Main activities of the SHC Task are grouped into the following Subtasks.

Subtask A: Concepts for Efficiently Providing Solar Heat at Medium-High Temperature Level

The main objective of Subtask A is to develop concepts, models and performance measures in order to efficiently provide solar heat by SDH systems, with a particular focus on medium-high temperature heat.

Specific objectives of Subtask A are:

  • Requirements and concepts for planning and design of SDH systems, with a particular focus on medium-high temperature heat.
  • Configuration/scaling of systems 
  • Modeling of different technologies on component and system level
  • Performance and efficiency definitions
  • Testing methods and standardization


  • A1: Comparison of different collector technologies for providing medium-high temperature heat with respect to technical and economic characteristics (with Subtask C). This activity will pinpoint the strengths and differences in the technologies, for example, regarding the requirements for the place of installation, the achievable temperatures, or economic aspects (in Subtask C).
  • A2: Collection of requirements and concepts necessary to efficiently plan, design, and scaling-up SDH systems, especially considering medium-high temperature heat. This activity will provide best practice examples (with Subtask D) for SDH systems to make it easier to set up such systems and establish new business models (with Subtask C).
  • A3: Analysis of existing simulation tools for the simulation of efficient SDH systems. This activity will give particular attention to medium-high temperature heat. Models are therefore necessary on a component as well as on a system level. On a component level, models of various collector technologies are essential but also models of other components that can be combined with solar technology to provide heat at a medium-high temperature level efficiently (e.g., heat pumps). On a system level, it must be ensured that the different component models can be combined in order to model and simulate entire systems. Based on these models' sensitivity analyses can be conducted to find optimal design parameters of systems. To support the market, it would be best to develop and publish an easy to use calculation tool if none are available.
  • A4: Define performance and efficiency measures for SDH systems on component (e.g., on collector level) and system level, with a special focus on medium-high temperature heat. Furthermore, to propose standardized testing methods and monitoring equipment for long-term quality assessment to achieve a uniform assessment of the technologies. This activity will have to look for the current methods and standards available and will evaluate their suitability. 

Subtask B: Data Preparation & Utilization

The main objective of Subtask B is to increase the efficiency of SDH by taking a next step regarding digitalization aspects, especially regarding data preparation and utilization.
Specific objectives of Subtask B are:

  • Automated gathering, storing, and distribution of data
  • Validation of data
  • Analysis/Monitoring/Detection techniques
  • Advanced control strategies for plants/systems
  • Open data approaches


  • B1: Describe and propose efficient solutions to gather, store and distribute data from heterogeneous devices on a single- but also multi-plant level. This activity will look at the current state-of-the-art techniques, structures, and solutions and propose ways to set up and run an efficient Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) platform for handling a large amount of data. Furthermore, it is planned to compare different solutions regarding data handling (e.g., open source vs. commercial products) and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses to help operators/users find the ones that suit them best.
  • B2: Develop guidelines for the validation of data from SDH systems. These guidelines shall describe certain criteria and measures for validating data so that other Subtasks and activities can build on this validated data. Furthermore, to achieve a reasonable comparison between annual results of different plants and different operating conditions (e.g., regarding annual irradiation, demand, etc.), measures shall be described on how to normalize the data to see if systems operate on a constant level or if aging effects may occur.
  • B3: Collect, describe, develop and apply techniques for analysis, monitoring, and fault detection of data. This activity shall provide a summary of available techniques for analysis, monitoring, and fault detection. Furthermore, it shall give concrete examples of their benefits and insights by applying some of them to data from SDH systems (with Subtask D). Within this Task, it is planned to investigate statistical methods for data evaluation.
  • B4: Comparison of state-of-the-art available control strategies on sub- (component level) and superordinate level (=system level). Participants will collect possible advanced control strategies, name their requirements regarding data and computational resources, and estimate their economic benefit for SDH systems, primarily focusing on medium-high temperatures (with Subtask C).
  • B5: Develop and define requirements and concepts for open data approaches. This activity will focus on a win-win situation between data providers (e.g., operators) and data users (e.g., researchers, but also the clients purchasing heat). This win-win situation can be, for example, achieved for those scientific results based on open access data so that the operator can benefit from the insights. Furthermore, this work shall define certain key measurements/data points (e.g., heat output, temperature levels, efficiency, etc.) and provide templates for different levels of data details (e.g., 3 levels: public, technical details, research-level details).  Furthermore, this Task shall address data ownership and data protection issues and how they can be handled (with Subtask C), as well as suggestions for open data exchange protocols that clients and third-party mobile app developers can use. Finally, the activity should present a roadmap on how an open data future could look like and name concrete advantages to convince more operators to share their data (with Subtask D).

Subtask C: Business Models

The main objective of Subtask C is to evaluate and identify new business models and find ways to make SDH systems more business appealing (e.g., by reducing the costs).
Specific objectives of Subtask C are:

  • Investigate current risks and barriers for the success of SDH systems
  • Investigate the requirements and needs of district heating grids to integrate solar heat
  • Investigate and propagate possible financing and investment schemes for SDH systems
  • Ways and possibilities of cost reduction for SDH systems regarding CAPEX and OPEX
  • Investigate how energy policy can act as enabling factor for SDH systems aiming at a medium-term subsidy-free situation.


  • C1: Collect and provide an overview of financing and investment schemes worldwide for SDH systems. This activity aims to provide a clear picture regarding the possibilities for financing SDH systems and their requirements.
  • C2: Evaluate, discuss and propose possible new business models for efficient SDH systems. This work will give a special focus to medium-high temperature or/and digitalization aspects. 
  • C3: Define a standard, certain criteria, or a seal of approval for planners/designers of SDH systems. This work will evaluate measures to provide investors with certain security for their investments and a guaranteed lifetime of SDH systems (together with Subtask A – lifetime assessment by modeling and simulation). Furthermore, more data on the successful projects and the analysis of this data in Subtask B could help increase investors' trust in SDH systems.
  • C4: Collect, list, and compare measures and possibilities to reduce the costs of SDH systems. For this purpose, the first step is to collect and share knowledge to break down current CAPEX and OPEX, e.g., by considering a BOM (bill of material). Then several measures regarding cost reduction should be discussed and evaluated (e.g., innovative concepts, material research, upscaling, collaboration, etc.). In particular, it should be analyzed to what extent the findings from the data analysis (from Subtask B) can help reduce costs, e.g., through more efficient control strategies or by identifying improvements regarding the design and planning of such systems (from Subtask A).

Subtask D: Use Cases and Dissemination

The main objective of Subtask D is to gather data and insights from real installations and to disseminate the knowledge to industry and the public. Specific objectives of Subtask D are:

  • Description of the installation
  • Summary of demo applications
  • Policy-oriented document for the promotion of efficient temperature SDH systems, especially focusing on medium-high temperatures
  • Country reports regarding SDH systems to derive a holistic view on the global situation
  • Industry workshops


  • D1: Collect and provide an overview of efficient SDH installations as well as their description and structure, especially providing medium-high temperatures. This activity aims to demonstrate/validate/prove the performance of SDH systems directly or indirectly by solar (e.g., collectors together with heat pumps). The findings of the demo installations should be considered in Subtask A regarding concepts, and the available data should be used and evaluated in Subtask B.
  • D2: Provide valuable future scenarios as well as qualitative and quantitative targets for the solar sector and policymakers. For this reason, a clear picture of the future heat demand of European countries should be developed, and estimations should be provided on how much heat and at which temperature level can be supplied by solar. Furthermore, it is planned to compare solar technology with other technologies where the levelized costs of heat should be included for a reasonable comparison. In particular, efficient combinations of technologies should be highlighted together with their concrete benefits.
  • D3: Prepare and manage industry workshops. During the Task, workshops should be organized together with partners from industry and planners of SDH systems to share their experience and knowledge and aim for synergy. This should help to achieve fast and efficient dissemination of the Task outcomes as well as provide a possibility to collect feedback on the task outputs. 
  • D4: Prepare appealing documents for industry and the public to increase knowledge regarding efficient SDH systems, the benefits from data, and ways to cut costs. The activity aims to produce acceptable content for the target audience (stakeholders see under 6), using all other Subtasks' results and findings as the content provider.