Denmark is known for both its support of renewable energy and for its widespread district heating systems. The Solar District Heating website writes about the world’s largest solar heating plant to be built in Denmark, merging both its commitment to renewables and community heating.
The world’s largest solar heating plant to be established in Vojens, Denmark
Denmark is a front runner when it comes to solar heating on the large scale. ARCON Solar from Skørping, Denmark has just signed an agreement to install what will be the world’s largest solar thermal installation with no less than 52 491 m² solar collectors to be established in Vojens.
Vojens district heating in future may boast that they have the world’s largest solar heating plant for heat production for district heating. Vojens will take the lead from another Danish district heating station, namely Dronninglund with a collector area of 37 275 m². Both installations have been provided by ARCON Solar who is behind more than half of the solar heating plants bigger than 1000 m² in Europe.
The huge installation in Vojens will be producing the majority of the energy in the summer half year. As the demand is low in summertime, the energy will be stored in a water basin in which between 190 and 200 million liters of water will be heated up. In this way the energy can be used in wintertime when people turn up the radiators again. Specifically the possibility to store the CO2 neutral energy makes solar thermal energy attractive to district heating stations and companies with high heat consumption in the production.
‘Contrary to other sustainable energy concepts it is worthwhile to store the solar energy for later consumption. It is possible to offer rather precise calculations to show how big a share of the total heating requirements can be covered using solar thermal energy, thus making the most of the advantages in the operation, not least economical’, so Søren Elisiussen, managing director of ARCON Solar.
Another important aspect regarding the demand for large-scale solar heating systems is the insecurity when it comes to the development in prices on the market for fossil fuels. A solar heating installation has an expected lifetime of at least 25 years. In addition to the investment in the installation itself, the ordinary cost of operation and maintenance in this period of timemust be added, whereas the energy from the sun is free of charge. This means a guaranteed fixed energy price for at least 25 years and a reduced dependency on fossil fuels. Security and minimum risk have become a strong purchasing argument.
‘Danish district heating operators in later years have discovered that large-scale solar heating is not only a politically correct investment, but also a good stroke of business. Especially the long-term knowledge of the cost level is an important motivation for the demand. This knowledge is now also spreading internationally, and we expect that already this year we will see a major breakthrough for our exports’, says Søren Elisiussen.