CRAILSHEIM (DE): 10.000 square metres solar thermal panels will be installed
Crailsheim. Six times in a row Neckarsulm won the title of the best middle-sized city in the German Solarbundesliga. However, since summer 2008 the new number 1 has been Crailsheim, Baden-Württemberg. The city owes its success basically to its municipal energy supplier, the “Stadtwerke Crailsheim”.
Apart from many private people and one committed installation firm, Josef Wagner, general manager of the energy supplier, caused lots of scores. It is mainly due to his initiative that one of the biggest solar thermal plants in Germany will be built in Crailsheim. In the final stage the plant will be 10.000 square metres big. The solar thermal panels will produce about half of the heating energy for room heating and domestic hot water needed for 470 accommodation units, a school and a sports hall.
“We assume that about 2.000 people will use the solar thermal energy then”, says Eva Reu from the Stadtwerke Crailsheim. Thanks to three accumulators the solar heat can be used in winter too. In addition, 160 geothermal sensors will be installed. 55 metres deep in 75.000 cubic metres Muschelkalk, they will provide a storage capacity which corresponds to 20.000 cubic metres water.
The company started the installation of the plant located in the housing estate Hirtenwiesen II already in 2005. Eva Reu says: “Before we started the project there was a military airport which used district heating too.” The idea to produce huge quantities of solar thermal energy arose with a view on the noise protection embankment with direction to the South.
Right now the Stadtwerke Crailsheim are the only commercial partner in the EU-project MUSEC, an initiative for the development of a sustainable energy supply. The network consists of partners in Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark and Bulgaria. The municipal energy supplier in Crailsheim intends to take further steps. Currently it is working on a project dealing with the recycling of sewage sludge.
Text: Lars Schulz/Ina Röpcke
Picture: Stadtwerke Crailsheim GmbH