Conference Topics
  1. Solar Architecture and Net Zero Energy Buildings
  2. Solar Heat for Industrial Processes.
  3. Thermal Storage
  4. Solar Thermal Systems: Domestic Hot Water, Space Heating and Cooling
  5. Solar Assisted District Heating and Cooling and Large Scale Applications
  6. Testing & Certification
  7. Solar Thermal Collectors and Solar Loop Components
  8. PV and PVT systems for buildings and industry
  9. Solar Resource and Energy Meteorology 
  10. Solar Education
  11. Renewable Energy Strategies and Policies


Topics description

Solar Architecture and Net Zero Energy Buildings

In many countries building regulations have started to require mandatory solar energy fractions, both for electricity and domestic hot water production. The next step will clearly not just be to ask for coverage of a higher fraction of needs, but to go for net zero energy balance.

Future buildings will have to use most of their roof and facade surfaces for energy production. This growing implementation of collector surfaces (active and passive) will pose major challenges to architects and building professionals. On one hand, most of them are still lacking comprehensive solar knowledge and, on the other hand, there is still a limited offer of solar products developed for building integration. Without thoughtful planning, the large size of solar systems at the building scale may end up compromising the global architectural coherency, affecting the quality of entire urban contexts, with the risk of discouraging the architects’ community from using solar. Good practice examples are needed to promote solar use and help educate building professionals, as well as new cost effective products designed for building integration.

We expect papers in this topic to particularly address these issues, with special attention on products and examples dealing with building retrofit.


Solar Heat for Industrial Processes

Solar Heat for Industrial Processes (SHIP) is at an early stage of development. By the end of 2015, IEA Task 49 listed around 160 systems worldwide with about 100 MWth. However there is a huge potential expected, as 28 % of the energy demand in Europe originates in the industrial sector. Within this share nearly 60% of the total demand is required at temperatures accessible for solar thermal collectors with approximately equal parts below 100 °C and between 100 °C and 400 °C. However suitable integration of the solar thermal system has to be identified. With technological development of collectors and improved system integration, more and more applications up to 400 °C will also become market feasible.


Thermal Storage

Thermal energy storage (TES) technologies are a strategic and necessary component for the efficient use of renewable energies, especially for solar energy, both for heating and cooling applications, but also for electricity production at a later stage. TES can be used to reduce the mismatch existing in time, temperature, power and location between source (solar energy or others) and demand (building, industry, etc.). Therefore, TES is a wide topic that in this conference, EUROSUN 2016, will cover contributions about high temperature and low-medium temperature TES including materials research, energy storage in applications (buildings, industry, solar plants, etc.) and novel storage concepts, but also contributions on the economic and environmental point of view of TES will be welcome.


Solar Thermal Systems: Domestic Hot Water, Space Heating and Cooling

The efficiency of solar thermal use is only partly dependent on the used components. Only if the right components are connected in a low-cost and intelligent way that is well adapted to the respective demand, will the system be efficient. This has to be accompanied by a simple and robust control strategy and monitoring, including malfunction alerts. This has been a main topic of research for decades and the main challenge still is to bring all the results into the market. Evaluations of built solar thermal systems still often show malfunctions and low efficiency due to system problems. Papers in this topic should address such systems approaches for solar thermal systems.


Solar Assisted District Heating and Cooling and Large Scale Applications

Large solar heating (and cooling) systems (>350 kW nominal thermal power; >500 m2 of solar collector area) have a very positive development for the time being.  We have now about 250 such systems in operation in Europe, out of which about 100 have been built the last five years.  These systems are typically applied where there are large heating and cooling loads, e.g. for large building complexes, industries and urban areas suitable for block and district heating and cooling.  One of the advantages is economy of scale in comparison to small scale applications.

The technologies involved are large ground mounted and roof-integrated solar collector arrays, large heat storages (water-filled tanks and pits; ground storages), as well as auxiliary boilers, absorption chillers and heat pumps.  Solar heating for residential areas or building complexes dominate with about 210 plants - 90 with ground-mounted and 120 with roof-integrated solar collectors. The remaining about 40 plants are for cooling and industrial applications - the majority with roof-integrated solar collectors - out of which 17 are large scale cooling systems.

The topic will cover all types of large applications including contributions focusing on systems and technologies, development, design and evaluation, as well as economics and potential.


Testing & Certification

To enable market access it is necessary to describe the technical characteristics of solar thermal products. These descriptive procedures have to be standardized to provide the basis for a fair and substantial comparison (including comparison to non-solar solutions). Improvements in mature technic variants as well as more radical innovations have to compete with the existing technologies and prices per performance. For innovations it is therefore important to define a well thought set of boundaries for such competition.

Surplus to those technical and economical parameters also the subsidy policies are in many countries based on standards or certificates respectively which has be kept in mind when setting up new procedures.

This topic will cover new methodologies for inter technical comparison, improvements in descriptive procedures for a suitable market access and solutions for gaps in the existing standard and certification set up.


Solar Thermal Collectors and Solar Loop Components

One of the oldest topics in ISES conferences history still offers new approaches and wide research activities. Research in the field of solar collector design today focuses on building envelope integration and associated multi-functionality (air/liquid, PV/T, etc.), concentrating collectors for process heat applications and use of new materials for achieving the higher gain/cost ratio. The papers should address such new concepts and especially the experimentally verified designs. The topic also covers the contributions in the field of “all other” solar system components responsible for proper system function.


PV and PVT Systems for Buildings and Industry

Photovoltaic (PV) technologies utilized in buildings, residential and industrial, may cover a wide range of applications from direct use of the produced electricity to the coupling of the PV system with HVAC. The topic includes research related to the installation of PV in buildings in order to deliver, effectively and efficiently, the energy necessary to satisfy (as much as possible) the electrical and thermal energy demand (by means of hybrid PVT devices or HVAC coupling designs).  Thereby, research themes that are welcome can cover: (1) innovative PV/PVT modules: performance and reliability, new and improved measurement and characterization methods, correlation between laboratory testing and field performance,  energy yield, energy rating, degradation, ageing and life cycle, etc.; (2) building integrated photovoltaics: smart materials for intelligent building envelopes, integrating solar technologies into the building envelope, technologies for enhanced daylight control, etc.; (3) system operation: installation, grid interfacing, storage, auxiliary grid services, cost analyses, monitoring, simulation tools, system failure analysis, etc.


Solar Resource and Energy Metereology 

When solar energy is a major source of energy to meet a specific load, the variability of the solar resource over time frames ranging from short-term “ramps” to long-term interannual variability must be considered, because the “net load” (the actual load minus the solar output at any given moment) can vary in ways that may not be completely predictable.  This track seeks papers on 1) solar resource variability and its predictability over time frames from minutes to years; 2) modeling approaches and ground-based observations to determine the historical solar resource and the future predictability of this resource at specific sites or over large regions;  and 3) papers on combining short-term, high-quality ground measurements with longer-term modeled estimates of the solar resource to enhance data bankability, known as “site adaptation”.


Solar Education

Education in solar and renewable energy is aimed at many target groups, including students at the primary, high school and university level, PhD students, as well as consumers, for example, people interested in installing their own renewable energy systems in their homes. The aim of the topic is to gather experience, to stimulate teaching activities and to discuss ways on how to spread expert knowledge.

Exciting questions to be addressed are, among others, how to profit from one other’s experience in organizing and implementing educational programmes, how to share and exchange teaching materials and experiences in advertising educational programs. A common challenge of many educational programs and projects is to how face varying market and policy constraints.

There are several thousand universities and schools all over Europe that have implemented special programs on renewable energy education in recent years. This enables us, as a solar energy community, to open up the education session to a much larger expert group and intensify fruitful discussions.


Renewable Energy Strategies and Policies

According to the agreements of the 2015 UN Climate Conference COP21 in Paris it is very urgent to convert the present fossil fuel based energy systems into 100% renewable energy systems in order to meet climate change mitigation targets.

The necessary renewable energy technologies are basically available for a broad market implementation even if continuous improvements based on research and innovation as well as technical developments are needed.

In order to be successful in the quick market implementation of renewable energy technologies appropriate strategies and policies have to be in place.

This topic of EuroSun 2016 therefore focusses on best practice examples, success stories and new innovative ideas and measures, which help to overcome the knowledge, legal, institutional and cost barriers.







University of Stuttgart
Research and Testing Centre
for Thermal Solar Systems (TZS)