Solar solutions for the dairy industry
Every tonne of dairy product processed in the industry results in a significant amount of CO2 emission. A few dairy products are among the most climate-damaging food products in the world. The carbon footprint of these products can be reduced significantly by supplying solar heating solutions in the processing unit.
Range of applications for solar heating
The Absolicon T160 solar collector has multiple areas for implementation in the dairy sector.
Clean in place, or CIP, refers to the cleaning of complete items of plant circuits without dismantling or opening the equipment. The CIP system can account for 10-20 % of the total heat demand in dairy plants. Solar heat can be supplied indirectly through a heat exchanger to the circulating fluids in the CIP station. The integration point is set prior to the conventional heat supply, thus ensuring that the set temperature of the CIP system is always reached.
The pasteurization processes can account for 5-30% of the total energy demand in dairy plants. Solar heat can be supplied to the intermediate water circuit in the pasteurizer. The set pasteurization temperature is achieved by topping the solar heat with conventional steam prior to the supply.
Drying processes play a major role in the food processing chain. Industrial dryers require large amounts of heat, most commonly with steam or electric heating. The incoming air can be heated with solar energy prior to the conventional heating supply. This will ensure the highest possible collector efficiency while ensuring that the set temperature of the air is reached.
Absolicon T160 Solar collector can be integrated into the existing boiler system to reduce the energy cost. The integration points of the highest interest are the make-up water, condensate, feedwater, and low-pressure steam. The highest possible solar system efficiency is achieved by prioritizing low-temperature integration points. Absolicon T160 can generate steam up to 160°C and 8 bar pressure.
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Simulation for industrial heat dairy processes – Dubai, UAE
To run a simulation in the Dairy sector, we decided on Dubai. Solar radiation makes the site extremely suitable for the use of solar energy, moreover, the cheap availability of fossil fuel and fossil fuel lock-in, make Dubai a perfect scenario to test the economic feasibility of integrating Absolicon’s solar thermal technology for Dairy processes.
As the temperature requirement of the sector is in the medium temperature range, Absolicon patented technology, with an operational temperature of up to 160°C heat and 8 bar steam, suits perfectly the thermal energy demand of the Dairy industry providing a competitive and clean heat solution using solar resources.