CORDIS - EU research results

Application of Solar Thermal Energy to Processes

Project description

Industrial process heating using solar energy

Heating for industrial processes accounts for most of the manufacturing sector’s energy demand. However, current heating systems have a number of limitations, such as the use of fossil fuels. The EU-funded ASTEP project aims to overcome these drawbacks by developing a novel solar heating for industrial processes (SHIP) concept. It will combine a rotary Fresnel solar collector and a thermal energy storage based on PCM with passive and active heat transfer enhancement techniques, which will be integrated through a control system to maintain continuous service. This innovative system will be able to cover a significant proportion of the process industry’s heat demand at temperatures and latitudes where current designs have failed. The project will provide a competitive alternative to fossil fuel consumption.


Application of Solar Thermal Energy to Processes (ASTEP) will create a new innovative Solar Heating for Industrial Processes (SHIP) concept focused on overcoming the current limitations of these systems. This solution is based on modular and flexible integration of two innovative designs for the solar collector (SunDial) and the Thermal Energy Storage (TES, based on Phase Change Materials, PCM) integrated via a control system which will allow flexible operation to maintain continuous service against the unpredictable nature of the solar source and partially during night operation. ASTEP will demonstrate its capability to cover a substantial part of the heat demand of the process industry at temperatures above 150 ºC and for latitudes where current designs are not able to supply it. Its modularity and compactness will also enable easy installation and repair with reduced space requirements, while most of components can be sourced locally. The ASTEP`s process integration will allow full compatibility with the existing systems of potential end-users of SHIP. These aspects will provide a very competitive solution to substitute fossil fuel consumption. The developed solar concept will be tested at two industrial sites to prove the objective’s target of TRL5. Life Cycle Analysis will be included to validate and demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed technologies. The first Industrial Site of the proposal is the world’s leading steel company, ArcelorMittal, with a heating demand above 220 ºC for a factory located at a latitude of 47.1 N (Iasi, Romania). The second site is the dairy company MANDREKAS, located at a latitude of 37.93 N (Corinth, Greece) with a heating demand for steam at 175 ºC and a cooling demand at 5 ºC. These test locations will validate the ASTEP solution for a substantial part of the potential requirements of industrial heating and cooling demand of the European Union (EU28), which is estimated at approximately 72 TWh per year

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Net EU contribution
€ 736 250,00
28015 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 736 250,00

Participants (18)