the government has confirmed that it will not publish the tariff levels for the domestic RHI until summer 2013, with DECC stating that it expects that “the scheme will be up and running for householders in spring 2014”.

Getting Climate Master ready to launch
Getting Climate Master ready to launch

I would not be so annoyed had I not gone through this before! In 2007 I set my stall out to launch a company to help non-resident market leaders in renewable into the UK and take that company to the distributors and installers.

The office is ready thanks to Karndean Flooring
The office is ready thanks to Karndean Flooring

We had  travelled thousands of miles taking some superb Solar Thermal around the UK, shipped in products and attended the Solar Trade Association Annual Conference 2009

Helional plans stopped due to earlier Government  messing
Helional plans stopped due to earlier Government messing

My plans to build a business were over as I attended a conference arranged by Solar Trade Association which at the time was a trade association for SHW or more commonly known as Solar Thermal which was about using a Solar Collector on the roof to use the sun to warm as big a hot water tank as your house could accommodate to reduce Co2.

We have a pallet of sales literature from Tekno Energy
We have a pallet of sales literature from Tekno Energy

Some smart entrepreneurs had built companies with sales of £15million a year and created many jobs and were about to close down

This conference was called ‘Preparing For The Solar Boom Ahead 2009′
Somewhere between the idea for the conference and it taking place something in Government Policy changed.

STA Preparing For The Boom Ahead in 2009
STA Preparing For The Boom Ahead in 2009

I remember parting with £150 for 14th October 2009 “The event for the Solar Thermal Industry in the UK” and how we are to focus on Mass Market Solar; setting targets for growth.

The actual speeches were ruined as Solar Thermal lost all Government subsidies Director of Heat Policy at BERR, Hergen Haye was our keynote speaker and captivated the audience with his talk but went on about a new feed in tariff that will pave our rooftops in gold

The challenge was this would start some distant date in the future and involve Solar PV for electricity. I knew nothing about PV and having spent two years preparing to enter this market by gaining the exclusive sole selling rights for a Greek market leader in SHW this was not good news.

What I did know was the UK market when I kicked off in Solar Thermal was growing fast with tens of thousands of installations whilst Solar PV saw 270 installations.

The FiT was launched by the Conservative based on a plan by Labour Party now Leader Ed Milliband, some said FiT was not good enough

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Some of the proposed tariffs are not competitive with those on the continent, or those in Ontario. “For community-scale or larger on-site projects,” says David Timms, a senior campaigner with Friends of the Earth (UK), “the rates [tariffs] are inadequate.”
David Timms, a senior campaigner with Friends of the Earth (UK), “the rates [tariffs] are inadequate.”

Now we get more from the head of sales prevention with Greg Barker saying

“We remain committed to introducing an incentive scheme for householders, and have today set out an updated timetable for its launch. The RHI, which has been available for non domestic investors for over a year, is a key part of our approach to cutting carbon and driving forward the move to more sustainable low carbon heating alternatives.”
“We remain committed to introducing an incentive scheme for householders, and have today set out an updated timetable for its launch. The RHI, which has been available for non domestic investors for over a year, is a key part of our approach to cutting carbon and driving forward the move to more sustainable low carbon heating alternatives.”

Solar Power Portal say As a result of the delayed domestic RHI scheme, DECC will extend the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme until March 2014.

I blog all this to show just one example of the hundreds of distributors, installers and training providers whose business plan just got delayed again

Third_Green_Business

The right policies supporting a low-carbon economy could add £20 billion pounds to gross domestic product,says Rhian Kelly, the Confederation of British Industry’s director of business environment policy,and I agree it is possible but not without confidence and that is running out.