A new monitoring tool has been unveiled in Germany, which aims to show the progress of solar district heating in the country.

Solarthermalworld website reports that Solites has developed a tool to calculate the yield of solar district heating plants. The tool, SCFW 2.0 (ScenoCalc Fernwärme 2.0), is available as a free download at www.scfw.de and is aimed at progressing solar district heating in Germany.

Solites Map of solar district heating penetration in Germany
A map by the German research organisation shows the systems currently in operation to be 23 totalling 49,600 m² of collector area (34.7 MWth). Last year saw the addition of four installations with a combined area of 12,921 m²; one of them was Germany’s first record-size solar district heating plant in 11 years, in Senftenberg.

“To achieve broad acceptance, the tool is based on the international Solar Keymark standard and the widely used ScenoCalc tool for calculating annual solar collector output,” the company stated.

Users can input key system parameters and operation modes and have calculations carried out in seconds. Currently SCFW 2.0 is available in German only and there are no plans for an English-language version. The researchers, however, believe that the programme can also be used for plants installed in other central European countries, because the user can add irradiation and weather data manually.

The map produced by Solites also shows 10,700 m² of district heating systems in the planning and another 37,500 m² in the preparation stage.