Solar process heat in industry as a solution for decarbonization

SOLID has built a large-scale solar thermal plant for one of the largest aluminum packaging manufacturers in the world.

The decarbonization of industry with renewable energy sources is currently being heavily discussed. Considering the need to slow down climate change and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels as well as to secure the energy supply of the future, renewable energies are becoming a crucial driving factor for the transition to a low-emission future. For this reason, many leading industrial companies are switching to 100% renewable energy supply.

Compared to small-scale solar thermal collectors, which are used to supply heat for single-family homes, there have been very low-maintenance and durable large-scale collectors available for more than a decade, which can supply heat at temperatures of up to 150 °C in a highly efficient manner.

The market for solar process heat is growing and meanwhile there are a few companies offering turnkey solar plants for industrial companies. SOLID Solar Energy Systems GmbH is a leading company in this sector. In addition to numerous reference installations for solar air conditioning systems and solar district heating systems, SOLID is also focused on solar heat for industrial processes.

Ball Corporation is one of the largest aluminum packaging manufacturers in the world. The cleaning of the products requires heat in a temperature range of approx. 60 °C. Living sustainability and therefore also the use of renewable energies is an essential part of Ball Corporation’s priorities.

For Fairfield, California, construction of a 3,950 m² process heating plant with a thermal capacity of 2.8 MW is underway. The plant will generate 3,780 MWh over the year. This will cover 46% of the annual heat demand, and up to 70% in the summer months. This plant is financed together with the Israeli company TIGI, and the solar heat is provided through a heat supply contract.

“Government regulations are relatively easy to comply with, as there is no connection from the solar plant to a grid. This is a multiplier advantage for international companies with many different locations around the world,” says SOLID’s project developer Johannes Luttenberger.

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