Solar thermal energy
In solar thermal systems, solar panels installed on the roof use solar power to produce heat. They may cover the hot drinking-water requirement of a house and support the heating system.
The most commonly used plant type is using flat plate collectors that contain small pipes through which a heat transfer fluid runs. Attached to the pipes are heat conducting sheets that take up the heat and transfer it to the fluid. Flat plate collectors are robust and have a good price-performance ratio, while the more expensive evacuated tube collectors are more efficient. On roofs in Berlin, the use of solar thermal plants may also be profitable.
A precondition is that the panels can be aligned to the south. The mean annual insolation at this latitude is about 1,000 kWh per square metre. To supply a single-family house occupied by four persons, up to six square metres of panel surface are required. The Berliner Energieagentur is specialising in large solar thermal systems which are suitable to supply multi-family houses. In this field, we are offering feasibility studies and advice for building owners. Occasionally, we also install and operate solar thermal systems at our own economic risk.