As a contribution from IEA-SHC Task 39 to the challenge of making solar thermal systems more desirable a database consisting of showcases where solar thermal energy systems have been successfully integrated into the architecture has been established (http://www. iea-shc. org/task39/projects/). The idea is to make solar thermal more desirable by showing visually appealing solar systems – something people really would want to put on their houses and something architects would want to implement in their design of new buildings. It presents a broad range of projects where not only function but also aesthetics and architectural integration have been in focus when designing and installing solar thermal systems.
The technical and economical key data are only briefly listed in the database, while photographs and illustrations are emphasized.
Information about the database was sent out to over 30 collector producers, distributors of solar thermal systems, and architects together with a call for project proposals. We asked for good photographs and used a short, simple questionnaire to collect relevant project information such as:
• general project data (type and size of building, location, etc.);
• type of solar heating system (domestic hot water system, combisystem, etc.);
• collector area;
• auxiliary heating;
• type and size of heat store;
• collector description and economic figures.
We received several project proposals as a result of the first call. The proposals have been evaluated by a group of experts, considering both technical and architectural aspects.
Architectural evaluation is carried out by Susanne Gosztonyi, architect, of AIT (Austrian Institute ofTechnology) and Bjorn Larsen, architect, chairman of the board, Norwegian Solar Energy Society.
Technical evaluation is performed by Karl-Anders Weiss, Head of Team Analytics at Fraunhofer ISE and John Rekstad, Professor, Department of Physics, University of Oslo.
The following formal aspects were considered:
• innovative system design;
• dimension and orientation compared to the type of application;
• formal architectural appearance;
• color adjustment with envelope;
• frame/jointing quality and integration design;
• proportions of envelope/collector position and field.
Our intention is that the database will be extended with more showcases over time – that new excellent project presentations will be regularly added to the collection and help to spread the use ofthese technologies by making them appealing to both users and building designers.
Visit the website at: http://www. iea-shc. org/task39/projects/.