Workpackage 2 - Solar Heat for Processes

The industry sector demands a large amount of thermal energy with a relatively continuous load profile over the year and a reasonable share at a temperature range below 150 °C. Therefore, the industry sector accounts as one of the most promising application areas for solar heating systems with low energy prices per kWh compared to other applications, as shown in several potential studies. A number of industry sectors and processes such as cleaning, washing, pre-heating, etc. were identified as promising applications.
Nevertheless, only an insignificant number of about 0,004% of collector area installed worldwide supplies heat to industrial processes. Main obstacles are complicated and costly planning processes and an unrealistic expectation by industrial companies concerning pay-back time of investments. High investment costs provide energy (nearly) for free for the following 20 years.
As written in the solar thermal vision Europe 2020 by the European solar energy platform, future European research in this area needs to focus on an energetic analysis of selected industrial processes, solar heat integration measures and component development for process temperatures in the range of 100 to 200°C. Workpackage 2 is focussed on these topics.


Matthias Rommel / Mercedes Rittmann-Frank