APPER Solar Association

APPER Solar Association

APPER Solar Association is helping people to understand Solar thermal energy, advice on dimensioning, monitoring during installation, solar space heating, solar water heating, solar pool heating, Do-It-Yourself, DIY, solar energy, Hands-on, home-made, build-it-yourself, BIY, Grouping of purchase solar material ,Grouping, purchase, solar, material.

Company details

Le Cabanon Route de Lambruisse , Saint-André les Alpes , Saint-André les Alpe 04170 France

Locations Served

Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Energy - Solar Power
Market Focus:
Internationally (various countries)

Solar thermal energy is a renewable energy. It requires little technology and therefore it is accessible to anyone in his individual housing. In fact, the association is mostly involved in this area.
A well sized installation works at low temperatures (below a 60 °, and possibly down to 35 °). The simplicity of such systems can make them accessible to all thanks to the possibilities ofhome made orhome installed equipment. Such simple systems are accessible to all withthe do it yourself (DIY) possibility or self installed equipment.

So, don’t wait! Let’s switch to solar thermal energy?
With nearly 44.3% increase in 2006 (latest figures available), the solar thermal market in Europe has reached three million collectors, equivalent to an additional power of 2015 MWth. This spectacular growth is driven by the shortage of non-renewable fossil fuels. France is one of Europe's most favored for solar radiation. In France, there are 18.5 m2 per ‘000 inhabitants to be compared to Austria with 343.4 m2, or 18 times more(!) and Cyprus 730.9m2 or 40 times more (!).

The objectives are far from being reached. After the 1973 oil crisis, in the heighties 80’and nineties 90’, France made significant efforts which paid off (recall the famous 'we haven’t got any oil but we have ideas' in the French Media) but all the good ideas were left aside. Interestingly, in France new housing is equipped with electrical heating at 70% and gas at 30%. More edifying, in case of electricity, the power is transmitted via captive (?) technology (electrical resistive heating in a concrete slab !).

29% of the fossile energy is used for the housing heating and the DHWwhile agriculture accounts for only 2%,we spend 15 times more to heat buildings than to feed people! Therefore, there is much to gain by taking seriously the solar thermal heating.

In France, The solar thermal energy is mainly use for DHW (Domestic Hot Water Solar) because it is easier to install kits: manufacturers develop standard kits ready to be installed that do not requires any specific solar skills.

On the other hand, housing Solar heating, which is much more profitable, requires enormous skills (design, management of summer overheating, adaptation of existing installation.) And in France, we have really no efficient tools to train installers (solar heating Qualisol training lasts only two days). It is the same in the field of sustainable architecture (active solar, passive solar, etc.).

The Association helps APPER home builders or home installer for their Solar Home heating or DHW: advice on dimensioning, monitoring during installation, best price equipment, Forums ,...)

A daily use of renewable energies makes every citizen of the planet more responsible of it.

What is the difference between solar thermal and solar photovoltaic? Currently, there is a big confusion between the two. A photovoltaique intégré dans la toitureA photovoltaic cell generates electricity. It faces south, it must be inclined at 35 degrees to maximize production across the year. In France it is systematically integrated into the roof (the tiles are removed) because the purchasing price is much more interesting vs a non integrated solution. This integration is the only source of defects related to PV.

The temperature collector is used to heat a house and/or to produce domestic hot water, it must be inclined generally at 60 / 70 ° (can even be installed vertically), so it can provide part of the winter heating and DHW during the summer months without causing overheating. In order to maximize the heat production, the collector must be strongly inclined to collect the sun ray, as the winter sun is low. Here, we are not looking for the maximum yearly production but rather the best fit between heat production and the needs. Obviously producing Domestic Hot Water for camp site in summer,  would need to maximize summer production, i.e. the collector should not be inclined too much as the summer sun is very high.