Precious energy. From the sun into our homes.
For private homes, solar thermal energy is primarily used in building heating and climate control. Here, solar collectors mainly take the form of roof panels that can be used to provide hot water, standalone and fully adequate heating, or to support an existing heating system. As sunlight hits the collector, depending on the collector’s absorptive capacity, 60-75% of the sunlight’s energy is transferred into the thermal liquid. This liquid has to be transported to its respective destination – usually through pre-insulated stainless steel corrugated pipes. The flexible, well insulated pipe transports the heated water from the collector to the heating system with minimal loss of heat. The highly pliable stainless steel pipe is easy to fit; after being bent into shape it retains its form and can therefore be ideally accommodated in the spaces available. The BEULCO quick-connect system for stainless steel pipes is the solution of choice for linking stainless steel pipes and connecting pipelines to the respective threaded connectors of the collectors and heating system.
Energy is becoming increasingly expensive. According to the European Union, "Increasing evidence of climate change and growing dependence on energy has underlined the European Union's (EU) determination to become a low-energy economy and that the energy consumed is secure, safe, competitive, locally produced and sustainable". The EU energy policy deals with energy sources such as fossil fuels and renewables (solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, etc.).
In October 2014, EU countries agreed on a new energy efficiency target of 27% or greater by 2030. The EU has adopted a number of measures to improve energy efficiency in Europe. Among others these are:
- annual reduction of 1.5% in national energy sales
- EU countries making energy efficient renovations to at least 3% of buildings owned and occupied by central governments per year
- the preparation of National Energy Efficiency Action Plans every three years by EU countries
- large copanies conducting energy audits at least every four years
- minimum energy efficiency standards and labelling for a variety of products such as boilers, household appliances, lighting and televisions
Source: European Commission
Implementation in Germany
By introducing the Energy Saving Regulation (EnEV), the federal government has already set standards for energy saving. These standards are regularly adjusted. The latest addition to the requirements is a step towards the minimum energy buildings standard of the EU, which is to enter into effect by no later than 2021.
The EnEV applies to all buildings with heating or air conditioning and sets the requirements for the heat insulation standard and installation technology.
The tightened regulations for new builds enter into effect from 2016, and the requirements are being continuously raised. The EnEV has already required home builders to use renewable energy for many years now. In concrete terms: housing construction without renewable energy (such as solar thermal energy) is no longer permissible in principle.