Solar solutions for tea industry
As the tea industry consumes a significant share of final energy, effective utilization of solar thermal energy for industrial process heat application can reduce dependency of fossil fuel and unsustainable biomass energy consumption.
In tropical climates all-year-round availability of solar energy provides a huge potential for industrial heating application.
Range of applications for solar heating
- Process steam
The Absolicon T160 Solar collector have multiple areas for implementation in the tea industry.
To produce steam a typical tea industry burns large amount of firewood. The firewood mainly comes from huge eucalyptus plantations and the consumption could instead be considerably reduced with solar steam from Absolicon.
Drying processes plays the major role in the tea 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.
Effective land usage
In the production process, 16 m3 of fuelwood (mainly sourced from eucalyptus) is used.
The use of solar collectors, in place of eucalyptus trees, will provide higher energy intensity than eucalyptus, as 1m2 solar collector can replace 1m3 wood/year, help conserve water catchments and provide renewable energy, resulting in reduced emissions.
Solar collectors will free-up area from eucalyptus plantations which can be used to expand tea growing, establish nature conservation, or be used for food production.