IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme

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International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC)
Logo of International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC)
  • 20 Countries
  • European Commission
  • 4 Sponsor organizations
• Chair
France Daniel Mugnier
• Vice Chairs
  • China He Tao
Germany Elimar Frank United Kingdom Richard Hall

The International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Technology Collaboration Programme (IEA SHC TCP) is one of over 40 multilateral Technology Collaboration Programmes (also known as TCPs) of the International Energy Agency.[1] It was one of the first of such programmes, founded in 1977. Its current mission is to "advance international collaborative efforts for solar energy to reach the goal set in the vision of contributing 50% of the low temperature heating and cooling demand by 2030.".[2] Its international solar collector statistics Solar Heat Worldwide[3] serve as a reference document for governments,[4] financial institutions,[5] consulting firms[6] and non-profit organizations.[7]

Membership and organization[edit]

The IEA SHC's members are national governments, the European Commission and international organizations. Each of the members is represented by one representative in the management body called the Executive Committee.[8] The IEA SHC Executive Committee meets twice per year and is headed by an elected chairman. The IEA SHC currently has 26 members (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, European Commission, ECREEE, European Copper Institute, Gulf Organization for Research and Development, ISES, RCREEE ).[9]

Fields of work[edit]

Research, development and demonstration[edit]

The IEA SHC aims at facilitating international collaboration in the research, development and demonstration of solar thermal energy and solar buildings. Their multi-year projects (also known as "Tasks") are conducted by researchers from different countries. Funding is provided by IEA SHC members, who usually pay one or more national research institutions to participate in the work.

Research topics include:

  • solar space heating, e.g. Solar and Heat Pump Systems (Task 44),[10] Solar Combisystems (Task 26)[11]
  • solar industrial process heat, e.g. Solar Process Heat for Production and Advanced Applications (Task 49),[12] Solar Heat for Industrial Process (Task 33)[13]
  • solar district heating, e.g. Towards the Integration of Large Systems into District Heating and Cooling Network (Task 55), Large Systems: Large Solar Heating/Cooling Systems, Seasonal Storage, Heat Pumps (Task 45)[14]
  • solar cooling, e.g. New Generation Solar Cooling and Heating Systems (PV or Solar Thermally Driven Systems (Task 53), Quality Assurance and Support Measures for Solar Cooling (Task 48),[15] Solar Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration (Task 38)[16]
  • solar buildings/architecture, e.g. Building Integrated Solar Envelope Systems for HVAC and Lighting (Task 56), Solar Energy and Energy Economics in Urban Environments (Task 52), Solar Energy in Urban Planning (Task 51), Solar Renovation of Non-Residential Buildings (Task 47),[17] Solar Energy and Architecture (Task 41)[18]

As well as work on:

  • materials/components for solar heating and cooling, e.g. Price Reduction for Solar Thermal Systems (Task 54), Compact Thermal Energy Storage (Task 42),[19] Polymeric Materials for Solar Thermal Applications (Task 39)[20]
  • standards & certification, e.g. Solar Standards and Certification (Task 57), Solar Rating & Certification Procedure (Task 43)[21]
  • resource assessment, e.g. Solar Resource Assessment and Forecasting (Task 46), Solar Resource Knowledge Management (Task 36)[22]

Task 13[edit]

The idea behind Task 13 was to push construction technology towards its limits to achieve the lowest possible total purchased energy consumption. Task 13 was part of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, to test the designs and techniques, and to monitor their performance.

On average, the houses were designed to require 44 kWh/m², 75% lower than the average 172 kWh/m² that would have been required had the houses been built to normal standards. (Analysis of 11 of the houses in use indicated that total savings made in practice was actually 60% [1]).The 44 kWh/m² resulted from:

In addition there was an average solar contribution designed to average 37 kWh/m², from a combination of passive solar gains, active solar, and photovoltaics.

The buildings were constructed to be airtight, superinsulated to roughly double normal standards, and to minimise thermal bridges. Masonry and several timber framed methods were represented, as well as newly designed steel strengthened polystyrene block walls. The Berlin "Zero Heating Energy House" included a 20 cubic metres (710 cu ft) seasonal thermal store.[2]

The homes in the programme were:

  • Pleiade Row House, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • Brampton Advanced House, Canada
  • Waterloo Region Green Home, Canada [3]
  • Kolding Row House, Denmark
  • IEA 5 House, Pietarsaari, Finland
  • Ultrahouse, Rottweil, Germany [4]
  • Zero Heating Energy House, Berlin, Germany [5]
  • Wish House 3, Iwaki, Japan [6]
  • Urban Villa, Amstelveen, Netherlands [7]
  • IEA Task 13 House, Hamar, Norway [8]
  • Roskar Low Energy House, Sweden
  • Duplex in Gelterkinden, Switzerland
  • Exemplary House, Grand Canyon, United States
  • Exemplary House, Yosemite, USA

Among the lessons learned were that:

  • Airtightness was difficult to achieve
  • Ventilation systems could suffer from noise and draft problems
  • Care was needed to design out summer overheating
  • Simple installations and systems were easier for the residents to understand

International SHC conference[edit]

In 2011, the IEA SHC Executive Committee announced an annual international conference on solar heating and cooling for buildings and industry. The first conference, SHC 2012 took place 9–11 July 2012 in San Francisco,.[23] SHC 2013 on 23–25 September 2013 in Freiburg, Germany., SHC 2014 on 13–15 October in Beijing, China, SHC 2015 on 2–4 December in Istanbul, Turkey. SHC 2013 and SHC 2015 were jointly with the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), which had previously organized their own conference, ESTEC.


Apart from the reports and other publications of the research projects (Tasks), the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme publishes several cross-cutting documents, the most important one being the annual collector statistics Solar Heat Worldwide.[3] The SHC newsletter Solar Update is published twice per year.[24]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]