Can renewable energy sources power the world?
Can renewable energy sources power the world?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Can renewable energy sources power the world?

7 Solar district heating

Considerable economies can be achieved when solar collectors are purchased and erected in bulk for large projects.

Since the 1980s there has been a steady stream of construction of large arrays of solar collectors for district heating systems in mainland Europe, mainly in Denmark, Sweden and Germany. The arrays can be very large. The 18 000 m2 array shown in Figure 18 includes a 12 100 m3 heat store and supplies 30% of the annual heat requirement for a district heating system supplying 1600 households.

Since the photograph was taken the array has been increased by a further 15 000 m2 with a further 75 000 m3 of storage, increasing the share of heat production for the district heating system to 55%.

Figure 17 An 18 000 m2 array of collectors feeding a district heating system at Marstal in Denmark

Marstal is not the largest such facility in Denmark, which boasts four larger ones that entered service between 2009 and 2016 (SDH, 2016).

In what other ways can the Sun’s warmth be harnessed?

RENBOC_1

Take your learning further371

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses372.

If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.

Not ready for University study then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn375 and sign up to our newsletter376 to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371