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© qsaba, #102447711, 2019, source: stock.adobe.com

Drying with solar energy

Manufacturing of machinery and equipment, Metal and plastic processing
Medium cost
Read more
Resource savings: Energy:
Associated cost savings: Energy:
Size of company:
Small (less than 50)

Sun smart power

  • Industrial painting company turns to renewable energy
  • Combined with smart technology, it cut energy consumption by 50 % 

The German painting company Lackiercenter Schulte uses vast amounts of hot air in its drying chambers. One chamber is for painting cars, where a constant airstream of 23° C is required. Another chamber, the drying chamber, needs a constant flow of 70° C.

The airstream needs to be stable the whole time to ensure fast and faultless drying. In the past, the company used to have an oil-fired boiler with 300 kW power to provide the hot air. To reduce energy consumption, they installed an additional solar system.

About 140 m2 of vacuum pipe collectors were installed to generate the required heat. Two 5 000 litre tanks have been added to store the thermal energy. An intelligent charge distributor decides in which tank to discharge the energy depending on the temperature level. Each tank provides energy for one chamber via a water/air heat exchanger. A steady exchange between tank and heat exchanger supports the constant airflow.

An additional rotary heat exchanger on the roof was installed to heat up the incoming air by the outgoing airstream above the chambers.

Key results

Overall, the company was able to shave over 50 % off their energy use. The solar system saves 32 % and the rotary heat exchanger another 20 %. The oil fired boiler is only used when the solar system does not provide enough energy.


VDI Zentrum Ressourceneffizienz GmbH, Producing with sunlight - process heat, https://www.resource-germany.tv/topics/renewable-energies/producing-with-sunlight-process-heat/

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