"The 'European Large-Scale Solar Heating Network' is a non-profit-making network of European institutes and companies with long experience from development and implementation of solar heating systems for housing areas". The network is open to all countries in order to create a common forum for expert groups working with Central Solar Heating Plants (or CSHP), and forms the base for continued international co-operation. Here, objectives, expected results and ongoing activities, are described.


Large-scale solar heating systems or Central Solar Heating Plants (CSHP) are here defined as solar heating systems designed to provide heat to large and small building areas, i.e. residential buildings areas or large buildings including more than 20-30 residential units, as well as industries, via central block and district heating plants. There are three major types of plants:


The main objective of the 'European Large-Scale Solar Heating Network' is to enhance the development of large-scale solar heating technologies (i.e. residential heating, district heating, process heating at moderate temperatures) through knowledge transfer on both general and more specific issues between participating countries.

The aim is to promote a wider utilisation of renewable energy sources by encouraging knowledge transfer (e.g. on the 'Internet') and technology dissemination between research institutes, consultants, architects, as well as property owners, utilities and contractors, of large-scale solar heating. There is a need to reduce the gap between the actual status of existing technologies and present knowledge about these technologies by potential users.

This is done by organising and/or promoting workshops and other co-operative efforts aimed at facilitating knowledge transfer between consultants, architects, property owners, utilities and contractors. The workshops should be organised annually (at least) in connection to a demonstration project.

The aim is, thus, to carry on the work initiated in the CSHPSS Working Group, IEA Solar, Heating & Cooling Programme, during 1993-1995, as well as the work carried out within EU/APAS-project RENA CT94-0057 "Large-Scale Solar Heating Systems" during 1995.

Expected results

An established European Network for knowledge transfer and technology dissemination of large-scale solar heating applications, which can work as a platform for future actions.

Important experience from planning, design and implementation of large-scale solar heating plants among involved institutes and companies, which will improve the possibilities to make further improvements in future projects.

Improved industrial competitiveness among involved companies (i.e. consultants, architects, property owners, utilities and contractors). Reduced investment costs for solar collectors in general. Considerable improved cost performance ratio compared to earlier solar heating plants. Increased market for solar heating applications, especially large-scale applications.

Ongoing activities

The present co-operation relates to the THERMIE B project "European Large-Scale Solar Heating Network" (Contract no DIS/1164/97, Duration 971001-990331).

CSHPSS Working Group

The CSHPSS Working Group was formed within IEA SHC Programme as a result of an unsuccessful task proposal in the early 90's. The activities of the CSHPSS Working Group have included "1994 Workshop on Large-scale Solar Heating" in Göteborg, Sweden, August 18-20, 1994; "1995 Workshop on CSHPSS Design", in Stuttgart, March 1995, and "1995 Workshop on Large-scale Solar Heating" in Vienna, Austria, October 5-7, 1995, all supported by IEA SHC Programme.

Presentations and discussions at the workshops are covered in the following reports:

EU/APAS "Large-Scale Solar Heating Systems"

The establishment of the network is strongly linked to the study on "Large-Scale Solar Heating Systems" (No. RENA CT94-0057) performed by eight institutes in six countries within the APAS Program. The work is documented in an executive summary based on three major reports, a THERMIE A proposal submitted in March 1996 and a THERMIE B proposal submitted in April 1996: The THERMIE A proposal comprised six different demonstration plants to be built in six member countries: Germany, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Austria and Italy. The proposal was later on re-submitted in 1997 comprising demonstration plants in five member countries and resulted in the THERMIE A project REB/0061/97.  Furthermore, the "1997 Workshop on Large-scale Solar Heating" was held in Marstal, Denmark, May 14-16, 1997.


Revision: May 20, 1998