Solar Thermal Energy Week in Germany’s Black Forest

This September, Germany’s Black Forest will be the top spot for solar thermal experts from all around the world: From 23 September to 25 September, the second International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC 2013) will take place in Freiburg, Germany´s unofficial solar capital. It will be directly followed by the 5th International Conference Solar Air Conditioning, which will take place from 25 to 27 in Bad Krozingen, just 20 minutes southwest of Freiburg.

“We are planning to have the SHC conference in Europe once every two years. I am looking forward to welcoming colleagues from all over the world to Freiburg, Germany, the city in which a large part of the success story of solar energy was written,” Andreas Häberle, CEO of Freiburg-based company PSE, the organiser of the SHC conference, says. The first conference of the International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) took place in San Francisco, California, in 2012. The solar thermal event gathered 220 scientists, industry specialists, market experts and policy makers from 31 countries.

During a blind review process, a scientific committee selected the 90 presentations to be held at this year’s SHC conference - out of 300 abstracts submitted from altogether 50 countries. “With so many interesting abstracts, it was hard to decide which presentations to choose. It is definitely very encouraging to see so many excellent researchers and scientist around the world working on solar heating and cooling technology and its applications,” says Hans-Martin Henning, Scientific Chair of the SHC 2013 and Deputy
Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE) in Freiburg, Germany.

The topics of the conference range from components and system technology, to
applications such as cooling, process heat and solar architecture. “The conference’s topics will reflect the entire diversity of solar thermal in the IEA SHC Programme,” Werner Weiss, Chairman of the IEA SHC Programme and Managing Director of AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC) in Gleisdorf, Austria, says. And the conference consists of more than just presentations: The SHC 2013 will also feature a large poster exhibition, plenary lectures and side events on specific issues concerning solar thermal, an industry member session and a panel discussion. The programme is available online at

This year, the SHC event will incorporate the European Solar Thermal Energy Conference, which is organised by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) based in Brussels, Belgium. It offers both market reports and lectures on framework conditions, as well as a conference session dedicated to industry issues. “The market framework and policy sessions should be the occasion to reflect upon the opportunities and the future
trends for our industry in current and new markets, such as Egypt and Italy, but also in current and new market segments, such as new buildings and multi-family houses,” says Xavier Noyon. Noyon is Industry Chair of the SHC 2013 and Secretary General of ESTIF.

On Wednesday at lunchtime, the focus of the solar thermal community will shift to the small town of Bad Krozingen, about 20 km away from Freiburg, in which the International Conference Solar Air Conditioning will take place. For two and a half days, it will be all about solar air conditioning and refrigeration. “It offers solar thermal professionals the great opportunity to easily combine visiting two of the top global events,” says Bernd Porzelius, Head of the Renewable Energy Department at OTTI.

Solar air conditioning technology has become more mature since the first conference in 2005. Gabriele Struthoff-Müller, who has been in the organising committee of the Solar Air Conditioning conference from the very beginning, says: “We are proud that OTTI’s International Conference Solar Air Conditioning has been an important platform for the development of solar cooling, from early pilot projects to an emerging market with the first standardised systems and more than 1,000 projects worldwide.”

The conference will cover today´s challenges in solar cooling, from improving system components to designing, simulating and engineering solar cooling systems. It will also discuss the controversial topic of PV-driven solar cooling systems. “More than ever, R&D will be essential to further develop solar air conditioning and the 5th International Conference Solar Air Conditioning in September 2013 will be a unique occasion to show how to get the upper hand in the crucial battle of solar cooling becoming a bankable technology,” says Daniel Mugnier, Chairman of the Solar Air Conditioning and Project Manager at Tecsol, France.

The registration period for both conferences has already begun. Early bird fees will be available until 7 August. Visitors of both conferences can receive special discounts. For more information about the conferences and the online registration, visit (Solar Heating and Cooling conference) (Solar Air Conditioning conference)

About the IEA SHC:

The International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) was established in 1977. Its objectives are co-operative research, development, demonstration and exchange of information regarding solar heating and cooling systems. 20 countries and the European Union are IEA SHC members. The research topics of the current 12 projects range from more general topics, such as “Solar resource assessment and forecasting”, system research, such as “Large solar thermal systems” to material research, such as the use of “Polymeric materials for solar thermal applications.”
Contact: Uwe Trenkner, ,

About ESTIF:

The European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) actively promotes the use of solar thermal technology for renewable heating and cooling in Europe. With around 80 members from 17 European countries, ESTIF represents the whole value chain in today's solar thermal market: from manufacturers, service providers, and national associations to research institutes.
Contact: Xavier Noyon, info[at]estif[dot]org,

About PSE:

The PSE AG offers test systems for PV modules and solar collectors, as well as consulting services on the implementation and development of solar energy systems. PSE test stands are used by institutes and product developers for performance and quality testing, as well as certification testing for international standards. PSE offers consulting services in the area of rural electrification and in the coordination of international research projects. The conference management staff of PSE organises international scientific solar
conferences. The company was founded in Freiburg, Germany in 1999 as a spin-off of theFraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, and currently employs 65 people.
Contact: Maria Frank, info[at]shc2013[dot]org,

About OTTI:

The Ostbayerisches Technologie-Transfer-Institut e.V. (OTTI), which is located in
Regensburg in southern Germany, has been organising conferences and workshops on renewable energies since 1986. Conference topics range from hydro power, solar PV and solar thermal to innovative energy management and off-grid installations.
Contact: Gabriele Struthoff-Müller, Gabriele.struthoff-mueller[at]otti[dot]de,