Efficient system to enable storage of high temperature solar heat energy

Solutions developed

Until now there have been no technologies capable of storing heat at a temperature level that will be useful in an industrial setting, 100-200°C. Therefore we believe it is essential that a new method of heat storage technology is developed. This proposal contains details of the approach we will take to develop an automated system capable of storing solar heat, and heat recovered from processes, for use when required. Using novel materials for the reactor and a thermochemical process involving reaction pairs to provide the heat storage, we will develop and optimise a system that will be appropriate for use in industrial applications where heat between 100 to 200°C is required.

Main results

The system, comprising a Fresnel concentrator, reactor, storage vessels and process control equipment, will be constructed in as simple format as possible to ensure that it can be easily installed and maintained at the site where heat is needed. With over 310,000 companies involved in the food and drink sector in Europe, 99.1% of these being SMEs, we have selected this as our primary target market. Energy use in this sector is high due to processes requiring steam or hot water such as cooking, evaporation, sterilisation, drying, space heating and baking. However, other sectors such as abattoirs, the pharmaceutical industry, paper and pulping and the chemical industry could also see significant reductions in process costs due to a lower use of fossil fuels associated with the SolChemStore system.