Hamburg, Germany switches to solar energy for district heating

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Ritter XL Solar implements Germany's largest solar thermal system for district heating in Hamburg Wilhelmsburg

Hamburg, November 2012. – The largest German evacuated tube collector system is to be located in Hamburg Wilhelmsburg. In its capacity as general contractor, Ritter XL Solar is planning and realizing the collector surface spanning approx. 1,350 m² (1,614 yd²) which is to contribute to supplying the suburb with district heating. Positioned on a building formerly used as an air-raid shelter, the plant not only represents one of the most interesting projects in the International Building Exhibition 2013 (IBA) hosted by the Hanseatic city but is also an imposing flagship project for Hamburg’s “Erneuerbares Wilhelmsburg” (Renewable Wilhelmsburg) climate protection project.

Together with a biomass cogeneration unit, the large-scale solar thermal system supplies a heat accumulator with a total of approx. 2 million liter (530,000 gallons) of water. This winter, the heating system is delivering green heat to an urban area spanning more than 1,2 km² (0.5 mi²) including more than 3,000 households. As of spring 2013, the solar thermal system will also be making its contribution with an annual output of 600,000 kWh.

The ecological advantage was a key factor for building this large-scale solar thermal system. After all, regenerative utilization of solar energy enables the system to save around 150 tons (330,693 pounds) of CO2 a year which would otherwise be incurred by conventional heat production. What’s more, solar thermal energy is particularly suitable for supplying a district heat network as it is easily capable of ensuring the requisite operating temperature of 95° Celsius (203 °Fahrenheit)

Ritter XL Solar: Experts in large-scale solar systems

By awarding the contract to Ritter XL Solar, the municipal energy provider Hamburg Energie commissioned the European specialist in large-scale solar thermal systems. An expert who is exclusively engaged in developing, planning and realizing large-scale solar thermal systems all over the world. Ritter XL Solar is also the only company on the solar market to guarantee annual minimum yields for its large-scale solar thermal systems thereby creating a reliable basis for calculation. “We were convinced by the quality and experience”, claims Christian Pfister, Project Manager at Hamburg Energie. “The very efficient evacuated tube collectors are essentially more powerful than flat-plate collectors enabling us to make optimal use of the roof surface.” With its AquaSystem deploying water as a thermal transfer medium instead of antifreeze, Ritter XL Solar is the technological world leader and has already realized more than 200 large-scale systems of up to 3.400 m² (4,066 yd²) around the world. “We are delighted at having been awarded the contract”, adds Dr. Rolf Meißner, CEO at Ritter XL Solar. “With this prestigious project, we can prove and convince even more people that we can support district heating networks under any weather conditions using the AquaSystem and our highly-efficient evacuated tube collectors.” The area of “solar district heating” still has great potential in Germany. This environmentally-friendly technology is technically sophisticated and has already been proving its worth in many projects for several years. The area of application for large-scale solar thermal systems is not however restricted to district heating: the full potential is only exploited in industrial applications requiring process heat where operating temperatures of up to 150° Celsius (302° Fahrenheit) are delivered thereby enabling significant savings in costs.

At the opening ceremony in mid-March 2013, Ritter XL Solar will hand over the turnkey plant in Hamburg Wilhelmsburg to the municipal energy supplier Hamburg Energie.

About Ritter XL Solar

Ritter XL Solar GmbH is a member of the Ritter Group and is a specialist in developing, planning and realizing large-scale solar thermal systems. Based in Karlsbad near Karlsruhe, the company is the technological market leader in its line of business. To date, large-scale systems encompassing a total surface area of approx. 20.000 m² (23,920 yd²) have been planned and realized. The Ritter Group is the market leader in Germany and Europe for systems featuring evacuated tube collectors as well as a technological leader with its AquaSystem which uses water as a thermal transfer medium.

Source: Ritter XL Solar GmbH
Dipl. Phys. Martin Willige

Ettlinger Straße 30
D-76307 Karlsbad
Tel.: +49 (0)172 7182065

Fax: +49 (0)7202 922-125

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