February 12, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] A team of scientists from the Institute for Thermal Energy Technology at Germany’s University of Kassel led by Professor Dr. Klaus Vajen intend to develop – in collaboration with colleagues at the State University for Building Engineering, Transport and Architecture in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek – a new type of solar-thermal plant for producing heated water. This technology which combines the use of environmental heat and solar rays has been tailored to suit the special geo-climatic conditions in Kyrgyzstan and is expected to have a high energy yield. The intention is to build a solar-thermal multiple component system with an overall area of around 200 square meters to be installed on the roof of the central district heating facility in Bishkek. In tandem with this system, scientists in Kyrgyzstan plan to develop and test a further system consisting of German components which will use locally-available materials. Kyrgyzstan has met its hot water requirements up till now by extensively using gas or coal-fired heating plants in conjunction with continuous district heating networks which – in contrast to Central Europe – are fed with a continuous supply of fresh water. A transfer over to solar technology is set to have a promising economic future and could considerably reduce the consumption of imported fossil fuels.The venture is sponsored by Volkswagen Foundation.