Solar experts impressed by the Stenbraatlia housing estate

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Earlier this month Aventa invited a group of European solar experts to visit Stenbraatlia housing estate, where the Norwegian building association OBOS has built thirty-four terraced houses equipped with roof-integrated polymer solar collectors.

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“This housing estate represents the future of sustainable building projects, in which solar collectors merge with the building envelope, offering not only energetic advantages but visual appeal as well”, says Hans Dahl, the company’s architect, who participated at the technical tour together with project leader Egil Wahl.

 The joint European project “SCOOP” (Solar COllectors Made Of Polymers), a consortium, led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Freiburg, Germany), has worked for several years with development of polymeric solar thermal collectors that combine functionality, cost efficiency and aesthetics. It was the joint partners of “SCOOP” and members of the IEA-SHC Task 39 “Polymeric Materials for Solar Thermal Applications” that were present during the visit of the site. “The solar systems in Stenbråtlia demonstrate that aesthetics and cost efficiency are not mutually exclusive. The results of studies conducted during recent years have shown that plastic materials are very suitable for the construction of advanced solar collectors. We can now prove this with a practical application”, explains Michael Köhl, Team Leader at Fraunhofer ISE and project leader of “SCOOP”.

 Solar collector producer Aventa is one of the partners in SCOOP, and has delivered the solar collectors at Stenbraatlia. The systems are dimensioned to meet 60 % of the total energy demand for both domestic hot water preparation and space heating. Space heating is distributed with a water based floor-heating system. The collectors are easily mounted due to a modular building structure and a very low weight – a clear advantage of polymer constructions. Carpenters on site did the solar installations without any problems – they are used to work accurately on big fields like roofs and facades.

The houses at Stenbråtlia are built to passive house standards and have several qualities to secure high comfort and low energy consumption. “The housing estate demonstrates that comfortable indoor climate, renewable energy and aesthetic design can be successfully brought together,” remarks Egil Wahl, OBOS project leader for the building stage during the technical tour.