Solar solutions for food processing
Solar thermal energy is an ideal energy source for a wide range of food processing applications, enabling substantial cuts in energy costs and CO2 emissions.
More and more food producers are investigating the possibilities with solar thermal energy to increase both profitability and sustainability. Food processing consumes vast amounts of energy, most of it as low to medium temperature heat, making it a perfect fit for solar thermal energy.
Cut your energy costs
Up to 60% of the energy used in a typical food processing plant can be replaced with solar energy, resulting in lower OPEX and higher profitability.
Reduce CO2 emissions
Replacing carbon-based fuels with solar thermal energy leads to dramatic cuts in CO2 emissions. As more and more customers evaluate CO2 emissions per serving when choosing food products, low emissions are getting increasingly important to stay competitive.
Protect your results against rising energy prices
The more fossil energy you replace with solar energy, the more protected your bottom line is against sudden increases in fuel prices.
Build your brand
Many food products, especially those with an agricultural origin, have a natural connection to the sun. Using solar energy to process your products brings new opportunities to build your brand in a positive way.
Solar thermal applications in food processing
There are many ways to integrate a solar thermal energy system with a food processing line. The energy can be supplied to the processes on either the utility supply level or the process level. Absolicon’s team of application experts support you in finding the optimum solution based on the operating conditions in your plant.
- Process heat
- Preheating of boiler feedwater
Examples of where solar thermal heat can be used include:
- Pasteurization of pulps in the fruits and vegetable industry. The pulp is stirred inside a steam jacketed vacuum pan heated by 5-7 bar steam at 110°C.
- Several key meat processing applications use heat with a temperature below 100°C.
- Seafood processing where almost 70 % of the energy is used for cooling.
Chillers are used in many processes in the food industry. Absorption chillers operating on thermal energy can be powered with solar heat and have been used for several years in various industrial sectors.
Absolicon’s solar collectors can be integrated with both single and double-effect chillers and switching to solar-driven chilling often has a substantial positive effect on the plant’s electricity consumption.
Adding heat storage to your solar energy system allows you to operate on solar thermal energy 24 hours per day. It is charged during the day when the output from the solar energy system is at peak level and is discharged during the night.
There are several different types of heat storages, the most common solution is to store hot water in a set of well-insulated tanks. If you decide to implement a heat storage solution, we can support you during the design phase and help optimize the complete system, including the solar collectors, heat storage, and process integration.
Download our application brochure by clicking the button below, and contact us for an initial discussion about the opportunities with solar thermal energy and how it could be applied in your plant.