Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


LIGHTHOUSE Report Summary

Project ID: 735379

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LIGHTHOUSE (LIGHTHOUSE: concentrated thermal solar power directly connected to the heating and cooling systems of buildings at the local level.)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The core problem is that buildings consume most of the available energy at the global level, in order to cover their needs for heating and cooling and they get this energy from burning fossil fuels and electricity with an impressive negative result as far as environmental and economical factors are concerned.
According to the European Renewable Energy Council, heating and cooling in buildings accounts for 49% of Europe’s energy demand: efficiency gains are therefore required in building heating/cooling at the local distributed level, better use of thermal energy being crucial to meet the 2020 renewable energy targets and Europe’s 2050 target of a 80-95% reduction in GHG emissions.

At present, the heating and cooling in buildings are mostly covered by fossil fuels and electricity, showing the following characteristics:
• They are scarce;
• The electricity that is used for heating and cooling in buildings can not be produced from photovoltaic without the support of the expensive electricity grid;
• Their extraction and transfer results in destroying the natural environment;
• Their use produces gas, responsible for greenhouse effect, polluting the environment and causing health problems, thus decreasing the quality of our lives;
• The spheres of power around fuel production and transportation result in political instability, often leading to conflicts and wars.

Solar power is an abundant source of energy, but, still, it is not exploited as much as it could: at the local distributed level (building thermal energy consumption), utilization of solar energy is very low, mainly due to the fact that both the domestic buildings and the industrial applications need high quality thermal energy (heat), i.e. energy at high temperatures (like the heat of the radiators that warm up the house, or the heat needed for pasteurization in food industry), cannot be achieved by the current solar systems (flat and vacuum tube) in a financially feasible way.
The penetration of the current solar systems in the market of the heating and cooling for buildings is less than 10%, leaving out of a huge market (heating and cooling in million of buildings), the solar energy, one of the most important renewable energy resource, available on our planet.

The global objective of LIGHTHOUSE is to introduce an innovative, cost-effective technological solution, namely a concentrated thermal solar collector, allowing the solar energy to enter the market of heating and cooling buildings at the local distributed level, in an effective and financial feasible way.
Specifically, our goal is to install on the available terrace on the buildings Lighthouse Concentrated Solar Collectors with solar tracking and connect them to the heating and cooling system, in order to substitute up to 60% the fossil fuels and the electricity that these buildings use for heating and cooling, with solar thermal energy at high temperature, with a very short pay pack period of around three years (no current solar thermal system can achieve this, in high temperature applications like heating and cooling).

LIGHTHOUSE’s main goals throughout the project (Feasibility Study) are the following:
• On the technical side, assessing the energy performance that the Fresnel lenses manufacturers offer (acrylic or silicon on glass), in order to identify the best suppliers and the best available performance/cost ratio of different Fresnel lenses (in thermal applications).
• On the commercial and financial side, we developed a business strategy aiming at supporting both the sustainability and the market replication of LIGHTHOUSE, to be further accomplished in Phase 2 of the SME Instrument. In Phase 1, the best suppliers of raw materials, the market size, the competitive background and the threats/opportunities for entering the market were analysed. It lead to a specific definition of the market penetration strategy and LIGHTHOUSE’s business model. LIGHTHOUSE also addressed to the following objectives: identification of the regulatory requirements of the product and setup of a strategy for the intellectual property management. Further to this, a preliminary study over the design of the product and development of a brand identity for BCND was carried out.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

All the actions and tasks included in the Working Plan have been completed according the specifications included in the Working Plan.
An elaborated business plan for the introduction of its innovative solution on the market have been developed that includes the following: Executive Summary, Business Description, Industry Background, Competitive Analysis, Management Summary, Operations Plan, Marketing Plan, SWOT Analysis, Financial Plan, Alternative Plans, Financial Data and the References.
The business plan is based on the findings of the market research, in 5 EU Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain, Croatia, Malta, Greece, France), that was also an action included in the Working Plan and performed by the Octopux Consulting. The market research was made according the specifications included in the Working Plan.

On the technical side a detailed Feasibility Study has been developed according the specifications included in the Working Plan and includes the following:
a) Assessment of the capabilities of LIGHTHOUSE through the testing of Fresnel lenses samples, in the NCSR “Demokritos”.
b) Analysis of the regulatory requirements and draft of a plan for obtaining CE and Solar Key Mark certification, through contacting Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.
c) Market research on the essential raw materials and components available either on the local market or through online international orders. Also the availability of the raw materials as well as the market opportunity was investigated through contacts we had worldwide (European and Latin America Technology-based Business Network, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, MIT University , the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in consortium with JSC “Informational-Analytical Center of Oil and Gas and the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation”).

A technical study on the existing prototype and how it could be improved was developed by GIVE and new designs have been developed inside the company.

All the actions and results are related. For example the new designs are based on the prototype and the technical study but also must satisfy the financial limitations and the business model design of the business plan.

As a result a viable Business Plan and detailed feasibility study have been developed that can attract the interest of companies willing to cooperate in order to bring the LSC in the market soon and secure a big global market share.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

After the completion of HORIZON2020 SME Instrument Phase 1 BCND has the tools (Business Plan and Feasibility Study) to create international co operations towards the commercialization of the LSC in the following two years.
Already during the action the company had worldwide contacts that would be difficult to have without the support and recognition of HORIZON2020, as well as the actions and tasks prepared in the Phase 1 period.
LSC now is much closer to market with better chances to attract the international interest succeed in its commercialization

Related information

Record Number: 198263 / Last updated on: 2017-05-18