Record-breaking solar heating system ready on time

6 January 2017

445 times in the past seven months a truck has been loaded with solar collectors at the Arcon-Sunmark headquarters in Denmark, in order to make the an hour and a half drive to the construction site of the world’s largest solar heating system. 12.436 collectors each measuring 12,6 m² giving a total aperture area of 156.694 m².  

On a sunny summer day 2,7 million litres of water will pass through the system every hour. The system is connected to the main heating facility by 1,2 kilometres of piping. With an annual yield of 80.000 MWh the system will cover the heating requirement of 4.400 average households or 20% of the annual demand. 

“One fifth of Silkeborg’s annual heating consumption from now on will be covered by solar heating, and we are proud to be part of the project together with Silkeborg Forsyning. It is a proof of how swiftly a transition to renewable energy can be executed and that the process does not have to be long and time-consuming,” says Søren Elisiussen, CEO, Arcon-Sunmark. 

The contract between Silkeborg Forsyning and Arcon-Sunmark was signed in February 2016. In May 2016 the construction began, and at the end of December 2016 the installation was put into operation. 

Experience - key to success
Despite the fact that the solar heating system at Silkeborg is more than twice the size of the largest one until now – which is the system in Vojens, Denmark – the project has in no way been experimental. In fact, Arcon-Sunmark has constructed more large-scale solar heating systems than any other company in the world, and therefore has had the required skills and expertise to achieve the construction in just seven months. 

“We have acquired an extensive knowledge and experience over the years in designing and constructing very big solar heating systems both in Denmark and internationally. However, due to the enormous size and the very tight time schedule the system at Silkeborg is one of a kind, and therefore I would like to thank everybody who has been involved and contributed to the development of the system,” says Søren Elisiussen, CEO, Arcon-Sunmark. 

Facts about the solar heating solution:
Number of collectors: 12.436
Collector area: 156.694 m2 (the largest solar collector field in the world)
Location: Silkeborg, Denmark
Annual production: 80.000 MWh
Peak effect: 110 MW
Annual demand covered: 20% (the remaining 80% is covered by gas and surplus electricity)
Number of consumers: 90.000
In operation: End of 2016
Life span: 25 years minimum

For more information, please visit our photo gallery "Silkeborg, Denmark"