The industrial sector accounts for approximately 30% of the total energy consumption in the OECD countries. The major share of the energy that is needed in industrial companies, services and agriculture is used for heating and cooling of buildings and for production processes at temperatures from ambient up to approx. 400-500°C. This is a temperature range that can be addressed with solar thermal technologies at a high TRL.
To be able to make use of solar heat in industry and to support this market sector for the solar thermal industry, it is necessary to integrate solar thermal systems into the energy supply schemes in a suitable way.
The scope of the Task is on solar thermal technologies for converting solar radiation into heat and further the intelligent integration of the produced heat into industrial processes (i.e., the subject that is covered by the Task starts with the solar radiation reaching the collector and ends with the hot air, oil, water or steam being integrated into the application).
Applications, systems and technologies, that are included in the scope of this task, are:
- All processes in industry, commerce and agriculture that are thermally driven and operated in a temperature range from ambient temperature up to approx. 400-500 °C.
- Solar thermal systems using air, water, low pressure steam or oil as a heat carrier, i.e. not limited to a certain heat transfer medium in the solar loop.
- All types of solar thermal collectors are addressed: uncovered collectors, flat-plate collectors, improved flat-plate collectors - for example hermetically sealed collectors with inert gas fillings, evacuated tube collectors with and without reflectors, CPC collectors, MaReCos (Maximum Reflector Collectors), linear Fresnel collectors, parabolic trough collectors.
The goal of the proposed Task is to help solar technologies be (and also be recognized as) a reliable part of process heat supply systems. These systems are hybrid supply systems and will have to be integrated in the upcoming developments of the digitalization of industrial production systems and their energy demand. Instead of focusing on component development, we will look at the overall (solar) system at process temperatures from just above ambient temperature up to approx. 400°C-500°C. Open research questions are the standardization of integration schemes on process level and on supply level and the combination with other efficient heat supply technologies. As a very important aspect, the experiences of numerous solar process heat markets throughout the world will be brought together to enable a market-oriented dissemination of existing and new knowledge.
The key objective of this new Task is to identify, verify, and promote the role of solar heating plants in combination with other heat supply technologies for process heat supply, such as fossil and non-fossil (biomass and biogas) fuel boilers, combined heat and power, heat pumps, or power-to-heat.