Germany: International Training Seminar Solar Process Heat in Munich
 Germany: International Training Seminar Solar Process Heat in Munich

Solar Process Heat

Germany: International Training Seminar Solar Process Heat in Munich

 Solar Process Heat” While solar heat for domestic and service applications shows increasing market shares across Europe, solar process heat seems still very much in its infancy. In principle, the potential is enormous: About 30% of the total industrial heat demand requires temperature levels below 100°C, which can be met by commercially available solar thermal collectors. The international training seminar Solar Process Heat, which takes place as an official side event of the Intersolar Europe in Munich on 9 June 2011, will offer information and know-how on solar thermal system design for solar process heat installations.

The seminar is organised by the O.Ö. Energiesparverband, the Energy Agency of Upper Austria, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. It is held in the framework of the Intelligent Energy Europe project (IEE project), and will deal with the following topics:

  • Information on selected industrial processes requiring low temperature heat
  • Planning approach regarding solar process heat
  • Integration of solar thermal systems into industrial processes
  • Discussion of different system concepts
  • Solar thermal system design for solar process heat installations
  • Innovative financing schemes, such as contracting
  • Case studies

The “Solar Process Heat” (So-Pro) initiative, a project supported by the IEE programme, aims to establish markets for solar process heat in 6 European regions – Upper Austria, Castile-La Mancha and Madrid (Spain), South Bohemia (Czech Republic), North-Rhine Westphalia and Saxony (Germany) and the Maribor region (Slovenia). Among others, project activities include raising awareness specifically among industrial decision makers, training professionals, devising checklists and planning guidelines, and supporting pilot projects. Comprehensive Europe-wide dissemination strategies ensure the know-how gained is applied across the continent.

The project is running for 28 months. It started in June 2009 and will be finished by the end of September 2011. By November 2010, the following results have already been achieved:

  • The specific market conditions for solar process heat in each region have been analysed: 91 energy screenings were carried out in industrial companies and priority applications for solar process heat were identified.
  • Checklists and planning guidelines for solar process heat installations have been developed in English, German, Spanish, Slovene and Czech (see attached files). In total, 15,500 copies were printed and their dissemination started.
  • Regional campaigns have begun to be implemented: So far, 9 round-tables with 408 participants were held, publications were mailed to more than 7,500 companies and stakeholders, 59 articles on So-Pro activities appeared in technical magazines and online media.
  • Project partners have made significant efforts to identify and support companies interested in implementing a solar process heat installation. One pilot project was already launched in Spain, and there are a number of other promising candidates.
  • In each region, the possibilities of solar contracting have been analysed, info round-tables held and advice provided to 9 companies interested in the special financing and operation model.
  • European dissemination activities have so far included a first project newsletter, two round-table meetings and preparations for the international seminar held on 3 and 4 March 2011 in Wels, Austria.

An important result of the activities so far is that, according to the project board, the process-oriented approach has gained validation: In general, those industries which apply processes such as washing, raw material production with hot water, and heating in low temperature baths turned out to be of particular interest when it comes to using solar process heat. The lack of information and know-how needed for successful market development of solar process heat seems to be even more severe than anticipated: Both the understanding of industrial processes dealing with solar heat, as well as the knowledge of specialists in industrial energy systems about solar thermal systems was often found to be nearly non-existent.

More information:

Checklist for companies English.pdf
Checklists and planning guidelines in German, Spanish, Slovene and Czech are available at:

Stephanie Banse

Stephanie Banse is a German journalist specialised in solar thermal technology.