The world has constantly looked for ways to break out of dependence on fossil fuels. The use of solar energy to generate electricity has paved the way for different opportunities in heating and cooling systems. Solar heating and cooling systems use solar energy to generate thermal energy for hot water, space heating and swimming pool heating. These systems use light sensors for the concentration of solar radiation.
Product life cycle
The market has not yet reached the maturity phase. Companies strive to develop products that are both energy efficient and profitable. The infrastructure of the solar energy industry needs to be strengthened in order to create a solid alternative to conventional energy sources.
Strict government regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Governments around the world have taken tough action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act regulates greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, the commercial and residential source of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 was 12% while that of industry was 22%. The change of government in the United States is expected to curb greenhouse gas emissions, thus generating demand for solar equipment.
The European Union has set ambitious plans as part of the regulatory basis for obligations for new and existing buildings to supply 50-100% domestic water and 25% space heating / cooling from the solar energy in 2020, and by 2030 the EU plans to develop regulations prohibiting the use of external energy sources. All energy must be produced locally by renewable energies. In Asia-Pacific, where solar power is plentiful, countries like India, China and Central Asia are providing grants to help develop the solar power industry.
Growing demand for water heating systems
The energy prices of traditional electric and gas water heaters have increased in recent years. The development of solar water heating products along with government subsidies has increased the use of solar water heating systems. This is most evident in residential and commercial applications where the temperature required for heated water is relatively lower than in industrial applications. Solar, in general, has a lot to offer in hydronic systems. The demand for solar heating systems is increasing for applications such as swimming pool heating and space heating.
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Opportunities for solar cooling systems
The market for solar cooling systems is a niche market; However, with the growing compatibility of products with solar power and rising energy prices, solar cooling systems are likely to be a dark horse in the market. Demand for solar cooling systems is promising, especially in Europe, where companies such as Fahrenheit (Germany), Solid Solar Energy Systems (Austria) and Solarinvent and Maya (Italy) have landed contracts for solar thermal solutions. It is expected that once cooling systems become profitable, only they can compete with gas heat pumps and electric compression chillers.
Some companies have also found a hybrid way to use solar cooling systems. They use waste heat in the winter and solar power in the summer, which is probably the way to go for solar cooling systems. Countries have also introduced initiatives for solar thermal cooling kits, which have significantly reduced the prices, thus contributing to the positive development of the market.
Combined systems for residential applications
Solar thermal solutions have been developed to provide energy for hot water and space heating. These combination systems are more in demand in residential applications. The collector here is larger because the combined systems provide two loads. The combined system is also equipped with an auxiliary energy source such as biomass, oil, gas or electricity. However, installing a combined system requires a specific set of skills that must be taught to contractors.
Currently more dominant solar photovoltaic systems
Solar photovoltaics is based on the photovoltaic effect, where the photon impacts a surface to generate a charge while a solar thermal heats a fluid using sunlight. Solar thermal is more efficient than solar PV, while solar PV has a longer lifespan and also has the capacity to power many devices. Other benefits of solar thermal include space efficiency, fewer complications than solar PV, and a consistent and reliable supply of electricity. Investments in research and development should make solar thermal a sought-after technology, thus overcoming the major constraint of solar photovoltaic. It is expected that once the solar PV life cycle matures, manufacturers are likely to find ways to store solar energy where the demand for solar thermal systems increases.
Market feasibility in industrial applications
Companies have still not explored the full range of solar heating and cooling systems in industrial applications, particularly in process heating. There are many cases where solar heating systems are used, but this too in low temperature conditions. As there are more technological advancements in product development, the use of solar heating systems will be more feasible for average temperatures up to 250 ° C.
Europe is expected to hold the largest share of the solar heating and cooling systems market. The European Commission is on track to reach 20% of its energy demand from solar by 2030. Many European countries have succeeded in fully integrating solar energy in grid or stand-alone type. Countries like Austria, Germany and Denmark have made considerable progress in integrating solar thermal, especially for heating. On the other hand, Poland and Spain are among the fastest growing solar thermal markets according to the European Federation of Solar Thermal Industry. Heating and cooling represent 46% of the European energy system for which the EU permanently funds solar thermal integration programs. Greece and Cyprus are also contributing to the region’s defining event in 2020.
In Asia-Pacific, China overtook all other countries and gained almost half of the total market share. Solar air conditioning is seen as a possible disruptor in the HVAC market. Solar air conditioning has seen positive growth with companies such as BlueStar in the mix. Japan mainly uses solar thermal in commercial spaces such as hospitals and public institutions.
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Fahrenheit, Solid Solar Energy Systems, Solarinvent, Maya, SOLID, VSM Solar, Shuangliang, Yazaki,
Solar heating and cooling system market segmentation
By type of collector
The rest of europe
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Central, South America and the Caribbean
Rest of Central and South America and the Caribbean
United Arab Emirates
Rest of me
Rest of Africa
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