Measure

Integrating solar heat into food-production process

Integrating solar heat into food-production process
© digidreamgrafix, image #131616026, source: Fotolia.com
Resources:
Energy
Sector:
Food processing
Cost:
High cost
Premises and operation areas:
Production processes, Supply operations
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10), Small (less than 50), Medium (less than 250), Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Advanced
One off investment:
175000 - 400000€
What is in it for you:
Energy saving. Environmental benefits.
Descriptive information:

On-site and nearby renewable energy plants can be integrated into the daily production processes of food and beverage manufacturers. Renewable heat systems are applicable to new and existing food and beverage production sites that need heat. In the case of new plants, the integration of renewables can be part of the overall energy plan.

Companies wishing to incorporate renewable heat systems should take into consideration factors such as heat and electricity demand, available space for mounting solar panels/collectors (ground mounted/roof mounted), building location, solar collector technology, and how much power can be generated at the site (solar potential).

Solar thermal systems can be integrated into washing and cleaning operations which are open systems where contaminated cleaning water is spilled without heat recovery. In this case, the solar thermal system can be integrated easily via an additional heat exchanger to preheat cold water before it enters the hot water storage.

Solar thermal systems can be also integrated into heat processes where material is heated in an industrial bath, as in the case of bottle washing or pasteurisation. The required water temperature in these baths is relatively low (around 65° C) and can be heated by a bath heat-exchanger with inlet water at a higher temperature (70-90° C). The solar thermal system heats the bath via the return flow. Energy produced by the solar thermal system is not usually enough to cover the thermal demand of the bath, so a boiler needs to provide backup heat. When the sun (irradiation) is too weak, and the buffer storage temperature is below 70° C, a three-way valve enables the boiler to heat the bath directly without heating up the buffer storage tank.

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