Process Heat and Steam
Solar steam generation and process heat to meet the industrial energy demand
Process heat and steam represent a large share of the industrial energy demand. Solar heat can be fed into the supply system (industrial hot water or steam network) or the process level.
Steam is the most common heat transfer medium in the industry. The solar steam generator can be easily integrated into the existing steam network and operates automatically and independently from the conventional boiler.
Our Fresnel collector is optimized for solar steam generation and can be easily integrated into existing networks. Alternatively, our systems can be designed to operate using pressurized water or thermal oil as heat carriers.
How does a solar steam generator work?
Water is pumped through the collector field and partly evaporates due to the concentrated solar irradiation. The fluid enters the steam drum in a continuous process where steam accumulates at the top and water at the bottom.
A steam drum is a thermally insulated vessel that receives the steam produced by the Fresnel Collector field. The accumulated steam at the top of the vessel is discharged by a control valve to the industrial steam network. At the same time, hot water at the bottom of the drum is continuously recirculated to the collector field.
This reservoir runs at a higher pressure and temperature, providing thermal energy storage that compensates for fluctuations in demand. The steam drum also decouples the heat production from a variable solar resource with the process demand, ensuring a controllable supply.
Feedwater is pumped into the steam drum to keep the mass balance when steam is released into the factory. The system is designed with sensors to monitor temperature, pressure, flow rates, and weather conditions, such as irradiation, wind, and rain. This allows a safe and automatic operation throughout the day.
Why solar steam?
Technologies for solar heat
Our Fresnel collector is optimized for solar steam generation and can be easily integrated into existing networks. It provides heat up to 400°C and generates steam for industrial use of renewable energy. Fresnel Collector technology can provide medium-range temperatures for various industrial energy demands in the long run. If you need low-temperature applications (below 100ºC), we also have the solution for you. Check out our low-temperature Solar Thermal Collectors page.
The benefits of process heat and steam for industry
The advantages of solar thermal systems are threefold: environmental, political, and economical.