Europe: InSun Project Showcases Concentrating Collectors for Process Heat
 Europe: InSun Project Showcases Concentrating Collectors for Process Heat

Europe: InSun Project Showcases Concentrating Collectors for Process Heat

 inSun Project 1 April was the starting day of the EU FP 7 Project InSun (Industrial Process Heat by Solar Collectors) coordinated by, the Centre for Applied Research on Sustainable Energy Technology at the University of Applied Sciences, Stuttgart, Germany. The participants of the project want to show to the public how to integrate flat plate, parabolic trough and Fresnel collectors into different processes and at different temperature levels. The project will run until March 2015 and has a budget of EUR 4.1 million. The owners of the pilot plants will receive back 50 % of their investment costs from that money.

The flat plate collectors will be installed by Austrian company SOLID at the plant of meat and sausage producer Berger Fleischwaren GmbH in Austria. The collector field will be at least 1,200 m² in size. Currently, the company is planning with 1,489 m², in combination with an 80 m3 storage tank. The collectors of the Gluatmugl type are supplied by Austrian manufacturer Ökotech. They are expected to gain a yield of 400 kWh/m²*a and reach a temperature of 95°C.

The linear Fresnel collectors, which will be manufactured by Soltigua in Italy, will vent direct steam at 180°C and 12 bar to dry bricks at Laterizi Gambettola, also located in Italy. A total of 20 collectors with a mirror area of 132 m² each will form a collector field of altogether 2,640 m².

The small size parabolic trough collectors (3.4 m²) will be manufactured by Solera, Germany. They will be installed at Spanish company Lácteas Cobreros, a producer of milk powder. Similar to the big troughs in the solar thermal power plants, the Solera collectors will heat thermo oil in their receiver. The receiver temperature will be 200°C, the total collector area 2,040 m².

InSun will be part of the IEA-SHC Task 49 (see As in other process heat projects, one of the main objectives of InSun is to demonstrate the reliability and performance of the solar installations. What is special about this project is the high temperatures and big installations, which all exceed 1 MWth of capacity and 1,200 m² of collector area.

Additional emphasis has been put on the integration of solar heat into existing processes. As InSun Project Coordinator and General Manager Dirk Pietruschka explains, the costs for integration are difficult to calculate at the present time. However, the integration is exactly what worries producing companies the most, as they fear for the stability of their production process. This means that the project partners will thoroughly analyse and document all integration processes, including hydraulic integration, system and component sizing and control strategies. In doing so, they will help to standardise the planning work, which remains key to reducing the costs of solar process heat.

For more information about the project, write to Dirk Pietruschka:

Eva Augsten

Eva Augsten is a German freelance journalist specialised in renewable energies.