Heating with the sun, Fraunhofer Institute tells how to do it right


Solar-Active-Houses heat themselves using heat collectors and water tanks. However, no one had conducted an objective assessment of how efficiently they do so. Fraunhofer researchers put some of these solar houses to the test, identified where there was room for improvement and laid the scientific groundwork for this housing concept.

Most of us know how irritating it is to pay for domestic hot water and space heating and then find out at the end of the year that you still owe. This wouldn’t happen to you if you lived in one of the 1700 solar houses dotted around Germany, Switzerland and Austria. These houses are heated primarily using solar energy: Solar thermal collectors on the roof are used to heat water, which is stored in a large tank and used later for heating the house and providing hot water.

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