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Solar District Heating


Detailed description of the Good Practice

Stadtwerke Crailsheim GmbH is realising Germany´s largest solar thermal plant with a peak capacity of 7 MWth and a collector area of 10,000 m². Already in 2005, this project was awarded as 'lighthouse project' by the 'Innovation Partners Initiative' of the German industry.
The project is supported by the national R&D programme Solarthermie2000plus. The solar district heating plant supplies the recently developed residential area Hirtenwiesen II (470 accommodation units, secondary school and sports hall) to approximately 50 % with solar heat for space heating and domestic hot water. An innovative long-term geothermal heat storage technology allows to use solar heat generated in summer during the winter heating season. The solar district heating plant generates 3.000 MWh of thermal energy per year in an equal-zero-emission way. By this more than 1,000 tons CO2 are avoided.

energy efficiency
renewable sources of energy

Objectives of the Good Practice

• Supply of the development area Hirtenwiesen II with 50 % solar heat at low solar heat costs.
• Demonstration and advancement of the technology of solar district heating and
long-term heat stores with further efficiency increase and costs reduction by innovations.
Realisation of a low temperature district heating supply in order to create ideal operating conditions for the solar thermal plant.

Participants of the Good Practice

The project is developed in a co-operation of Stadtwerke Crailsheim as investor and operating company, Hamburg Gas Consult GmbH as planner as well as Steinbeis Research Institute SOLITES as scientific consultant. The monitoring and evaluation phase is accompanied by the University of Stuttgart.

More Details of the Good Practice

The supply of the residential area Hirtenwiesen II with thermal heat and domestic hot water is provided by a modern and efficient solar district heating network of Stadtwerke Crailsheim. With the installation of 7 MWth of solar collectors it is the largest and a unique system in Germany. Already in 2002 the first collector areas have been set-up on the roofs of the Hirtenwiesen sports hall (140 kWth) and the Lise-Meitner secondary school (350 kWth) as well as the 100 m³ buffer store. Other collectors (1,400 kWth) are installed on existing buildings, which were energetically renovated. Before the completion of the project in 2011 the main part of the solar collectors (5,100 kWth) will be installed on the south oriented side of a noise protection barrier with a height of 15 meters.

The solar thermal plant generates 3.000 MWh of thermal energy per year in a equal-zeroemission way.
Combined with the generation of the remaining heat in modern CHP units, the plant permits to avoid over 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide emmissions.
The solar heat costs amount to 19 cents/kWh (excl. funding and VAT) at a solar fraction of 50 %.

Documentation and documents


Available files

Contact details

Main contact: Mrs. Michaela Schopf
Address: Friedrich-Bergius-Str. 10-14
D-74564 Crailsheim
Tel: +49 7951 305 370
Fax: +49 7951 305 359
E-mail: Michaela.schopf@stw-crailsheim.de

Data sources and references

CD Sustainable Energy Communities
An users' guide