Heating and cooling account for 49% of world energy demand, this requires significant fuel sources to satisfy demand and attention has now become focussed on renewable sources such as wind, wave and solar. Currently there are problems associated with using solar heat for industrial processes. Chief among these is that the availability of heat is not synchronised with the demand for it, with the additional complication that solar availability undergoes natural fluctuations according to weather patterns. 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. 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.
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